interfaces ios lightning Microphones preamplificers preamps

RØDE SC6-L with an XLR microphone (or 2)? Yes, but with important details by Allan Tépper

I’ve coated the intriguing RØDE SC6-L audio interface in prior articles. The SC6-L is exclusive since it’s so tiny and cheap, but acts as an dual-channel, bi-directional interface to get separate (or combined) mic sources into an iOS system by way of Lightning. And sure, the SC6-L thankfully does its twin A-to-D conversion at 48 kHz/24-bit. The SC6-L is primarily promoted to work with unbalanced TRRS microphones. In my first exams, I efficiently used it with the ModMic5 head microphone by way of a TRS to TRRS cable, but later I needed to test utilizing it using a passive cable with XLR microphones, both dynamic mics and those few electret condenser XLR mics that can operate with low-voltage “plugin power” provided by the SC6-L (quite than the a lot larger phantom energy voltage demanded by many). The excellent news that the SC6-L works very properly with a very particular passive cable from Sennheiser (actual model and hyperlink forward). Nevertheless, it is best to know extra details in case you plan to make use of it with a dynamic mic and an electret condenser simultaneously, one on every input, as I describe forward.

Prior articles concerning the SC6-L converter with preamp and ADC/DAC:

Listed here are some of my prior articles concerning the under-promoted, ingenious SC6/L.

Refresher article about TS/TRS/TRRS

In case you are confused with this terminology, here is your refresher article: TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic.

What do I mean by a passive cable

Once I say a passive cable, I imply one that has no circuitry inside: no pre-preamp to boost the extent, and no elements to dam power.

Finding the perfect female XLR to TRRS passive cable

There are numerous passive cables that go from feminine XLR to TRS, but that’s NOT what we’d like, because the microphone inputs on the RØDE SC6-L (Amazon — B&H) are TRRS. Of the only a few cables available on the market that do go instantly from female XLR to TRRS, most have a pigtail for monitoring, since they have been initially designed to go on to the TRRS port of a smartphone or tablet. Nevertheless, in the new period of the elimination of the analog TRRS port on smartphones, and to make use of with the SC6-L, that monitoring pigtail just isn’t crucial or even helpful. That pigtail adds undesired bulk, because the SC6-L already has a latency-free TRS output for monitoring. Fortuitously, I discovered what we’d like.

After much looking, I found the above Sennheiser KA 600i ≈US$20 (Amazon — B&H) passive cable that goes from female XLR to TRRS. The i suffix in the model number is significant, since it refers back to the model that terminates in TRRS, not TRS. The mixture between the RØDE SC6-L and the Sennheiser KA 600i is perhaps referred to as a three way partnership between Australia (RØDE) and Germany (Sennheiser) 🙂

I proved that it labored both with a dynamic XLR microphone (details forward) and with one of the few XLR electret condenser microphones that work with the lower voltage bias voltage (“plugin power”) which is provided by the SC6-L.

Th electret condenser microphone I used is the MXL MM130 (proven above, Amazon — B&H) with out its included Y-cable, only with the Sennheiser KA 600i ≈US$20 (Amazon — B&H) passive cable that goes from feminine XLR to TRRS.

Does the RØDE SC6-L have enough achieve for a dynamic mic related passively?

I made a check recording with this SC6-L using the Pyle PDMIC78 (illustrated above, reviewed right here, Amazon — B&H) dynamic microphone using the big presidential Shure A81WS windscreen (Amazon • B&H). I had the Pyle PDMIC78 related to at least one input of the SC6-L, and had no supply related to the second input.

Later, I made a number of recordings the identical approach with the headless Samson Q2U (illustrated above, Amazon — B&H),  coated in Samson Q2U headless mic with Shure A81WS presidential windscreen.

I set the RØDE Reporter companion app to document individually at 48 kHz/24 bit and I set the level appropriately. Then, in post-production utilizing Hindenburg Journalist Professional, I separated the pretend stereo recording to unbiased tracks and erased the silent monitor, before trimming and normalizing.

Hindenburg Journalist Pro, continues to be my favourite multitrack software program for Mac for audio storytellers (also out there for Windows). After that, I exported them as mono 48 kHz 16 bit WAV. See my associated Hindenburg Journalist Professional articles… All audio manufacturing & distribution should go 48 kHz and in addition Understanding 24-bit vs 16-bit audio production & distribution. Use this link for a free trial adopted by an enormous low cost on Hindenburg Journalist Professional.

I’m fairly impressed with the standard of the preamp and A-to-D conversion of the US$79 SC6-L, even from a dynamic mic, whose output is far lower. I discovered the standard to be corresponding to some other interface I’ve ever examined underneath US$500 with a dynamic microphone. But what occurs when one of the two mics is dynamic and the opposite is electret condenser?

What happens when one microphone is dynamic and the other is electret condenser?

Clearly, when connecting the dynamic microphone passively, without any pre-preamp to offer it some pre-gain, the achieve setting of 1 microphone will probably be fairly totally different than the opposite. Sadly, the achieve of the 2 channels in the RØDE Reporter app is ganged (at the least with the current version), so we will only regulate the achieve of each channel collectively. I am not positive whether that is an omission in the UI (consumer interface) of the current version of the RØDE Reporter app, or maybe it merely displays the capabilities within the preamp chip used in the SC6-L, which may be incapable of adjusting the 2 channels independently. If it’s the former, I hope that RØDE will update the RØDE Reporter to allow particular person achieve for every enter channel. If it’s the latter, we’ve got to deal with it another method, now and eternally. Listed here are 5 totally different choices:


  1. Set the level in the RØDE Reporter app to be proper for the louder microphone (the electret condenser), understanding that the softer microphone (the dynamic) will want more amplification in post-production. Recording at 24-bit will reduce the artifacts, as coated in this article.
  2. Separate the pretend stereo file into separate tracks and both normalize every one in your multitrack DAW software program, or ship every raw WAV file to to be processed utilizing the multitrack crossgating, which I described in detail in My multitrack crossgating audio workflow to remove crosstalk. (Part of that process is Adaptive Leveler, Adaptive Noise Gate and Crossgate. )

OPTION B (not very best for reasons explained)

Use a pre-preamp on the dynamic mic. In this case, it might be the iRig Pre from IK Multimedia (reviewed here back in 2012, proven above, Amazon — B&H).

I do know that this might work perfectly, but I reject it because it ruins the simplicity of a cellular setup with the SC6-L, since it might add far more bulk and require using a battery.

OPTION C (not perfect for causes explained)

Add an attenuator to the cable coming from the electret condenser mic, to decrease it to match the one coming from the dynamic microphone. I know that this is able to work, and can be much less of a Frankenstein than choice B, but continues to be two a lot for what I am looking for in an ultra-simple cellular dual microphone, two-track setup.


Use two dynamic microphones. Should you use two dynamic microphones, they may each be very close in degree.


Just use two condenser microphones related by way of TRRS, the best way RØDE meant. Then every one shall be a lot nearer in degree.

I like options A, D and E probably the most, and I might keep away from B and C.


I’m very glad to have found the Sennheiser KA 600i ≈US$20 (Amazon — B&H) passive cable, which works completely with the RØDE SC6-L (Amazon— B&H) for use with dynamic XLR mics and a few of the electret condenser mics that are capable of operating with low voltage “plug-in power” or self-powered with inner batteries.

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FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to put in writing this text or the talked about books. A number of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Most of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper evaluate models, including MXL, RØDE and Senheiser , although in this case, Allan Tépper bought the Sennheiser KA 600i cable with his personal funds for this check and article. To date, not one of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting CapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal packages, though they’re welcome to take action, and a few are, could also be (or might have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed on this article and/or on this net page might indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC by way of affiliate packages. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his personal. Allan Tépper isn’t answerable for misuse or misunderstanding of data he shares.

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