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USB Microphones - A quick overview.

USB Microphones - A quick overview.If you're looking for a quick and easy to setup microphone that links to a PC, Mac or other computer then a USB microphone may be the thing for you. Basically, a USB microphone is a standard microphone that has been developed and designed to plug directly into your PC via a USB connection. The microphones will have all the parts common to standard microphones but they will have electronic circuits built in that work as pre-amplifiers and power supplies to allow the output from the microphone to be sent to the computer. The computer may need to download or install a driver but then that's it, you'll have a working microphone that feeds directly into your PC and can be recorded via whichever software that you use.

There are a range of USB microphones available on the market from dynamic hand held devices to studio style condenser microphones and you will need to choose the best one suited to your needs. Whilst they are very handy, and easy to setup, there are some downsides for you to be aware of. Generally, if you only need a single microphone for webcasting or home use then a USB microphone will be perfect, but if you need to have many microphones that need mixed together then trying to use all USB microphones may be problematic. Also, USB microphones aren't that easy to fault find as many of them have fixed leads that can't be swapped out or batteries that can be changed.

There are solutions that allow you to use a conventional XLR microphone and still connect to the computer. Small interface boxes can proviide your condenser microphones with the phantom power they need and then provide a USB output for connection to the computer. These are great as they allow you to use a multitude of microphones and you're not just stuck with the single fixed lead USB mic. You can also get mixers that allow several conventional microphones to be plugged in, just as normal  like in a stage or recording environment, then these have USB connectivity to get the audio into your computer.

One final note for you about USB microphones, you will always need your computer to use them and you will need to have software too. Some microphone manufacturers sell kits that include everything you need and there are free software solutions on the market to get you up and running with no cost except the purchase of a USB mic. One of our favourite software solutions is Audacity, this is a great set of audio tools and don't forget to leave the developer a little donation to express your gratitude for their great software.

Hopefully this little overview has been of use to you and, as always, if you do need more help or advice just get in touch or reply to this blog entry.

*Thanks to AudioTechnica for the image of their fantastic AT2020USB+
Created On  26 Jan 2018 8:45  -  Permalink

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