Audio-Technica 2020 XLR microphone on Windows 8.1?

JP7PlaysMC

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Hello community!

Recently I've been pondering buying the AT2020 microphone (just a detail) and was thinking of getting the normal USB version, to save myself some hassle. As some of you might know, Windows 8 has some sort of driver problem with USB mics, so now I'm thinking of getting the AT2020 XLR version and buying something like a Blue Icicle to convert it into a USB signal and connecting it into my PC.

The main question is: Will this work? Will the volume levels still be affected?

I'm no Pro on these things, and since both mics would be connected to the computer via USB I really don't know why it'd matter if the original signal is USB or XLR. May someone enlighten me?
 

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fireberd

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I have a recording studio.

If I wanted a standard P.A. type mic to use with a PC, I would get either a small preamp to amplify the low level mic signal to a useable level by the PC (almost "line level"), or just get a USB connected recording interface unit. There are some inexpensive units that would do the job.

USB isn't a problem, that I've found with my USB devices, but if you are using Windows 8.1, some devices must have 8.1 devices to work or work properly. All my devices work on 8.1. I have a Roland Studio-Capture and an Octa-Capture USB recording interface units. A Behringer BCF2000 control surface and a Frontier Tranzport that only has Vista drivers but works OK.
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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So you say you haven't found any problem with using a mic connected to a USB recording interface unit and then to a computer?
Will the Blue Icicle work fine with no problems? Why would the volume levels mess up with a USB Mic and not an XLR Mic connected through USB?

Those are my 3 main questions.

Thanks for the input.
 

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fireberd

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Yes, I have Sonar (Platinum version) and have a dual-boot system, Win 7 and Win 8.1. My recording studio hardware (and Sonar) work exactly the same in both.

When you use USB, you are going Digital and bypass the PC's sound card. Thus the difference between a USB microphone and an Analog microphone that is connected to the PC's "mic" input. However, P.A. type microphones have a very low output and must be amplified to work properly with a PC sound card. A PC sound card input is almost "line level".

I can't say if the Blue Icicle works OK with 8.1. I have no experience with that mic (or any USB mic connected directly).
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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The Blue Icicle is a mix of a XLR to USB and Pre-amp. My PC doesn't have a sound card, so, unless you mean other thing, I didn't quite get it.
All I did get is that using a USB microphone and other type of mic converted to USB is completly different, correct me if I'm wrong though.

Thanks for bearing with me!
 

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fireberd

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What PC do you have? Practically all desktops come with a "sound card" (chip) built on the motherboard. All Laptops that I've seen have the sound "card".
 

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Edwin

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If it helps, I just bought the AT2020 and plugged it in. Windows found the drivers for it immediately.
(I'm am on Windows 10 TP though, but I'm sure it'll find the drivers on W8)
Decent mic for the price. :)
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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What PC do you have? Practically all desktops come with a "sound card" (chip) built on the motherboard. All Laptops that I've seen have the sound "card".

Oh, I thought you meant a dedicated sound card. I do have a desktop with integrated sound.
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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If it helps, I just bought the AT2020 and plugged it in. Windows found the drivers for it immediately.
(I'm am on Windows 10 TP though, but I'm sure it'll find the drivers on W8)
Decent mic for the price. :)

What version did you buy? The USB one? If so could you please tell me how are the audio levels on 30-40%? I've heard that, at those settings, thanks to the Windows 8 Audio Drivers (The AT has none, it's just "plug and play") the microphone sound is inaudible. At 100% the experience is equally bad, with the sound being a bit distorted.

If you went with the XLR version tell me more about how you achieved it to work.

Thanks a lot for the input!

P.S. I'll check if the new TP of Win 10 fixed it, thanks for the info).
 

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Edwin

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If it helps, I just bought the AT2020 and plugged it in. Windows found the drivers for it immediately.
(I'm am on Windows 10 TP though, but I'm sure it'll find the drivers on W8)
Decent mic for the price. :)

What version did you buy? The USB one? If so could you please tell me how are the audio levels on 30-40%? I've heard that, at those settings, thanks to the Windows 8 Audio Drivers (The AT has none, it's just "plug and play") the microphone sound is inaudible. At 100% the experience is equally bad, with the sound being a bit distorted.

If you went with the XLR version tell me more about how you achieved it to work.

Thanks a lot for the input!

P.S. I'll check if the new TP of Win 10 fixed it, thanks for the info).

I've got the USB version. Plug and Play; gain is set at 80% and acoustic guitar and vocals from approx. 18" to 24" away sounds surprizingly good; mind you, it was only recorded to W10 'Voice Recorder App'.
I don't have any studio software installed. (yet).
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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If it helps, I just bought the AT2020 and plugged it in. Windows found the drivers for it immediately.
(I'm am on Windows 10 TP though, but I'm sure it'll find the drivers on W8)
Decent mic for the price. :)

What version did you buy? The USB one? If so could you please tell me how are the audio levels on 30-40%? I've heard that, at those settings, thanks to the Windows 8 Audio Drivers (The AT has none, it's just "plug and play") the microphone sound is inaudible. At 100% the experience is equally bad, with the sound being a bit distorted.

If you went with the XLR version tell me more about how you achieved it to work.

Thanks a lot for the input!

P.S. I'll check if the new TP of Win 10 fixed it, thanks for the info).

I've got the USB version. Plug and Play; gain is set at 80% and acoustic guitar and vocals from approx. 18" to 24" away sounds surprizingly good; mind you, it was only recorded to W10 'Voice Recorder App'.
I don't have any studio software installed. (yet).

Did they fix it in the meantime? May I know which build you're using?

Sorry for being this naggy, it's just that buying a 100$ microphone for it not to work would be a huge hassle for me, so I'd like to be for sure it'll work fine.
I'll be standing 1-2 feet from the mic if that helps.

At this point I don't know if I should spend a little more to get the XLR version and other add-ons (like the pantom power, etc...) and be for sure it'll work, or get the USB version and have the risk of it not working. If I knew the latter was completly fine I wouldn't even blink, as its practicality outweighs the slightly better audio from the XLR for me.

Yet again, I can't thank you enough for bearing with me :).

P.S. Here's a thread about the problem I speak of: Low USB microphone recording volume (AT2020) - Microsoft Community
 

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Edwin

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I'm on Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview, Build 10061.
If you're going to go heavy into recording, mixing board and all, I'd go for the XLR version.
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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I'm on Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview, Build 10061.
If you're going to go heavy into recording, mixing board and all, I'd go for the XLR version.

I'm not going heavy into it, no. As I mentioned before the USB version, if working properly, would serve my purposes amazingly.
 

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Edwin

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I'm on Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview, Build 10061.
If you're going to go heavy into recording, mixing board and all, I'd go for the XLR version.

I'm not going heavy into it, no. As I mentioned before the USB version, if working properly, would serve my purposes amazingly.

I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with it.
So far, I use it mostly to invoke a Cortana query and can do so in a calm voice from practically anywhere in the room, whereas, with the webcam mic I had to get right up to it and pretty much yell at it.
 

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JP7PlaysMC

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I'm on Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview, Build 10061.
If you're going to go heavy into recording, mixing board and all, I'd go for the XLR version.

I'm not going heavy into it, no. As I mentioned before the USB version, if working properly, would serve my purposes amazingly.

I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with it.
So far, I use it mostly to invoke a Cortana query and can do so in a calm voice from practically anywhere in the room, whereas, with the webcam mic I had to get right up to it and pretty much yell at it.

Ok, that'd mean I would have to update to Windows 10 probably or wait for it to oficially come out. Again having a TP on my main desktop would come with its own risks, as advised my Microsoft. I wonder why the driver problem came in the first place, I mean, why try to mess with something that had worked fine for so long.... I don't get it.

Anyways, cheers and thanks for all the help.
 

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