Using USB Mics

The Blue Mic in the Podcasting Room and the Audio Technica 2005USB in the Sound Rom are USB mics. To use these mics for recording, make sure they are plugged in and do the following:

1.) Open Audacity, the recording application you will be using. To do this, press the Command and F key (for “find”), type “Audacity” in the search box, and click on the application when it appears in the search results.
2.)
In Audacity, select in the mic dropdown, “Blue USB” or “Audio Technica 2005USB, depending on the room you are using, and in the speaker dropdown select either “External Headphones,” if you have plugged in headphones to the audio jack in the back of the computer, or “iMac Speakers,” if you just want to use the computer speakers.

3.) To set the recording levels, click on “click to start monitoring.” You should see a green bar appear.

Left: Where to click to see levels, Right: The meter levels

If you are not seeing levels, make sure the mic level in Audacity is up.

The slider for turning up the mic levels

Speak into the mic at the volume you will be speaking during your recording and be the distance you plan to be from it. Adjust the mic levels using the slider so that at the loudest you will speak, the green hits between -12 and -6. Going above -6 can lead to distortion. (Learn more about using Audacity to record.)