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I am planning on buying a dynamic Mic for professional online calls. I know that I could easily go with a headset for this. But as someone who always takes future into account, I want to buy a mic which will allow me record my guitar songs and possibly voice recordings for my youtube channel in the future.

I know nothing about audio stuff. Therefore, I've been doing google search since yesterday about this topic and few questions popped up so far. I couldn't find clear answers to them so I decided to ask here.

  • Do I need a USB Audio Interface to run a Dynamic Mic with PC? (Even if I am going to use it only for online calls in the beginning!)
  • If I can use this type of Mic without USB Audio Interface, then which cable / connector should I choose to fit it into one of my PC inputs; XLR to 3.5 mm socket OR XLR to USB?
  • I have a tight budget, so, is there any cheapest solution to eliminate USB Audio Interface for now? (An average performance that I may get from the Mic is acceptable for online calls for the beginning)

Note: I also considered having a Mic with non-detachable USB output, but as I said earlier, I want to have something that I can use professionally in the future. (If I am wrong on that, I am open to any ideas about this type of Mics)

Thank You

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Do I need a USB Audio Interface to run a Dynamic Mic with PC? (Even if I am going to use it only for online calls in the beginning!)

It depends on which mic you get. You can find models with everything it needs included (like preamp and converter, which are the most common tasks of an audio interface). In that case you don't need an audio interface.

But maybe you want something like the very popular SM58 or SM57, and in that case you'll need an audio interface for both the conversion and the preamps (and the XLR connection, since chances are that your system's native audio card doesn't include them).

If I can use this type of Mic without USB Audio Interface, then which cable / connector should I choose to fit it into one of my PC inputs; XLR to 3.5 mm socket OR XLR to USB?

XLR to USB would need analog to digital conversion, so you would be doing it through an audio interface and not a cable, connector, or adaptor. So this one doesn't make much sense in the context of your question.

Again, it depends on both the analog audio inputs of your system and the mic you get. If you get an XLR mic and the audio inputs of your system are 3.5mm TRS then yes, you can connect both with an XLR - 3.5mm TRS cable, but:

  1. How would you handle amplification? Mics produce a very small signal that needs to be amplified before processing. For that setup you would need a mic that includes preamplifiers, or your system needs to have preamps (chances are that it doesn't).

  2. XLR is a balanced connection, but most inputs (specially in consumer level devices) are unbalanced. If I'm not mistaken, you can still connect balanced -> unbalanced, but with a loss of 6dB.

I have a tight budget, so, is there any cheapest solution to eliminate USB Audio Interface for now? (An average performance that I may get from the Mic is acceptable for online calls for the beginning)

You can get a very cheap USB mic to skip the USB audio interface, but you'll struggle to find a good one since the ones that are not horrible are not cheap.

How tight is your budget? You can get decent audio interfaces for around 100 USD and a good mic for another 100 USD.

I recommend you going that route: get an audio interface with XLR input and preamp for that input, and an SM58-ish mic.

Note: I also considered having a Mic with non-detachable USB output, but as I said earlier, I want to have something that I can use professionally in the future.

Then getting an audio interface is by far your best option.

  • I appreciate for the time you spent for my question. I now better understand how the things work with the microphones. After this notification that I had received recently I did not know whether to mention the brand, model names here. "Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise." – Karel Capek Aug 5 '15 at 16:32
  • As I see there is no problem :). I am interested in XM8500. And after making some more research based on your answer, I found out a cable which has a built-in sound card to convert XLR to USB. I watched some review videos to make sure and saw that it works. I am open to any recommendations if you want to make. Thank you. – Karel Capek Aug 5 '15 at 16:38
  • My budget is very tight like $40. And I am not located in an English speaker country which brings some shipping restrictions along. But the mic that I mentioned earlier is available for me to buy. The cable is cheaper to buy from China. So, I am going to order it from there. – Karel Capek Aug 5 '15 at 16:41
  • I will make a reviewing video and post the link here for others who may run into the same questions with me. Nevertheless, when I start guitar song recording, I will consider buying something like XENYX 302USB to make the things sound more professional. :) – Karel Capek Aug 5 '15 at 16:47
  • @KarelCapek Which XLR to USB cable are you buying? Can you post the link? – Lyd Aug 5 '15 at 17:27

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