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Q. Why can't I plug my Professional (XLR style connector) microphone into a standard 1/4" or 1/8" jack?
[Related Entries : AIFF Won't Import ]


A. The reason that you can't use a simple adaptor between the 3-pin XLR style cable and TR or even TRS type of jack is because the XLR style cables are Low Impedence (LoZ) and the 1/4" and 1/8" jacks are High Impedence (HiZ). When you attempt to connect the two it's like there's a wall between the connections, and most of the signal is reflected back.

The only solution

is to match the impedances with a transformer. There are two ways you can go about this, the less recommend method would be to buy an impedence Matching Transformer. It will work, but you're going to end up dealing with several adaptors (increasing the likelihood of noise in your recordings), and much less control over your input signal. A much better way

would be to use a mixing console or audio interface, both of which are designed for both LoZ and HiZ input. A mixing console can offer a lot more control over your signal, and as shown by the ones linked here, can be relatively cheap. If your recordings are mostly just for fun, this route should be fine. If you desire more a professional sound, even an inexpensive Audio Interface will offer better A/D converters than your Mac has, and again, more control over your input signal.
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GarageBand from Apple Computer uses audio loops and MIDI loops in Apple Loops format. It can work with Audio Units plug-ins. Apple Macintosh Compatible FireWire and USB interfaces can be used to connect Audio and MIDI instruments to your Mac, and be recorded into GarageBand.

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