Bluetooth Mic Stumper

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Joined: 12/17/2005

This is a challenge I cannot figure out.

I'm a 4th grade teacher and am currently using my G4 15" for presentations and educational movies. We also use Interwrite pads to write on our projectors. I'd like to expand my use of the technology and start using the computer to project my voice through my external speakers (Logitec Z2300's). Obviously I need to be wireless.

I was wondering if I can play my voice in real time without recording it.

Secondly, I was wondering if a bluetooth headset can be used as a mic? Price is not really a factor, just please help me configure it if it can be done.

Thanks in advance.

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Joined: 02/12/2009

You can indeed involve your PowerBook to amplify your voice, but it might not be necessary. You might just need a simple mic preamp-equipped analog mixer.

As an example, let me describe the setups I use as an Emcee and DJ. I needed to play back music from my PowerBook and mix in my microphones. Generally, clubs provide the sound system (amps, speakers). So I just needed to have a line-level mix of the music and mic.

For small events, I use my MOTU Traveler, a FireWire audio interface which can accept a mic input and mix it with the music from my various Mac software. But the most important thing was that the Traveler does not cause a latency delay on the mic signal, which would throw me off (much like why singers have such a hard time singing the national anthem at baseball games, the echo confuses your timing). MOTU call this function "zero-latency monitoring." For more on the technical mumbo jumbo of latency, read this article:
http://www.silentway.com/node/1122

The traveler is cool because it is about the same size as your PowerBook so it fits right underneath.

BUT, you might not even need that, if you're not playing much audio from your laptop. You might be fine with just a mini analog mixer which can combine your microphone input and the audio output of the PowerBook. Then the output of that mixer would go to your Logitech speakers. (Sometime I use this method too. For bigger DJ gigs, I bring my own analog mixer to mix multiple sources.)

Peruse this list of analog mini-mixers:
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3778/cat--Stereo-Mixers--2861

You could find something for around $100 for your purposes.

There are also less expensive USB and FireWire audio interfaces, see my guide here:
http://www.silentway.com/interfaces

That guide also describes the simple cables needed to get audio out of a laptop's mini jack.

So it's up to you- spend a lot of money or not! Either way, don't make it more complicated than necessary or you'll drive yourself crazy. Good Luck,

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Offline
Joined: 01/12/2004

thanks for the advice. I like the I-mic interface, but I'm not sure how that is going to play my voice real time. I was thinking a little tiny mixer, w/ the wireless mic setup in, as well as the output of the powerbook in. I can then send the output of the mixer through the headphone out of the mixer. Does that sound too complicated? Is there an easier way to have both the mic and the powerbook's audio out working at the same time? Thanks for the help.

Shawn

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Joined: 02/12/2009

Hi Shawn-

Yes, I think your best bet is to get a small analog mixer and use it as you've described. But one difference- hopefully the mixer will have a main line-level output, rather than using the headphone output.

The iMic is still useful to get better quality audio out of your Mac.

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