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Microphones for recording on computer

The past several years have seen a rise in the quality and quantity of studio microphones that connect directly to your computer through a USB connection. For home recording rigs using recording software on their computer as a virtual studio, a

can increase the number of tracks they're able to simultaneously record because it allows them to take advantage of the numerous USB ports found on the computer. Today, USB versions of high-quality dynamic, condenser and even ribbon microphones are all available, and can significantly increase the capabilities of your home recording studio.

What is a USB Microphone?

A USB microphone is not a new kind of studio microphone but rather a new way to utilize existing types of studio microphones. Instead of the typical XLR connector most commonly used, USB microphones plug directly into the USB port on your computer. Once connected, the USB studio microphone will be able to work with your recording software, or independently if you choose. The easy plug and play nature of USB makes these studio microphones easy to set up and even easier to use.

Another great thing about today's USB studio microphones is that they can use the USB port on your computer to supply phantom power for condenser microphones.

When to use a USB microphone

The benefit of a USB microphone is that you can use it with your computer without needing an additional audio interface. And since USB microphones can work with existing recording software, they make a great way to expand your home recording capabilities without having to massively overhaul your home recording rig. Additionally though, USB microphones can be used for numerous other activities, like internet conversations with friends and family or recording your own podcasts. And with the high-quality sound of today's USB microphones, you can feel confident that your recordings won't be full of background noise and static when you record.

The former downside of a USB microphone was that you couldn't connect it to a more conventional mixing board or digital audio interface. This limitation is now a thing of the past with the new studio microphone adapters that allow XLR microphones to work as USB microphones. You can even buy an all in one studio microphone pack, such as the Shure SM58 with X2u USB Digital Bundle that gives you a great studio microphone and a USB adapter; giving your home recording studio a leg up on the competition. All you need to do it plug in the X2u adapter to the Shure SM58 and your standard XLR microphone is now a fully equipped USB microphone ready to work the moment you plug it in. In fact, the X2u adapter will work on any standard microphone, so you'll be able to plug your favorite studio microphone directly into your computer.

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Looking for recommendations for microphone

by juliotangos

This would probably be more appropriate in the radio forum, but I've already posted another related message there and thought I'd receive more replies in the computer forum since because of the high traffic here and because it's technology driven.
I am interested in recording my voice at home on a CD to send to radio stations of a play that I wrote. Of course, I need it to be the highest possible quality for the recording, but I don't have like ten thousand dollars (if that's how much the microphones the large radio programs use in their station cost). In other words, it can't sound like a recording that would come out if you recorded your voice using a simple headset and the sound quality is definitely not what I would be looking for

Behringer USA Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Xenyx Mic Preamps and British EQs
Musical Instruments (Behringer USA)
  • Premium ultra low-noise, high headroom analog mixer
  • 2 state-of-the-art XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to standalone boutique preamps
  • Neo-classicBritish3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
  • 1 post fader FX send per channel for external FX devices
  • 1 stereo aux return for FX applications or as separate stereo input
Behringer USA Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface
Musical Instruments (Behringer USA)
  • Ultra-flexible audio interface connects your instruments, mixer etc. with your computer for recording and playback
  • High-resolution 48 kHz converters for high-end audio quality
  • Works with your PC or Mac-no setup or drivers required. Free audio recording and editing software downloadable at .behringer.com
  • Stereo headphone output with dedicated level control lets you monitor both input and output
  • Powered via USB bus-no external power supply needed
Home Recording Studio Advice: Buying your first microphone
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Behringer Behringer 302USB Premium 5-Input Mixer with XENYX Mic Preamp and USB/Audio Interface
Musical Instruments (Behringer)
  • Ultra-compact and ultra-low noise analog mixer with USB/Audio interface
  • Powered through USB or external power adaptor (included)
  • Built-in stereo USB/Audio interface to connect directly to your computer
  • Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins and ultra-low latency driver downloadable
  • State-of-the-art, phantom powered XENYX Mic Preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
Alesis Alesis MultiMix 4 USB Four-Channel USB Mixer
Musical Instruments (Alesis)
  • Four-channel mixer with digital output
  • Low-noise digital 16-bit, 44.1 kHz signal on USB for easy computer interface
  • Two channels of XLR inputs with gains and switchable 48V phantom power
  • High-impedance guitar input
  • Main and headphone outputs with independent level controls
Sescom Sescom SES-IL-10DB XLR Male to XLR Female In Line Attenuator - 10db-by-Sescom
CE (Sescom)
  • Features: A fully balanced XLR male to XLR female inline fixed audio pad attenuator with hot audio controller.
  • Stops overloading peaks and distortion - Provides totally Flat, Full-Bandwidth across the board level cut; lowering the signal to the level you need! Inline design...
  • Can also be inserted in-between two XLR cables.
  • Extremely High Quality /Super Low Noise 1% metal film resistors for high performance.
  • 100% Assembled and Quality Controlled in the USA.

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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