USB audio input devices

Naomi Palosaari naomi.palosaari at UTAH.EDU
Tue May 25 13:16:41 UTC 2010

I have heard good reports of the M-Audio USB Pre also (but never tried  
it myself).

A cheap USB interface device which does this is the iMic (about  
$35USD). I carry one around with me as an emergency tool. In my  
experience, it has automatically interfaced with the computer, so I  
haven't had to figure out how to add it as a recording/listening  
device. It goes from USB to stereo (3.5mm) plug and can be switched  
from microphone to speaker/headphone function, and it can also  
function to boost speaker output a bit which can be handy if you are  
trying to play something and need the speakers just a bit louder.

It has no way adjust input or output directly, so that must be done on  
the computer software end or the microphone/speaker end, or both. This  
is definitely not the device I would choose if it was my only option  
in the field. But it does come in handy for some tasks, and I have  
used it for emergency situations to record direct to the computer. And  
it also can be useful if you run across a cassette tape which a  
community member is not willing to let out of their possession, since  
you can use it to digitize from a cassette player (as long as a player  
has a headphone jack which is 3.5mm size can be located) directly to  
your laptop.

Naomi Palosaari
Center for American Indian Languages
University of Utah

On May 25, 2010, at 4:03 AM, Ken Manson wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have been using the M-audio USB Pre and are very happy with the  
> results.
> .
> Direct recording to computer (without the M-audio device) often  
> caused the recording to skip/crash – just way too much data for my  
> laptop’s sound card to handle.
> Currently here in Thailand M-audio products are on special (wish I  
> had waited) and the USB pre can be picked up for around USD100 (the  
> US website lists it at USD179).
> With the M-audio USB pre I am able to record in stereo or mono with  
> Audacity (and Sony SoundForge) with no problems.
> The only problem with the M-audio is that it is possible to get a  
> blue screen by unplugging it while the computer is still running.
> Ken Manson
> From: John Hatton [mailto:john_hatton at]
> Sent: Tuesday, 25 May 2010 1:41 PM
> To: 'Daryn McKenny'; Resource-Network-Linguistic-Diversity at
> Subject: RE: USB audio input devices
> >Supposedly the H4N can do it:
> Thing is, the H2 had a similar claim, but when I actually tried it,  
> it was limited to some lower frequency/bit level (I forget the  
> details).  So now I’m wary...
> John Hatton
> SIL Papua New Guinea, Palaso, & SIL International Software Development
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG -
> Version: 9.0.819 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2894 - Release Date:  
> 05/25/10 01:26:00

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