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Griffin Technology iMic
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:58 pm    Post subject: Griffin Technology iMic Reply with quote

Product: Griffin Technology iMic
Category: Audio

Summary:
The iMicâ„¢ universal audio adapter is a USB device that adds stereo input and output to your Mac or PC. Connect virtually any microphone or sound input device to your Mac mini or other Mac or PC with a USB port. Yes, iMic supports both Mic level and line level input. It also supports line level output for connecting speakers or an external recording device.

iMic's audio is superior to your computer’s built-in soundcard because it uses USB for the audio signal. USB isolates the audio signal from the noisy electronics in your computer, giving you higher-quality sound when you record and higher-quality sound for external speakers. [List Price: $39.99]

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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just bought one of these.

Like many others, I came back from the store with a headset that had two 3.5mm jacks. I plugged the headphone jack into the Mini's headphone socket and the microphone jack into the Mini's line-in socket. When a sound recording application failed to register my voice, I cursed loudly because I thought that I had brought home 'the one with the broken mic'. A couple of replacements later, it occurred to me that I might be doing something wrong.

The membership of 123MM set me straight. The Mini's line-in socket is designed for a line-in jack, not the low output of a microphone. If I wanted to record from my headset, I would need a new plan.

I had two choices: buy a USB headset or keep my existing headset and connect it using a Griffin iMic. The Sennheiser headset that I fancied was well made and would give me high quality recordings, but had a suitably high price tag. The iMic was half the price of the Sennheiser, would work with any conventional headset and would permit me to plug other stuff into it, like musical instruments or cassette decks. So I bought the iMic.

When it arrived, it was boxed with a 3.5mm to stereo phono adapter (see photo), a CD-ROM containing documentation and "Final Vinyl" software and a quick start guide.

To be honest, I've yet to read the quick start guide because I've had no need. I plugged the iMic into a spare USB socket on the Mini..... but nothing happened. I clicked on 'Sound' icon within System Preferences, selected the 'Output' tab, and there it was! 'iMic USB audio system' was now an option under both the 'Input' and 'Output' tabs, and choosing them both brought my headset to life.

There's really not much more to add. The iMic does exactly what you'd expect without any drivers or setup rituals. My only niggle came up when I tried to switch output back to the internal speaker; after changing settings within Sys Prefs, OS X insisted on directing sound to the earphone on my headset. This was easily corrected - I unplugged the iMic and the internal speaker chirped into life.



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CaliforniaMini
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to pick one up to finally get some old cassettes into iTunes. Might need other software though as the reviews of FinalVinyl seem to be mixed.
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the older style iMic for years, and I really like it. I originally purchased it back when I had a Mirrored Drive Doors PowerMac G4, because it had an incurable audio hum (2 logic boards, 2 power supplies didn't solve it), but the $35 iMic solved the problem.

I still use my iMic, as it's hooked to my USB hub, so when I put my MBP on my desk, I connect one less cable up to it.

CaliforniaMini -- GarageBand is by far more capable than Final Vinyl, and it's included on your Mac. It might be a nice choice to start with.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CaliforniaMini wrote:
I'm going to pick one up to finally get some old cassettes into iTunes. Might need other software though as the reviews of FinalVinyl seem to be mixed.

I've got an old copy (4 Feb 05) of MacUser UK in front of me with a feature on this very subject. The recommended software is Audacity (together with the LAME MP3 encoder) because it's free to download, easy to use and able to encode MP3s from within the application. Might be worth a look.
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CaliforniaMini
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:


CaliforniaMini -- GarageBand is by far more capable than Final Vinyl, and it's included on your Mac. It might be a nice choice to start with.


Thats what I was thinking about. I haven't had a need for GB yet, but I might now.
So you're in Fremont as well now? Did u recently move? I thought u lived somewhere else.
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devo
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
The recommended software is Audacity (together with the LAME MP3 encoder) because it's free to download, easy to use and able to encode MP3s from within the application. Might be worth a look.


It's definitely worth a look. Hell, I would pay for Audacity. It's like a must-have for simple recording.
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CaliforniaMini wrote:
So you're in Fremont as well now? Did u recently move? I thought u lived somewhere else.

About a month ago I moved from Santa Barbara to Fremont because my girlfriend graduated from UCSB, and I got in to SJSU, and Fremont just worked out as a nice, fairly affordable place to live.
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CaliforniaMini
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
CaliforniaMini wrote:
So you're in Fremont as well now? Did u recently move? I thought u lived somewhere else.

About a month ago I moved from Santa Barbara to Fremont because my girlfriend graduated from UCSB, and I got in to SJSU, and Fremont just worked out as a nice, fairly affordable place to live.


Well welcome! Glad to hear you're enjoying it. I've been here for 10 years after moving out of San Francisco and like it although I liked it back then a bit more when it was smaller and not so crowded. Oh well, beats SF any day.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PostScript: After buying, I discovered that there is a rival product that's Mac compatible for about half the price that I paid for the iMic. See here.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: cheap Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
PostScript: After buying, I discovered that there is a rival product that's Mac compatible for about half the price that I paid for the iMic. See here.

A local store sells those for about $10, the iMic is better though if your Mac lacks line in.
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kevin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: iMic sound issues with headset Reply with quote

I'm totally stumped. I bought a Griffin iMic because of the wonderful reviews it has received. Although I love the fact that I can and have been easily recording vinyl to my Mac Mini using their Final Vinyl software (which really is amateur but does the job), I have been having nothing but problems with my headset (with attached mic boom) while on Skype.

Although I can hear well, my voice is recorded very low and sounds extremely tinny - like there is either an impedance problem or the line level is just way too low (line-in level on my voice actually only makes it to half way on the sound input scale). I've been in contact with Griffin and all my settings are correct (that I know of): midi set to 2-channel stereo 16 bitrate 44.1, line in and out set to iMic USB Audio....and Skype preferences set up the same as indicated in their instructions. Yes - my iMic is set to "mic" when I am using my headset.

So while everyone else seems to be running "plug and play" with their iMic, I am having mic sound issues.

I am running a new Mac Mini with Intel Core Duo 1.66 Ghz, 1 gig ram, 60 gig hard drive all on OS X Tiger 10.4.10.

So, should I replace the iMic for another one and see what happens? Or try to figure out what the problem is?

Your help is truly appreciated.

- Kevin
(Toronto, Canada)
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps try the iMic on another computer? Another Mac or even a Windows machine will work.
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Futa_Mill
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you sure you have the switch on it turned to mic not line that could be your problem.
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maurice
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that Mac Minis have only a line level audio in port is very frustrating Although the port next to it accepts normal earphones, a headset cannot be connected since the mike would not work.

With this in mind I bought a USB 2.0 audio adapter, the exact same model described by Johnny Boy in this thread, but the name was "iDream Audio Blaster". System Profiler lists it on my Intel mini as "C-Media USB headphone set".
The problem is that it doesn't seem to work. Do I have to set something first in the Sound section of System Preferences?

I look forward to an answer as I need to use it for VOIP calls. Thanks for a clue
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