Microphone problems

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futerfas

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On my new G5, I can't seem to get my microphone to work. Its a little self powered computer microphone that goes directly into the audio in port, but it doesn't register anything in system preferences, even when I scream into it. It doesn't work with other similar microphones as well. I know the audio port works because when I plugged in a music keyboard into it with an adapter so it would fit, it went through fine. Any ideas?
 
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The Audio In port isn't made for microphones. PC soundcards have a special input for microphones (called MIC or MIC IN), which also powers the microphone. Most computer microphones are made for this port. But recent Macs dont have a Microphone port, the Audio In (or Line In) is made to connect Audio devices that have a Line out. It can't provide the power needed for a microphone, wich is something around 5V or 8V.
Microphone signals are too weak for the Line In port.

What you need to connect a Mic is an additional Audio interface, like the Griffin iMic for example.
 
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futerfas

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Thanks for clearing that up. I was just hoping I wouldn't need to buy something. Oh well.
 
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But what's quite interesting is that I once, just for fun, tried to hook up my electric guitar via the Line In of my PM G4, and to my big surprise, it worked!! The signal of an electric guitar usually isn't line level, so I was pretty amazed...

What you may try is a different Mic, one that has it's own battery for power. Can't assure you though that it'll work...
BTW, I think the Griffin iMic is around 50,- Euros, so not too expensive ;)
 
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kmatthews

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Hey Futerfas,

Are you looking to do some home recording? I am and am looking into something a little better than Griffin's iMic. The iMic will work and for $39 is a good cheap investment for one sound capturing device (your mic) going into the machine.

But what if you want to capture more sound such as bass, guitar, etc? You can probably pick up a 4- or 6-channel mixer which will work as a pre-amp for your mic. This way you can plug your mic into the mixer which gives it the power it needs. But you also can plug in other musicians to the mixer, and it then plugs into your computer via USB or FireWire (depending on what features you get).

My understanding is the sound quality will be improved when you use USB or FireWire because you bypass the need to use the Mac's sound card. Apparently you also eliminate some of the extraneous hums/noises the computer naturally produces which would be normally picked up if you use the sound card.

I'm very new to this myself and am doing some research as I go. Let me know what sort of setup you're looking to achieve.

Take care.

KEN
 
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Avalon said:
But what's quite interesting is that I once, just for fun, tried to hook up my electric guitar via the Line In of my PM G4, and to my big surprise, it worked!! The signal of an electric guitar usually isn't line level, so I was pretty amazed...

What you may try is a different Mic, one that has it's own battery for power. Can't assure you though that it'll work...
BTW, I think the Griffin iMic is around 50,- Euros, so not too expensive ;)

I've done that to record guitar tracks into Garageband. Surprisingly, it works rather well. The recordings have a decent enough, quality sound that is much better than I would have expected to come from it.
 
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If you don't need the microphone for any specific purpose then the iMac G5 comes with a built-in mic you can use.
 
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He has a dual 1.8GHz G5, which is a PowerMac. No build-in mic.
 
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kmatthews

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FUTERFAS,

I visited a local music store in the area (the Guitar Center) and spoke w/ the mgr. in the Pro Audio section.

My discoveries with him were that if you can bypass the sound card by using FireWire or USB, that is preferred. ANd he recommended a mixer with digital-out capabilities. M-Audio makes a model that allows for 4 channels in and sends a signal out as FireWire. Price is $399 (www.m-audio.com for more info). Let me know if this sounds within your price range and what you're trying to achieve.

KEN
 

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