It is my understanding that you can use some USB mics – with headphone inputs – to both listen to/monitor what you’re playing/recording and also to listen to a track that you’re recording over. In particular, I’m thinking of the Blue Yeti and/or the Samson G-Track.
Can anyone confirm that you can do this type of overdupping with the headphones plugged in?
Yes, USB mics with a headphone jack usually work both ways like a soundcard.
And, usually the microphone-monitoring is “direct” (not through the computer) so you don’t have latency (delay) in your headphones. That’s a big advantage, although there are USB audio interfaces with that same feature.
Of course, the backing track comes from the computer, but that might be “delayed” hours or months or more anyway (since it was recorded) and a few more milliseconds don’t matter. (And that playback-latency can be compensated for, so both tracks align).
I asked because a) I was wondering if this play-back/record method could be done with other mics, and b) someone at Samson relied to my inquiry that it could not be done – but I think they are not correct.
Yes. I wrote the original one of those by borrowing a G-Track and trying it.
The Phrase that Pays is “Zero Latency Monitoring.” That allows you to hear yourself in real time as you perform. There are still ways to mess that up. You can have a device that allows you to listen to yourself perfectly or the backing track playback, but not both at once which is less than useful.
Makers have started to figure out how useful that process is and they’ve been producing more equipment which will do it.
My UM2 microphone interface will do that as will the big brother UMC22. That’s what the Direct Monitor button does.
I like the G-Track. I told the owner if he wasn’t watching it I was going to take it home with me.