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HT2494: Mac Basics: Ports and connectors

Learn about Mac Basics: Ports and connectors

HT2494 Can the headphone port be used as Mic-In? Can it be switched in settings of the Mac to Mic-in?

6143 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 3, 2013 12:59 PM by Csound1 RSS
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Jun 3, 2013 7:16 AM

Can the headphone port be used as Mic-In? Can it be switched in settings of the Mac to Mic-in?

Same question for Macbook Pro (particularly 2010 13" edition).

  • sanjampet Level 5 Level 5 (6,880 points)



    The 2010 13" will accept a LINE LEVEL signal, not a microphone signal as the mic does not have a strong enough level without being preamplfied. You can use an inline preamp or a mixing board to boost the level up to line level.


    For using at line level you would connect the source (mixer/preamped mic) to the headphone jack, go to system preferences>sound, click the input tab, "use audio port for:" select sound input from the drop down menu.


    The pane at the top should switch from Internal Microphone to Line In.


    Hope this helps

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,190 points)

    The Late 2012 iMac has no audio input, so you will need a third-party audio interface. Prices and quality range from the Griffin iMic at about US $40 to professional-quality input devices in the hundreds of dollars. Which would suit you will depend on your needs.



  • sanjampet Level 5 Level 5 (6,880 points)

    As varjak paw stated the iMac would need to have some sort of USB interface, the difference between line level and mic level is not a quality issue, it is a nominal electrical db level (not db as in sound pressure level, but db as used as a measurement unit electrically) line and mic level are approimatley 60 db in difference electrically in a log scale.


    That being said, I just checked using a transformer on a sm-58 into my 13" and although it would "see" it the levels would far below a usable signal.


    Can't speak for the Sony software as I am not familiar with it, and I don't use Windows (at least not for a long time).

    I suppose you might be able have someone write some code maybe, but buying the equipment that is required would be much less expensive and easier.


    Many choices of interfaces/preamps on line in many price/quality points.



  • sanjampet Level 5 Level 5 (6,880 points)

    The audio quality on a Mac is very good, the basic standard for music and other production is a Mac running protools.


    I have used my macs for recording live shows for... longer than I care to remember.

    Of course what you put in is what you get out. (Just like anything else) I have not used the Griffin iMic, but it would be a place to start looking, as it also depends on what you are exactly trying accomplish, studio professional results? probably not, very usable voice track probably yes. With anything that converts analog to digital it's usually all about the converters, as well as other factors that will affect the signal.


    But the Mac is certainly most capable of producing very good recordings, it would depend on how you get the signal in. You will need to do some research for yourself and see what will best suit your needs.



  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,190 points)

    The Griffin iMic would give you quality comparable to that found in the stanardard audio input found on most computers. I would consider that suitable for voice dictation and "scratch" recording of music, the sort of thing you'd be recording just to give someone an idea of what you are playing or just "musical notetaking". I would not want to use the Griffin or any standard input on a computer for anything you want to sound professional; those audio inputs just aren't designed for that.


    So again, we really would need to know your purchase and standard of quality you're looking for before we can offer any really valuable opinions.



  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,375 points)

    If you have not chosen a microphone purchase one with a USB interface (lots to choose from) Blue audio make some excellent models, as varjak stated, the audio inputs are consumer grade, quality will be limited by them.


    Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 2.58.02 PM.png


    Blue Yeti digital.


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