How to Make a USB Mic

Written by gary wolfe
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How to Make a USB Mic
A microphone can directly connect to your computer via USB. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Microphones are used to transmit voice or other sounds to another audio device, such as an amplifier, PA or mixing board. You can even connect a microphone directly to your computer. To do this, you need to create a USB microphone cable that has a USB male connection on one end and the connection for your microphone on the other end.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mic cable
  • Wire stripper
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • USB adaptor

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    Modify a Microphone Cable

  1. 1

    Remove the existing connecting end of a microphone cable.

  2. 2

    Strip 1/8 inch of insulation off each wire in the mic cable, and twist the wire strands together.

  3. 3

    Solder the ends of the cable to the pins of a male USB cable adaptor using a soldering iron and electrical solder. The cable adaptor will indicate pin connections on its packaging.

  4. 4

    Connect the USB end of the modified XLR cable to an available USB port on your computer.

Tips and warnings

  • Microphones can connect to any computer that supports USB devices. They don't need additional drivers or programs to work on a computer system.
  • Condenser mics needs phantom power. Most computers are not configured to work with condenser mics, and most good-quality sound cards do not possess phantom power, either. In this case, you need an external mixer or phantom power interface.

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