How to Hook Up a Condenser MIC to a Computer

By Larry Amon

A microphone
i home recording image by Rachwalski Andrzej from

A condenser microphone is one of the more popular choices for recording in studios, and reasonably priced condenser microphones can be found for home recording applications. Many home recording studios use computers as their primary method of recording because many people have computers and recording digitally is the simplest way for many beginning home recording enthusiasts.

Purchase a mixer. Though you can connect some microphones to a computer without a mixer, a mixer will give you greater control and more flexibility. Most condenser microphones require phantom power, which a mixer can provide. You can purchase small, inexpensive mixers designed for just a few microphones.

Buy and install a sound card that can has the ability to connect a quarter-inch jacks. Most mixers can output through quarter-inch jacks, which will allow you to capture the sound from the mic on the computer through the sound card. Connect the microphone to the mixer and the mixer to the sound card.

Install recording software. Windows has a built-in sound recorder, but it is very limited. You'll want to install a better application, such as Adobe Audition or Audacity or Cakewalk. These programs allow you to record and edit the audio that comes into your computer and also provide many useful tools.