Condenser microphone for laptop is more sensitive than its dynamic siblings. Due to its design, it is better at capturing more details in recording, with reduced self-noise and improved accuracy across a wider frequency range. In this article, we will take you through the steps of using condenser microphone, including connection and setup, and what scenarios it is usually used in.
How to use a condenser microphone on a laptop?
To use it to record audio properly, you need to follow the following steps
Connect a condenser microphone to laptop
If you have a traditional condenser mic with XLR output, you will need an audio interface and follow these two steps to make successful connection.
- Connect the audio interface to your laptop by using the USB cable.
- Connect the mic to the audio interface using XLR cable. Connect one end of the XLR cable to the microphone and the other to an audio interface. Make sure that both connections are tight and that there is no noise when you screw them together or pull on either wire continuously—this will ensure good connection and prevent distortion during recording.
If you have a mic that uses Electret Condenser and has a connector that matches the mic input port on the laptop, things will be easier.
The SYNCO P1S is a good example. It is a product in SYNCO wireless microphone, including a clip-on transmitter, a receiver featuring Type-C connector, and a charging case. We all know that newer computers has USB-C port so using P1S on it is quite simple. you can tap on the case and pull it out, take out the receiver and plug it into the USB-C port, wait for the TX and RX to pair with each other automatically, and then it is ready to start recording.
Make condenser microphone setup on PC
Using condenser microphone for laptop is more than making a successful connection. You should make some setups to make sure that it can pick up sounds without any trouble. Some key settings are as follow.
Adjust the microphone gain
The microphone gain is the amount of signal amplification applied. If it is too low, the signal will be feeble and will add noise. If the gain is too high, there will be signal distortion.
Open the control panel on the audio interface to adjust the gain level. This varies by the model but most interfaces have a slider or a knob for gain adjustments. Begin by lowering the microphone gain. Increase the gain gradually until the signal is at a comfortable level. You should be able to hear yourself clearly and without distortion.
Configure settings in recording software
In this step, you have 4 settings to configure.
- Select the input source. This is the audio interface to which you are connecting your microphone.
- Set the sample rate. The sample rate is the number of times per second that the audio is sampled. A greater sampling rate produces better sound but necessitates more processing power. A sampling rate of 44.1 kHz is sufficient for most applications.
- Set the bit depth. The number of bits utilized to represent each sample is defined as the bit depth. A greater bit depth improves sound quality but necessitates more processing power. A bit depth of 16 bits is enough for most applications.
- Set the buffer size. The buffer size represents the amount of time the audio interface has to process the signal. A smaller buffer size reduces latency but necessitates more computing power. Setting the buffer size of 256 samples is workable for most recording situations.
When to use: Two common scenarios to use condenser microphone for laptop
As aforementioned, condenser microphone is good at picking up audio details in recording and features a wide frequency range. When it is used on the laptop, what kind of applications is it suitable for? Below we will talk about its two common uses and what features are needed separately.
Use condenser microphone for PC gaming
Gamers who wish to record or live stream their gaming may seem to require the same equipment as artists who want to record clean voices. However, artists who record voices with a clean signal are more likely to mix the vocal recordings in a multi-track scenario, using EQ, dynamic compression, and maybe reverb.
Gamers, more than likely, require some of these features from the start, or at the very least a DSP that understands when to restrict spikes in levels, such as if you yell or laugh during a recording. As a result, Most gaming microphones include an inbuilt DSP to minimize distortion and clipping.
The mic should also has a headphone jack. It should have little or no latency, so you don't hear an annoying slapback delay when you talk.
Use condenser microphone for computer recording
It is also good to use the condenser microphone for laptop to record podcast. The aim of any microphone is always clarity. However, for podcasts, we must consider the speaker. If you're recording an experienced speaker with good mic technique, you can use a mic with no DSP. If, on the other hand, the podcast frequently asks for less experienced interviewees, you might want to choose a mic with some protection DSP, so that bursts of laughing or sudden increases in volume don't create distortion.
Another factor to consider is how many individuals will be speaking at the same time. If there is only one person speaking in the room, a cardioid condenser microphone is generally the best option. If you're doing a one-on-one interview, a figure-eight pattern mic can be worth considering—placing the mike in the center of the two speakers in this scenario (assuming they're not too far apart) might provide a natural recording.
If you want to record the sound of a room, you may also go for the omnidirectional pattern. This is especially handy for location recordings, such as capturing the sound of a softball match in the park or customers speaking at a restaurant.
After reading the article, you know how to use condenser microphone for laptop. It requires making proper connection and configuring settings. It is common to use it for computer gaming and podcast recording. And there are some specific features needed for each application.