Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Use this forum to discuss preamps, guitars, microphones, mixers, drums, turntables, keyboards and recording equipment in general.

Moderators: Acoustica Greg, Acoustica Chris, Acoustica Eric, Acoustica Dan, rsaintjohn

Post Reply
sadjack70
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 9:38 am
Contact:

Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Post by sadjack70 »

Hello Acoustica Team,

I'm not much of a poster on here, but have recently bought a new laptop with which I installed Mixcraft 9. Have been using version 6 for about 10 years now.

This new HP laptop has 32gb of RAM and this should far exceed the RAM I need to continue to write more music. At this time, however, I'm curious about the types of microphone connections available for recording. Which one is the best?

That is, which mic connector, the one with the 1/4 male connecter, the USB C connector, or your standard 3.5mm connector, would result in the highest sound quality if recording an electric guitar? Have some pics attached herein.

Thanks for any tips coming this way (sorry for the picture sizes, am not the most tech savvy in ther world).

Sincerely,

Sadjack70
Acoustica 2.JPG
Acoustica 2.JPG (30.46 KiB) Viewed 1270 times
Acoustica 1.JPG
Acoustica 1.JPG (112.49 KiB) Viewed 1270 times
User avatar
Rolling Estonian
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:42 am
Location: MD/DC

Re: Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Post by Rolling Estonian »

You should consider getting an audio interface. You can get a more than capable unit for under $100 and it will make a world of difference.

M
sadjack70
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 9:38 am
Contact:

Re: Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Post by sadjack70 »

Many thanks for your input Rolling Estonian.

Normally, what I have done for many years is that the output from my amp goes directly into the 3.5mm mic jack of my PC. Thus, the sound is amplified and enhanced via my guitar amp. In other words, I don't directly plug my guitar into the computer; my guitar goes into the amp first and then from the amp I go into the computer. Would an audio interface still be necessary at this point? I'm still learning about electronics at this juncture, but if you want to hear some of my music done in the method described, it's here (the guitar comes in mid-point in the song): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQUz2aWxLc.

So, at this time, am just curious whether an alternative input into the computer via the usb-a, or usb-c, would offer better quality if I am inputting it through the amp.

Thanks for any tips coming this way as this is great knowledge.

Sadjack!
User avatar
Rolling Estonian
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:42 am
Location: MD/DC

Re: Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Post by Rolling Estonian »

If it works it works. I'm just wondering what kind of signal you're getting from the amp to the pc. A way to think about the interface is that it's an external soundcard which you can use to record guitar/vocals/instruments much more efficiently and better to a pc. I would worry that an amp directly to a mic input of a pc could very well damage the pc but again, if it works for you than it's fine. The other thing to consider is the software that can be used if you use an interface, some of the amp modelling software out there is pretty amazing. I use Amplitube myself and it's really good.

M
sadjack70
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 9:38 am
Contact:

Re: Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Post by sadjack70 »

Thank you Rolling! After your post, I have been watching a few youtube channels on audio interfaces. It's fascinating acrtually. Although you obviously are super teach knowledgeable about this, I'm somewhat green so will learn. That said, the signal is quite clean when using it through my amp--but the merits of having an audio interface is the ability to plug multiple instruments into two or more inputs, so I will likely get a good one this summer. Thanks for the good info! Sending you and the acoustica community good vibes.

Sadjack.
mixyguy2
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:54 pm

Re: Which type of mic connection has best sound quality?

Post by mixyguy2 »

First, the only real advantage of mic with an XLR input vs the others is that there are so many more quality mics to choose from.
sadjack70 wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 5:14 pm the merits of having an audio interface is the ability to plug multiple instruments into two or more inputs
There are far more merits than that:

- Ability to record multiple instruments AND mics at once
- Vastly superior sound card
- Vastly superior headphone amp
- Vastly superior converters
- Built-in pre-amps, minimizing if not eliminating the need for additional external pre-amps
Post Reply