Questions & Answers

How to connect a USB microphone (like the Revelator) to the io24 Revelator

+2 votes
asked Sep 28, 2021 in ioStation24c by geoffbg (220 points)
I'm sure that I'm missing something basic here, but I don't see a way to connect a USB condenser microphone to the io24 Revelator.  The io24 has slots for 1/4 inch/XLR connections only.  Is a USB to XLR conversion required?

It would be less confusing if the Revelator Microphone didn't happen to be a USB condenser microphone - unless I'm mistaken.  So the Revelator Mic can't connect to the audio interface of the same name without some kind of middleman?  That doesn't make a lot of sense, and I don't see anything about it in the manual.  Wherever there's a diagram showing the physical connections, it just shows microphones that look like USB microphones magically connecting into one of the XLR ports.

(to be clear, I don't have the Revelator Microphone, I have an Elegato Wave 3, which connects only by way of USB - which I believe is also true of the Revelator microphone).

5 Answers

+1 vote
answered Sep 30, 2021 by robneu (530 points)
selected Sep 30, 2021 by geoffbg
Best answer

The Revelator Mic, the Elgato Wave 3, and all other USB mics are made to connect directly to a computer, never going through an audio interface. The name sharing is irrelevant. It's the exact same as the Elgato Wave 3 USB mic not being able to connect through the Elgato Wave XLR, even though they're both Elgato Waves. They are fundamentally incompatible.

A condenser vs dynamic mic refers to how the mic itself functions and both types can USB or XLR mics. The XLR vs USB vs 3.5mm mics (those often attached to headsets) is the relevant comparison. USB can obviously go directly to your computer. XLR would have to go through something like the Revelator io24 or the Elgato Wave XLR. 3.5mm mics can be a bit more versatile because they can connect to most computers as well as some audio interfaces (like the GoXLR) as they both have 3.5mm inputs and both know how to interpret the signal though they are usually produce much worse audio quality.

As for the mic pictures in the manual looking like USB mics, they do because USB mics are very similar in design to XLR mics, I suspect the USB mics are often modifications of existing XLR mics. If you zoom in on the photos in the io24 manual, you'll actually see that the front of the mic reads "PreSonus M7 Condensor", which is an XLR mic, not a USB mic (see the product page here).

I'm not aware of any interface that supports what you're suggesting (connecting a USB mic to an audio interface) as the interface would need to essentially act like a computer to talk to the mic over USB and then re-encode the audio information back to USB and forward it on. I'm not aware of any sort of USB to XLR conversion and I think that would be a terrible experience and would likely introduce unnecessary delays.

0 votes
answered Sep 30, 2021 by geoffbg (220 points)
Oh I see.  That's an eye opener for me for sure!  Thanks for the edification on the subject, it actually clears up a lot of things for me. As much as I enjoy making sound/music, I really don't know squat about how sound is processed by the hardware involved.  

Whilst I'm enjoying the revelator for other reasons, and think its an excellent little interface, I do think they should have given it a different name.  They even describe it as the Revelator Series.  It's very confusing, especially when all the tutorials and reviews of the interface seem to focus heavily on its interaction with microphone input.  I like it because it has superior latency to Windows Audio, and makes the little Eris series Monitors I picked up really bang, if you know what I mean.  But it'd be just as banging if it were called the 'Reverberator' or the 'Revalutionizer', or whatever.  A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Pretty sure I just thought that last line up myself for the  first time ever.  Or did I hear that someplace?  Hmm.... time to head over to Yahoo Answers!
0 votes
answered Oct 6, 2021 by carltonflores (620 points)

Being a musician I have lots of audio gear for recording including a USB mic.    I have to say my USB mic ends up getting used all the time because its small (with it's own stand) and takes little to no setup time.   So for making recordings of my practicing,  song ideas,  recording the sound of some video, just about anything I need a quick recording of.   I basically just leave it connected to my computer all the time and I just bring up any basic recording software and go.    If I doing more serious recording then I will use my audio interface and good mics. techzpod mobdro

0 votes
answered Oct 31, 2021 by ianbelloso (140 points)

I've been grappling with this issue myself and I believe the only way to pair an audio interface with a USB mic is to use third party software to route computer audio devices and drivers, such as: 

VB Audio Voicemeeter (PC only)

VB Audio Virtual Cable (Mac or PC)

Rogue Amoeba Loopback on Mac. 

With Loopback software in particular, I was able to send my USB mic input to the Virtual A input on the Revelator io24, allowing me to control the mic mix in Universal Control along with the other inputs. Hope this helps! 

0 votes
answered Mar 28, 2022 by christopherayala (370 points)
Short answer, yes it should be possible via the io24's virtual A and B channels.

The Revelator mic (and Elegato Wave 3) has its own sound processing and control tied to it. I imagine you want to bring that processed audio stream into the revelator io24 for mixing into a Stream Mix A or B. It's possible through the revelators virtual channels. The virtual channels act like a listening device that you can then broadcast to your Stream Mixes e.g. playing music through your Zoom call "mic" (which is set to your Stream Mix A or B).

In Windows, you go to your System Settings -> Sound -> Scroll down to Advanced and click "More sound settings". Find your USB mic device under the Recording tab, then right-click it and go to properties. Click on the Listen tab and then tick the "Listen to this device" and select the desired io24 Virtual Output device under "Playback through this device". Now the io24 is receiving your USB mic's audio through one of the io24 virtual channels.

I currently do this for the NVIDIA broadcast mic which takes the original mic input from io24, does some AI processing to remove background noise, etc. and then pipe it back into a Stream Mix via a virtual output device. In my case, I have to mute the mic channel in the corresponding Steam Mix otherwise I'd get double audio (note: I do not mute the io24 mic windows device which is treated separate).

Voicemeeter is also possible too if you want to mix your USB mic with other audio for broadcasting.