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Research Guides@Tufts

USB Microphone Kit

This guide walks through how to connect and configure the USB microphones.

Setting your inputs

                microphone

1. Launch your audio recording application:

  • Recommended project settings are 48000Hz, 24-bit.
  • If Recording with 1 microphone:
    • Select Rode NT-USB Mini as the input in your application.
  • If recording with 2 microphones:
    • You will need to create an "Aggregate Device" on your machine.  See "Setup" for details. You will then need to map each microphone to a specific track.  This process is application specific.  See below for more details.

2. Point the mic at sound:

  • Make sure the microphone is a comfortable distance from your mouth. You may need to use books, etc. to prop up the mic to the desired height. It should be within a foot from your mouth. 

3. Adjust microphone volume:

  • This will vary depending on the application you are using and computer system (Mac or PC), but is generally found in settings>sound

4. Check levels: 

  • Voice should be approx. -12 db. Sounds recorded at 0 will be distorted.

5. Headphone volume: 

  • If your levels look good but you still can’t hear, check your headphone volume
  • Always monitor your recording by wearing the provided headphones

6. Press the red record button: 

  • You will do this in the application, NOT on the microphone. 
  • All the applications listed below have this feature. 

7. Playback your recordings

  • Playback recorded files on your chosen recording application and navigate tracks. 

 

NOTE: We highly recommend that you also change your "Output Device" to External Headphones occasionally and listen through headphones directly connected to your computer to check the quality of the sound.  Listening back through the microphone also includes sounds being amplified and can make it hard to hear if, for example, background noise is interfering with the recording.

Recording with multiple microphones in Audacity

1. When opening Audacity, make sure the Project Rate (Hz) in the bottom left corner is set to 48000.

2. In the Device toolbar, set your input to the Aggregate Device you created, select Stereo recording to record two microphones simultaneously and choose what speakers to playback through.

Note: if the Aggregate Device does not show up in the drop-down menu, go to the top menu bar: Transport>Rescan Audio Devices, it should now show up in the drop down menu. 

2. Test both microphones individually to get proper levels. You can monitor the levels by selecting the the monitor button in the menu pictured above (the microphone icon).

3. Pressing the red, record button will automatically set up a stereo track. You may also set up a track before pressing record by navigating to the top menu bar: Tracks>Add New>Stereo Track

4. To edit or export the each microphone as individual tracks, select the Stereo Track dropdown in the track header and click Split Stereo to Mono.

5. To export a track, go the top menu bar: File>Export>Export as “” (we recommend exporting as a WAV file).

Recording with multiple microphones in Garageband

1. Navigate to Preferences > Audio MIDI and select USB Rode Mics as your Input Device. Set the Output device to your computer speakers.

2. In the Garageband Toolbar, navigate to Track > Configure Track Header.  Make sure Record Enable is checked.  This will place a small red button in the left track header to enable the tracks you want to record.

3. Select a track.  To assign a microphone, select an input under Record Settings in the Smart Controls on the bottom of the interface.  Repeat for each mic. Each track should be assigned one microphone.  This allows for easier editing of individual tracks after recording.

4. If you leave playback on your computer speakers (ie. output), you will also have playback through the USB mic headphones, if plugged in.  This can be good if those you are recording with are sitting far away from the computer — they will be able to hear you playing back files. 

 

Recording with multiple microphones in Audition

1. Once Audition is opened, select "Multitrack" in the top left corner. In this menu, name your session, select the file location and configure to the settings: 48000 Hz, 24 bits and Stereo mix. Press okay.

  • You may choose to use one of the templates in the dropdown menu such as "Podcast," but this is not necessary.

2. Delete unnecessary tracks by going to the top menu bar Multitrack>Tracks>Delete Selected Tracks.

3. Configure the Rode Mics so that each one has its own channel. To do so, Click on Default Stereo Input > Audio Hardware. Select the input as the Rode USB Mics Aggregate Device and the output as your computer's speakers. Press Okay.

4. Now go back to "Default Stereo Input" and press Mono>[01M] Rode USB Mics... and repeat this for the other channel selecting the other microphone.

5. Press the R button on each track to start monitoring audio.

6. When ready to record, press the red record button on the bottom middle of the multitrack session.