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Thread: condenser mics

  1. #11
    It can if there's a mic input (pink jack). If all you have is a line input (green jack) then you need an external preamp.

  2. #12
    I have the mic jack. Would the computer work as a preamp for a more expensive, fancier condenser mic such as might be used in a studio setting?

  3. #13
    Let's finish with your original problem. The mic jack on the computer has DC phantom power on it, so any condenser mic with a 1/8-inch plug will work. If you're soldering up a capsule, I think the Radio Shack one has just two pins. One of them is connected to the aluminum shell - just look, it's easy to see - and that goes to the shield. If the capsule has 3 wires, one of them is for DC. In this case I think you can just hook the signal and DC connections together.

    RE: professional microphones:

    Any pro mike worth the name has a balanced output, and also usually requires a higher DC voltage than what's available at a computer mike jack. If you use a mic with an internal battery, then you need to insert a capacitor to block the DC from the computer, and you still (usually) have the balanced-to-unbalanced problem.

    The way to solve this is to get a preamp that properly matches the mic, and then connect the preamp's line level output to the computer line level input.

    However, the analog inputs of every internal sound card I have ever test is crap. They have very limited headroom and lots of background hiss. You can get a mic with USB converter for $20 and plug it into a USB port and get better sound than with the finest mic plugged into the analog inputs. In other words, a pro mic would be a waste of money.

    There is only one way to get really good sound quality: a pro mic used with an external professional preamp with USB output. And I gotta tell ya, dat ain't cheap.

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