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Why should I consider mics when buying broadcast mixers?

When purchasing new equipment for your radio station it is often easy to think in silos. You know you need to upgrade one part of your system so you focus purely on that piece of equipment. The main risk with this approach is that you are not thinking about your broadcast solution as a whole. This can lead to expensive mistakes and often further purchases of extra equipment.

Your broadcast mixing desk is a key piece of gear for your radio station and always requires a large amount of research before you commit. One simple element that you need to consider before choosing a new broadcast mixing desk is the microphones you are using.

The first stage of this is simply how many mics you want to have in your studio, and if this will remain fixed or change depending on the show. This will determine the number of inputs you need on your mixing console.

Secondly, you need to consider the type of connectors your mics have. You could choose to either use USB mics or XLR. While USB mics can provide a great starting point for podcasters, At Prosound we would always recommend that professional radio stations opt for XLR microphones. They tend to be more reliable and have been created for use in the professional environment.

The next factor is the way that your microphone’s element works – is it a dynamic or condenser? Dynamic mics do not require any power, while condensers use +48V phantom power which will be delivered by your mixing console. If your talent is set on using a condenser mic, then you will need to ensure that your mixing console has the appropriate number of inputs that can provide phantom power for your presenters.

Finally, your broadcast mic will require a pre-amp to boost the low output signal to line level or to just help it sound better. The type of mic you have will determine the level of pre-amplification its signal will require. Some mixers come with built-in pre-amps so this will be another element to look at before you choose the right solution for your radio station.

The combination of the different parts of your broadcast signal chain can be fairly daunting. This is where the help of an experienced broadcast systems integrator such as Prosound can be invaluable. Get in touch with our expert team to see how we can help you to upgrade your radio station.

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