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Can I Connect an External USB Mic to a DSLR Camera?

Other than a DSLR camera’s capacity to capture stunning images and video, one of the most significant characteristics to look for in a DSLR camera is its ability to record high-quality audio. The built-in monaural microphone on the camera has proven to be a major disappointment for the majority of professional and amateur filmmakers, vloggers, and content creators. I prefer to have the option of recording clean, precise sound with the use of an external stereo microphone, which I can do with the help of a USB microphone.

Most people are aware that an external USB microphone, such as the Blue Yeti, may be used to record audio from a computer. However, many people are unaware that you can also use a USB microphone to record audio from a DSLR camera, such as the Canon EOS Rebel SL3.

In order to connect your USB microphone to your DSLR camera, you will need to follow the procedures outlined in this article. First and foremost, ensure that your USB microphone has a 3.5mm headphone output and that your DSLR camera has a 3.5mm microphone input on the camera. For the next step, you’ll need the USB cable that came with your microphone, as well as an additional computer or power strip with USB ports, as well as an audio cable with a 3.5mm male to male connector.

The Key to Connecting a USB Mic to a DSLR

The next step is to connect the audio cables and supply power to the microphone, which you can do now that you have the hardware installed.

  • Connect one end of the 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable to the microphone’s 3.5mm headphone output and the other end to a 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable.
  • Connect the other end of the 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable to the 3.5mm microphone jack on the back of your camera.
  • The USB cable that came with your microphone should be connected to a computer or a power strip that has USB ports in order to power the microphone.

How to Prevent Digital Distortion

A USB microphone is a device that contains all of the components of a conventional microphone. However, it varies from the competition in that it includes a built-in preamplifier as well as an analog-to-digital converter, which allows audio to be recognized by the computer’s recording software. Due to the fact that we are bypassing the computer as the recording device, the microphone’s integrated preamp may provide an extremely high signal, resulting in digital distortion in the recording. We must modify the audio levels within the camera in order to avoid this from happening.

  • To access the menu on your camera, press the Menu button. As you might expect, this is where you may make a variety of adjustments to your camera’s settings. However, some options may be unavailable if your camera is in auto mode.
  • Select “Sound Recording” from the drop-down option on the screen. Auto, Manual, and Disabled are the options available for controlling the sound recording. Select “Manual” as the recording mode for the sound recording instead of “Auto.”
  • Even if you leave the camera on Auto, the Automatic Gain Control (AGC) can automatically boost the volume of the audio, resulting in a lot of buzzing and interference in your recordings.

How to Set Your Recording Levels

Incorrectly recording audio in your camera at the wrong levels can result in a squeaky, distorted sound. Here’s how to change the Recording Levels on your computer.

  • Select the “Rec. level” option.
  • Using the D-pad or touch screen, move the slider all the way to the left, but keep in mind that the distance between the subject and the camera will determine how far the slider should be moved. To save your work, click “Save.”

Now we have the ability to alter the gain or volume level of your physical microphone. Make sure you have your microphone in hand.

Are All USB Mics the Same?

You will first need to determine how you want to utilise the USB microphone before selecting one to purchase. There are several variations among USB microphones. While some are better suited for recording music or producing podcasts, others are created specifically for live streaming video games.

The three most common applications for a USB microphone are as follows:

  • Gaming/Live Streaming
  • Podcasting
  • Music Recording

USB microphones offer distinct qualities and choices to experiment with. For example, the Blue Yeti USB Microphone gives numerous polar patterns to select from (cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional) (cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional).

Dynamic vs. Condenser Microphones

Dynamic microphones and condenser microphones are the two most common types of microphones. Both instruments are most typically utilized in music recording, but they have also grown highly popular in the home studio environment. They are available with a variety of connectors, including XLR, 3.5mm, and USB. With each, there are advantages and downsides to consider depending on your recording requirements.

Dynamic Microphones

The simplest way to describe Dynamic Microphones is that they are long-lasting microphones that use a moving wire coil mechanism to take up the vibrations caused by sound waves with great sensitivity and accuracy. These microphones do not require any additional power. These microphones are the most effective when recording at high Sound Pressure Levels (SPL). In this way, they are particularly well suited for artists who need to record from strong sound sources such as amplifiers in outdoor or live recording scenarios without having to worry about distortion.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are sensitive and responsive microphones that pick up the vibrations of sound waves through the use of a diaphragm and an electrically charged backplate system, which are both electrically charged. Condenser microphones have diaphragms that are either small or large, and they require a power supply. Because these microphones do not have moving coils, they provide a wider frequency response as well as a more rapid transient response. The audio quality of these microphones is extremely accurate and powerful, and they do not require the use of a preamp. They are excellent for use with stringed instruments or for recording vocals in a home studio setting.



Using the appropriate audio cords as well as a USB cable to provide power, it is possible to connect an external USB mic to a DSLR camera. If your camera does not have a 3.5mm microphone input, you may need to use an adaptor cable. If your microphone suffers from digital distortion, you will need to adjust the recording settings and the gain.

Keep in mind that the quality of each USB microphone varies greatly. Both dynamic and condenser mics have numerous characteristics and characteristics that set them apart. Before investing in a new one, it is important to evaluate your recording requirements since each model comes with a unique set of features and settings. By adhering to these instructions, you will be able to capture high-quality audio using your USB microphone and your DSLR camera. Good luck!

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