Peripherals forum

Resolved Question

Microphone jack confusion

by GeekyMan / March 15, 2014 8:25 PM PDT

Hi all
I am going to be buying some things for a home recording studio and I am having some confusion over cables.
My laptop has a Microphone/Speaker combo port, so I am guessing that there is a special cable for microphones. Is this right? My setup will be a Behringer C-1 Condenser -> Male XLR to Female XLR -> Behringer PS400 -> Female XLR to Stereo 1/4 jack -> 1/4 Stereo jack to 3.5mm -> Laptop combo port. Will this work? Am I missing something?
Thanks in advance,
Ben Tomsett

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by GeekyMan

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Small world.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2014 3:24 AM PDT

My son has this setup.

1. Behringer XM1800S (XLR mics)
2. Tascam DR-40

Really nice for recording then later off to the PC to dub it into the video.

Sorry but I haven't seen a direct connect to the PC but I bet it can be done.

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Main Question
by GeekyMan / March 19, 2014 5:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Small world.

Ok, so I bought everything, but my main question stands, why does my laptop's combo jack not recognise the cable as a microphone. On my Sound panel, under the playback tab there are Speakers (High Definition Audio Device) and Headphones (HDAD), and under the recording tab there is only a Microphone (HDAD) which is the built in mic. Is this a driver issue or what?

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Good question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 19, 2014 5:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Main Question

Remember that up until a few years ago, microphone jacks were just inputs and at no time was there "detection" that you plugged in any microphone.

-> While you can ask about this, all I have is "my laptop" so at this point you have to ask your laptop's maker how they implemented microphone detection.

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by GeekyMan / March 20, 2014 3:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Good question.

Thanks guys, I asked Asus, and they said that if your computer does not detect a microphone even after reinstalling the proper drivers, then your laptop does not have microphone support. I'm just going to buy a Usb sound card.

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Re: microphone
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 15, 2014 9:08 PM PDT

A stereo jack might give a much stronger signal than a microphone. Any old HiFi amplifier had different inputs for microphone, phone and AUX or tuner, which expected different voltages and would blow up if you chose the wrong one.
Since the Behringer is a pre-amplifier, I expect it should go into the AUX port, not the microphone port. I'd start with a male XLR to 3.5mm cable without using the Behringer to amplify the signal.


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Phantom power
by GeekyMan / March 15, 2014 9:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: microphone

Hi Kees, thanks for your response,
I thought that because the Behringer C-1 was a condenser, it needed a phantom power supply. The Behringer was (I thought) a phantom power supply. Have I been mislead? Or am I very confused indeed?

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Re: Behringer
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 15, 2014 10:11 PM PDT
In reply to: Phantom power

I went to and there it's categorized as pre-amplifier (see bread crump trail). Which made me think it amplifies the signal.
But now I looked at the picture and I see the output is labeled as 'mic thru' which makes me think it just passes the signal without amplifying it.

Somewhat confusing for me (just as for you). Maybe the manual tells more?

Anyway, sorry for my mis-informed answer. Maybe somebody else knows better.


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Would it work?
by GeekyMan / March 16, 2014 12:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Behringer

If I did go and buy the stuff today, would everything work a-ok? Would my mic/headphone combo port recognise my mic as a mic (it previously has not)? Would I need a special cable?
Thanks again,
Ben Tomsett

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