[audacity4blind] Re: Getting Audacity to Record Via My External Mic

  • From: David Van Der Molen <dvm975@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Andrew Downie <access_tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, audacity4blind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2017 22:58:06 -0500

Hi Andrew.

Yes, the USB sound card is plug and play, and Audacity did find it.  It was an under $10 U.S. card, and one of the jacks is a mic jack while the other is for headphones or speakers.  I can't say for sure that the Rode mic doesn't work with that card, but I do know absolutely for sure that the sound I was getting wasn't close to the results I get when I connect the Road mic to the BookPort.

Would the Behringer XENYX or any other USB sound card or mixer have a built-in speaker?  That would be nice if it did, because it would cut down on the number of components needed and the wiring.

With the Bookport, the Rode mic works very well, but BookPort has other issues that make it time-consuming to use.  Would rather record in Audacity, since I edit my recordings in Audacity.  Would save me some steps.


On 12/30/2017 8:50 PM, Andrew Downie wrote:

Hi Dave

Yes, your temperatures are getting extensive coverage here. We, on the other hand, are getting temperatures on some days into the 40s Celsius.

I am sending this to the list as well as to you, as the topic is relevant to others.

You said:

I did try a USB sound card that has two 3.5 mm jacks, but that didn't work either.  Is an external USB mixer the same thing?

Firstly to your question.  A mixer would usually have more inputs but, for your purposes, essentially the same.

Now to the two 3.5 jacks that did not work.  Firstly, be sure to connect the sound card before launching Audacity.  Otherwise it probably will not find the card.  Secondly, the input device you are looking for is the sound card, not the Rode mike.  If it is a plug and play card, Audacity should have no trouble finding it.  The next issue is whether the jacks are intended to have a mike or line level device connected.  If the jacks are not mike inputs you will get little or no sound from them with the mike connected.  If you have a suitable cable, you could try connecting the Book Port via its earphone jack to see if that works.  I suggest persevering with that card before shopping for another device.

As to whether mixers are expensive, they start from around the $100 mark for something like the Behringer XENYX 302USB <http://www.musictri.be/Categories/Behringer/Mixers/Analog-Mixers/302USB/p/P0ADV> and similar and can cost up to thousands.  As you only need one mike input, there is no reason to spend vast sums.  the 302 can accept a mike requiring phantom power but also has a 3.5mm jack for mikes such as yours.  From memory, it can also accept two stereo pairs at line level.

Another alternative is a mike/headphone product which would connect to the jack on your notebook.  While I have not explored options, I am not aware of anything like that which would compete with the Rode mike (I am a big fan of Rode mikes).

More than happy to discuss further.


On 31/12/2017 12:01 AM, David Van Der Molen wrote:Hi Andrew.

Thanks so much for your response, even if it is bad news.

By the way, I live in Canada, where these days the temperatures are frigid.

I did try a USB sound card that has two 3.5 mm jacks, but that didn't work either.  Is an external USB mixer the same thing?

Do you know of anyone who could vouch whether a particular mixer would work for me, and are mixers expensive?  I'm not recording music, just audiobooks that I narrate.



On 12/30/2017 3:48 AM, Andrew Downie wrote:
Greetings Dave from the city in which Rode microphones are made. Not that the brand of mike is the problem, it is those infernal combination mike-earphone jacks that are used on most notebooks these days.

Before writing this, I double-checked with a little Sony mike and, exactly as expected, I could not record through it on a notebook with a similar mike/earphone jack as yours.  I have a set of Bose earphones that include a microphone for use on products such as iPhones.  When plugging that into my notebook, I can record through it with Audacity.

In summary, a conventionally wired mike will not work through a combination jack.  The double adapter won't do the trick, as born out by your experience.

You will either need to look for a different mike or an external USB mixer with a mike input.

Yes, frustrating it is.


On 30/12/2017 2:10 PM, David Van Der Molen wrote:
Hi all.

I have a Rode external mic that was made in Australia.  It doesn't have an on/off switch.  I used it with a BookPort DT with no problem at all.  Now I'm trying to use it to record in Audacity.

I am using an Asus Zenbook, and I'm running the latest version of Audacity, along with Jaws 2018 and Windows 10.

My Zenbook has only one 3.5 mm jack, so I bought an adapter that I connect to the jack, and then I plug in my external mic and an earphone or speaker into the two recepticles on the adapter.

When I record, I can tell Audacity is ignoring the external mic and is instead using my laptop's internal mic.  I've experimented with several settings in the "devices" menu, but I'm having no luck.  The Rode mic doesn't show up anywhere for me to select it, but I've tried other mics that are listed, and I've had no success.  The speaker and earphone work fine.

Does anyone have a solution?


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