How to Use an External Microphone on MacBook Pro

Written by jennifer brown
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How to Use an External Microphone on MacBook Pro
Get rocking with your MacBook Pro. (girl singing image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com)

So, you have a MacBook Pro and want to plug in your own microphone instead of using the built-in one. Chances are, you quickly found out that just plugging your mic into your Mac's audio input jack (the circular jack plug that has a symbol of a circle with two triangles pointing inward next to the port) isn't working. This is because a traditional microphone captures analogue sound, but your computer only recognises digital sound. Fortunately, there is a simple solution that only requires purchasing a new mic or the right equipment to make your mic compatible.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • USB mic or analogue-to-digital converter

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Purchase either a USB mic or an analogue-to-digital converter. The difference between these is that the USB mic is (as the name implies) a microphone; an analogue to digital converter, on the other hand, is a converter box that you plug your old microphone into, so only get this if you want to use your old microphone. These will run between £32 to £97, depending on what you purchase.

  2. 2

    Plug the old microphone into the "Input" jack of the analogue-to-digital converter if you purchased one. This is the only step that is different from getting a USB mic to work on a MacBook Pro, so the rest of the instructions are for installing either a USB mic or an analogue-to-digital converter.

  3. 3

    Turn on the MacBook, and plug the USB cable of your USB mic or analogue-to-digital converter into one of your Mac's open USB ports. An icon for your USB mic or analogue-to-digital converter will show up on the screen.

  4. 4

    Go to "System Preferences," and select "Sound" on the MacBook. Then go to the "Input" option, and select your USB mic or analogue-to-digital converter, and then click "OK." Begin using your microphone.

  5. 5

    Open the program that you are going to record in. Go to program's "Preferences," and select "Audio Preferences." Under the "Audio Input" or "Recording Device" option, select the USB mic or analogue-to-digital converter, and then click "OK." Click the "Record" button, and begin using the microphone.

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