[Ardour-Users] Multiple USB Input recording ___IS___ needed. No it is not "DUMMB" to want this feature

Al Thompson althompson58 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 15:33:46 PST 2014

On 01/13/2014 06:25 PM, Hibiki Kanzaki wrote:
> I got the feeling there might be an impression that applications with
> several devices producing output via USB are not suitable for
> producing professional quality audio, or that the reason to buy those
> devices is because they are more inexpensive, rather than because they
> are flexible (versatile) for the user, and get the signal into the
> digital domain close to the source.  I think there is of course a
> threshold where using USB source devices will not be sufficient, but
> that threshold is significantly higher than the threshold for
> producing professional quality audio. 
Replace the highlighted phrase above with "acceptable quality audio" and
I might agree with you, with the qualifier being "for a particular
purpose."  A USB mic is perfectly acceptable for a podcast, even a
"professional" one.

A USB mic MAY be acceptable for a vocalist, depending on his/her vocal
range, dynamic range, mic technique, etc.  You won't have an input trim,
pad, or (probably) HPF on a USB mic, ALL of which are needed to make the
microphone work for the widest variety of singers or instruments. 

While a particular USB mic may actually sound better than an SM58 for a
podcast usage, the SM58, at about the same price (or less) will work in
a far wider variety of applications.  Consider that for slightly less
than $100, that money can buy an SM58, which is just a mic, OR that same
$100 can buy a mic, A/D converter, preamp, digital and audio circuitry. 
Which mic will have the better quality??  Probably the one that the mic
itself costs $100.

Why is a USB mic desirable at all???  One word: simplicity!  Every
computer has a USB port, and every OS will recognize a USB 1.0 device.

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