14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2014 12:44 PM by Joni71
Marcio @Mac Brasil Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
I had many problems trying to use the mic with Mac Mini.
I discovered that the line in requires some powered level for audion input.
It is very difficult to find a compatibility list of hardwares with Mac Mini:

1) USB compatible mics
2) Webcam with audio

I even tried to use my guitar amp connected to the Mac Mini but I got a huge noise.

My house voltage is 220V. I don´t know if the Mac Mini has any problem dealing with this kind of input.
Even with this huge noise, my voice was not recorded in Garageband, just a huge noise coming from the computer itself.

Any suggestions?

Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,870 points)
    You can find the tech specs for your Mac Mini model at http://support.apple.com/specs/#macmini. For most of them, under the "Audio" subheading, you will see a line that says, "Combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack)."

    "Audio line in" refers to the "line level" analog audio standard, perhaps the most widely supported audio standard in existence. The jacks on almost all analog audio devices operate at line level. About the only ones that don't are those intended for conventional microphones, guitar pickups, & phono cartridges, each of which generates a very weak signal that requires a specific type of pre-amplification to boost them to line level. Guitar amps have built-in preamps, but they are not designed for microphones & produce poor results with them.

    Various mixers & other devices have preamps designed for use with microphones, many fitted with 3 pin "XLR" jacks for use with pro & semi-pro mics as well as with 1/4" jacks for lower grade consumer ones. Some include both line level analog outputs that can be attached to any line input with appropriate cables & built-in USB interfaces to attach to the USB inputs of computers. M-Audio, Behringer, & many other companies make mic preamps with both analog & USB outputs commonly used for recording to computers, priced from as little as about $30 on up into the thousands, depending on the number of inputs & outputs they have & the accuracy of their components. The Griffin iMic is another such device, at one time popular with Mac users.
  • Marcio @Mac Brasil Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    R C-R,
    Thanks for your reply.
    But the sound problem seems pretty weird. Now I cannot get my headphones working. I tried to make a clean install after creating a clean partition from start.

    I can get my HDMI TV/monitor with sound, but now both input and output ports do not give signal of live.

    I have double checked connections of input and output.

    Some issues I've been wondering about. Is there any problem with the firmware and the sound drivers, firmware and internationalization of Voice Over Utility?

    Thank you very much,
    Marcio
  • Marcio @Mac Brasil Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Actually, the sound output to headset was solved by just adjusting manually the headset control

    But the microphone configuration is still a problem.
  • DarkPresence Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same if not a similar problem. I have a gaming headset with a built in mic (Creative Fatality1) and the mic doesn't work at all with the mac mini (bought the mac mini 2 months ago brand new). I have tested the headset on a pc and it works fine.

     

    I bought a Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Amigo II USB Sound Card & Headset Adapter and still nothing.

     

    Again the headphones work, but the mic gets nothing.

     

    I'm going to try and get another mic to test the Audio-In port, but any help would be appreciated.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,870 points)

    I can't find much info on this headset but it appears to be intended for Windows & requires a driver for all its features to work. Without a Mac version of the driver, the mic may not work at all, or its default output be set too low to be useable with no way to change that.

     

    If you intend to check the audio in port on the Mini, keep in mind it is not a mic input. It requires a line level source (like the output of a stereo) that is much higher volume than a typical un-amplified mic provides.

  • DarkPresence Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The headset/mic combo did not come with drivers and I never installed any when I used it on my old PC. It also just works on my current Windows PC laptop.

     

    I think you may be on to something with the line level comment--although I admit I'm not sure what the port is good for if I need to amplify every source I plug into it.

     

    I bought a,Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Amigo II USB Sound Card & Headset Adapter, but that doesn't seem to work for the mic either which confuses me even more... or does the mic need a boost of some kind to work with a mac even via a usb port?

     

    I tried running it through the 3.5 stereo input on an older M-Audio Pre I have but that didn't work either.

     

    I tried contacting the headphone manufacturer, but they put me off telling me, basically; if it works on a PC it's not their problem.

     

    Can you recommend a good gaming heaset/mic combo that might work with the mac? I can't find anyone online that have any suggestions and I'm the end of my rope with making this current headset/mic work.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    DarkPresence wrote:

     

    I think you may be on to something with the line level comment--although I admit I'm not sure what the port is good for if I need to amplify every source I plug into it.

    Not 'every source'. Only sources which do not provide a (consumer) line level signal.

    I bought a,Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Amigo II USB Sound Card & Headset Adapter, but that doesn't seem to work for the mic either which confuses me even more

    You have to check the specs and docs which came with this hardware.

    ... or does the mic need a boost of some kind to work with a mac even via a usb port?

    That depends on the hardware connected to the USB port, not on the Mac.

    I tried running it through the 3.5 stereo input on an older M-Audio Pre I have but that didn't work either.

    What kind of input does the 'older M-Audio Pre' expect?

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,870 points)

    I'm confused. The little info I've found on the headset/mic combo suggests it is a USB device that doesn't have any analog outputs that you could plug into the Turtle Beach or M-Audio devices.

     

    Can you furnish a link to the headset's tech specs or explain what you are doing in more detail?

  • DarkPresence Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is the model headset I have...mine is about a year older, but it looks largely unchanged:

    http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Fatal1ty-Gaming-Headset/M/B002DS4HTM.htm

    Click on Specification half way down the page.

     

    The M-Audio Pre is an external USB device designed to allow you to plug your guitar/voice/etc in and get audio into something like pro tools or garage band.

     

    What I said earlier...I plugged the mic into the 1/8" stereo mic input and the Mac mini still couldn't pick up the sound... and yes I changed the setting under System preferences, as well as the settings in the audio midi setup tool in the utilities folder.

     

    The Turtle beach device:

    http://voicerecognitionsoftware.co/turtle-beach-audio-advantage-amigo-ii-usb-sou nd-card-headset-adapter/

     

     

    I guess basically what i am asking is:

     

    Line Level Input won't accept the analog? mic input from my headset because the mic's signal is not strong enough... True/False?

     

    Why hasn't my attempts to run this mic through those 2 USB inputs worked?

     

    And thanks for your attention on this I really do appreciate it.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,870 points)

    Thanks for the headset link. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything on that page that said "Specification" or anything like that, but it does show that the headset uses a pair of analog plugs & not a USB interface, so that much is no longer confusing me.

     

    While I still can't find any really useful tech specs, I did find a review that mentioned that the mic is a "Noise Canceling Condenser" type. That means it needs power to function: it's usually only a tiny amount if it is an electret condenser type (which it almost certainly is), but without it the built-in circuitry that is a preamp/signal conditioner of sorts won't turn on & the mic's tiny little signal won't go anywhere.

     

    A common if not very standardized way to get power to these things is through a 3 conductor mini-plug (the same kind of plug used for stereo headphones or earbuds). The headset has two 3 conductor plugs so it's a safe bet that the mic one uses some form of this arrangement. The problem is without complete tech specs I don't know exactly how it is wired or what voltage it should be. The mic jack on your PC is probably wired up to do this but it seems neither the Turtle Beach nor M-Audio are, so that's why the mic doesn't work with them. ("Phantom power" on M-Audio interfaces is not intended for this & the voltage may be too high even if turning it on applies it to its mini jack, so I advise against trying that unless you can find something in the M-Audio user manual that says it's OK to do that.)

     

    I hope this answers your questions, even if doesn't provide a solution. The basic problem is more about getting a safe amount of power to the mic than it is about it's signal level (but that still might be too low for good results even if you come up with a way to do that).

  • DarkPresence Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Here are specs:

     

    Technical Specifications


    Driver Units - 40mm Neodymium

    Frequency Response - 20Hz - 20kHz

    Impedance - 32ohms

    Sensitivity (1kHz) - 110dB/mW

    Microphone Type - Noise Canceling Condenser

    Frequency Response - 100Hz - 15kHz

    Impedance -10ohms

    Sensitivity - (1kHz) - -40dBv / Pa

    Cord Length - 8 feet

    Input / Output Plugs 1/8" (3.5mm) gold-plated stereo miniplugs

    Net Weight - 7oz / 200g

     

    I think the answer is in what you said about "the built-in circuitry that is a preamp/signal conditioner of sorts won't turn on & the mic's tiny little signal won't go anywhere."

     

    I'm still not sure why the M-Audio and Turtle beach doesnt work, but i suppose I'll chalk that up to not understanding frequency very well. I suppose at this point I have to break down and buy a new headset...

     

    Do you have any recommendations for Mac mini?

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,870 points)

    It isn't about the frequency but about the power needed to get the mic circuitry to work. Your two USB interfaces (apparently) don't supply it so you need to find something that will. It is possible that the Griffin iMic will do this, but it depends on how the headset's mic connector is wired. (The iMic FAQ pages do mention it supplying preamp power with the switch in the 'mic' position, which is promising but no guarantee.)

     

    Before buying one, if I were you I would contact Griffin's tech support to see if they have any helpful advice about that. Failing that, if possible I would buy it from a local store with a good return policy so if it doesn't work you won't have any hassles doing that.

  • DarkPresence Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I think I get it...

     

    That's why I bought the Turtle beach thingy... if I take a chance on the Griffen iMic and it doesn't work i've essentially paid for a new headset. I think I'll have to pass these on to my wife and go buy a new headset combo.... any suggestions for mac compatible ones?

  • Joni71 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Maybe this can sound too simple ...BUT did you selected

    the ext sound card in Sound Panel (system preferences>sound>input)

    must work...