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Topic: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2002
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    New York City
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    Question What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    I have Gigastudio Orchestra 3.0 and Sonar 4.0. The only audio interface I currently have on my pc is an echo mia midi card. I would like to have another device that allows me to use a professional quality microphone (nothing top of the line but maybe an all around Shure for about 100 dollars) to capture my voice and add to the tracks I'm creating in Sonar. Is there an easy way to do this? Thanks in advance for your ideas.

  2. #2

    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    Hi,

    All you need is the microphone and a mic preamp. You can get cheap mic preamps like an ART for about $100 or so. If you have a mixing board, it will probably have some mic preamps built-in so you don't need to spend extra money on the preamp in that case. With the mic preamp, you can go direct out of the pre into your audio card. If you're using mic pres from a mixer, take either a direct output from the channel (if the mixer has a direct output), or send just the mic to a an aux output. Connect the aux output to the input of your audio interface.

    HTH,
    FV

  3. #3

    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    What FV says is spot on.

    I use one of these..............

    http://www.soundcraft.com/product_sh...product_id=121

    The Compact 4. It's really set up nicely for a home studio, has a couple of pre-amps, and has helpful and easy to understand routing for recording and monitoring, separate headphones out mix for the artist etc. etc. I use a Shure SM57 with it. Not the most hitech system in the world, but if ever I need to do some basic recording at home, I can get some reasonable results when I have to.

    Steve

  4. #4

    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    My advice would be to use an external mixer - a studio mixer with separate outputs (not just stereo out) and a good mic amp built into it. That way you can use a condeser mic (+48V) and you will have good monitoring abilities and not much trouble with latency.

    You hook up your mic to the mixer and send the mic signal to your soundcard via a separate isolated output in the mixer. You also need to be able to listen to the mic signal from the mixer even though it is being sent out separately, so your mixer needs to b able to deliver that.

    I would recommend a decent condenser mic as a first choice. After all, condensers do deliver an overall better presence and detail in the sound than dynamic mics. I'm no expert on mics, but I know JJlabs and Rode makes decent condencers at a good price - around $150 USD. For dynamic mics in the same price range the market is endless.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  5. #5
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    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    I read all of your replies (thank you) and did a little research. I'm on a pretty tight budget but I think I found a couple of items that will do the job. Please let me know if you think they are plausible. Shure SM57 Microphone and Yamaha MG10/2 Stereo Mixer. Any thoughts?

  6. #6
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    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    Any thoughts on the Yamaha Mixer?

  7. #7

    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    What will you mic?

    The SM57 is great for high sound levels, like mic'ing a guitar cabinet. The SM58 is great for stage vocals. For the same price you could get a cheap large diaphram condenser. The Studio Projects B1 or AudioTechnica AT2020 come to mind. These would be a good match for studio vocals. A small diaphram condenser is good for percussion and acoustic guitars. A lavalier is the thing for clipping a mic to your lapel. For video shoots go with a shotgun...

    Whatever you get, make sure that the preamp or mixer supports phantom power. Your first mic might not need it, but your second one likely will.

    -JF

  8. #8
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    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    I'm just looking to mic voice to add to piano tracks right now. Which mic would work best for that? I've heard that the SM57 is a great all around mic and I may be using it to mic something other than my voice in the not so distant future.

  9. #9

    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    I'd really suggest to get a condensor-mike. The
    quality of those is higher than the average
    dynamic microphone. I personally use the
    Audio-Technica AT3035 and I am quite fond
    of it. When I bought it, it was about 250 Euros,
    nowerdays it can be bought for about 200,-

    Also the Studio-Projects C1 is supposed to
    be a real good value. Also for about 200 Euros.

    Currently I use the builtin preamps of my
    behringer mixer, but I'm currently looking
    to upgrade to some higher-quality stuff.

    For an inexpensive preamp you might check
    out the M-Audio DMP3 - I read some good stuff
    about it. Another inexpensive preamp would be
    the Presonus TubePre.

    For "higher"-quality preamps, possibly with stuff
    like compressor/limiter, eq or even de-esser, you
    could look at stuff from SPL (Track One, Channel One,
    Goldmike or Gainstation) or Mindprint (Envoice II).

    The combination RNP (Really nice Preamp) and
    RNC (Really nice Compressor) is also recommended
    on the net often.

    Obviously there is not limit upwards in price and
    also quality - but not everyone is able to afford
    mikes from Neumann and Channel-Strips from
    Avalon ;-)

    Tobias

  10. #10
    hv
    Guest

    Re: What is the best way to add a professional microphone to your computer setup?

    If you get a chance, listen to one of these Conneaut Audio condenser mics:

    http://www.bayviewproaudio.com/custo...roductid=17797
    http://www.rwonline.com/reference-ro...d-June20.shtml

    I see B&H out by you has the multi-pattern M-179 in stock which is identical to the M-177 except that it has the dual-membrane version of the capsule in it.

    Howard

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