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Microphone connected to computer

If your computer has a microphone input port

You're all set. Just plug a compatible microphone into the microphone input port on your computer.

What do we mean by compatible? Any microphone with a permanently attached cord that ends in a mini-plug should work. Note that many sound cards provide battery voltage for mono electret microphones on the ring of a stereo mini-plug. Check your computer manual to be sure if this feature is provided. If it is, be sure to use a microphone that is designed to accommodate this.

A mono mini-plug A stereo mini-plug

A computer headset-mic combination is pretty much guaranteed to work. These microphones are not the highest quality, but can be had fairly inexpensively. If you're just getting started and want to experiment without spending a lot of money, one of these would be a good choice. Just don't be surprised if your recorded voice sounds a bit tinny or flat.

Desktop-standing microphones can be had for at little as $10 or as much as $500. Choosing a microphone is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Try searching the web for "computer microphones", visit your local computer store, talk to your friends, or ask questions on the Audacity Forum.

Unless you are prepared to spend extra money for a microphone pre-amp or standalone mixer do not buy a microphone with an XLR connector:

An XLR plug

If your computer does not have a microphone input port

Do not plug a microphone into the line input port on your computer. The volume will be way too low (the line input port does not apply the needed amplification to boost the very quiet signal from the microphone). You won't break anything, but you will be very frustrated with the results.

Option 1 - Buy a microphone to USB adapter

These devices plug into a USB port on your computer, and have a microphone input jack (usually 1/8").

Some options are the Griffin iMic and the Roland Duo capture UA-11 UA-1G.

You will still need a compatible microphone. Be sure to carefully read the specifications of any adapter you are considering and make sure you get a microphone that will work with that interface.

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Tried it on a different computer

by livetosnack

Hello -,
I even went so far as to install Reaper on a friend's computer with Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (I have Windows XP with Service Pack 3) and on his computer in the Audio Device Settings, there is nothing in the Output Range. It says first 1: Not Connected and last 2: Not Connected 2. The built in microphone seems to work and as I record I see the bars moving up and down, and the sound increase on the horizontal track. But when played back there is no sound. I tried to switch it over to the Ensoniq, but there seems to be no provision for it other than Enable Inputs, and there is nothing there but: first 1: HD Audio Microphone 1 and last 2: HD Audio Microphone 2

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cablesonline 3.5mm StereoTRRS 4-Pole M to TRS Jack Microphone to iPhone Adapter
CE (cablesonline)
  • (1) 3.5mm TRRS male stereo plug - 1) 3.5mm TRS female stereo jack
  • Connects your microphone to your iPhone
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STARTECH.COM StarTech.com MUYHSMFFADW 3.5mm 4 Position to 2 x 3 M/F Position Headset Splitter Adapter - White
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  • This adapter is not a headphone splitter/Y-cable. It cannot be used to split the audio output to two separate sets of headphones or speakers.
  • Some laptops and mobile devices will not work with all external microphones. This is typically caused by an impedance mismatch between the microphone and the device...
  • To ensure proper hardware detection, we recommend that the external headset be plugged into the adapter first, before the adapter is connected to the computer or...
  • Turns a 3.5mm audio output port into two distinct ports - one 3.5mm headphone jack and one 3.5mm microphone port
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Popular Q&A

avatar
Logitech Microphone for my computer not working...?

Okay so i recently downloaded Windows 7 Home Premium, and I have audacity because i write and play and produce my own music, well, I have not only a Logitech webcam with a built-in microphone but I also have a regular Logitech Microphone Also,[which was my step-dad's but i have it now because i need a mic to make music with][I also don't have the box it came in or anything] it just plugs into the line-in, i believe it is called. Its not USB, and I'm confused and frustrated because I've tried everything to get it to work, So I need HELP! Please do the best you can, i hope i have provided…

If it's a electrical condenser mic, don't plug it into the line in, plug it into the mic in. (usually pink or red) (line in is usually blue)



Electrical condenser mic's can be identified usually as having no batteries or other power supply. The signal if very weak and needs amplification before a ADC can process the signal.



Also open up alsamixer via the terminal to make sure it's not muted. Make sure to select mic of the sound card within audacity. (really ardour may be a better program, as is supports JACK, the low-latency audio framework in linux)

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