We’re Liking the MicPort Pro

When working out of your private studio, you want noise in your session files like you want geese in your jet engines.  Delivering consistently noisy voice over tracks can bring down a career.

The acoustics of my room are pretty good.  Room within a room with thick walls, dead space between them, double doors, non-parallel walls, plenty of studio foam and all that.

I picked the Prima LT for ISDN because it has no fan (noise).  The computer is a MacBook that sits  in a wooden box within a box and is as quiet as an  AIG executive with a million dollar bonus check.  The pick up pattern of the Sennheiser 416 short shotgun mic is a big help in keeping out noise from the environment.  So the last thing I wanted was noise from my electronics.  And that’s what I was getting from the mic pre-amp section of my M-Audio Mobile Pre USB.

I get around that by using different mic pre-amp and patch it into the line in/out section of the Mobile Pre.  That half of the box is pretty quiet.  The mic pre-amps, not so much. Audible hiss.

So needing a USB pre-amp when I travel, and after reading some good reviews, I ponied up for a CEntrance MicPort Pro.

Photo of MicPort Pro

Photo of MicPort Pro

It is much quieter than the pre-amp section the Mobil Pre.

Take a listen for yourself:

m-audio-mobile-pre-then-micport-pro

The link is a high res mp3 file (oxymoron alert).  The first half was recorded with the Mobile Pre USB pre-amps.  The second half was recorded via the MicPort Pro.  I think you can hear the difference.  If you open the file in your audio editor you can see the difference in the wave form.

The last time I was in Guitar Center, the kid said a new generation of the M-Audio Mobile Pre was on the way and it would be quieter. Then a piece of metal fell out of his face and I left.

8 thoughts on “We’re Liking the MicPort Pro

  1. George Whittam

    Nice short and to-the-point review of the MicPort. I think that is very clear demonstration of how much quieter it is than similarly priced USB Mic preamps. I will cross post your blog on my blog, as this is a great promotion for the product. We’ve been selling it at ERS for the better part of a year and the 20 or so users are thrilled with the sound quality!

  2. Bill Post author

    Thanks for stopping by, George. I think any voice over artist putting together a traveling V/O rig should consider the MicPort for part of their package.
    Best,
    Bill

  3. Jorge Velasco - Spanish VO Talent

    Hola Bill. Saludos desde Bogota, Colombia!

    “… quiet as an AIG executive with a million dollar bonus check” LOL. Couldn’t say it better myself!

    I’ve been using the MicPort Pro for a while and it works perfect. Small, nice preamp, very quiet.

    However, I still have some computer noise in my studio. I’m curious about your computer’s wooden box within a box. Is it custom made? Do you have any pictures you can share?

    Thanks and keep up the good blogging.

    JV

  4. Bill Post author

    Hola Jorge,
    My studio furniture is pretty old school, just counter tops resting on 36 inch cubes. One side of the cube is open. Into that space I slide a smaller cube that I hired a carpenter to make. It has a door that I can close. Both boxes have holes cut out in the back to feed cables through. I set the MacBook on a stand inside the inner cube and close the door. I do have another door to the outer cube that I can close if need be but the MacBook runs so quiet I usually don’t have to. I’ll try to get some pictures for you.
    Best,
    Bill

  5. Howard Ellison

    New to VO (but not young!) I was advised early that the priorities should be performance, studio, voice, hardware – in that order.
    Performance will develop, I can’t rush that, and there’s loads of blog advice on gear, but yes, studio noise was the challenge. Never mind the whirring Mac, here in this part of Brixham UK, we get FX from gulls, taxis, dogs, a school, karaoke pub and a church clock – which chimes AND plays Abide With Me every hour! I won’t use a noise gate, so we rely on thick walls, good glazing… and blankets.

  6. Bill Post author

    Someone has given you good advice about performance coming first.
    Do you have portable equipment? It seems like you could step outside and compile a sound effects disc.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  7. Howard Ellison

    Hi, Bill. Just spotted your reply, thanks. Ha, yes, I do use a portable… however, these noises go on simultaneously! By the way, I followed your link to VU and joined up – what a brilliant network. Best wishes, Howard

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