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Phantom Power - A basic overview.

Phantom Power - A basic overview.

What is a Phantom Power ? 

In our lastblog entry we mentioned the requirement for phantom power when using condensermicrophones so we thought it would be a good idea to give you a little insightinto what phantom power is.

You may have seen a little button or switch on your audio mixer or amplifiermarked 'Phantom Power' and wondered what it's for. Well, basically phantompower is a voltage sent down the same cable as a microphone audio feed, but itdoesn't affect the audio in any way. Phantom power voltages can differdepending on the equipment but the normal voltage from professional equipmentis +48V and most professional condenser microphones work with this voltage.You'll probably find that if you read the spec sheet of your microphone, that itcan accept a range of voltages to allow the microphone to be used on a widerange of equipment.

The power sent down the cable is able to feed the circuits inside a condensermicrophone, this in turn powers the small microphone head and allows the signal tobe amplified before it is sent to the audio equipment. Without power thesemicrophones just simply wouldn't work, and phantom power is by far the neatestand most convenient method of providing this power. You can also get dedicatedphantom power supplies, so if your happy with your audio equipment but it can'tsupply phantom power, then an external supply could be the answer. This would bea simple box that would sit in line with your microphone signal and providepower to the microphone along with a nice clean audio signal to the amplifier. Thereare also microphones that can have a battery inserted to allow them to generatetheir own local power, whilst these work great, it can be problematic trustinga human to change the battery and make sure it works throughout that allimportant performance or speech.

The requirement for phantom power isn't only applicable to microphones and canalso be hand for powering other devices such as DI boxes and can even be usedfor microphones that have halo LED's to indicate the broadcast state.

Whilst phantom power is a great facility it is still worth checking the spec ofall your equipment to make sure everything is working within and limits set bythe manufacturer. You should also be careful when switching on phantom power todevices that don't need it; whilst dynamic microphones are not generallyaffected, phantom power can occasionally cause issues with radio microphonereceivers. If you're in doubt about any potential issues with your setup justget in touch and we'll give you advice on the best course of action.

Created On  22 Jan 2018 8:54  -  Permalink


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