The list below is hardly exhaustive, but it will give you
an idea of the kind of audio setups that are available on
Macintosh systems. If your system is among those listed the
information shown may help you get a better idea as to how
to record audio with your Mac.
Typical sound input selectors (Edit menu:
Preferences/Recording using Studio or Recorder) are:
- Internal Microphone (sometimes "built-in"). This is
the microphone built into the body of your Mac.
- External Microphone/Line in. This is any microphone
that will plug into and work through your Mac's audio in
port. A PlainTalk microphone will usually work here.
(These were fun to use. Some older PPC's came with a
PlainTalk mic as standard equipment.) Microphones like
this usually are amplified and the signal they input to
the computer is said to be at "line level".
- Sound In/Line in. This is also for the audio port but
usually will only work with so-called "line level"
inputs. A portable CD player could be connected here
using audio cable running from the headphone jack of the
player to the computer.. The player provides the
amplification in this case.
- CD Audio. This usually only appears under OS 9.
- USB audio. Different devices will show up with
different labels. Microphones that connect through USB
interfaces are recorded using this selector.
Examples of USB microphone interfaces:
- Condenser microphones require external power, or like
a PlainTalk (which is a condenser microphone) a means to
draw power from the computer.
- Dynamic microphones generate their own electricity
from the sound signal they capture. This is a low
amplitude signal that must be amplified to line level. A
dynamic microphone can usually be connected to a USB
interface such as