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  1. #1

    mac57's Avatar
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    Special Microphones Needed for Mac vs. Windows?
    I am a recent switcher from Windows to Mac OS X. I am having a good time so far, lovin' Mac OS X.

    Today I tried to hook up my PC's microphone to the Mac (new Power Mac G5, OS X 10.4.6) and do a sound check. I went to the "Sound" Preferences panel and selected Input, Line In as the source. The level meter showed nothing, nada, zero when I spoke into the microphone. Then I went to the "Speech" Preference panel and also selected Line In and used its Calibrate function. Using this, if I almost literally screamed into the microphone, I could get its level meter to move, but only by a bar or two. SO, the microphone is working, but the input level seems almost too low for the Mac to register it.

    This microphone is known to work - I use it during NetMeeting calls all the time. However, on the Mac, it seems like the level is so low that it barely registers.

    Do I need a Mac-specific amplified microphone or some such to capture audio on a Mac?

    This seems similar to video if true. I have a Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 web cam. I plugged it in, loaded the Logitech software and tried it out. The Logitech software sees the webcam just fine and displays a real time image of my smiling mug back at me. However, all of the Apple software I have tried (iChat, Image Capture, etc.) all say "No video device attached to this computer". I had heard that only iSight cameras are recognized by these apps - I guess it is true.

    Could the same be true of audio - only Mac specific microphones are recognized?
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  2. #2

    TBoblp's Avatar
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    May 11, 2006
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    20" Intel iMac, 15" Powerbook G4 (sold), 20GB iPod (nearing death)
    This should not be the case. seeing as how its ana analog 1/8" inch jack there would be no way for the OS to tell what type of mic it is. I've used everything from professional recording mics, to cheap dollar store mics, to computer mics and speakers to record through that jack. Check to see if your input level is turned all the way up and make sure the connection is secure in the jack. Jiggle it around as you talk and see if the sound gets louder and quieter on and off. if thats the case it might be problem with the plug on your mic. hope this helps!
    Jazz is life

    "Master your instrument, master the music, and then forget all that **** and just play.
    -Charlie Parker

  3. #3

    mac57's Avatar
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    I wonder if this could be Mac model specific? I am on a Power Mac G5, which I hear is classed as a "professional" machine vs. a "desktop" machine. Different audio hardware perhaps?
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  4. #4

    Kyomii's Avatar
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    I am having the exact same problem as you - infact I just posted about it. I did the same thing as you and got a very faint result.

    It seems that it has to be a powered microphone


    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86771

    I know this link refers to a G4, but you must have the same problem as me, because I have to scream to get a faint signal too
    Fondest regards, Kyomii

    My Snapshots

  5. #5
    Alli
    Guest
    It's because the 'Microphone' input has no preamp, it is just a Line In.

    Mics have a really low output (dynamic mics especially, which is what most mics are), so require around 40 dB boost in order to get a normal volume out of them. The bit of gear which will do this isn't present in Macs, but in most PCs. This is actually a good thing, as they're usually a load of rubbish. Interferance from internal computer components makes sure of that.

    If you want to get a decent level of sound out of it, get a cheap external soundcard (look at around 50). Internal ones are pretty bad, and seeing as it's a Mac, all the processing is done on the main CPU, so you don't need to worry about anything other than preamp quality...

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Sep 22, 2008
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    2
    Where I can find this adapter?
    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 3 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 8
    L2 Cache (per processor): 12 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz


    I have the exact same problem, along with many others this pretty looking junk pile G5 has. Now, I learn I have to purchase a power adapter just to plug in a stinkin' microphone that runs as high as $160.00! (Why O Why did I go with a Mac!) Fine/whatever, can you please tell me what exactly and where I can find this adapter? GREATLY appreciated,

    Zeusest

    (I may be over reacting a little, it's just no matter where I've gone with this cheese-grater-machine there has been a hurdle or something I have had to buy to go to where I want to go and it's well past being calm and collect about it. - hardware problems, software compatibility, and others. I've spent nearly $4,000.00 on a machine that crashes ALL the time and is SO slow with Photoshop, Bryce, Poser and Macromedia. My little IBM 1.6gighz is absolutely without question so much faster than this Mac. I'm so close to introducing it to the top floor, look over the city then to experience the magnificence of gravity! It's prematurely aging me... )

  7. #7

    Henvan20's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Posts
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    Specs:
    2x 2.4GHz MBP. 1x old school Mac Mini.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeusest View Post
    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 3 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 8
    L2 Cache (per processor): 12 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz


    I have the exact same problem, along with many others this pretty looking junk pile G5 has. Now, I learn I have to purchase a power adapter just to plug in a stinkin' microphone that runs as high as $160.00! (Why O Why did I go with a Mac!) Fine/whatever, can you please tell me what exactly and where I can find this adapter? GREATLY appreciated,

    Zeusest

    (I may be over reacting a little, it's just no matter where I've gone with this cheese-grater-machine there has been a hurdle or something I have had to buy to go to where I want to go and it's well past being calm and collect about it. - hardware problems, software compatibility, and others. I've spent nearly $4,000.00 on a machine that crashes ALL the time and is SO slow with Photoshop, Bryce, Poser and Macromedia. My little IBM 1.6gighz is absolutely without question so much faster than this Mac. I'm so close to introducing it to the top floor, look over the city then to experience the magnificence of gravity! It's prematurely aging me... )
    Well obviously something is very very wrong with your setup then. I think the last time I had a crash / freeze on any of my macs was in early 2007.

    Keep in mind that that is a professional machine, so consumer mics are bound to create problems.

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