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Microphone Month 3

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Audio Technica AT2020 with interface?


I have an Audio Technica At2020 (love it) and i now know that i need an audio interface for my computer. The at2020 has a USB plug unfortunately. Since most audio interfaces dont have a usb plug on them, would i have to find a USB to midi cable? or would i just not have to plug the AT2020 into the audio interface.
This question also goes for the usb controllers. They are also usb controllers obviously also have usb plugs. Would i even have to plug them into the interface? or just directly into my computer?
February 23, 2013 @12:20am

No. Midi is not audio, just numbers. A midi adapter will not work.
A usb mic has a cheap audio interface built into it. That has to plug into a computer.
You need to get a regular usb audio interface and regular xlr mics.
Sell the usb mic, they are for podcasting.
February 23, 2013 @03:51pm

Or, if you like it, keep using it. There's no need for an interface if you're happy with the sound from your current mic. If you want to record more sources at the same time, yes, you should ditch the USB mic and invest in a different solution, most likely including an interface and different microphones.
February 23, 2013 @07:17pm

Also, anyone considering a USB microphone for music work should be aware that monitoring while recording can be difficult to impossible if you are not using a recording application that supports real time monitoring. Often there is no way to do normal monitoring through the hardware.
February 23, 2013 @09:14pm

Also, anyone considering a USB microphone for music work should be aware that monitoring while recording can be difficult to impossible if you are not using a recording application that supports real time monitoring...

What exactly is real time monitoring? And also, I am just wondering if the mic and the controllers will work with Pro tools or not?
February 24, 2013 @12:55am

Very often, when recording, especially singing, people want to/need to hear the results in real time. The singer, and probably the recording engineer, need to be able to hear what is coming in the mike, mixed with the music track that the singer is using. There are various ways of getting that mix but they generally involve mixing the microphone feed with the music at the interface, which is probably playing from the computer. This is simple with the normal microphone preamp/mixer/interface, even if there really isn't much of a real mixer in the package. There will be enough mixing facility for that.
Most USB microphones just feed directly into a USB port, there is no way to get at the signal before it reaches the recording program. Some recording applications can play what they are recording in real time, some cannot. I don't know about Pro Tools. If it can, that incoming vocal track must still be mixed with the music track(s) and fed to whomever needs to listen. There can be more of a latency problem that way, the vocal track is slightly delayed relative to the real time of the singer.
Since I've never used a USB microphone, I don't know how often latency is a real problem, but it is more indirect and cumbersome. I've seen at least one USB microphone (no memory which) that had an external connection for a feed to a mixer so the vocals and music could be more easily fed back to the singer, etc. but I don't think that is very common yet.
If you search this forum for USB microphone, you will find a good many posts of woe from people who didn't realize the problem until after they purchased the microphone, then found they could not get satisfactory results from it.
Another potentially significant deficiency with a USB microphone for serious work is that the use of a good microphone preamp is often a big part of the quality picture. There are a great many good preamps but a USB microphone just goes directly into a USB port. It can't make use of any preamp except the minimal one built into it.
February 24, 2013 @06:54am