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Are USB Mics Good for Recording Music?

USB microphone near the laptop.

If you are a musician, you often find yourself needing to record at home when your creativity is spontaneously flowing. Maybe you are trying to learn how to create music straight from your bedroom, independent of studio time or anyone else’s. 

To crack the code for bedroom music and do-it-yourself music creation, there are times you need to use tools that are simplified. One of these tools happens to be the USB microphone. 

The USB microphone has grown in popularity through the years. Many people use them, such as Twitch streamers, podcast hosts, and YouTube content creators. The USB mic is a diverse tool that meets many individual needs. 

As for whether or not the USB microphone can withstand recording music, the short answer is that it can! A high-quality USB microphone can meet the needs of a DIY musician who is only recording one track at a time. In this case, a person must record each instrument and vocal track separately. 

However, because it is such a simplified tool, it does not need any extra hardware than a normal condenser microphone may need. 

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What are the advantages of a USB microphone?

USB Microphone, TONOR Computer Cardioid Condenser PC Gaming Mic with Tripod Stand & Pop Filter for Streaming, Podcasting, Vocal Recording, Compatible with Laptop Desktop Windows Computer, TC-777

There are a handful of advantages to owning a USB microphone. When it comes to recording music, it is an easy-to-use tool that does not require any extra hardware or drivers for your computer. 

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The USB microphone is beneficial in a whole slew of ways. 

No need for an extra source of electric power. 

A USB microphone has phantom power inside the USB connection itself, so it does not need another electric power source to turn on or operate. 

A normal condenser microphone that is normally used for recording needs an extra source of power before it is plugged into any recording equipment. This allows the microphone to turn on and work properly to record. 

A USB microphone does not need this since the power source comes directly through its USB connection. This will benefit your wallet, and also your recording setup. There is no need for any extra cables or hardware. 

Record on your phone.

Some USB microphones come with the option to record through an iOS mobile smartphone or even an iPad. Some microphones can support other platforms as well, like Android smartphones. 

If you need to record on the go or have limited tools for your disposal, a USB microphone will allow you to record high-quality audio through your mobile device. 

To find out if the USB microphone you are interested in does support using a smartphone, check for the device’s specifications before buying. If this is something that you do need, it is best to assume that not all USB microphones have this capability. 

Easy to use. 

A USB microphone simply plugs in and the rest is history. You do not need to download any extra drivers or worry about any other hardware. 

A USB microphone is an easy, plug-and-play type of tool. 

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Low cost.

Unlike a regular condenser microphone that may need extra chords, amps, or electrical power, a USB microphone is an all-in-one tool that has a lower cost compared to its counterparts. 

The microphone itself is usually more cost-efficient than a normal microphone and no extra parts are added to your bill!

When is a USB microphone not a good choice for recording? 

Musician recording on his workstation.

For some people, a USB microphone may not be a great fit. If you need to record multiple instruments or tracks at once, this may not be the tool for you. 

A USB microphone can only handle recording one track at a time. So you will need to record one track individually, and then your next track. 

A cheaper USB microphone can also only handle a certain amount of maximum sound. If your instruments or amps are too loud, you may damage the microphone. In this case, you will find yourself replacing this type of microphone frequently. 

However, if you are a beginner musician or want a simple setup, a USB microphone is a diverse and easy tool. 

How do you use a USB microphone to record music? 

Woman recording music.

A USB microphone only needs a few things when it comes to using it. When you are ready to record music you just need to follow a few easy steps. 

1. Choose a recording space. 

When you are about to record music with any microphone, you must choose a recording space. Recording spaces in your room will gather a lot of extra sound from the surroundings. 

If you are recording in your room, try and create a small area with sound panels to limit the extra white noise that will flow into your microphone. 

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If you are not limited to a certain room. It is best to find a quiet, small space that has a limited amount of echo and noise. Make sure any fans are off and even check to make sure your AC is not blowing in the direction of your recording area. 

2. Set up your USB microphone. 

Setting up your USB microphone will be the easiest part of your recording project. Simply plug the USB microphone into your computer and properly choose the input and output sound on your recording software. 

3. Use headphones. 

When you are recording music, make sure to have headphones ready. This way, you can record at the correct tempo as your other tracks. 

Headphones are also useful so that no other sounds bleed into the track you are recording. It will limit the echo of other sounds and isolate the one track you are recording. 

What should you look for in a USB microphone? 

Man setting up his USB microphone.

When you are buying a USB microphone there are a handful of things for you to look out for. You may not want to buy a USB microphone on the market. If you buy the cheapest tool you see, you will find yourself replacing it quite frequently. 

It is best to check what your needs are and find what each USB microphone has to offer. When looking for a USB microphone, it is a good idea to check the following: 

  • Is it a dynamic microphone or a condenser? A condenser microphone is best for recording piano tracks and vocals. While a dynamic microphone works best with guitars and drums. 
  • Smartphone capability. If you need to record on your smartphone, check to make sure it can. 
  • Check the resolution. The higher the resolution, the greater the quality of the sound and the more the microphone will capture. Most USB microphones lately are of good quality. However, it is best to check the resolution before buying. 
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If you find yourself looking for a USB microphone, be sure to check the specifications and that it meets your needs.