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Pristine audio in a portable package.
The biggest headaches we get trying to capture that elusive, magic moment, be it during rehearsal with our band or in an interview with a profile subject, always stem from fear of a poor recording. Usually that means means lugging around extra equipment to record with high-quality microphones, or else compromising on sound quality by using cheap USB mics or even (horrors!) the one built in to our Mac.
The CEntrance MicPort Pro is a permanent cure for that headache. One look at this solid little device and you know it was designed by sound people for computer people, and not the other way around. The XLR audio input connects directly to your favorite pro mic with a reassuring click. Whether you use workhorse rock-‘n’-roll dynamic mics or more sensitive condenser mics that require phantom power, the MicPort Pro is all you need. A quick tap of the button to activate its built-in 48-volt source activates a little orange LED at the unit’s base. Plug one end of the supplied USB cable into the MicPort Pro, the other into your Mac or other USB-supported recording device, and a bright white collar at the other end of the unit lets you know it’s on and recognized by your recording system. MicPort is compatible with Mac OS 10.4 or later, Windows XP or Vista, and requires no drivers. As with the best products designed for use with a Mac, “It just works.”
Onboard controls for mic gain and headphone output are simple and intuitive, with the mic gain supporting a range of –9dBV (min) to –45dBV (max) and the built-in headphone amp rocking out with max power at –7dBV at 16 ohm load and –1dBV at 32 ohm load. For those of you who aren’t audio engineers, this means frequency response on this 4.5-inch, 2.2-ounce wonder of audio engineering is loud and clear—and adjustable within a useful range for a variety of ambient recording environments.
Under the hood, MicPort Pro converts the analog sound of a voice or an instrument into a digital signal. This conversion can be done at different sample rates, however, and you could run into a problem by not matching the sample rate of the MicPort Pro with the sample rate of your recording application. The MicPort Pro’s sample rate can be adjusted in Audio MIDI Setup on your Mac.
Possibly the most outstanding feature of this device, however, is the zero-latency monitoring offered by the built-in stereo 1/8-inch headphone jack. Using a recording application’s monitoring function can make multitrack recording, especially overdubbing, on a computer quite frustrating, due to the latency inherent in using the CPU to render a signal. The MicPort Pro’s onboard direct monitoring does away with that problem, and the unit’s headphone output is plenty loud for use in noisy settings.MicPort Pro is an indispensable tool for podcasts, interviews, or any direct-to-file recording.