Maybe you already know something about XLR and USB microphones. For example, XLR microphones sound more professional, USB microphones are more amateur microphones, and so on.
But I have to say, as an audio engineer, I will choose two microphones, just switch according to different usage scenarios.
What is XLR?
So what is XLR? Obviously, it cannot connect directly to your computer.
The three-pin XLR cable (three-pin XLR cable) can be said to be the most common. Whether it is a recording studio, home studio, or on-site equipment, almost all need to be connected through XLR.
Since XLR is an analog connector, you need to use a sound card to enter the digital world.
XLR is a standard connection port for recording studios tailored for professional audio equipment.
Why do XLR microphones need a sound card?
This is an entry-level sound card, which can be connected to your computer via a USB interface.
It contains many different interfaces, including XLR interfaces, which are not available in USB microphones.
For me, one of the main advantages of a sound card is that it can record multiple microphones at the same time. For example, this sound card has two microphone inputs. Of course, you can also choose to connect one to the guitar and the other to the microphone.
In the case of professional recording, the sound card generally accesses many microphone input signals at the same time.
Advantages of using XLR
If you want to get in touch with and learn to record, it would be more reasonable to get started with XLR.
In this way, it is easier for you to upgrade your equipment. For example, you can change the microphone as you like, so that in the learning process, you will get more and more equipment, until the equipment in your home piles up.
Believe me, once you jump into the equipment pit, there is no retreat! (Of course, the beauty here is only known when it comes!)
But please make sure that the professional equipment you start with is compatible with each other!
What is USB?
As you know, USB is an international interface, which is mainly used to connect your computer and various peripheral devices.
For example, your keyboard, printer, hard disk, gamepad, etc., as long as it is not a wireless device, you need a USB connection.
USB 2.0 connector
The full name of USB is Universal Serial Bus (Universal Serial Bus). It is an external bus standard used to standardize connection, communication and energy supply.
Advantages of USB microphones
A USB microphone is actually a condenser or dynamic microphone integrated with an analog-to-digital converter, so a USB microphone does not require a sound card.
The USB microphone is plug and play, especially suitable for online communication. It is a good choice when you are tired of the sound quality of your computer's built-in microphone.
The biggest advantage of USB microphones is easy to use
The disadvantage is that it lacks hardware output and cannot perform component upgrades.
Can a USB microphone achieve the sound quality of a studio condenser microphone? of course can! Because both use similar capsules and circuits, and both are analog signal to digital signal output. The sound quality is mainly determined by the amount of energy invested in the production of the product.
I can use both, just choose according to specific usage scenarios.
For online meetings, games and live broadcasts, I prefer to use a USB microphone because it is very convenient. It has built-in routing software, tailored for the above scenarios, and it even specially designed a mute button.
When professional recording is required, such as dubbing, vocals, musical instruments, etc., I will choose XLR microphones so that I can choose an analog-to-digital converter according to my preference, and I can also change different microphones according to my needs.