5 Minute Mondays

XLR or USB?

April 08, 2019
Show Notes Transcript

Should you use a USB microphone or an XLR microphone? It depends... In this episode, Travis explains the pros and cons to each microphone and which one is best for you.

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Speaker 1:
0:00
Today on five minute Monday, we'll talk about the difference between USB and XLR microphones. Welcome to five minute Monday where we bring you the best tips and strategies for building your podcast in five minutes or less. So if you're new here, consider subscribing. Now there are two different styles of microphone that are valuable for you, USB and XLR. And so in this episode want to want to talk about is the difference between the two kinds of microphones and why it matters. So to start out, let's go with XLR microphones. XLR microphones have been the industry standard for literally decades. Any rock concert, radio station speaking, event conference, we'll be using XLR microphones and it's simply an analog signal that is then converted to digital. Now because XLR has been around for so long, there is no shortage of microphones to choose from. Right? You got the uh, Michael Jackson microphone, the Shure sm seven B, also known as the Joe Rogan microphone.
Speaker 1:
1:08
You've got the road pro caster, you got the Heil PR 40 you have quite a number of options when it comes to microphones that you can use in your podcasting setup. But in order to use them for podcasting, you're going to need one of three things. All right? Because you can't just plug an XLR cable right into your computer. Your first option is a USB interface, which simply allows you to plug your XLR microphone into a box or you can apply some gain with, uh, some good preamps if it has some good preamps built into it, you can monitor the signal typically, and then it has a USB connection so you can plug it directly into your computer from the interface. All right? So you'll need something like that or an audio recorder like the zoom h four n where you can plug your microphones directly into it using XLR cables.
Speaker 1:
2:04
And then it saves your audio files to an SD card that you can then upload to your computer for editing your podcast episode or getting a mixer, right? Like the road caster pro or any of the Behringer Xenex line where you can plug your microphones in, adjust the equalizer, adjust the volume settings, and then, uh, interface it into your computer. You'll need one of those three things in order to take the, what you capture in your XLR microphone and be able to use it for your podcast. Now, USB microphones are newer because computers have been around as long as Microsoft phones have and they have the convenience of plugging directly into your computer. So examples of USB microphones would be the Blue Yeti, the Audio Technica ATR 2100 and the road podcaster, which is simply the pro castor with a USB output instead of an XLR. But there is one quirk that you need to know about when it comes to USB microphones.
Speaker 1:
3:05
They can be really problematic when you try and plug in multiple USB microphones into the same computer because the computer has a really hard time knowing which Mike is which. Right? So if you plug in one blue yeti microphone and then you try and plug in a second blue yeti microphone, it's like, wait, which one is the Blue Yeti? And which one is the Blue Yeti? And often won't even let it won't even identify multiple microphones. So that can be a problem. And, uh, I've heard from people that it's typically only a problem when you really need it to not be a problem. When you finally get that dream guest and you sit down and all of a sudden your microphones won't register in your recording software. So just know that if you're going to use USB microphones, that that could potentially be a problem for you. All right?
Speaker 1:
3:52
So understanding the differences between XLR and USB, which one should you get? So if you are a solo podcaster, meaning you are the only person recording in whatever your space is than a USB microphone will be absolutely fine. It'll work perfectly well because you literally just plug it right into your computer and you don't need anything else. But if you are not doing a solo podcast, so any other kind of podcast, you will eventually want to get an XLR podcast set up. And once you do make that an initial investment in an interface or a mixer, then you'll have a lot of flexibility in what kind of microphones you end up using in the future. So really the sky's the limit. Once you get the basic piece of that, you need to use an XLR microphone, need some help with your podcast. The Buss, sprout podcast community on Facebook is a great place to find answers and get the help you need to make your podcast as excellent as possible. So if you're not a member yet, just click on the link in the show notes and asked to join. That's it for today. Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you soon.
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