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  1. #1

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    I have recorded for many years with the following setup: Rode NT4 stereo mic with an XLR y cable going into a Fostex FR2LE, and from there a usb lead into my computer. No problem downloading my sound files.

    But how do I adapt that to using with my iMac in Zoom and Skype/Facetime live sessions?

    Do I need to buy something else?
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 04-10-2020 at 04:28 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Presumably you would need a video camera to do Zoom or FaceTime, but if you already have a USB source for your audio, you should not need anything else.


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  4. #3

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    Well, thanks, but I have been using the iMac video recorder. I do have a Panasonic camcorder as well. My main concern at the moment is how to get a USB stereo mic into the iMac. Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I've been teaching by Skype for almost a decade, and can continue to do so. I just thought I'd try to upgrade the quality of sound by using the Rode NT4 mic.

  5. #4

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    If you have audio in through USB, all you have to do is go to Settings->Sound->Input and select the microphone you want to use. Or am I still not understanding your question?


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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I have recorded for many years with the following setup: Rode NT4 stereo mic with an XLR y cable going into a Fostex FR2LE, and from there a usb lead into my computer. No problem downloading my sound files.

    But how do I adapt that to using with my iMac in Zoom and Skype/Facetime live sessions?

    Do I need to buy something else?
    if im understanding you correctly Rob ...
    to use the NT4 mic into an imac you’ll need to use a usb audio interface with 2 x mic inputs

    (the foster FR2le won’t act as a live audio interface)

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett
    If you have audio in through USB, all you have to do is go to Settings->Sound->Input and select the microphone you want to use. Or am I still not understanding your question?
    agree..the imac camera wil get you video... and audio..with the internal mic...but you can switch to an external (usb) mic as described ^ and it won't affect the video


    cheers

  8. #7

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    Sorry, sorry, sorry! I said USB in the thread title, but I meant to write XLR!!!

  9. #8

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    So, my question is really how do I get a stereo XLR mic into my iMac. Thereafter I'm good.

    Pingu mentioned a usb audio interface with 2 x mic inputs. Any recommendations?

  10. #9

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    "Rode NT4 stereo mic with an XLR y cable going into a Fostex FR2LE, and from there a usb lead into my computer"

    same way!

    cheers

  11. #10

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    Really? Pingu said: the foster FR2le won’t act as a live audio interface

  12. #11

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    I'll give it a try.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    "Rode NT4 stereo mic with an XLR y cable going into a Fostex FR2LE, and from there a usb lead into my computer"

    same way!

    cheers
    yes deffo worth a try ....

    (but as i said
    i don’t believe the FR2le
    will work as a usb audio interface)

    it it is a Field Recorder

  14. #13

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    I don't think the Fostex will act as an audio interface; the USB connection seems to be only for uploading sound files from the recorder to a computer, not a live connection.

    You'll need an actual audio interface, such as the Focusrite Scarlett Solo or 2i2, to get that mic to deliver live sound to your iMac.

    On the other hand, Skype and Zoom compress the audio a fair amount in order to be able to broadcast both audio and video over the internet; the mic built into your iMac will probably give as good results, after compression and bouncing around the internet, as that fancy mic-and-audio-interface combination.

    An audio interface is always a good thing to have, though – it allows you to actually record very high quality music to your iMac directly; it will make YouTube videos much easier to make, and result in a much more pleasant listening experience.

  15. #14

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    oh ok..i wasnt sure exactly what that fostex was capable of...i defer...

    luck

    cheers

  16. #15

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    Thanks, Ukena.

    I tried the Fostex as an interface, and you are all correct - it doesn't work that way. I might just live with the way I've been doing it for many years, or shell out for the Focusrite or similar. But as Ukena says, the difference might not be worth the effort.

    Oh well. Thanks everyone!

  17. #16

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    Yes, looking at the specs I see that the little fostex recorder becomes a usb hard drive when plugged in so you can transfer recordings as files. It doesn't serve as a USB input.

    To connect your XLR mic you need a DA converter. Entry level analog to digital converters, like the Focusrite 2i2 or the Presonus 24, are in the 150 Euro price range. If all you need is a reasonable USB mic that sounds better than the little built in mics, I can recommend getting a dedicated USB mic. I have the Samson Meteor, and really love it. Unfortunately, I'm not sure they make it anymore. I hear the Blue SnowBall is also really good. Both are about half the cost of a DA converter. All you have to do is plug it in to your Mac's USB port. OTOH, if you want to record on your Mac using your existing mic setup, it might be worth the extra cost for the Focusrite.

  18. #17

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    Okay, I splashed out a little on the mini Rode NT-USB, about half the price of the non-mini version. It will do for now.

    Thanks for all the help and advice!

  19. #18

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    cool rob...just going to a usb mic will keep things easier & simpler..well done

    cheers

    ps- good specs on that little mic..should be great for online presentations

  20. #19

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    Hardly an expert at such matters but this scenario has yielded much improved results for me:

    I was recently given an old tascam dp-008ex 8-track digital portastudio.
    It has a stereo internal mic pair that are pretty good or 2 xlr and 2 1/4 inch inputs and phantom power for any external mics of quality. I bought a Creaton usb-c to mini plug input/output adapter. I put the tascam into record/pause to engage the monitor and took a mini plug off the headphone monitor output. In computer settings I choose the Creaton cable for input and did the same in Zoom under mic choice. Also using an ethernet > usb-c adapter has helped as well. Not studio quality but has temporarily spared me for the need for a Focusrite intermediary or some expensive equivalent.

  21. #20

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    best bang for the buck Rob might be a usb mic
    like this for example
    G-Track Pro - Professional USB Microphone with Audio Interface: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments

    that’s a premium type one and it’s got
    a 1/4 guitar input on it too ....

    but it you can get a decent ok usb mic
    for £60 or less
    Last edited by pingu; 04-10-2020 at 10:14 PM.

  22. #21

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    the rode mini nt will be
    excellent i’m sure .....

  23. #22

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    That GTrack looks good, but beyond what I want to spend at the mo. The rode mini will have to suffice.

    When it comes to important recording I can still use my NT4, which has served me well for a decade. The mini NT-usb is for Zoom/Skype only. All my students are now on Zoom/Skype.

  24. #23

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    I've often used the 1/8" stereo audio out on many devices into the mic input on my computer and use the soundcard in my computer as the audio interface. Always works great for me.

    Most outboard recording devices can monitor audio via headphone/audio out jack without recording, so it doubles as mic/pre to run into computer mic input.

  25. #24

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    unfortunately mac got rid of mic inputs on their computers years ago!

    cheers

  26. #25

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    For future reference, ART sells a USB dual tube mic pre with two channels, each channel taking either an XLR or 1/4" cable, quite q good piece of kit for under $100 USD. Lots of goodies on it, including optical compression. monitor out, etc.