USB mic question

I am having an online guitar lesson Friday morning and while testing my set up I realized that plugging my condenser mic into my AI, wearing headphones, having the guitar sound come out of my amp, potentially having a backing track play through my laptop speakers - well that’s a crappy set up. And wearing headphones for an hour while talking and playing does not sound comfortable. Would a USB mic work, so I just have to plug it into my laptop and that would pick up me talking, my amp, laptop speakers if necessary, and my teacher on the other end?

A friend of mine has a USB mic and I’m hoping to borrow it from him tomorrow, but I don’t know if that will be a good set up.

Any suggestions? With simplicity being key?

Hi Mari,
Your headphones are to pick up the sound from your AI of your microphone?.. then you are there when you connect a usb mic and then let your sound come out of the computer boxes… but I have no idea if you mean this, I’m making this “dry”. I have an Ai for a while but the computer (crashed) and DAW is still missing … but I bump this thread so that the experts here can give you good advice… good luck and have fun tomorrow.

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I think this is a hard one. Whether the USB mic is good or not depends on the quality of the USB mic, I think.

I’m not sure what the easiest setup is. I think if you’re using speakers & mic, you risk getting either feedback or noise cancelling muting out your lesson.

I would go with using the audio interface and headphones, perhaps finding more comfortable headphones. Its a bit complicated though. That way you can get the VC app, backing track and guitar all coming through your headphones with no sound leaking causing feedback.

  • Have Windows audio set to the AI and headphones plugged into AI.
  • Guitar input through AI channel
  • Mic input through AI channel
  • Play backing track through AI audio device, perhaps use Voicemeeter/virtual audio cable to route that through to your VC application (Zoom?)
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I think you need some experimentation to figure out the best way.

In our Community OMs, I do use my monitor speakers plugged into the AI to listen. I use a dynamic mic for my talking and singing. With that setup I don’t get feedback, which I think is due to keeping the speakers at a relatively low level and sensitivity plus pickup pattern of the dynamic.

You could probably use a mic to pickup your voice and playing out the amp. Then best probably to also play a BT through the amp aux input. Then listen to the teacher over the laptop speaker. If the volume and gain settings are set appropriately I think that may work. But I think a dynamic mic mic is probably key as the condensors have greater sensitivity and the cardiod pattern will probably pickup from the laptop speakers and create a feedback loop.

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Hey Mari,

Simplest setup.

Phone, with backing tracks on it connected to amps aux input.

USB Mic plugged into PC. Select as source for whatever program you’re using. Will need to experiment with mic placement here, as you need to capture amp, acoustic and voice. Can be done OK though and it sounds alright. Also depends if mic has more than one polar pattern ( ie, cardiod, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo)


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Hi Mari,
I’m not sure why an USB microphone would be any better, or substantially different, than your conventional mic plugged into the AI.

At the end of the day, a USB mic is a mic with a built in AI. Ultimately they both plug into your PC via USB.

And, on Windows, it’s slightly tricky to get more than one USB AI working at the same time. It is possible using a thing called “ASIO4ALL” but, normally, if you connect a USB Mic, you won’t be able to use your AI at the same time.

Equally, if you have the AI configured as the primary audio device in windows, unless you’ve overridden it somehow (some apps like Zoom let you chose the audio device) then the backing track should come through the headphones as well.

One option could be line out from Katana into AI, Mic into AI, and wear headphones connected to the AI. You should be able to turn the master volume on the Katana down I think).

If you also plug a phone with the backing track into the aux n to play, I think (but am not 100% sure) this will play via the Line out too.

Now, you may need to switch between the mic and the Katana inputs whilst using Zoom (or whatever) by manually selecting them.

Alternatively you can use the headphone output. In this case the speaker will mute and you will have to control the output level of the Katana with the master volume.

Another alternative is to just have your mic set up, and have that pick up the sound of the Katana in the room. If you play the backing track through aux in on the Katana, that will be picked up too. This should work with laptop speaker or headphones, but headphones will probably be better. This is probably the easiest setup.

There’s ways to be even more slick with this, but they involve messing with tools like OBS and ASIO4ALL: Using OBS with an Audio Interface on Windows for streaming to send to Zoom



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Hi Mari,

Simplest setup.
Webcam (with inbuilt mic) :wink:


Good point, well made!



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:see_no_evil:…Of course… :smiley:


Thank you all for the suggestions, I will try them tonight (the ones I understand anyway :slightly_smiling_face:). My main goal is to not have to wear headphones. Using the webcam with laptop mic would definitely be simplest and therefore my first choice, but I didn’t even try that last night because when I did try it before an open mic one time the guitar sounds awful with that set up - can’t have Richard thinking I’m worse than I am! That’s why I was thinking maybe a usb mic, so webcam and that mic, no headphones. It’s a Blue yeti mic, and at $180 Cdn I figure it should be a decent mic!! Anyway I will figure something out tonight.

Thanks again , much appreciated

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Update: My friend’s yeti usb mic works great with Zoom, no drivers or anything to install, I plugged it in and it worked. It picks up the amp and my voice, and I can hear my tester’s voice and guitar on the zoom meeting without any feedback issues. Now if I could just get a decent tone. And learn how to play lol :slightly_smiling_face:



I guess all but a precious few here would echo that wish if decent is measure by exact replication of original tones produced by the legends who inspires us.

Ah, I see you hard at work to climb the ‘most self-deprecatory member’ league table.

Anybody who can play a recognisable version of Parisienne Walkways knows how to play, unless of course being able to play means playing as well as Gary et al.

Look forward to your slot at the OM which I assume will make use of the Yeti (what a name, always makes me smile)

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Hi all.
Just to confirm.
I could hear Mari and guitar very clearly. :slight_smile: And what a delight it was too. :+1:
There was an echo in my ears when I spoke. Possibly a pick up of the sound of me coming out through Mari’s speakers and heading back into her Yeti microphone.
The idiot of the week admission comes from me actually. I only realised after the fact that I hadn’t plugged my guitar cable in so Mari (unknowingly to me) could only hear my guitar faintly, being picked up by my vocal mic. Whoops. :flushed:


Good to see you resolved your issues Mari and hopefully now set for OM8 !! Also great to see you hooking up with Richard. Wonderful to see the trusted teacher process in action.
Good vibes to you both.



No Yeti for the open mic, I can take my headphones off for that! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Now Richard you don’t want to start an ‘idiot of the week’ contest ….

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It was a great lesson, Toby. And thanks for the vibes, guess I’m not entirely used to the little heart button lol :slightly_smiling_face:


No, no I don’t.
For fear I would be ranked in the top three a little too often.
:joy: :rofl: