10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 26, 2013 3:32 AM by Ian R. Brown
Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,320 points)

My 2008 iMac has an Audio In port next to the headphone socket into which I can plug a preamp and mic or a walkman (remember those?) etc. via a 3.5mm stereo jack.

 

The new iMac doesn't appear to have an Audio In port?

 

Does this mean I will no longer be able to simply plug in my mic+preamp or walkman?

 

Having to  buy additional special equipment is not an option I wish to take!


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Little knowledge... many opinions.
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (25,715 points)

    No audio in on the new 2012 iMacs. You'll need to go through the USB port with an adaptor.

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,320 points)

    Thanks for the rapid response Frank.

     

    I have seen a Griffin iMic on Amazon UK for under 20 quid, which doesn't seem too exorbitant.

     

    This item appears to have a Mic and a Line In switch.

     

    Does that mean that I could use my existing mics without needing the preamp any more?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (25,715 points)

    The plug on the mics will determine this. If they are XLR (the connector found on more professional mics) then you would need to continue to use the pre-amp. If they have the standard phone connector then you could go straight into the Mic in on the Griffin.

     

    In this case you might want to compare the audio quality between using your pre-amp and the line in as opposed to  using the mic input. You might find you get better quality using the external pre-amp.

     

    One potential benefit to being forced to go the USB route for inputting audio is an increase in audio quality. By moving the A/D conversion outside of the computer there is less chance for interference from the electronics inside the computer.

     

    regards

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,320 points)

    Thanks Frank, your exposition has convinced me so much that I am going to buy the Griffin iMic for my existing computers  . .  .  .  .  regardless of whether I buy a new iMac.

     

    Incidentally all my mics are cheapo ones with either 3.5mm or 1/4" phone plugs.

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,815 points)

    One potential benefit to being forced to go the USB route for inputting audio is an increase in audio quality. By moving the A/D conversion outside of the computer there is less chance for interference from the electronics inside the computer.

     

    Balderdash.  For what my experience/opinion is worth, Ian, I don't agree with Frank's last statement.  I have for many years mixed analog audio and fed it to the audio-in port on many different Macs.  In my TV studio, in field recordings, and at home.  I can attest the audio quality has been uniformly excellent and I have never encountered "interference from the electronics inside the computer."

     

    Conversely, I have looked at and tried quite a few of the USB & FW enabled audio devices out there in the market (including the iMic) and am not impressed at all.  They seem to be just another way to waste your money on shoddy gear.  I personally am quite disappointed that Apple has begun to remove the audio-in port from recent iMacs and MacBookPros.  I purchased some of the last iMacs & MBPs that have audio-in ports for exactly that reason.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (25,715 points)

    Was the audio line in good enough for most users, especially home users? Yes. Was the audio line in used by most professionals? No.

     

    Keeping the analog signal as far away as possible from any potential source of interference is a good thing. Routing an analog cable over and around disks and power supplies and such can not have a good effect on the signal. Getting it digital as soon as possible can only help.

     

    Conversely, I have looked at and tried quite a few of the USB & FW enabled audio devices out there in the market (including the iMic) and am not impressed at all.

    Well you do get want you pay for

     

    No where in my post did I say this was a good thing on Apple's part, I said it was a potential benifit (emphasis added). I too am sorry to see it go, I use it extensively on my personal machine for digitizing my record collection. At some point I will need to buy a new system and the cost of an external A/D converter will have to be added to the cost of the machine as will the cost for a DVD drive.

     

    I do have to say however that this is the first time any post of mine has been called Balderdash, at least in such a lyrical way.

     

    regards

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,320 points)

    Greetings Martin and why didn't you come in sooner with the derogatory comments about the Griffin iMic, as within minutes of writing that last post, I ordered one for nearly 20 quid! 

     

    Now I'll be on bread and water until Easter to recoup the loss.

     

    Over the years in the FCE forum, I used to read favorable recommendations for it from esteemed contributors and the moment I finally force my parsimomious nature into abeyance, I discover that they are the lowest form of garbage and less use than a chainsaw in a neuro surgeon's operating theatre.

     

    (Note to self:- For the millionth time, try to avoid hyperbole.)

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,815 points)

    Hi Ian,

     

    Of course you will like the iMic ... you spent 20 quid on it!  Live long and stay happy!     And by the way, a pint wouldn't hurt.

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,815 points)

    I meant it tongue in cheek, and I'm impressed you considered it lyrical !

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,320 points)

    You were correct about the Mic setting on the iMic, Frank.

     

    Even with every Mac audio setting pushed to the maximum, the volume is pretty poor.

     

    Speaking loudly with the mic (I tested 3 different ones) an inch away from my mouth had the volume meters nowhere near the -12db mark.

     

    It can be used with the Mic setting but it's much better to use a preamp and the Line input.