Searching for a higher quality USB mic for Rock Band

randracrandrac Opening Act
edited June 2013 in Rock Band
I have two Rock Band 2 mics, both of which appear to have shorts or fail to detect intermittently, and two Rock Band 3 mics which I hate as they are too light and don't feel like a real microphone. I recently purchased a Roadie DU-08 online and when it arrived and I tried it, the PS3 failed to recognize it at first. When I finally did get it connected and working, I got a loud static pop in my speakers and could barely hear vocals through it. Soon, the mic cut out altogether. So I am still in search of a good microphone to use with RB3. Any recommendations?

(My iPad apparently had a field day auto-correcting my words tonight. Hopefully I have now caught all of its "corrections." I am not, in truth, in search of mice.)

Comments

  • olfeniteolfenite Unsigned
    edited March 2013
    Don't waste your money buying a XLR to USB cable. you can make your own if you have a soldering iron. I did it, it's easy. Here's a video on how to made by the moderator of this board, Doc_SoCal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGqO2ENlgpA.


    If you can determine that the short is in the microphone (which it likely is) and not the box part of the USB, you may even be able to use your old microphones.

    Buy 1/4" Mono In-Line Audio Jack. Here they are from Radioshack.
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103223

    You might find some better quality ones elsewhere online, but I used these and they did the job.

    Cut the microphone side of the USB microphone off, leaving about 1 ft. of cable. You can discard the microphone. Put the plastic casing for the audio jack on the wire. Strip a bit of the cable at the end and it will reveal two wires inside. Strip those wires and put the audio jack on those wires.

    Whip out your soldering iron, put the audio jack, solder it on. Screw on the casing.

    And that's it. Now all you need to do is head to your local music store and buy a microphone cable and a microphone.

    I also must add that I don't recommend you buying any crazy expensive microphone at your music store. You are not likely to see any difference in the quality of your voice or how well Rock Band is able to pick up your voice. A microphone costing about $25-$40 will do the trick. Remember this is a video game, not a recording studio.

    Good luck.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    olfenite: Only a few XLR <-> USB adapters works with PS3, so I guess your method isn't one of them, until it's confirmed that it works.

    And besides, if you wanna hear yourself, you need an amped one.

    And depending on your voice, a good mic can be a good difference on RB's scoring. A good mic will get any pitch perfectly out of your mouth, which is what you want to play this game, no?

    It's kinda like if you were saying to me: Play with the RB's keyboard, it's just a game.

    RB's keyboard's keys are so sensitive it makes me sick, I keep overhitting. The sharp keys feels wrong. The pitch bend thingy is not even a wheel. Shall I go on?
  • olfeniteolfenite Unsigned
    edited March 2013
    I assure you it will work. You are using the same Rock Band converter (the box part on the Rock Band USB microphone) to allow the game to pick up the signals. The PS3 or Xbox will think it has a Logitech Vantage (aka the Rock Band microphone), and technically it will, but wilh a higher quality microphone.

    I am pretty sure that Doc_SoCal did the same mod, and he uses PS3, so ask him if you don't believe me. I could be mistaken though as I am not a frequent visitor to this forum and I am trying to remember something from several years ago.

    (EDIT: I found an old topic from Doc_SoCal talking about his mic mod. Not exactly the same idea because he adds four more mic ports and solders directly to the circuit board and I solder to the wires instead, but they both get the job done and do essentially the same thing. He says in the topic that it is tested for Xbox and PS3. You can read his topic here: http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104563)

    (EDIT 2: Here is Doc_SoCal himself telling you in a video how to do the exact mod I just told you to do. Again, he confirms it works on PS3, Xbox, and Wii. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGqO2ENlgpA)

    And I think you may be misunderstanding me when I say don't buy an expensive microphone. I am not saying to buy a cheap microphone. I've been down that road already. I purchased a $10 Philips brand microphone from Wal-Mart and the range was awful. It could not get the pitch or anything right.

    What I am saying is to not buy ridiculously expensive equipment. For example, the microphones that I use are a two Shure PG48, and a Digital Reference DRV100. They currently are priced at Guitar Center for $40 and $50 respectively. I can hear myself loud and clear through the game with these microphones too. They have a good enough range for this game and are cheaper than some of the high end microphones that I'm sure work just as good for this game, but you're not going to benefit from it.

    And your analogy is off base. I'm not saying use cheap crap, I am saying that an inexpensive microphone will do the job just fine. If anything, I agree with you as I'm saying to lose the game equipment and use a real musical instrument.

    I don't know about your keyboard (or anything about keyboards period), but what I'm going to assume is that higher end keyboards have a bunch a features that, while neat, will be useless in this game. That is no different than what I am suggesting. You're not going to receive any added benefit from buying a $250 Shure Super 55 Dynamic Microphone or a Shure SM58 than you will a $40 Shure PG48. (Note: I don't know that for sure as I never used the former, but I've earned several gold stars with the latter.) My gut feeling is that if it is good enough to be sold in a music store, it is probably good enough to be used with this game.
  • IAmMurlocIAmMurloc Unsigned
    edited March 2013
    i have a RB2 mic (from Beatles package), a GH mic (from WoR) and a XLR "pro" mic with a homemade XLR->USB adapter. in game, they all work the freaking same. no difference.
    have fun.


    yes the XLR is great since I can use it to record, my camera has a mic-in connection, you can use it for other purposes. for game purposes, I don't see what the point is.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    olfenite: Yes, I kinda misunderstood, sorry. I had a couple of beer in my blood, and engilsh isn't my main. That mix is sometimes tricky.

    While I know nothing about mics, I can say that higher the price of the keyboard, usually the better feeling the keys has, or if I can say, closer to a piano feel, which is what you want, usually.

    I Would've assumed that that would be the same with mics, higher the price, higher the pitch range, etc.
  • illmissrockbandillmissrockband Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    i use the guitar hero one. i had two logitech ones and they broke.
  • LordFlatusLordFlatus Rising Star
    edited March 2013
    I use the Shure PG48 with a XLR->1/4" cable that came in a bundle for $39.00. I use it with a chopped-off RB1 mic box that I soldered a 1/4" socket onto. It works great and is far more rugged that the game logo'd mics. (Whoever thought telling people to whack a cheap-arse microphone for tambourine hits must've owned stock in the microphone company.)

    Put a cheap foam $1 wind-screen on it, too, as I noticed my RB branded mics crapped after extended singing sessions where the moisture from your breath seemed to condense inside the mic element. The windscreen seems to help with that.
  • IcemageIcemage Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    IAmMurloc;5002889 said:
    i have a RB2 mic (from Beatles package), a GH mic (from WoR) and a XLR "pro" mic with a homemade XLR->USB adapter. in game, they all work the freaking same. no difference.
    have fun.


    yes the XLR is great since I can use it to record, my camera has a mic-in connection, you can use it for other purposes. for game purposes, I don't see what the point is.
    The stock mics that come with various karaoke games (Rock Band, later Guitar Heros, Boogie, etc.) are almost all the exact same microphone: a stripped down lower quality Logitech Vantage. RB1 actually came with the best microphone of all for a video game; the RB1 mic is a tank and takes a ton of punishment.

    The problem with the stock mics (including the RB1 microphone) is (a) middling sound quality if you want to actually hear yourself through the speakers and (b) bad pickup range on lower notes if you're a guy with a low voice.

    They work perfectly fine for scoring for most people, but a proper XLR mic will wipe the floors with them in terms of audio quality.
  • randracrandrac Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    I am giving the Icicle + Shure 58 a try. I am hoping that it works. Are there any settings on the PS3 that I will need to mess with, or should it work straight out of the box by just plugging it in?
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    randrac;5003755 said:
    I am giving the Icicle + Shure 58 a try. I am hoping that it works. Are there any settings on the PS3 that I will need to mess with, or should it work straight out of the box by just plugging it in?

    Should work out of the box. If you wanna hear yourself you might want to play with the setting on the Icicle and in the PS's setting for the mic.
  • IcemageIcemage Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    randrac;5003755 said:
    I am giving the Icicle + Shure 58 a try. I am hoping that it works. Are there any settings on the PS3 that I will need to mess with, or should it work straight out of the box by just plugging it in?
    PS3 > Settings > Audio Settings > set the mic volume to 5.

    Then you can just control the mic volume with the dial on the Icicle without having to resort to game settings or PS3 settings.
  • randracrandrac Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Icemage;5003966 said:
    PS3 > Settings > Audio Settings > set the mic volume to 5.

    Then you can just control the mic volume with the dial on the Icicle without having to resort to game settings or PS3 settings.
    Thanks for the info. I am looking forward to trying it out when my shipment arrives from Amazon.
  • GraffinGraffin Rising Star
    edited March 2013
    In terms of audio quality, the RB1 mic definitely produces the clearest, cleanest sound.

    The RB3 ones are a huge disappointment. Their non-compatibility with other musical games and their build quality is why you should avoid those. Their shorter cord length is also a pain.

    Even the original GH and various other Logitech mics that come with other games don't make you sound as good as you do with the RB1 mic.

    The wireless SingStar Mics are pretty decent. They're well built, very sensitive, sound reproduction is pretty good, and being wireless makes them way more convenient to use.
  • rockman05rockman05 Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    That video with Doc soldering a 1/4" phono plug is very informative. It's what I did to MOD my microphones. But there is one thing that I would do different and it's to solder directly to a female XLR connector instead. This way you eliminate the need to buy a 1/4 to XLR connector. I also wouldn't cut the cable close to the USB converter and instead leave it long, also avoiding the need to buy a microphone cable as well. Doing both these things, I only need to connect my superior Mic directly to my microphone MOD and I'm ready to go. No extras needed.

    See pic...

    http://i47.tinypic.com/5o4jn.jpg
  • olfeniteolfenite Unsigned
    edited March 2013
    rockman05;5004028 said:
    That video with Doc soldering a 1/4" phono plug is very informative. It's what I did to MOD my microphones. But there is one thing that I would do different and it's to solder directly to a female XLR connector instead. This way you eliminate the need to buy a 1/4 to XLR connector. I also wouldn't cut the cable close to the USB converter and instead leave it long, also avoiding the need to buy a microphone cable as well. Doing both these things, I only need to connect my superior Mic directly to my microphone MOD and I'm ready to go. No extras needed.

    See pic...

    http://i47.tinypic.com/5o4jn.jpg

    Interesting. You're mod definitely eliminates the need to buy the microphone cable, which would save a nice bit of money. Wish I had known about this a few years ago.

    I'm not going to do this mod because I already have all the equipment I need, but I'm a bit curious about the wiring. XLR needs three wires, a positive, negative, and ground, right? The Rock Band microphone has two wires, a ground and a live wire. Did it require you to do anything special with the wiring? LIke, the live wire on the Rock Band part, did you connect it to the positive or negative part of the XLR connector?
  • rockman05rockman05 Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    I soldered the shield cable (ground) to pin 1 then added a jumper from pin 1 to pin 3. So shield (ground) goes to both pin 1 & 3.

    The other center cable was soldered to Pin 2, the positive.
  • randracrandrac Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Got my Shure mic today. After plugging it in and changing the Audio settings to the Icicle and configuring, it worked! The vocals are not real loud though, even at the highest setting. Can anything be done to increase the volume?
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    randrac;5004891 said:
    Got my Shure mic today. After plugging it in and changing the Audio settings to the Icicle and configuring, it worked! The vocals are not real loud though, even at the highest setting. Can anything be done to increase the volume?

    You should put your mic settings in the PS3's system settings to the max, and adjust with the Icicle. If you already did this, well I don't know, I don't own it.
  • randracrandrac Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Alternity;5004929 said:
    You should put your mic settings in the PS3's system settings to the max, and adjust with the Icicle. If you already did this, well I don't know, I don't own it.

    Yes, I did this. Appreciate the input though.
  • AlternityAlternity Road Warrior
    edited March 2013
    Maybe a setting in game?
  • randracrandrac Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Alternity;5005011 said:
    Maybe a setting in game?

    I maxed out PS3 mic setting to 5, set the mic's input level to 100%, and set the vocal track to 0 and can hear the vocals at about 50% of what I previously had with the RB mic. It isn't a huge deal, as I generally don't have vocals drowning out all other instruments, but I would have thought the amplifier would give me the option of going louder (or at least as loud as) the RB mic.

    Still, I have a working, high quality mic for RB, so I am happy.
  • edited March 2013
    A small mixer or stand alone pre-amp will give you more volume control.

    Dunno about in conjunction with the Icicle as I have never used it but I run my XLR mics through a pre-amp and can get the in game volume as high as the singer wants.

    This lil guy is cheap and should do the trick nicely.


    The more I look at that Pre-Amp, the better deal it seems so... I ordered one and will gladly report back on its operation if anyone is considering it as an option.
  • arcusxarcusx Unsigned
    edited March 2013
    rockman05;5004028 said:
    That video with Doc soldering a 1/4" phono plug is very informative. It's what I did to MOD my microphones. But there is one thing that I would do different and it's to solder directly to a female XLR connector instead. This way you eliminate the need to buy a 1/4 to XLR connector. I also wouldn't cut the cable close to the USB converter and instead leave it long, also avoiding the need to buy a microphone cable as well. Doing both these things, I only need to connect my superior Mic directly to my microphone MOD and I'm ready to go. No extras needed.

    See pic...

    http://i47.tinypic.com/5o4jn.jpg
    I did this too. Doc_SoCal - you're too modest... you should promote your video!

    I disagree with skipping the 1/4" connector; this way, I can still use the mic as it came on other applications, such as directly into a PA.
  • randracrandrac Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Doc_SoCal;5005026 said:
    A small mixer or stand alone pre-amp will give you more volume control.

    Dunno about in conjunction with the Icicle as I have never used it but I run my XLR mics through a pre-amp and can get the in game volume as high as the singer wants.

    This lil guy is cheap and should do the trick nicely.


    The more I look at that Pre-Amp, the better deal it seems so... I ordered one and will gladly report back on its operation if anyone is considering it as an option.

    Please do, though I doubt I will be able to buy anything more at this point--my wife probably already thinks I am nuts for investing in a professional mic for a game that is nearing its end of life (at least in her eyes). I just love singing too much to let it go. :)
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Nah, good mics are a great investment for the game.

    Plus who knows what else there might be out there...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGnI4j5TZ7Y
  • MeinNegerMeinNeger Unsigned
    edited March 2013
    agentnnc;5002784 said:
    Yeah, the RB2 mic is crap. Try getting your hands on an RB1 mic, it's fantastic.
    GHWT mic is even better.

    Funny, Rock Band is the better game but GH has the better instruments. If only there was some compromise...
  • edited March 2013
    arcusx;5005044 said:
    I did this too. Doc_SoCal - you're too modest... you should promote your video!
    Thanks, I appreciate the kind words.
    randrac;5005062 said:
    Please do, though I doubt I will be able to buy anything more at this point--my wife probably already thinks I am nuts for investing in a professional mic for a game that is nearing its end of life (at least in her eyes). I just love singing too much to let it go. :)

    I will indeed. They had this smoking deal on a condenser mic and I wanted a groovy retro looking mic anyway so I ordered that too since that little pre-amp provides the Phantom Power it needs.

    Try: "It's not what you spend, its what you save by getting a good deal...." Yeah that does not work with my wife either. :P
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2013
    Doc_SoCal;5005694 said:
    I will indeed. They had this smoking deal on a condenser mic and I wanted a groovy retro looking mic anyway so I ordered that too since that little pre-amp provides the Phantom Power it needs.

    Try: "It's not what you spend, its what you save by getting a good deal...." Yeah that does not work with my wife either. :P
    Is that one of those Russian mics? That looks nice for $60. I wonder if it sounds anywhere as good as it looks. To get even more nuts, a lot of people mod the Russian mics to sound better. Maybe you should do a video on that.
  • edited March 2013
    NeilDiamond1974;5005700 said:
    Is that one of those Russian mics? That looks nice for $60. I wonder if it sounds anywhere as good as it looks. To get even more nuts, a lot of people mod the Russian mics to sound better. Maybe you should do a video on that.
    It has all positive reviews so I don't suspect it will need anything other than potentially a wind screen.

    Great vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBCOpkHoKc0

    Skip to 5:20 for a demo.
  • edited April 2013
    That Pre-Amp works great and will make your vocals as loud as anyone would ever want. It's nice and small as well.

    Great price too.
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