A Mic That Wont Record

I have an EV RE50B (dynamic) mic connected to my iMac through a USB port with Audacity set at Line In, and Audacity wont pick up a sound. Do I need an amp, pre-amp, condenser mike ? Am I on the right setting?

The first thing we need to know is what kind of microphone-to-USB adapter you are using.

But just in case we can get you going:

  1. Plug your microphone-to-USB adapter into the iMac
  2. Plug your microphone into the adapter
  3. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences and click on the Sound panel
  4. Click the Input tab
  5. Choose your USB adapter in the list
  6. Adjust the Input volume slider while talking into the microphone. The Input level: bars should light up.
    If the input level bars don’t light up at any setting of the input volume control, you are not getting sound into the computer through the USB adapter. We’ll have to fix that first.

Assuming you get sound from the microphone into the computer using the above steps:

  1. In Audacity, go to Audacity > Preferences and click on “Devices” in the list on the left of the Preferences Window
  2. In the “Recording” section of the dialog, click on the “Device” popup menu - you should be able to select your USB adapter by name.
    If you can’t see your USB adapter in the Device popup menu, you’ll probably need to contact the manufacturer of your USB adapter or go to their web site and see if you need new drivers, if they know of any issues with Mac, etc.
    Assuming you can select the name of your USB device in step 8
  3. Click OK in the Preferences dialog
  4. Start recording.

– Bill

<<<8) In the “Recording” section of the dialog, click on the “Device” popup menu - you should be able to select your USB adapter by name.>>>

Exactly correct, but sometimes Audacity will not give you any more information than “Default Device,” and that will magically start working.

Also, your microphone and USB combo may not say things in English. I have a Logitech USB microphone that announces its USB chipset number. AK5370-USB. Since it’s the only thing I don’t recognize, that must be it.

Audacity has a diagnostic mode handy in situations like this. Launch Audacity and click once inside the red record meters. They will wake up and start measuring the show sound level without sending the program into record.

And one last oddball item, It’s perfectly common for USB microphone systems to arrive as Mono services, not Stereo. Your mileage may vary, consult your local listings.