General Information about UA Microphones

This article answers frequently asked questions about UA Microphones.

What is the maximum cable length between a tube microphone and its power supply?

We recommend a maximum cable length of 100' (30 m) between a tube microphone and its power supply.

What is the maximum cable length between a low impedance dynamic or condenser microphone and the mic preamp?

We recommend a maximum cable length of 1000' (305 m) for low impedance microphones with balanced output.

What is the frequency range of a microphone?

This specification states the range of audio frequencies that a microphone can capture.

What is the signal-to-noise ratio of a microphone?

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N) specifies the relative difference in levels between the desired signal and the self-noise of a microphone.

What is the maximum sound pressure (max SPL) of a microphone?

Maximum Sound Pressure Level (Max SPL) specifies the maximum acoustic pressure that a microphone can handle before its output becomes distorted, typically specified in dB @ 1% THD (total harmonic distortion).

How should I store my microphone when not in use?

When not in use, store the microphone in a cool dry place. This extends the life of a microphone and protects it from moisture and humidity.

Should I use a pop filter?

Based on the sound source (typically vocals) and distance from the microphone, a pop filter may be required. The need for a pop filter should be determined on a case by case basis. If excessive plosives are present without a pop filter, try adding one to see if it resolves the issue. You may also need to increase distance from the microphone or point the microphone slightly off-axis.

Are all pop filters the same?

No. Based on the material and construction of the pop filter, it may cause a change in frequency response or reduced high frequency. Experiment with different pop filters and use your ears to determine which is best for you.

What is microphone sensitivity and how is it specified?

Microphone sensitivity measures how efficiently acoustic energy is converted to electrical energy. It is typically measured in mV or dBV based on a given distance and input signal.

How do I clean the microphone?

Use a dry or slightly damp cloth to clean the exterior of the microphone. Do not spray liquids directly on the microphone and avoid solvents that may damage the finish. Do not touch or clean the capsule. 

The output level of my microphone is very low. What could be causing this?

A microphone needs to be connected to a mic preamplifier. Connecting the microphone to a line or instrument input without a preamp may result in low output level, or if the line/instrument input has a preamp, you probably need to increase the input gain. With Apollo interfaces, ensure the preamp input is set to MIC. Check all connections and make sure you're connected to a microphone preamp using a balanced XLR cable. If you're using a condenser microphone, ensure that phantom power is on. 

I think the tube in my microphone is faulting. How can I tell?

A bad tube can produce noises that sound like wind, waves, or even crackles. A bad tube may also cause changes in the sound of the microphone such as low level, distortion, missing frequencies, or no output. Try systematically replacing other parts of the signal chain such as the cables, or try another channel on your preamp or interface. If the issue persists, contact the Customer Care team for details about replacing the tube. 

What is phantom power (+48V)?

Phantom power is DC voltage (typically 48VDC) that provides current to active microphone circuits. Phantom power is provided by the mixer, mic preamp, or recording interface through standard 3-pin XLR cables.

Can I connect my microphone directly to a computer?

No. You will need to connect your microphone to the mic preamp of an audio interface such as UA’s Apollo or Volt to use it with a computer. However, Volt can be used to record your microphone into an iPhone or iPad.

Does my UA microphone come with any plug-ins or software?

Yes! We designed custom Apollo Channel Strip Presets for Apollo and your microphone to give you great sounding results right out of the box. Download the UA Connect app and follow the steps to register your microphone.

Once the microphone is registered, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to download the presets, and instructions on where to install them.

To get your presets follow the steps below.

  1. Open UA Connect.
  2. Click Microphones in the left column and select your mic.
  3. Click INSTALL under Additional Downloads.

To load your Apollo Channel Strip Presets, click INSERTS in Console.

Note: Apollo Channel Strip Presets are only available for the UA Bock, SD-1, and SP-1 microphones.

Where can I find the user manual for my UA microphone?

For Sphere documentation, see the Sphere Modeling Microphone System Manual. For all other mics, visit the UA Microphone Manuals section.

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