Due to the poor sound quality of the previous CityDesk online demo, I decided to invest in a real studio quality microphone instead of using one of those cheap computer headset/mike combinations.
It took me a while to figure out what I needed. The mike itself is a Shure SM58, probably one of the most popular professional microphones in use today and generally available for about $100.
I bought the Mic from Sam Ash on 48th street, hoping that they would be able to get me the right combination of cables and adapters I needed to plug this thing into a standard sound card. The stoner DJ sales dude sounded very confident but he didn’t tell me that I needed a preamp, and he gave me the wrong kind of cables.
If you’re trying to do this yourself, here’s exactly what I have:
- the Shure SM58 microphone
- A basic desk stand. The clip part that connects the mike to the stand comes with the mike.
- a 3′ mic cable (it only needs to reach the preamp). I bought a CBI LowZ Microphone Cable from Zzounds.
- A preamp. This boosts the level of the microphone to something that is called “Line Level” which is what a computer sound card needs. I got an M-Audio AudioBuddy from Zzounds.
- To connect the preamp to the sound card, you need a cable with a 1/4″ stereo phone jack on one end and a 1/8″ stereo “mini” phone jack on the other end. I assembled this out of two cables which I bought at my neighborhood Radio Shack. For some reason the professional music stores like Sam Ash and Zzounds think it is beneath their dignity to stock any parts with 1/8″ jacks, but that is what your sound card needs.