How to connect cardioid condenser mic to laptop?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Jesse, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have a MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser mic, and I want to hook it up to my Acer Aspire 5 to start recording music. Is there any extra steps I need to take? Do I need phantom power supplies? Would it be easier to get a usb mic? I'm as noob to this as it can get. I bought this laptop so I could start recording music and have really had no guidance so I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. I want to record both vocals and acoustic guitar with the microphone if possible.
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    unless you go the USB mic route, you will need an audio interface for best results to get started. most interfaces include a mic pre or two at the least which is needed to get mic level to line input levels. check the link i included.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  3. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    So what would you recommend? I have a $200 limit as of right now, so I could get a lower grade interface or get a mid range usb mic. I was considering getting the NTUSB+ I think it was called. Or is Blue Yeti a decent brand? This is all about entry level recording, I'm sure I'll upgrade my equipment as I go along but for now I need cheap but decent equipment to use on a laptop. I have a friend who lives across the country visiting and was hoping to record with him before he returned to Texas (I'm from Michigan, his home state). Thanks for the quick reply by the way, much appreciated.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i would go with an interface. usb mics are ok for podcasting but not much else.
     
    Jesse likes this.
  5. bouldersound

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Buying a USB mic would essentially be buying another mic plus an interface with limited capability. If you buy a decent interface you'll immediately have more versatility, and you can try different mics when the opportunity arises, or even use two mics at once (with something like the Scarlett 2i2).
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  6. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    So buying an interface would be wiser? I sincerely appreciate the advice. I'm just trying to get things figured out. So even a cheaper interface would be a better option than a usb mic?
     
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  7. bouldersound

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Well, you've already bought the mic. Buying a USB mic would duplicate that expense, and it would be tied to a very limited built-in interface. Your budget will get you a fairly decent 2-input interface, which is much more useful in the long run than a USB mic.
     
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  8. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    So an interface is the way to go. This has been really enlightening and an experience I could not trade for another. Thank you for being there to guide me. An interface it is. I'll get to looking. Most of interfaces should be compatible? Or no? Is there a specific one I should look for involving the MXL 770 and my Acer 5. I have a $200 budget atm but anything that would work would get me well on my way.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  9. bouldersound

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Research 2-input interfaces. Your budget should cover a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but that's just one example. There should be several comparable ones from different makers.
     
  10. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    I will. Thank you. I now have a better understanding and a path to follow. I'm gonna find the closest thing I can to my specs. You're probably closer than anything else with the Scarlett recommendation.
     
  11. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Lowestoft - UK
    Home Page:
    I always ask one question with the USB mic question. Will you EVER want to record two mics at the same time? If so, your USB mic will be useless because the multiple usb input option is stupidly difficult or even impossible to make work. Ordinary mics are a million times more versatile.
     
  12. bouldersound

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    On a Mac I think using two USB mics is a simple matter of using Aggregate Device, but the one designated slave will be resampled on the way in. On a PC there may be one or two recording programs that can do something similar. But that doesn't solve the monitoring issues, which an interface does solve.
     
  13. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    ^^ Alright well I do have a desire to play at the same time as my friend, it should be easy enough to layer our vocals/instrumemtals from a single mic. I'm not super worried about that from a beginning standpoint. I need to start somewhere. Eventually I hope to have a full studio. Even if I don't do $*^t myself I want to be a technician and mixer/producer.
     
  14. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    Alright, when I get set up I may have to hit you up to run me through $*^t and to make sure I'm up to snuff. You seem to know plenty enough to coach me through the starting period. I appreciate you even existing. Maf respect bro. Hit me with your email. (petrichorisreal@gmail.com) btdubbz Petrichor is the smell of the earth after it rains.
     
  15. Jesse

    Jesse Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would eat your ass like sushi. Just kidding I'm not into sushi. But I appreciate your take on things. I appreciate any info on where to go.
     
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    not sure what you mean by that but lol anyways ...... usb mic's for the most part can induce latency when recording and most are limited to 16 bit operation. so for multitrack recording they are a bottom of the barrel choice. you will do far better using the mic you have and getting an interface, keeping your options for the future open. a usb mic is essentially a dead end.
     
    Jesse and Makzimia like this.
  17. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Lowestoft - UK
    Home Page:
    You mention you aim to gradually create a studio. If this is the case, don't buy the USB mic - it limits so much what you can do. Like when somebody says can you lend me a mic, and you discover they have a mixer, or you want to record something from a distance, or something really loud. For a one box shop - plugging a USB mic into your laptop works perfectly well. You've just got no growing room for the future. Most people start with one mic and end up with loads - all for different things, and that's just not happening with USB.
     
    Jesse likes this.
  18. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    I agree, USB mic are to be avoided if you want to record audio. Even the more expensive are prone to latency and the quality isn't as good as a separate mic and proper audio interface.
    Most use the default windows drivers (if you are on windows) and they are far from optimal. Audio interfaces maker design their own drivers and to achieve better performances..

    The MXL 770 is a bit harsh on the high frequencies but it is fonctionnal and a great tool to learn mic placement and recording in general.

    Welcome to RO Jesse !
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice