I am hoping that Santa will bring me a microphone for xmas and I have chosen the Sennheiser E614 for it’s sound quality and that’s it’s good with saxophones and I’ll be using my kitchen as a recording studio so it should cut down the noise from the fridge etc but I shall be wanting to plug it into the AUX on my computer so i can record with Audacity and some say this mic needs power but it has an XLR plug. Have I chosen a mic that needs to be plugged into a mixing desk or is it possible this can be used for my purpose and plugged into the mains and my computer? Please help a confused novice, thank you.

It’s a terrific microphone, but it does take a mixing desk or special microphone amplifier. It’s a grownup microphone with three-pin XLR connections on the bottom for excellent rejection of room electrical hum and buzz problems – but you have to use all three pins to get the benefit. It takes power in the form of “Phantom Power” 48volts. It’s called Phantom Power because the mixing desk sends power to run the microphone up the cable at the same time the music is coming down. It’s a neat trick, but you need a mixing desk or amplifier that knows how to do it.

Just to start somewhere, the Peavey PV6-USB should do everything you need. It will supply your microphone 48 volt phantom power, it will amplify the sound and apply it to the computer USB connection. Audacity will take it from there.

That’s only because I have experience with this mixer – or a cousin to it. That’s certainly not the only way to do this.

I also did a mini-review of the Shure X2U in the overdubbing tutorial. That will do everything in a size that will fit in your pocket, but I don’t like its sound as much as the Peavey.



You happened to fall into a standing joke. What’s the worst room in the house to record sound? The kitchen. No question.


I don’t think even that supercardioid is going to help a room with bare walls and no carpets.


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Thank you, that was very helpful information. I actually love the accoustics in my kitchen for playing music in (my fridge doesn’t make much noise). Until we move house it’s my only option I’m afraid.

I would be interested if anyone could recommend a simular quality microphone, i want to record sax and accordion and plug it into the aux on my computer to record via Audacity. My keyboard plugs directly into the aux so that’s not a problem. This is hard work choosing one. :slight_smile:

This is hard work choosing one.

You did pick a difficult problem.

It’s no surprise you can plug your keyboard into your computer. So can I. But the keyboard has a much more powerful signal than a microphone – up to 1000 times more powerful. A microphone signal is a really teensy, tiny, delicate thing and takes boosting (quiet and well-behaved boosting) and then, in addition, you need some way to power your microphone because that’s the kind that uses power.

I’m stuck. The microphone seems to be exactly correct for the work you want to do. It’s just difficult to run because it’s a fully pro microphone.


One of the musicians at work uses and loves one of these.

I couldn’t find anything wrong with it and I like the way it sounds. It is rated for perfect overdubbing and sound-on-sound.

It’s a USB microphone and has all the amplifiers etc. built into the base.


I got the Blue Yeti mic btw…still haven’t tried it yet tho (so much to do, so little time!)