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iMic Discontinued

Discontinued

With the advent of more advanced USB Sound Cards and a growing need for more professional audio recording we have made the choice to discontinued iMic. Along with iMic we are also discontinuing Final Vinyl. We wish you all the best in your recording efforts and we hope this guide below will be helpful. Please note that iMic is not designed for use past Mac OS Sierra and Windows 8. While you may find that you have some limited use of iMic on newer OS we cannot offer any support help past Sierra and Windows 8.

 

Can I connect two iMics? Will they work at the same time? (PC)

INPUT

You can connect them, Windows should see both iMics, and you can choose between them. You cannot currently Input from both simultaneously.

OUTPUT

The popularity of DJ software has resulted in an increasing number of programs that will allow you to use the iMic Output as a Cue device. Those programs allow you to select both iMic USB Audio system and VIA Audio (WAVE) and assign them separately. Currently that is only possible in programs that have been configured to do so.

 

I think I've installed it correctly, but I can't get sound. (PC)

Go to Start>Control Panel and open Sounds and Audio Devices. Click on Audio and verify you've selected iMic USB audio system under sound Playback. Be sure you have your computer's internal speakers selected as your output, or playback device. If you're having problems recording, also verify you've selected the iMic under Sound Recording.

If you're still not getting sound, go to Start> Programs>Accessories>Entertainment and open Sound Recorder. Choose New under File, click the red Record button and speak into your microphone. You should see the green line move in Sound Recorder (actually, the representation of the waveform). Click on Play and listen to what you've recorded. You can also double check your audio settings by going to Audio Properties under Edit.

At this point, you've verified the iMic is working. If you're having further problems, check your software manual or contact the manufacturer.

 

When using my USB hub, the iMic disappears! (Mac and PC)

Every manufacturer of USB gear wants you to plug their product directly into the computer, and they usually state the device may or may not work well with all USB hubs. In general, the way to troubleshoot hub problems is to remove the hub, make sure the device is working, and then reconnect to the hub. Generally, a powered hub (which has its own AC power supply) will work fine.

 

What is the iMic? Is it a microphone? (Mac)

iMic is not a microphone, but rather an Input/Output device using a 3.5mm jack, that lets you connect standard audio products such as microphones, headphones, home stereo equipment, VCRs, musical instruments and virtually any other line-level or mic-level audio device. It's basically a "sound card on a cable" that allows you to record and play digital audio using your USB-equipped computer. Some computers (like the Macintosh iBook, G4 Cube, Titanium PowerBook, and numerous PC laptops) rely on USB for complete audio support; others have limited or no audio hardware. For these computers, iMic can be used for audio input and output.

 

Is the iMic a digital input? Is it 24-bit, 48KHz? (Mac)

The iMic is an A/D (analog to digital) converter, and a very good one for the price. It will convert your analog input signal to digital, and vice versa on output. The iMic itself does all internal processing at 24bit resolution but the Mac OS currently has a more narrow range of options, topping out at 16bit/48KHz. Third party USB ASIO drivers will allow the iMic to support up to 24-bit resolution.

 

What Macs can I use the iMic with? (Mac)

The iMic is compatible with any Mac that has built-in USB ports and is running Mac OS 10.3.9 or later. As for earlier versions of OS X, the iMic will probably work, but you may need an earlier version of Final Vinyl or other recording software (Contact us if you need a version of Final Vinyl not available on the iMic Support page.)

Note: USB Audio should be supported from OS 9.0.4 on. We've had reports of successes and failures in 9.0.4, and you may or may not be able to accomplish what you want in that version.

 

Does the iMic support input and output at the same time? (Mac and PC)

The iMic's inputs and outputs always work at the same time, so no configuration is necessary.

 

What software drivers do I install for the iMic? (Mac)

You do not need to load ANY external drivers for the iMic to work in OS X. All of the software that drives the iMic is built right into the Mac OS, so no other software is required for it to be seen by the operating system. There is no software in the iMic that transfers to your computer.

 

What kind of software can I use with it? (Mac)

Virtually any software capable of playing or recording audio on your Mac should be compatible since the iMic uses the Mac's built-in audio drivers. Most Mac audio applications support these drivers and should work normally. Programs that work include Final Vinyl, Logic, GarageBand, Audacity, Ableton Live, Reason, etc.

 

How Do I Use the iMic in GarageBand? (Mac)

1. iMic Setup:

To select the iMic as an Input device, go to System Preferences and choose Sound. Click on the input tab and select the iMic. Then connect your microphone and speak into it. If you do not see the input level move, try pushing the switch toward "mic" to enable the internal preamp.

Once you see a level, click on the output tab and choose "Built-In Audio" if you want to hear the audio through your computer speakers. If you are going to be listening to headphones or speakers connected to the iMic's output, select the iMic as the output device instead.

2. Audio MIDI Setup:

Open Audio MIDI Setup (Applications > Utilities). In the System Settings, Default Input pop-up menu, select iMic USB audio system. In the Properties For pop-up menu, select iMic USB audio system. Under Audio Input, make sure that Format is set to 44100.0Hz, 2ch-16bit.

3. In GarageBand:

Open GarageBand and select Preferences from the GarageBand menu. Click the Audio/MIDI icon in the Preferences window. Select iMic USB audio system in the Audio Input pop-up menu and close the Preferences window. Select New Track from the Track menu.

Click the Real Instrument tab, then select Basic Track > No Effects (alternately, select the type of instrument you want to record as well as whatever effects are available).

Set the Format to Stereo, and set the Monitor to On if you want to monitor your audio as you are recording. Click OK and start recording!

 

How do I use a stereo microphone with the iMic? (Mac and PC)

Stereo microphones can be confusing because there is such a wide range available, from inexpensive camcorders to professional audio models. They usually come in two major connection types, either two separate connectors or a single stereo plug. Generally, if yours has two connectors (XLR or 1/4"), you'll need to route them through a mixer, microphone pre-amp, tape deck, etc. to properly amplify the signal. That signal is then sent to the iMic using stereo Line Out. If your microphone has a single stereo plug, it may or may not need pre-amplification. Be sure to read the microphone manual or contact the manufacturer to determine if your particular model requires pre-amping. If it does, treat it as if it had two connections - connect it to a mixer, pre-amp, tape deck, etc, and route it to the iMic through the stereo Line Out. If it doesn't require pre-amplification, simply connect it to the iMic.

 

I've plugged in my $150 mic and it doesn't work. (Mac and PC)

The iMic was configured for Mic and Line Level devices, such as standard computer microphones and tape decks. Those devices (and there are many types) typically are high impedance products that connect via unbalanced cables. Many, if not most, professional or higher end microphones are low impedance products that connect via balanced cables. Those types of devices require preamplification to bring them up to Line Level. This can be accomplished by using the pre-amps of mixing consoles or by using an impedance matching transformer. If you don't have a mixer, the transformers are readily available at electronic supply houses and consumer outlets such as Radio Shack.

 

How Do I Get the Songs I've Recorded into iTunes? Burn a CD? (Mac)

If iTunes has not been set up to burn discs as Audio discs, it might be making a disc of mp3s instead, which will play fine in a DVD player or computer, but not in a simple CD player.

To make sure that iTunes is configured to burn audio CDs, open iTunes and then iTunes preferences, which you can access from the iTunes menu in the menu bar, or by holding down Apple and pressing , (comma). Click on the Advanced tab and choose the Import tab. Click click on the Burning tab and make sure iTunes is set to burn an Audio disc.

To get an audio file that you've saved to your desktop into iTunes, choose Import from the File menu and import the track. Make a new playlist and drag the track from the Library to the playlist, then select the playlist and click "burn disc."

Or, you could drag your audio file into iTunes directly, onto the word "Library." Create a new playlist and drag your recorded songs from the Library to your new playlist, then click "burn disk."

 

Why can't I play the burned disc of my recordings? (Mac)

If iTunes has not been set up to burn discs as Audio discs, it might be making a disc of mp3s instead, which will play fine in a DVD player or computer, but not in a simple CD player.

Open iTunes and then iTunes preferences, which you can access from the iTunes menu in the menu bar, or by holding down Apple and pressing , (comma). Click on the Advanced tab, then the Import tab. Click on the Burning tab and make sure iTunes is set to burn an Audio disc.

To get an audio file that you've saved to your desktop into iTunes, choose Import from the File menu and import the track. Make a new playlist and drag the track from the Library to the playlist, then select the playlist and click "burn disc."

Or, you could drag your audio file into iTunes directly, onto the word "Library." Create a new playlist and drag your recorded songs from the Library to your new playlist, then click "burn disk."

 

I want to use the iMic, but my cables are too short. (Mac and PC)

There are various ways to extend your reach when using the iMic. You can use a high-quality USB extension cable to increase the distance between the computer and the iMic. You can use 1/8" extension cables between your input device (for example, a microphone) and the iMic's input jack. Other solutions would be the use of USB hubs acting as repeaters or special types of USB extension cables that have an "amplifier" built in so they can be made much longer than normal USB cables.

 

Why use iMic if I my Mac has Line-In? (Mac)

You certainly can use your built-in audio, but you may get better results with the iMic. The Mac's built-in audio hardware typically does not perform at professional quality levels, introducing noise and distortion. The inside of a computer is a very noisy place electrically; the power supplies are full of transient noise from the CPU, hard drives, CD drives and other computer components. The built-in Mac audio hardware can transfer that noise into the audio I/O (input/output). The iMic stays outside of your noisy computer system, attaching via the external USB interface. Normally this will provide improved performance for audio recording and playback.

 

I have a PCI USB card in my older Mac; can I use the iMic?

Not as far as we know. Apple says that USB Audio is only supported on machines that have built-in USB ports. A USB card installed in older Macs may support other USB functions, but according to Apple it won't support USB Audio.

 

What about Apple PlainTalk mics? (Mac)

The PlainTalk connector is an older proprietary connector used only by Apple. There have been only a handful of microphone models made that use the PlainTalk connection, and it appears Apple will use USB Audio for future offerings. Therefore, we decided to make the iMic with the 1/8" connection accepted as standard for the thousands of other microphone models on the market.

 

What are the exact technical specifications on the iMic? (Mac and PC)

$40!

We're not trying to be flip here (well, maybe a little bit,) but there's a reason. In order for us to develop and supply a $40 audio device, it was necessary for that product to be specification independent. Because it's not a professional device (which would require exact specs for demanding pros), but rather a consumer device that fills a very definite need and price for non-professionals, we have to be able to adjust to changes in the raw materials markets. Otherwise, the extremely low price of the iMic could potentially fluctuate and we might have to deal with unnecessary shortages. So our engineers made the decision to keep the iMic within certain basic parameters and not release a detailed spec sheet. The iMic will always do 24 bit A/D and D/A conversion internally, and it will record and playback at 16 bit, 48 kHz. The quality of the iMic has never before been available at anywhere near its price, and we're extremely proud of it. Having said that, we feel if exact specifications are that crucial to your project, you might be better served with one of the products costing hundreds of dollars more.

 

What drivers do I install for the iMic? (PC)

There aren't drivers necessary for the iMic. If your operating system is USB Audio aware (XP does this best), your Mixer will see the iMic as an Input/Output device. Simply go to Sounds and Audio Devices in your Control Panel and select the iMic as your recording device and your computer's sound card as your playback device.

 

What software can I use with the iMic? (PC)

The iMic is fully compatible with XP versions of many audio software programs. It appears in the Mixer and can be utilized for Input and Output by all XP compatible programs, such as the included Sound Recorder and Windows Movie Maker. Or, go to the Sounds and Audio Devices icon in Control Panel and simply choose the iMic as your recording device and your computer's sound card as your playback device. Then you can use the iMic with many software applications, such as Audacity, Sound Forge, Cakewalk Pro Audio, Steinberg, Cubase VST32, Emagic Logic Audio, Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, and SEK'D Samplitude Studio to name a few.

 

Is the iMic a digital input? Is it 24-bit, 48KHz? (PC)

The iMic is an A/D (analog to digital) converter, and a very good one for the price. It will convert your analog input signal to digital, and vice versa on output. The iMic itself does all internal processing at 24bit resolution but the OS currently has a more narrow range of options, topping out at 16bit/48KHz. If you're using the iMic with a standard Windows compatible program, your optimum recording resolution will be at 16-bit/48KHz. Third party USB ASIO drivers will allow the iMic to support up to 24-bit resolution.

 

What is the iMic? Is it a microphone? (PC)

The iMic is not a microphone, but rather an Input/Output device using a 3.5mm jack, that lets you connect standard audio products such as microphones, headphones, home stereo equipment, VCRs, musical instruments and virtually any other line-level or mic-level audio device. It's basically a "sound card on a cable", which allows you to record and play digital audio using your USB-equipped PC. Some Windows machines rely on USB for complete audio support; others (such as some laptops) have limited or no audio hardware. In these cases, the iMic can be used for audio input and output.

 

I have a PCI USB card. Can I use the iMic? (PC)

The iMic works with PCI USB cards. The question of compatibility is not between the iMic and the card, but rather between the iMic and the version of Windows. XP is recommended for Windows users.

 

I'm hearing a low hum coming from my turntable

This is probably evidence of a grounding issue. Make sure you have the computer and turntable plugged into different outlets or power strips. If there's a grounding wire hanging off the back of the turntable, try attaching this to the grounding screw that is on the back of most amplifiers. This can also be wrapped around a metal chair or table leg. This should properly ground the turntable and eliminate the hum.

 

The recordings sound like chipmunks when played back in iTunes.

Check your Audio/MIDI Setup. Open your Applications folder from the Finder, and scroll through the applications, down to "Utilities." Select that, and then choose "Audio/Midi." From here, set the "Properties For" or "Settings For" to iMic USB Audio System. Then set both the input and the output to 16bit 2 channel 44100Hz.

 

When launching Final Vinyl, it just bounces in the dock.

If you are unable to open Final Vinyl successfully, it usually indicates you are missing a Java or QuickTime update on your computer. Go to System Preferences, click on Software Update, and run all the available updates, even those that you think you don't need. Restart your computer and try to launch Final Vinyl one more time.

 

There seems to be a delay in the sound coming out of the computer.

Currently most, if not all, USB Audio devices seem to suffer a small amount of "latency," a delay from the time audio is input until the time audio is output from the computer. This delay is measured in milliseconds, and varies slightly depending on the configuration of your Mac. Generally, disabling Virtual Memory and File Sharing will shorten the delay significantly. But even with reduced latency, you may not be able to do real-time monitoring and recording. If you don't require real-time monitoring (recording from VCR, turntable, etc.), latency is of no concern.

Using iMic to record with minimum latency is possible through the use of an external mixer. The mixer doesn't have to be fancy, but it will need at least three, preferably four, outputs. Brand name mixers such as Midiman or Samson can be purchased for less than $125.

Here's how to handle latency:

  • Plug the "Main Outs" of the mixer into your receiver or powered speakers.
  • Plug your instrument (keyboard, guitar, microphone, etc.) into the mixer (i.e., "Input 1" or, if stereo, "Inputs 1 & 2") and route the signal to the main output of the mixer. You should be able to play and hear your instrument as you do when you're playing live.
  • Plug iMic's "Audio Out" into the mixer. You might have to use an adapter on the cable to make this work. It's recommended that you buy a dedicated cable with the right connections, as adapters are prone to all sorts of problems.
  • Assign the input(s) that your instrument is on to a "submaster(s)" (i.e., submaster 1 or 1&2). If your mixer doesn't have a submaster, you could use an "auxiliary send" such as the one you would use to send a signal to a reverb or delay unit. Any way that you can get out of your mixer WITHOUT using the "main outs" will work. Whatever output you choose, connect it using the appropriate cable to iMic's input.
  • In the Sound control panel, set the input to "iMic USB Audio". Make sure you turn off the Sound Playthrough or Passthrough in your audio recording software. That way you won't hear your input as it comes out of the computer. You don't want to hear the sound from that source because it will be delayed and you'll be out of sync with your pre-recorded material. Instead, because you have assigned your instrument to play directly out of the mixer, you are playing in real time with the pre-recorded material. All tracks will be in sync on playback.

 

I can't get my iMic to work with Skype. (MAC and PC)

MAC:

  • If you are using a headset mic then you first need to connect the mic and speaker cable into the IN and OUT ports on the iMic.
  • Toggle the iMic to MIC.
  • Go to your System Preferences/Sound Preferences. On both the INPUT and OUTPUT tabs, select iMic from the list of devices.
  • Open your SKYPE PREFERENCES and choose AUDIO.
  • Select the iMic as both the audio input and output. (The same applies if you are only using a computer desk mic with no headset. The difference is that you choose the BUILT IN AUDIO for the System Preferences/Sound and SKYPE OUTPUT)

PC:

  • If you are using a headset mic then you first need to connect the mic and speaker cable into the IN and OUT ports on the iMic.
  • Toggle the iMic to MIC.
  • Go to your SOUNDS AND AUDIO DEVICES. On both the AUDIO and VOICE tabs, select iMic from the list of devices for the SOUND PLAYBACK and SOUND RECORDING.
  • Open SKYPE and choose TOOLS drop down box and select OPTIONS.
  • Choose SOUND DEVICES select the iMic as both the AUDIO IN and OUT. (The same applies if you are only using a computer desk mic with no headset. The difference is that you choose the computers internal speakers for the SOUNDS AND AUDIO DEVICES and SKYPE OUTPUT)

 

Can I use the iMic with a Cisco server?

This is not a supported use of the iMic, and has not been tested by Griffin. However, the Griffin iMic USB sound card continues to be supported by Cisco for use as an MOH live feed source with Cisco CallManager Release 3.3(5) and later, and with Microsoft Windows 2000 (OS 2000 version 2.7 or later). Cisco supports the iMic on all Cisco MCS-78xxH or MCS-78xxI servers with 3.0 GHz or greater processor.

For help on using the iMic in these environments, please contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or Cisco customers can contact the TAC at one of the following numbers:

USA: 1-800-553-2447

Australia: 1-800-805-227

EMEA: +32-2-704-55-55

Asia-Pacific: +61-2-8446-7411

 

I get an error when trying to record using Final Vinyl.

You will probably need to reinstall Final Vinyl and repair your Disk Permissions to get rid of this error.

In Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger):

  • In your Applications folder, throw Final Vinyl into the trash.
  • In you home directory (where the house icon is next to your name), go to Library/Preferences and search for a file labeled "com.griffintechnology.finalvinyl.plist". Throw that into the trash.
  • In your home directory, go to Library/Application Support and throw away the "Final Vinyl" folder, if there is one.
  • Go to your Music folder and see if there is a folder labeled "FV Project". Throw that in the trash.
  • Go to Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.
  • Select your Hard Drive and click Repair Disk Permissions.
  • Empty your trash and restart your computer.
  • Finally, download a fresh copy of Final Vinyl from our website and reinstall.

In Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard):

  • In your Applications folder, throw Final Vinyl into the trash.
  • In you home directory (where the house logo is next to your name), go to Library/Preferences and search for a file labeled "com.griffintechnology.finalvinyl.plist", throw that into the trash.
  • In your home directory, go to Library/Application Support and throw away the "Final Vinyl" folder, if there is one.
  • In your home directory, go to Library/Caches/ and throw away the Final Vinyl folder.
  • Empty your trash, unplug the iMic and restart your computer.
  • Finally, download a fresh copy of Final Vinyl from our website and reinstall.

 

Can you explain, in plain English, how to record LPs onto my PC?

First, connect your device (let's say it's a turntable) to iMic's input.

Then flip iMic's switch to the "line" position, if you're using a line-out of your receiver (that would be the red and white RCA type connectors) or to the "mic" position if you're connecting the wires directly from the turntable. "Mic" mode engages iMic's internal preamp, which you'll probably need to boost the signal of the turntable. Plug iMic into a USB port on your computer.

In your Control Panel, go to Sounds/Audio Devices. Make your soundcard your playback device and iMic your recording device.

Next, you'll need some recording software. For PC users, we recommend a program called Audacity, which you can download here. Once you've downloaded and installed Audacity, open the program and go to Preferences, which you'll find under Edit in the menu bar, or you can just hold down the Control key and press P. Click on the Audio I/O tab and make your soundcard your playback device and iMic your recording device. Choose 2 channel stereo, and be sure to check the box that says "software playthrough." Close Preferences. Now you're ready.

If you click PAUSE and then click RECORD, you should be able to now hear audio come through your computer speakers and you can cue up your tape, record, etc.

The controls in Audacity are pretty simple; red circle is Record, brown box is Stop, etc. Just be sure that when you save a file, you actually choose "export" under File and export it as a WAV. Audacity will ask you to name the file and say where you want it to be saved. We recommend that you save it to the desktop, so that you can just drag it to iTunes if you want to burn a disc.

 

My iMic will not work in Vista!

The iMic hardware is not compatible with the Microsoft Vista operating system.

 

Does the iMic work in Mac OS 10.5?

Yes, it works with our latest version of Final Vinyl, version 2.5, which you can download here. The iMic is also compatible with many other recording programs, such as GarageBand and Audacity.

 Note: Final Vinyl is discontinued and we cannot offer any further support for this software. 

When choosing my device in Final Vinyl, I don't see the iMic (Final Vinyl 2.5.1).

If you do not see the iMic as a device option in Final Vinyl's preferences, just quit Final Vinyl and reopen it. When making a recording with the iMic in Final Vinyl 2.5.1, the iMic needs to be selected as the recording device in the Final Vinyl preferences. If you do not plug the iMic in before opening Final Vinyl, it will not appear under preferences. You can see a full demonstration on how to setup the iMic here.

 

When should I use EQ and other filters in Final Vinyl?

In Final Vinyl, EQ and other filters should only be used after the recording is finished. If you try to use those filters before or during a recording, they will have no effect.

 

I can no longer cut, copy, or paste in Final Vinyl 2.0!

Unfortunately, Final Vinyl 2.0 was broken by an update to a key component of the software. If you are runing Mac OS 10.4 or later, we recommend updating to Final Vinyl 2.5.1, available from the iMic support page.

If you're running Mac OS 10.3.9, then we recommend that you check out Audacity, a fantastic open source recording program that we've recommended for our PC users for years.

 

Can I use Final Vinyl in Lion, Mac OS 10.7?

Final Vinyl is not currently supported for use in Lion. Apple's AU audio effects do not appear to be working properly when Final Vinyl is run in OS 10.7. Other than those specific effects, though, the other basic functions of Finyl Vinal work just fine in Lion. These include recording, editing, and exporting audio files. Final Vinyl's own effects and filters, such as EQ, Volume, and Normalize also work.

 

I've downloaded Final Vinyl, but Mountain Lion says it can't be opened!

Mountain Lion includes a security feature called Gatekeeper, which prevents certain applications downloaded from the internet from being installed or opened. To bypass Gatekeeper so that you can use Final Vinyl, find Final Vinyl in your Applications folder, then hold the Control key and click on the Final Vinyl icon. Select "Open" from the menu that appears. You'll get a message from Mountain Lion asking you to verify that you want to open Final Vinyl. Choose "Open". You may have to enter your password at this point. Final Vinyl will now open normally.

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