Cord use

Can’t find an answer to what I need to know. Is it possible to record inputs that use an XLR mic cord to USB input connector? I was wanting to record guitars and vocals with a SM 57 mic. Just not seeing the answer anywhere. Using Windows 7 Pro. Thanks!

Also using Audacity 2.0.6 downloaded with .exe installer

I’ve got the [u]Blue Icicle[/u]. The [u]Shure X2u[/u] is similar, except it has a headphone jack for direct zero-latency monitoring.* You can find cheaper similar “adapters”.

You can get all kinds of [u]USB Audio Interfaces[/u] with various/multiple XLR, instrument, and line level inputs.

If you want to plug an electric guitar directly into your computer, get an interface with a guitar/instrument input. Then, you’ll generally need “sim” software to simulate the sound of a guitar amp & cabinet.

Note that you generally won’t be able to record from two different interfaces at once. So if you want to record direct-guitar and vocals at the same time, you’ll need an interface with a mic input and an instrument input.


  • If you want to monitor yourself with headphones during recording it’s best to avoid monitoring through the computer, because you’ll get latency (delay). Often you can reduce latency to an acceptable amount, but it’s best to just avoid the issue altogether.

You can buy “XLR to USB” cables (female XLR on one end, USB plug on the other), but judging from reports on this forum, they don’t work very well. The main problem being that the recording level is very low and if you amplify the recording to make it loud enough then there is a lot of hiss.

A better solution is to use a “USB microphone pre-amp” (with XLR inputs, and USB out).
If you are planning to do “overdub” recording, ensure that you get one that has a headphone socket.

Are you in a band now?

No, I’m not.

A microphone to USB adapter like that is not just an adapter. Microphones take serious processing to work right and when the makers try to jam all that into one single, simple adapter, they have to leave pieces out.

What’s your price range? That might get us there way before anything else.

I own a Shure X2U.

That’s it connected to my beat-up SM-58. That’s what you want, right? Those are $100. It works OK, but I wouldn’t buy another one. It has low volume and I’m stuck. Most of them have this problem because Low Volume may be a post production problem, but high volume creates fatal sound damage immediately.

So you picked something that seems easier than it is.

Nothing wrong with the microphone, by the way. Everybody says SM-57 is an instrument microphone, but it works just fine for voices, too. Keep that.