I'm confused about using a microphone. Feedback?

edited March 2014 in Equipment

Always wanted to not have to pipe my audio through headphones. I saw on the Fallon show that they were singing into a microphone and playing the other loops at the same time. How is this possible without recording the sound of the loops into the one loop they're trying to record?

What's teh secret? Is it having a particular mic that only picks up sound that's close to it? Or is it having speakers far away from the iPad? Obviously you can't get away with this on the iPad because the speakers are right next to the mic but what's the simplest way of being able to do this?

Could I connect my "snowball" mic to it?

Would love your help.


  • Yep, you hit the nail on the head: It's all about the mic's directional (or polar) pattern. You can read about polar patterns here.

    You want a mic that only picks up audio right in front of it. The iPad's mic (but many other kinds) have a wide radiation pattern than picks up everything around it, including what's coming out of the speakers. That causes feedback and other nasty stuff in this context: You want a tight cardoid pattern.

  • By the way, the Snowball's pattern is cardoid, which is a good start.

  • Amazing. Thanks so much for the response. Any advice for a cheapish cardoid mic? I have a 3rd party usb camera to lightning connector for the iPad and it won't work with the snowball so I'd have to buy a new one of those anyway; worth just trying to get a cardoid with a lightning adaptor methinks.

  • Isn't the snowball a USB mic? Just get a "CCK" which is Apple's USB camera connection kit and also happens to support real-time digital audio. Buy the official Apple product, not a generic brand because they often don't work.

    details here:


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