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Audio coversion cable help!

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by Killpot, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Killpot

    Killpot Active Member

    Hello I am pretty new to the proffesional audio world, and I ignorantly bought the Audio Technica 2020 and than after purchasing it realized that I will need to convert its XLR cable to something useable for me I dont want to buy a mixing board as they are expensive and i will really only be using infor youtube and streaming, so my question is my laptop has a 3.5mm jack an HDMI port and usb what is my best conversion option? While keeping a low cost...
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    To connect that microphone to your computer you need several things: a real XLR microphone input with 48V phantom power, adjustable-gain amplification, analog-to-digital conversion and some sort of connection to your computer. Thankfully, there are many affordable boxes that have all these things. In your case, the computer connection should be through USB and not via HDMI or through the 3.5mm soundcard jack.

    Start by looking at the Presonus Audiobox USB, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or possibly the Focusrite iTrack Solo.
  3. Killpot

    Killpot Active Member

    Thanks for the tips but is there any cheaper solutions?
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I didn't explicity dwell on it, but I was trying to steer you away from the junk at the bottom end of the market. Down there you tend to find things that can catch you out like bit 16-bit conversion instead of 24-bit, 12V phantom power instead of 48V, and manufacturers beginning with "B".

    It's up to you to put a value on the sound quality you want to achieve.
  5. Killpot

    Killpot Active Member

    Thanks for the info but whats better usb or 3.5 mm?
  6. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    I think you misunderstood Boswell's original reply. The 3.5 mm jack is not an option for you as it is A) Not a balanced input and B) Does not provide the phantom power that your microphone needs.

    Boswell directed you very well. If you have stumped up for an AT2020 then you need decent quality gear to be able to use it. The recommendations he made are very good and you would be well advised to somehow find the cash for one of those rather than finding a cheap alternative that will either sound poor or not work properly due to inadequate phantom power.
  7. Killpot

    Killpot Active Member

    No no I understand i mean whats better for the mixer box to output to usb or 3.5mm and what about blue icicle preamps are they any good?
  8. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    The 3.5mm input would be an unreliable option physically and questionable at best sonically. Get a USB interface designed for what you're doing.

    The Icicle is for things like podcasting where you don't need to monitor anything coming from the computer. It might be okay for what you're doing but it is limited. It probably won't work with your mixer too well if at all.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The Blue Icicle is one of those units that has only a 16-bit converter and not 24-bit, and it has no output capability. That said, it's reasonable value for what it provides. If you take care how you use it, your Youtube viewers may not notice the shortcomings.

    For this sort of job, you need an external USB interface unit. Don't even think about connecting to the 3.5mm jack and the soundcard in your computer.
  10. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    The AT2020 is a great mic for the price. I have one of them myself. You would do yourself a favour to stick with it. I don't know of any other mics for that price that are as versatile, durable and sound as good.

    Do you realize there is a USB version of the AT2020? It sounds like your best option would be to try and exchange your mic for the USB version. It has the 3 things Boswell mentioned (preamp, digital conversion and phantom power) built in to it, so all you have to do is connect the mic to your computer with a USB cable and you're ready to go.

    Pax Caritas et lol,
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    here I found a way to do wireless through a printer port !!

    Seriously, I don't know why people think they can use adapters for everything.
    Your 2020 needs a preamp and Fantom Power.
    Preamp : it's simple, the amount of electricity the mic can produce by itself is close to none and very far from recording level.
    Recording level is kind of a standard equal to the output of a CD Player. So the preamp amplify the signal so it can be recorded.
    Fantom power is 48v needed by the MIC to work, you can't get around it. As you Microwave needs 120volts to work.
    No adapter will do all this !!

    Conclusion, buy an audio interface that has a preamp and power for your mic.
    If your not into it, return it and buy a USB MIC.

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