Without a Proper Cable a Mic Is a Sad Fable
Imagine this common scenario – you just bought a new audio interface from your local music store and go home with your new prized toy in hand. Anticipating the setup and some musical “me-time” to record your next “Magnum-Opus”, just as you open the box, get the audio interface and plug it into the computer – reality slaps you in the face – you’ve got the wrong type of cables to connect your speakers to it.
And believe it or not, this is actually a very common mistake. This happens partially due to the fact that there are different audio and microphone cables that are often called by incorrect names, because the connectors on the cables have two types of connectors – male and female. So after taking the time to buy a quality microphone, it’s important that you select a high-quality cable as well. Without a microphone cable, it’s impossible to get the most out of your microphone, and without the right connectors, you won’t be able to plug it in the interface.
The XLR microphone cable connector is the standard type and has a male XLR connector on one side, and a female XLR microphone cable connector on the other side. In addition to being able to connect a microphone to a piece of equipment like an audio interface, it can also connect several lengths of microphone cable together.
Some of the features you need to look for in a mic are durability, flexibility and heat shrinking. Unless the microphone cable is going to be used in one location exclusively, and won’t be used that much – it should be extremely durable. The main thing to look out for is the shield, which is the part that wraps around the insulator at the inner part of the wires within. It’s designed to shield against interference and can have a huge impact on the strength and durability of the cable.
Flexibility goes toe to toe with durability. If the cable isn’t flexible – it will rip and tear. At the same time, it’s not possible for cables to be extremely flexible, because if they are, they won’t be properly protected, which in turn will have a negative impact on the sound quality. This is something that only the high-end cable manufacturers are able to balance.
And lastly, heat shrinking is another feature you should be looking for. This is what holds the wires inside the cable firmly, and it’s especially beneficial if the cable takes on a lot of abuse. As long as the wires inside the cable are held in place, the chances of them being damaged are very small.