USB Microphones


There doesn’t seem to be a forum section on gear such as mikes, amps etc - at least I couldn’t find one. If not it might be an idea to start one to help the technically inadequate (like me) :confused:

A good friend of mine asked me to ask you blokes about this as you have recording experience: Larry, Mike etc.
He recently bought a condenser microphone with a direct USB input to be able to record sounds outside on a laptop.
This is the unit:
He’s tried using it with Audacity but unfortunately he can’t get any results from it.The specs say it is plug and play and the reviews people have written don’t indicate any problems with this. He is a cluey bloke but this is outside his knowledge.
He is wondering if he needs something in between such as a pre-amp but I don’t see the need according to the specs.

The distributor is in Canberra so as soon as we get out of silly season and I have time I’ll go over with my laptop to try one out and see if it works for me, but in the meantime I thought I’d ask if you have any ideas on this.

Hope you all had a good Christmas.


I don’t have a USB mic, but I think the big selling point is that you don’t need a preamp. Looking at the link, it seems that one could just plug in the USB and start recording. I guess it’s possible that a computer wouldn’t recognize the device. In that case, you would need to pre-load a driver. Other than a possible bad unit (or cord or usb jack) or the drivers, I don’t have any guesses.

Christmas was good here, we even had snow in Texas. That’s not a common occurrence. I hope your Christmas went well too!


I don’t have a USB mic either, but like Mike, I don’t believe you should need a preamp.

If the mic isn’t being recognized by the computer, it may be that the USB port isn’t supplying enough current. I had this happen once when I was trying to run an external hard drive through a USB connection. I learned that all USB ports are not equal. USB 3 supplies more current than than USB 2, and if there is more than one port on the same bus, the current gets shared with other devices.

If the mic is being recognized (and the driver is installed), I would suspect it is a problem with the routing through the sound card.

Good Luck!


I am not the expert here but I would think that the condinser mic would require phantom power to work.


I had the same problem with my Blue Yeti Pro Mic when using Audacity.

Drivers were the first that needed installed. Then you have to tell your “audio” program what device to default to under “settings” feature/add that in. Then in Audacity you have to select he output mic…of which probably will not be called “The name brand of the mic”…but something else.

I’d simply done a search online and found all the answers I needed.



Thanks for the replies folks. I’ll pass it on.

A little more info from my friend:
“I’ve tried the mic on the school laptop and on my home PC. It does work better on the PC though not by much. Basically hand held the mic and was speaking directly into it. Needed to use the amplify tool in audacity to get anything hearable and then it also reproduced a very annoying background tone. Did some google searching and found some comments re laptops and recording. In general it seems the main issue is the built in sound card in laptops is in general not up to the job. The forum I got onto seemed to be talking about needing to be very specific about the type of sound card and CPU in the laptop to get a decent result. It also suggested that, with a PC, the mic should be directly connected to the sound card, rather than via a USB port.”



You know i had one problem before where my mic would not work in audacity and I never figured out what happened. I mean it worked before then simply quit. Well the only way I could get the mic to work was to open a file with audio on it with audatiy then I could record in any method I wanted. I then deleted the audio (say like any mp3 file) and used it was my template as my mic would work there but not when I simply opened audacity and tried to record.

PC’s (decent ones) I am sure have a lot to do with the soundcard and/or USB ports. I mean those $400 laptops/computers are built cheaply with “lesser” everything. Although the Blue Yeti Pro I have works on my $1500 laptop I am sure it probably would not function on my kids 3 laptops that are $500.00 laptops…kind like a $1500 guitar verses a $500 one.

Now I did not offer any specifics, just some ideas and I will apologize now for simply providing “ideas” vs. and hard line info!


Latest update, if anyone is interested. I ended up going to the supplier in Canberra and told him about the problem. Seems he chased it up and finally contacted Ian with a solution.
Seems if you go to the Control Panel/Sound on the computer, under Microphone tab it can have a default setting which may be only 10% sound level. Once this was reset to a higher level everything worked fine!

Just in case any of you come across this problem sometime…
BTW he asked me to pass on thanks for suggestions made by you mob :slight_smile:


Thanks for the info. I just checked my computer and I’m at 100%.


Mine goes to 11.


That’s one louder, isn’t it. :laughing:



$5 bucks says you watch Spinal Tap nearly weekly and probably have it on Blueray?

I gotta give you “props” though…the Stonehenge type!


— Begin quote from "Oldhat"

I gotta give you “props” though…the Stonehenge type!

— End quote

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
Its says right here… 18 inches!