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USB external mic - what works?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Rimshot, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Rimshot

    Rimshot Guest

    this is real 'recording on the cheap', I'm trying to capture an accurate room sound (assuming everyone miced and going thru the mixer).

    - I'm playing with an old PC to try to record the output signal from my bands powered mixer. Of course the sound card on the PC is nothing great, so I tried hooking up an old Plantronics USB headset interface - it's basically a small sound card on the USB cable with 2 ports; external mic-in and headphones out.

    I attached an old Creative multimedia mic and the sound is crytal clear sharp. No noise at all and no distortion.

    I then attached a Shure SM-57 and I get no signal at all.

    I think the plantronics external mics use an electret mic which has built-in power. The Shure SM-57 being a dynamic mic has no built in power.

    So, my questions are;
    1. Do you have to use a powered mic with a USB interface? Like a Condensor mic with phantom power?

    2. Will a powered mixer work with such a device - taking the tape out from the mixer and plugging it into the USB mic-in on the PC?
  2. Rimshot

    Rimshot Guest

    Here's some more info :
    " Many, if not most, professional or higher end microphones are low impedance products that connect via balanced cables. Those types of devices require preamplification to bring them up to Line Level. This can be accomplished by using the pre-amps of mixing consoles or by using an impedance matching transformer."

    I think my problem is that this USB device only has mic-in, not line-in.
    So taking the Tape or record out from the mixer and plugging into a mic-in port on the USB sounds like it will easilt overload it. Maybe I need a better USB interface..
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