You are here

Plug It In

Plug It In
by Gary Woods

It's become really easy to make digital audio recordings of whatever you want. Whether you're a Podcaster like me or you have a band that really needs to be preserved for posterity the digital recording age is here. To make these digital recordings happen all you need is a microphone with a USB plug on the other end. But, a lot of these microphones are pretty cheesy and make those glorious tones you and your crew makes sound like they were sung through a comb and tissue paper.

If you've been in a band for a while you've probably got a really good microphone somewhere in kit but it definitely doesn't have a USB plug on the end. So to get those recordings up to the quality you'd like Shure ( has come up with the X2u which is an XLR-to-USB converter. For $129 you can plug any mic with an XLR connector into your laptop without having to carry a bulky external interface.

The unit is approximately 5 inches long and 1 inch wide and comes with a carrying pouch and a USB cable. The X2u has controls for mic gain, volume and monitor as well as an indicator light that shows when the unit is connected to USB and if you've really got a nice mic that requires phantom power there's a +48V power switch with a status light.

The device works with either Mac or PC and requires no drivers showing up as an output on Ableton Live, Apple Logic Pro and GarageBand. So if you're ready to bring your recordings to the next level check out the X2u.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc