Connecting a microphone to a guitar input
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I liked the review you did on the Focusrite iTrack Solo, but have a question about results you got with the SM58 mic. I have purchased the iTrack and have had mixed results with vocal recording and the SM58.
Did you use the phantom power when recording with the SM58? The connector on my mic cable required that I record through the guitar channel. I got decent sound from it, but I had to practically eat the mic to get volume high enough to move the meter in GarageBand. In the end, the sound is a bit muffled. I will be trying the mic channel with some new cable, but thought I would ask your opinion.
A: Like almost all professional microphones, the SM58 is a low-impedance microphone, and therefore needs to be connected to a low-impedance input, such as the first channel on the Focusrite iTrack Solo or the IK Multimedia iRig PRE. Both of these require an XLR connector, which are normally the standard cables with most professional microphones, although XLR to 1/4” connector cables are also sometimes used with certain mixing boards and other audio equipment.
By contrast, guitar jacks are high-impedance inputs, designed for connecting guitars as well as other professional audio equipment such as preamps and effects processors. Connecting a low-impedance audio source, such as a professional dynamic or condenser microphone, will yield exactly the results that you are experiencing—low volume levels and muffled sound.
Note that you don’t need to use phantom power with the SM58 or other dynamic mics; simply pick up an XLR cable and plug into the mic input and you should get proper results. Alternatively, you could also purchase a high impedance transformer for the SM58, but that would be far less practical both in terms of price and complexity than simply getting a new cable, since the iTrack Solo already handles the low-impedance mic input on the first channel.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.2 to developers
- Apple reveals cause of unexpected iPhone 6s shutdowns
- Report: 99 percent of fake Apple chargers found to be unsafe
- Apple offering battery replacements for iPhone 6s models with ‘unexpected shutdown issues’ (Updated)
- Report: Fitbit to acquire Pebble
- Apple releases statement on iCloud Calendar spam
- Apple sending out drones to improve Maps data, adding interior building maps
- Tim Cook allegedly tells customer AirPods to ship in ‘next few weeks’
- Apple Pay reportedly launching in Spain tomorrow
- Netflix enables offline viewing for some shows and movies on its iOS app
- iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
- Twelve South HiRise Duet for Apple Watch and iPhone
- IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
- JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones
- Edifier e235 Luna E Speaker System
- Clamcase ClamCase+ for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Scosche BoomBottle H2O+ Waterproof Wireless Speaker
- Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid
- Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Creative iRoar Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10