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XLR or USB condenser microphone? Condenser Microphones
Old 4th August 2013
  #1
Gear interested
 

XLR or USB condenser microphone?

Hello,

I am going to get a Audio-Technica AT2020(USB/USB+) for my one-mic drum recording setup. And i will get a Behringer X1222USB mixer, too.

AT2020 has these three types:
1. AT2020 (XLR)
2. AT2020USB (USB)
3. AT2020USB+ (USB+3.5mm monitor out)

I am stuck at choosing which type of AT2020, do you guys have suggestion for me?

AT2020->X1222USB->X1222USB's USB port to computer
or
AT2020USB/AT2020USB+->computer
or
AT2020USB+->3.5mm TRS plug for monitor-out->X1222USB's input->X1222USB's USB port to computer

Which one should i choose, and which method will be better? Thanks.
Old 4th August 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
Get a regular xlr mic and an interface.
USB mixers will usually only allow tracking the L/R main outs (2 separate tracks at once).

An interface will be better fidelity.
Something like this will give more tracks at once.
http://m.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-US-...20-i1562924.gc
Old 4th August 2013
  #3
Gear interested
 

Yeah, using an interface would be great. But i don't have that budget...
All i have is only a USB mixer, and AT2020/AT2020USB/AT2020USB+...

Which is the best way among the three options?

Thanks
Old 4th August 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Your X1222usb mixer IS an interface (the usb plugs go into your computer.)

Stay away from usb mics. They have a cheaper interface inside them and under windows's asio you can only use ONE asio interface at a time anyway.
Old 5th August 2013
  #5
As everyone has said, just get the plain, old XLR AT2020. It will work with any device that has a phantom powered XLR mic preamp including your Behringer X1222USB mixer. Plug it into one of the mic inputs, turn ON the "Phantom ON" switch on the back panel (next to the power switch) and you're good to go.

Some USB mics are really trash, some are decent, but some such as the Apogee MIC actually use quite good analog to digital converters and interfaces and sound great. While Apogee uses a very high-quality 24 bit converter which is probably as good or better than the one in the Behringer mixer, the AT2020USB uses a decent, but limited quality 16 bit converter that certainly is inferior to the converter in the Behringer mixer. Using the mixer with its built-in converter will be a better choice. Don't forget to set your DAW to record at 24 bit resolution.

Being limited to one USB device is a major limitation, so unless you will be using one mic only forever, forget about a USB mic. Once you outgrow your "one-mic drum recording setup", and you will, you can simply plug more XLR mics into the Behringer mixer.

The Behringer X1222USB mixer has only one USB connector. It's a "Type-B" USB port that is designed to only connect to a computer. There is no port to connect a USB mic. You may want to download the X1222 manual and study it before you actually buy the mixer/interface.

As TimOBrien said, the Behringer mixer IS a USB interface. In fact, it actually has those words printed on its front panel. See the PIC below for proof!
Attached Thumbnails
XLR or USB condenser microphone?-usb-interface.jpg  
Old 5th August 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
krushing's Avatar
Yep. Basically anything analog that includes a computer connection means that there's some kind of an audio interface (even if it's a simple a/d converter) inside - including USB mics.
Old 5th August 2013
  #7
Gear interested
 

Thanks for u guys' detailed reply.
How about buying AT2020USB+? I could use its headphone monitor out as main output.
Or XLR is still the best?
Old 5th August 2013
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopkins View Post
Thanks for u guys' detailed reply.
How about buying AT2020USB+? I could use its headphone monitor out as main output.
Or XLR is still the best?
It's still a USB mic and is not compatible with your mixer/interface. You will find it to be very limiting soon after you buy it. A conventional phantom powered XLR mic is the way to go unless you never, never, ever expect to need more than one mic. A USB mic is a "dead-end".

The Behringer X1222USB mixer has (2) output channels for monitoring (it's a 2-in/2-out interface). It has headphone and balanced XLR analog main outputs that can drive active speakers. The X1222USB mixer has a 24 bit digital to analog converter (DAC) so will provide you with a monitor signal that is of much higher quality than the headphone output of the AT2020USB+. The X1222USB mixer has a push-button switch that will let you instantly select either the internal mix or the playback from your computer DAW "main" output. It, and a XLR mic all you need to get started, but will allow you to expand in the future.

To bluntly put it in language that even a drummer can understand, a USB mic is like calling one tom-tom a "drum kit".
Old 5th August 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
mixer mixer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopkins View Post
Thanks for u guys' detailed reply.
How about buying AT2020USB+? I could use its headphone monitor out as main output.
Or XLR is still the best?
You seem pretty insistent on getting the AT2020USB+, when you don't realize that your behringer mixer along with a regular XLR version of the AT2020 is actually better!

AT2020USB+ is fine for one person podcasting, not for recording a whole drum kit.

How about getting the XLR pair instead of one while you're at it?
That way you can record in a better stereo image instead of a mono mix.

Regarding the X1222USB, the 2 in/2 out is correct in that it takes the MAIN OUT signal as the inputs of the audio interface.
Old 5th August 2013
  #10
Gear interested
 

Thanks for all of the suggestions. So, i am gonna to pick a XLR version of AT2020, actually, it is even cheaper than the USB version.

Btw, the X1222USB mixer's USB output only provide 16-bit 48kHz stereo output, but the DSP is 24-bit. So is it best that i should use the Main Output of the mixer to connect to my computer, instead of using the USB output on the mixer?
Old 5th August 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Just use the USB connection and be done with it.
Old 5th August 2013
  #12
DITTO: "Just use the USB connection and be done with it."
Old 6th August 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
krushing's Avatar
^That said, I'd probably go with a proper audio interface instead of a crappy-ish mixer - especially if you're not going to be actually mixing any signals.
Old 7th August 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Lets make this simple:

"USB mics BAD. XLR mics GOOD."
Old 7th August 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimOBrienFlorida View Post
Lets make this simple:

"USB mics BAD. XLR mics GOOD."


This statement should be made sticky in capital latters on top of the Newbie section
Old 7th August 2013
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chk23 View Post


This statement should be made sticky in capital latters on top of the Newbie section
+infinity
Topic:
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