I’m wondering if I need a mixer. Here’s what I currently have…I record using a Shure KSM27 Studio Condenser Microphone powered by a Sterling Audio PHP1 48 volt Phantom power supply. There is one cable that comes out of the Shure mic that plugs into the power supply and of course one cable that comes out of the power supply that I plug directly into the back of my computer. I record using Audacity. So my question is…Do I need a mixer. If yes, what value will it have ? Also, if you think I do need one…then which one ? By the way I am a voice actor and mostly record dry commercials and occasionally read audio books.
And the type of computer is…
Let’s assume you’re plugging into the Mic-In of the sound card in a deskside PC. Is it working OK for you? If you stop talking, is there an objectionable constant hiss in the background? Internal microphone amplifiers are fighting an uphill battle. They need to be super sensitive to manage the microphone signal, but yet robust enough to survive the insane electrically noisy environment inside the PC. Some do well. I have one that seems to work OK, but they warn you to install it as far away from the other cards and electronics as you can get.
My favorite combination is an external, well behaved, simple mixer feeding the Line-In of my Mac. Macs do not support microphones directly. Some PCs do not support Line-In.
The instant you need to perform with more than one sound “thing” (microphone, effects generator, CD player…) you need a mixer no question. Most computers and Audacity only support one sound pathway.