simple mic for mini

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
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?
 

e-clipse

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2006
270
0
Nashville,TN
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.
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
okay thanks...i'm planning on geting a macbook when i can afford it so......
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
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.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
Chundles said:
Is the audio-in on a Mac mini mic-level or line-level?
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.
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
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.
 

e-clipse

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2006
270
0
Nashville,TN
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.
 

e-clipse

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2006
270
0
Nashville,TN
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.
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
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
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
thebiggoose said:
the mic i bought is a labtec
it ahs a 3.5 mm connector
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:




also, please describe what a "flat noise" is.
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
it is the omni directional mic....the flat noise is liek when u play a casette tape w/ nothing recorded on it
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
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?
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
no there's no plug or anything and nowhere to put a battery...just 1 cord to plug into the computer
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
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.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
so what's the deal -- is that input now line-level only (for the analog bit) and has no mic pre at all?
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
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.