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Audio Interface Recommendations

  • Recording and/or streaming with a computer can be done with a 3Dio microphone by using an audio interface. An audio interface is a device that has two primary functions:

    1. It boosts the volume of the signal from a microphone level to a line level.
    2. It converts that analog signal from the microphone into a digital signal that a computer can understand.

    Not all audio interfaces are compatible. The audio interface will need to have at least 2 (two) identical channels.

    • When using a 3Dio FS model, the audio interface must have two (2) 1/4" inputs (or combo inputs). To connect the FS model to a 1/4" input or a combo input, you'll need to use a 3.5mm to dual 1/4" splitter cable like this.
    • When using a 3Dio FS XLR or Pro II model, the audio interface must have two (2) XLR or two (2) 1/4" inputs. To connect an FS XLR or Pro II model to the XLR inputs, you'll need two (2) 3-pin XLR cables like this.

    These audio interfaces are affordable and will work with all FS series microphones:

    #1 - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - The Scarlett 2i2 offers 2 identical 1/4"/XLR combo inputs which is compatible with all 3Dio 2-ear mics. It also has a stereo headphone output, which bypassing any potential latency issues. This is ideal for live streaming and monitoring via headphones during recordings.

    #2 - Presonus Audiobox USB 96 - The Audiobox is a great, affordable option. Nearly identical in sound quality when compared to the Scarlett. However, it doesn't offer L/R panning of each channel for the headphone output, which makes it not binaural. When monitoring via the headphone output of the computer, you may experience a lag in the audio. This can usually be fixed by changing the buffer settings, but not all recording/livestreaming apps offer that ability.

    When plugging headphones directly into the headphone output of an audio interface, it is important to make sure that any adapters used, like a 3.5mm to 6.35mm (1/8" to 1/4") adapter, must be compatible with the either TRS or TRRS or TRRRS connectors, or some combination of them. Incompatibility can result in one channel (L or R) not being heard, or cutting out. It may also introduce static. If one channel cannot be heard, the signal going into the computer should be fine; it is only the headphone output that is affected by the adapter/headphone incompatilibility.

  • Hi, What about the Omni Binaural Microphone?

  • @Adam Buchanan Great question! For the Omni, a minimum of 8 channels is needed to process simultaneously. A few things to keep in mind:

    • Every Omni microphone comes with (4) 5-pin to dual 3-pin XLR cables in 10' length for a total of 8 outputs. No extra cables are needed.
    • Each output requires phantom power to power the microphone capsules in the mic. A device that is equipped to provide at least 8-channels of phantom power simultaneously is needed.
    • If recording directly into a computer, the CPU must be able to handle recording 8 channels of audio simultaneously.

    There are several solutions available:

  • Hi,
    Thanks for the very detailed and indepth reply!
    Yes I was thinking more on the filed recording side, but thanks for all the various suggesions. Great to know 3Dio's official thoughts. 

    What are your thoughts on Sound Devices MixPre-10 II II Multitrack 32-Bit Field Recorder vs the F8N zoom f8n multitrack field-recorder? Certainly the MixPre is far more $$. But in your opinion do you think the MixPre-10 is worth extra cost?

  • @Adam Buchanan Good question. We love Zoom products and have quite a few of them here in the 3Dio office. However, the Sound Devices MixPre-10 does have better preamps and 32-bit float functionality, which the Zoom F8 currently does not (as of May 2021). I think it all boils down to what your needs are. If you feel you need the best of the best, then it doesn't get much better than Sound Devices. Zoom makes really great recorders too and we use the F8 for recording with our Omni microphones.

    If you are recording in a professional setting for high quality film production, then I would say the Sound Devices MixPre-10 is the way to go. Honestly, you can't really go wrong with either of these!

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