How To Set Up A Condenser Microphone Properly This is great if you do voiceovers or are playing an instrument track by track. Also, the USB version is more expensive and you may want to consider buying the XLR version of the microphone and then buying a power supply for an additional $20 for more versatility. That way you can use it on any piece of equipment you want.
The first thing you need to do to set up a condenser microphone is get yourself a good condenser microphone if you’re using a USB interface. I’d highly recommend either of the following five:
If you want this microphone to go through the USB interface device you must buy a condenser microphone with an XLR input as shown in the picture below.
If you buy the XLR version of the condensor microphone you will need some external power. This mic will not work without external power. If you buy the XLR mic and plug it in without power you will get nothing. It’s called phantom power because you don’t see the power – it’s sort of like a ghost (remember you aren’t supposed to be able to see ghosts).
A more technical definition of phantom power would be the DC voltage sent through a microphone cable to power a microphone or some other device. Phantom power is usually 48 volts. Some mixers and preamps have Phantom power already built in. If the preamp you’re using doesn’t offer phantom power you will have to use a phantom adapter.
If you want to go the other route you can buy a USB lead condenser microphone like the one shown below. This mic goes directly into your USB port on your computer. The power comes from your computer through your USB port and doesn’t require phantom power.
If you buy the USB version you are limiting yourself of only being able to use it on the computer. You will never be able to plug it into a mixer, it’s always just going to be plugged into your computer.
This is great if you do voiceovers or are playing an instrument track by track. Also, the USB version is more expensive and you may want to consider buying the XLR version of the microphone and then buying a power supply for an additional $20 for more versatility. That way you can use it on any piece of equipment you want.
You can still plug the mic it into your computer through the audio input jack or you can plug it into a mixer. The sound quality in my opinion are about the same.
When finished with the setup your condenser mic should resemble the picture seen below. Remove the bolt on the top of your mic stand if this is not already done for you. Now remove your condenser mic from its packaging being sure to handle it with great care.
Place your microphone on a soft surface and take the cradle from the box. The cradle will act as a nest for the condenser microphone and keep the microphone from shaking while you’re recording. Place the cradle over the mic’s stand and align with the screw on bolt. Screw the cradle onto the microphone stand until it’s securely tightened.
Now pick up your mic and bring it over to the mic stand and cradle. Release the holding mechanism on the cradle and allow the microphone to slip into the cradle. Half of the condenser microphone should be above the cradle and the other half under the cradle.
Next take the male to female XLR cable and connect the cable from the microphone to the USB interface device. Make sure you turn on the 48 volt power source on the condenser. Your microphone is now properly setup for recording.