I’ve just realized that the line-in port in Macbook is actually not for microphone. At the first time i bought it, i was wondering where was the mic-in port? (Picture 1). I thought nothing was strange about it, perhaps Apple has different idea about sound input, let’s say maybe somehow Jonathan Ive figured out how to put mic-in and line-in together in one line-in port. Nope, that’s wrong.

Picture 1. Mac's Ports

It turns out that mic-in is powered by the sound card, while line-in is not. So, when we plug in your microphone–for calling with Skype, for example–in Mac’s line in, we’ll be disappointed because we’ll hear none of what you’ve spoken. The microphone isn’t working without power, so no matter how loud we yell, nothing comes up. So, without additional tools, we only have Mac’s internal microphone that is located near the webcam. It’s quite sensitive though, so it will be sufficient for recording our voice.

But if we still want to use external microphone, there are several alternatives:

  • USB mic.
  • Audio-to-usb device like iMic (Picture 2). Plug in our standard stereo mic to mic-in port.

    Picture 2. iMic

  • Bluetooth mic.

Once when i recorded my guitar playing, i used Korg’s contact microphone (Picture 3) that was connected to line-in port. It works just fine, although i had to use an amplifier to boost the sound. Is it different between voice and contact microphone? Yeah, i think it’s because contact mic works as line-in device. Very well, then.

Picture 3. Contact Mic

Picture credit: [1], [2], [3]

Related topics:

  • http://blogs.computerworld.com/mac_microphone_line_in_only_port_is_a_real_drag
  • http://www.biloca.com/blog/?p=25
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4 Responses to Macbook’s Mic in Line-in

  1. Arya says:

    Wiiii… -waiting for another recorded classical guitar performance-

  2. Agung says:

    @Arya: Sorry to say Ya, i still need to find the perfect microphone to record acoustic instruments like guitar. Contact microphone is not meant for such purpose. It delivers flat and ugly sound for recording, since it was made only for tuning.

  3. Hurama says:

    Pak agung, beli imic nya dimana ya? Saya lagi butuh bgt pak. Tolong dibantu ya :)

  4. Agung says:

    @Hurama: Posisi dimana? Biasanya ada di Apple Store, saya di Bandung pernah lihat barangnya.

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