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Xlr to 3.5 or Xlr to usb?

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Pablo Crespo
Xlr to 3.5 or Xlr to usb?
on Feb 3, 2016 at 11:01:28 pm

Hi CCow , i have a behringer xm8500 , an xlr cable , a behringer ps400 , and now my question is , from the ps400 to the computer , what should i get for the best quality having this set up , xlr to 3.5mm or xlr to usb? im on a laptop


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Xlr to 3.5 or Xlr to usb?
on Feb 4, 2016 at 4:01:09 am

The XM8500 is a Dynamic microphone with a balanced output.
The cable you are using is a balanced cable.
The PS400 is a phantom power supply used to power condenser microphones (your is Dynamic and does NOT require phantom power)

So what it comes down to is you need someway to input a signal from a balanced dynamic microphone...
If you plug the mic directly into the computer, you may cause damage to the mic by the computers 'plug in powering' used on headset gaming microphones, the 'input' into a computer on the 3.5mm socket is VERY basic and NOT designed for high quality recording.

You perhaps need to do some looking around for a USB device that a mic can be plugged into, there are many brands that would do the job. I am not going to start mentioning them as I have no details on your budget, the quality you need or the use it will be in.

Also consider the use of a USB voice recording mic that will bypass the need for the interface and may actually work out better for you.


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Pablo Crespo
Re: Xlr to 3.5 or Xlr to usb?
on Feb 4, 2016 at 9:54:58 am

So if i connect the mic to a xlr to minijack and then the minijack to some usb audio device external card and the card to the pc will be ok?

also thanks for the answer


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Richard Crowley
Re: Xlr to 3.5 or Xlr to usb?
on Feb 4, 2016 at 9:14:53 pm

Will the signal from a dynamic micrphone work with the typical mic input of a computer? Yes, usually. It may not have great performance, though.

The mic preamp in a computer (ANY computer) is among the worst you will ever find. Only the mic preamp in a child's toy or a cell phone is worse than the mic preamp built into a computer. That mic input was designed for simple communication (Skype, etc.) not for any kind of quality audio recording.

Furthermore, most computer mic preamps are designed to be used with electret condenser mics. So they are expecting a "hotter" signal than you would typically get from a low-end dynamic mic.

If you really want to use that microphone directly into a computer USB input, then get one of those "cables" which have a mic preamp and digital converter built into the cable. They have a female XLR at one end for the microphone, and a type-A USB plug on the other end to your computer.

There are many of these down around $15 which do NOT have phantom power. That is all you would need for your dynamic mic. THere are also several >$50 which include phantom power for use with condendser mics. In addition to generating phantom power, they are likely also higher quality than the $15 kind.

Examples:
http://www.amazon.com/HDE-Female-Cable-Instruments-Microphones/dp/B0050CEEI...
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Icicle-Converter-Preamp/dp/B001EW5YQ...

There are probably dozens of other examples. No endorsement is to be infered from these examples. Although the brand names like "Blue" are probably a better bet than the no-name things.


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