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Mini-stereo mic into soundcard

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by ivan, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. ivan

    ivan New Member

    I'm in need of some help connecting a stereo mic to my system:
    I'm trying to connect an electret condenser stereo mic into my external sound-card. The mic has a male mini stereo (1/8") plug, and the sound-card has the following inputs:

    Mic (XLR)
    Guitar (1/4")
    S/PDIF (single RCA in)
    Unbalanced line inputs (pair of 1/4" ins)

    I'm thinking I could get an adaptor (1/8" to XLR) and plug into the Mic input. I'm not sure if there's any other way I could do it, and even then, I'm not sure I'd be receiving a stereo signal. Stereo is not crucial for my current needs, but it would be nice if there was a way to do it.

    For reference, the mic is a Sony ECM-DS70P, and the sound-card is an M-Audio FireWire Solo.

    Thanks for any and all help!
  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    For stereo recording you need two mic inputs. I am not sure what you get when you take a mini-TRS to XLR adapter but definitely no stereo. Rather something strange because your XLR is a 1-channel balanced input. It expects two identical but phase reversed signals from one source (= one mic in this case).

    You need to disconnect either the tip or the ring of the stereo mini plug and solder the remaining lead to both, tip and ring. I think you cannot do this with your mic, you might need to make your own adapter for that or get a Y-cable that converts from mini-TRS to 2xmono and use just one of the mono plugs.

    However you do it, you need a mono output from the mic and what you finally want is this:

    The better solution is to buy a 2-channel mic preamp and use the 2 line inputs of your interface. There are some cheap models on the market but of course, most cheap preamps sound cheap.
  4. ivan

    ivan New Member

    Thanks, Peter. Sounds like you know your stuff :)
  5. ilya

    ilya New Member

    Your electret mike is unbalanced, there are 2 channels (tip and ring) and common on its 1/8 connector. You can use the adapter Peter described - it should work but you'll get only one channel from your mike (depending on what you connect to pin 2 of xlr - tip or ring).
    I personally wouldn't bother getting dedicated preamp 'cause this electret mike won't give you the good quality. If you need a good stereo recording consider getting a decent pair of mikes and a good 2-channels pre instead.

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