Do you need an audio interface or mixer for a USB microphone? Can you even use a USB microphone with a mixer or audio interface or can you only plug it into your computer?
Do you need an audio interface or a mixer for your USB microphone?
Hey! I am Ryan from PodcastFast.com and you hear a lot of the podcasters list in the equipment that they have either a mixer that they plug the microphone into or an audio interface that they plug their microphone into before it goes to the computer. But do you need an audio interface or a mixer if you have a USB microphone? The answer is no and I am going to talk a little bit about that in this video.
I am recording this video on a USB microphone called the Blue Yeti which costs around $100 to $130, which I highly recommend. You can check it out at PodcastFast.com/yeti, y-e-t-i. I love this microphone because it gives me a whole lot of flexibility when recording videos. I can record from farther back. I can record 2 sides of a conversation or I can lower the gain and record close-up. But this plugs directly into my computer via USB and there is no way to plug this into an audio interface or a mixer.
Now generally, what an audio interface or a mixer is going to do is convert the analog signal that is coming from your analog microphone into a digital signal that it can deliver to your computer. This is generally done through an XLR cable which is a 3-pronged round cable that you see on microphones. And if you look at the Blue Yeti, you can see underneath there, that is actually to screw into a stand and so there is no XLR cable option there.
You look at the back, there is nothing there. I do not actually have an XLR cable that I can put this into. The only way to get sound out of this is through USB into my computer and you cannot go from USB into a mixer or into an audio interface because they are designed to receive analog signals and then convert them into digital signals or they can send them out again as analog signals. But yes, basically you do not need it if you have an USB microphone then you are just going to plug it straight into your computer.
Now there are some limitations with this. Depending on what computer you have, depending on what type of soundcard you have, it is going to affect the sound quality of your podcast. If you want really top-level production, top-quality sound for your podcast then you are going to want to get an analog microphone and you are going to want to run it through a mixer or an audio interface and then into your computer. That is going to give you more control over the sound. It is also going to process the sound better and deliver better quality sound to your computer. So when you hear the podcast that are produced really well, they have those top productions.
Their voices are really deep and really resonant then you know that they are probably using a mixer or they are using an audio interface. But if you just have a simple USB microphone like that I do and you have only spent $100 or less, you are not going to need a mixer or an audio interface. If you are going to go to that level then you have to purchase something different. You have to purchase an analog microphone, which will then go to your audio interface and get a mixer.
If you want to go from having just your Blue Yeti or having your ATR 2100 or whatever microphone it is and you want to get the next level sound then you are going to need an analog microphone, mixer or audio interface then plugin to your computer. But otherwise, you do not need it.
So I hope that answers your question, do you need an audio interface or a mixer for a USB microphone? The answer is no. You just plug it straight into your computer. You can check out my list for The Best Headphones For Creating A Podcast so you can hear the sound and you can edit it properly. Go to PodcastFast.com/24 to check out that list. That is going to help you hear your sound, help you edit it better.
I recommend some great quality headphones over there including the ones I am wearing right now which are the Audio-Techinica ATH M50x. Great quality headphones, great sounding, great, comfortable. I absolutely love them! Go ahead. Check it out, PodcastFast.com/24 and until next time, do not just podcast, podcast fast!