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  1. #1

    XLR to PC MIC input, advice please?

    Hi, I want to attach a quality microphone to my PC via the onboard MIC socket (I just have the 3 standard inputs available, green 'line out', pink 'mic in', and light blue 'line in')

    I notice I can use an 'XLR' to 'small stero jack plug' cable perhaps, but I was wondering, is the MIC socket on a PC mono (not stereo), in which case, should I use an 'XLR' to 'mono jack' making an unbalanced cable instead?

    And is there a big difference in using balanced and unbalanced cables anyway?

    I guess I am asking is it actually possible to use a balanced cable when using the standard PC MIC socket? and if it is possible, is this the best/recommended method?

  2. #2
    HIGH QUALITY!!!

    lol, you will need a real interface if you want some real quality.

    I would suggest an alesis usb multimix-8 if your goin cheap

    regular soundcards just wont cut it, not even soundblasters

  3. #3
    Just a QUALITY mic, right? Not a HIGH QUALITY? I second Rackdude on the Alesis. It's cheap enough.

    Just for MEDIUM quality your going to put out a few hundred bucks; a decent interface card and a decent mic. Don't wast time and $ on adapters trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole.

    And yes, there is a BIG difference between balanced and unbalanced SYSTEMS (meaning it is fruitless to try to switch back and forth.)
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  4. #4
    soundcards just aren't made for this stuff. I will say i have recorded plenty of stuff by doing this, guitar and vocals. I actually have a mic made just for this, 1/8'' plug to go to a computer. It's not quality, it never will be, its just when I want to record something fast, don't have any recording equiptment, just a laptop with windows sound recorder. It's bad and just for keeping ideas when you don't want to write your music on paper. Its POSSIBLE though, just get a conversion cable at Radioshack, but don't expect to use that cable for that reason most of the time. I keep a 1/8'' to XLR around just to plug a computer to a mixer a lot for getting random sound samples and such for djing "WHEN APPROPRAITE" because even then, there is a huge sound degradation, so I might use it for a 5 second sample of something, just a little "JUMP JUMP JUMP!" that I like and can't find a replacement on w/e I'm using.

    In short, its not made for actually recording much. It's a sales gimmick. To record something, you need a mic preamp, then effects, then an interface. The mic preamp in computer soundcard is fuzzy, even the "HD SOUNDCARDS" Dell is putting into their things. You need effects, at least compression or limiting, so you can get a volume you can actually hear without peaking, and there is no way to do this in this kind of a loop, so you will have screachy peaks if you record at a hearable level or a vary low hissy sound when you record low and raise the volume afterwards. Also, the AD Interface (Analog-Digital interface), which is the thing that takes the sound and brings it to a digital signal, is just no the quality needed for just about anything. It's extreamly fuzzy and colored, even worse than what you hear on a cheap video camera or cell phone.

    So, I would say get the cord from Radioshack because it will come in handy, you can experiment, but you won't get quality. It is a cool special effect tho, it gets a weird vintage distortion on guitars...

    Sorry for the long reply

  5. #5
    Quote
    Quote: penniesfromheaven
    View Post
    (meaning it is fruitless to try to switch back and forth.)
    It's not fruitless to run an unbalanced system through a balun for a long run to a balanced system or another unbalanced system.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  6. #6
    Quote
    Quote: tonsofpcs
    View Post
    It's not fruitless to run an unbalanced system through a balun for a long run to a balanced system or another unbalanced system.
    Yes, but I wasn't making myself clear. I was refering to switching back and forth in a sort of random fashon to just make the cables and equipment sort of work, without really knowing what is going on electrically. There is a large population of diy-ers not keen on emi/rfi problems, impedance matching, etc., who try to just to make the parts fit. Kudos for catching me on that.

    However, you are incorrect regarding the transferance of long unbalanced to unbalanced runs. The transformers themselves offer no noise - canceling characteristics. They are passive, and pass on all the noise. Preamps at both ends are necissary.
    Last edited by penniesfromheaven; 21st Oct 2007 at 03:11.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

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