A Note On USB Microphones

Plug and Play Microphones


Last Update 2 years ago

USB microphones are called 'plug and play' microphones because all you need to do is take them out of the box, plug them into your computer, ensure the input of your DAW or computer is set to the microphone, and *voila*, you can record.

Important things to know about USB microphones; many, not all, USB microphones:

  • Record at a lower quality from the start, giving you a recording at 44.1kHz/16 bit.
  • Give an option for which pickup pattern to use.
    • Always use 'Cardioid' when given the option.

Caption: Cardioid Pickup Pattern

  • Have either a knob or special software for gain and headphone volume adjustments.
    • Remember, gain is how loud you record, whereas headphone volume is how loud you hear that recording played back.
  • Do not necessarily need to be positioned the way an XLR mic may be positioned.
    • Always read the user manual for your specific microphone to ensure you have it pointed and set up correctly.
      • Below are examples of various USB mics and their setup in comparison to the typical XLR mic setup used in studios.

Caption: XLR Microphone Setup

Caption: Blue Yeti Pro USB Microphone setup

Caption: FIFINE Plug and Play Home Studio USB Microphone Setup

Caption: Shure MV7 USB Microphone Setup

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