simple mic for mini

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by thebiggoose, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. thebiggoose macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #1
    I have the 1.5 ghz Intel Mac Mini....and I'm gonna pick up just a cheapie $5-$10 mic with a 1/8 connector thingy cord at the end. As you can telll...I don't know much about recording. What would I need to do to record just simple talking using I guess garage band and maybe audio chat w/ iChat....would this device sufice for my needs?
     
  2. e-clipse macrumors 6502

    e-clipse

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    #2
    Well... don't expect the recordings to be extremely good. The mic will not
    pick your voice up as clearly. But, Garageband has great preset eq's and dsp (digital signal processing) effects to enhance the dry recording from your mic. If you only want to use it for speech, I would say go for it. Your only gonnna be out 5/15 bucks. You can always upgrade later. Maybe in the future, the mac mini will come with a built-in mic. You can always get a group of friends together to start e-mailing Apple with suggestions for a built-in mic in the future Mac Minis.
     
  3. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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    #3
    okay thanks...i'm planning on geting a macbook when i can afford it so......
     
  4. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #4
    Is the audio-in on a Mac mini mic-level or line-level? I'm pretty sure it's line-level in which case you'll need a pre-amp to boost your mic to line-level before it goes into the mini. Otherwise you won't hear anything.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    i think it's one of those hybrid and odd combo ports. line-level works fine, but to get to the mic preamp you need a special extra-long plug. i.e. a standard 1/8" male plug won't do it. that's my understanding, anyway.

    if anyone knows for sure, please post.
     
  6. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #6
    That's the optical port. The line-is that, line level. I'm sure ou can digitally gain it up using Audacity, Garageband, etc but the results will not be really acceptable. An iMic is your best option... although a Samson USB mic isn't actually that much more than a relatively crappy mic and an iMic.
     
  7. e-clipse macrumors 6502

    e-clipse

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    #7
    You can boost the signal, but the audio sounds kind of metallic and fuzzy.It kind of sounds like a poorly ripped mp3 at a low bitrate.
     
  8. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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  9. e-clipse macrumors 6502

    e-clipse

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    #9
    You can download a free source program by the name of AUDACITY. It is kind of like Sound Forge or Wave Lab.

    My first question is, Do you see any type of waveform when you record using the mic?

    If so, do you know how to share the vocal (speech) track to iTunes? In the share menu on the task bar, just choose send to iTunes. You can find the track within Finder,Music,iTunes Folder,Your Name

    You record the speech track with Garageband. To do this, you create a new track in the track menu on your task bar. GB will ask you if you want a software instrument or real instrument. You should select real instrument. Your mic should be connected into the audio input ( the port with two arrows pointing inward). Make sure the track is armed. You will see a red light checked on the track . Now just hit record and speak!
    If you hear an annoying click, go to the control menu on your task bar, and turn metronome off. Also, in this menu you will notice count in. Select this because it will give you for counts to prepare for recording. After you get your track like you want it, share to iTunes and then grab the file from the iTunes folder and drag it into Audacity.

    In Audacity you can add effects to the track or boost the volume level. Go to the edit menu on your task bar and select submenu, select all. Then, select the effect menu, and then amplify. Raise the sliding meter until you can hear the mic. Let us know how it goes. You might be able to clean it up slightly with noise removal. I am not sure. I hope this helps.
     
  10. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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    Jun 17, 2006
    #10
    i did this and it just plays a flat noise
    the mic i bought is a labtec
    it ahs a 3.5 mm connector
    audacity wouldnt import the .m4a when i exported to disk so i converted it to mp3...does that hurt it

    could someone tell me what i need to do in simple steps
     
  11. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #11
    nope. .mp3 tends to be at a higher botrate than .m4a.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #12
    ?????

    the bitrate is whatever you set it to be.
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #13
    which model? if it needs phantom power, it won't work, because to get that you need a longer plug. look at this image of a plaintalk mic (which is long enough to grab phantom), from here:

    [​IMG]


    also, please describe what a "flat noise" is.
     
  14. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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    Jun 17, 2006
    #14
    it is the omni directional mic....the flat noise is liek when u play a casette tape w/ nothing recorded on it
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    need a model number, please. or a link to it.

    so you get noise floor, but no signal. sounds like the mic isn't receiving power. how is it powered?
     
  16. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #18
    from here:
    how are you powering it? does it have a battery?
     
  18. thebiggoose thread starter macrumors 6502

    thebiggoose

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    Jun 17, 2006
    #19
    no there's no plug or anything and nowhere to put a battery...just 1 cord to plug into the computer
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #20
    the thing that drives me nuts, and has for several years, is 1) that apple uses a non-standard connector, and 2) that they don't properly describe it.

    with the advent of the combo analog/optical port, i don't know if the plaintalk argument still applies. but if it does, the problem is quite simply that you bought the wrong mic. your mic has a standard mini plug and is looking for phantom power, which it can't find because of the non-standard audio in port.

    first, call applecare and see if this is the case. if it is, then you can either:
    1. buy a plaintalk mic, or
    2. get some kind of cheapie USB device and use the mic you just bought

    either way, let us know what apple says about your audio in port, 'cuz there's a lot of confusion that needs to be cleared up.

    good luck.
     
  20. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #21
    There is no confusion. It doesn't.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #22
    can you point me to some document which confirms that?
     
  22. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23

    Look up the plug assembly for a combined analog + optical socket.
     
  23. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #24
    so what's the deal -- is that input now line-level only (for the analog bit) and has no mic pre at all?
     
  24. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #25
    Ah

    (slaps head)

    OP has PPC Mini... which would be analog only if I'm not mistaken. That changes things slightly, although I doubt there's a nonstandard socket in the PPC Mini either.

    On the Intel Minis the input is line-level, combined with an optical receiver at the back of the socket to accept a mini toslink jack.
     

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