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USB Microphone Converter

SingStar USB Microphone Converter

SingStar consists of a couple of microphones which connect into your Playstation 2. You then sing along to some popular songs, and it scores you based on how good you sound. The technology behind it is very clever, as is the quality of the software and hardware considering the shelf price of around $50.00.

But it was what came with the microphones interested me most. It’s a converter which changes two microphone inputs into a USB connector. Out of interest, I plugged it into the Mac. Hey presto! It gives you two audio inputs – perfect for plugging a standard microphone or even guitar into GarageBand. It achieves the same as the Griffin iMic (without the audio output).

You can pick these up for next to nothing on eBay – Often, you can buy the converter and two mic’s for as little as $16.00. For those of you in need of a cheap USB microphone input on your Mac, this is perfect. Ideal for those of you who may own a Mac Mini, which doesn’t ship with a microphone port.

59 Responses to “USB Microphone Converter”

  1. what i want to ask is on my ps2 has 2 usb ports and am i able to plug in 4 mic or am i only able to play with 2 mic
    just want to know as if i can play with 4 mics il buy an each 2

  2. Here’s the gem with Singstar. Yes, there is some latency with Garage Band if you change interfaces after opening Garage Band. However, if you set Singstar as your default input, setup a project in Garage Band to work with it, then save, close and reopen it, the latency vanishes.

    Now, it gets even better. Singstar adapters have a unique serial number for each unit. This means they EASILY aggregate. I’ve just used two with an iMic in a trial, leading up to recording my band at live gigs with my iBook, aggregated in Audio/Midi Setup. It works! If you use Audacity 1.3.2, it now recognises aggregate devices and has next to no latency. As far as I can tell, I should be able to run as many as 7 (14 tracks) via a fast hub and have no appreciable latency in Audacity!

    Don’t bother trying 8 tracks in Garage Band on anything less than a Core 2 Duo, but with Audacity, you can record stacks of tracks, then export to AIFF for import to GB.

  3. Robert

    Hey guys two things to consider.

    The headphones working is important.

    Some (Piezo Electret) microphones require power. This could explain why some microphones don’t work with the PS2 Adapter. The other problem is impedance mismatch, as not all mics have the same impdance and that couid also be the source of your problems

  4. PCdoctor

    One thing to keep in mind with all this compatibility issues, is (how many black rings are on the plug?) Remember if you take a mic that’s plug only has 1 black ring, and plug it into an input jack that supports plugs with 2 black rings (such as a headset-because it has to run the mic input, and earpiece output also) then it wont work. There are mono, and stereo ends on these devices. The mono has 1 black ring, the stereo has 2, and some have 3, such as a headset with 1 mic, and 2 earpieces. So dont plug a 1/4 inch guitar cord or mic jack into an adaptor that will allow it to fit a smaller hole if the end on the adaptor has more black rings than the original plug does.

    I’m working on a headset preamp that will fit cordless phones, cell phones ect. but use a watch battery to ACTUALLY raise the volume. These cheap a** headsets that simply have a volume dial, all they do at maximum volume is simply allow as much volume as you’d get if it was just hard wired. There’s no real increase in volume.

  5. natalie

    hi erm i hv the two singstar mics and when i plug the lil singstar box in and it recognises it and the blue light comes on cept from when i go onto a program like msn and try doing a voice conversation it doesnt work. im sure they are plugged in properly and everything so im really not sure what to do. ive heard you need some kind of converter but i dont have a mac, jus a reagular pc. can anyone help? natalie x

  6. Hi, I’m totally new at all of this. I’m considering buying an imic in order to convert audio recordings (music and voice) to something I can put into itunes.

    My question is what are the differences between the two different versions of the imic that I have seen as I look around various sites. Although there is a newer (smaller?) version available, I also see places that still sell the one that is pictured at the top of your review. Can anyone let me know what the differences are and if there is any strong reason I need to be getting the smaller one in particular?


  7. I have tried three mikes and got the same reaction with the my Mac systems. None of them have enough gain to pick up the mikes. If you yell into them using GarageBand, you will pick up some sound, and a lot of distortion. If you hook up a headphone to the mic jack, you can record with them in stereo, but it isn’t a very good solution.

    When I plugged each of the mics into a PC tablet, they all worked fine, so it is a problem with the sound input level on the Macs, software manipulation of the signal from the input jack, or lack of proper signal handling (hardware). If you don’t have some hardware to amplify the sound level, or software to amplify it for you, you might as well have plugged the microphones into the dirt.

  8. Hi, Gary. Some microphone jacks click in TWICE. You put it in the MIC IN slot, it clicks once to signify that you’ve inserted it in properly. But if you look, you’ll see that it’s only about 98% in. Then you push it further, it clicks again, and that’s when you’re MIC jack is 100% inserted. I used to have this problem with a cheap lapel mic that I was using with my video camcorder. The problem was, I wasn’t getting any audio input when I inserted it in fully. I had to stop at the first click, where it was about 98% inserted. Then it started working. Hope you get to solve your problem.

  9. this is the same problem i had although i didn’t try a set of headphones…has anyone else got this to work using a microphone other than an actual singstar one??does it need a specific type of mic…

  10. Sounds like a very neat way of adding cheap audio input to my iBook. Problem is, I can only get it to work with headphones! I’ve got the SingStar box plugged in and it’s recognised as an audio input in Preferences. If I plug in a pair of headphones into the singstar box and talk into them (!) it works as a low-qual mic. Put any of my five proper mics in there though, and I get only a click on insertion and no input otherwise. Any help?

    Thanks for the idea though — I do love playing with new toys.

  11. just wondering

    Go to the Griffin website and download the free software – Final Vinyl — check to see if it works.

    Also, follow the following description (pretend like you own an iMic)

    Verify that the iMic is being seen in Sound and Speech Preference Panes and you’ve selected your preferred Output device. Then open iMovie (It came with OS X and can usually be found in Applications on your hard drive). In iMovie you’ll see an Audio tab on the right hand side of your screen. Click on it, then click Record Voice and speak into your microphone or activate your Line Level source. You should see corresponding movement in the signal meter and progress bar at the bottom of your screen. Press Stop, then press Rewind and Play in the iMovie panel and listen to what you just recorded.

    If you can’t record a sound in iMovie, swap USB ports and try recording again (you’ll have to go through the selecting process again). If you still can’t record, open the Apple System Profiler. It will be in the Utilities folder under Applications. Open Devices and Volumes and, connected to one of the USB ports, you should see a Griffin Technology folder. Open that folder and you should see the iMic. If you’ve connected the iMic directly to a USB port on your Mac and you don’t see it in the Apple System Profiler, you may have a defective iMic. If you can record into iMovie, but the iMic isn’t working with your preferred software, you should contact the software manufacturer first to make sure the version you’ve got is compatible with your Mac OS.

    • barkinglips

      it’s july 2009. paid $6 for the singstar mics and usb converter box at thrift store. dogs chewed cable off right at end to red mic, but i spliced it, plugged into OSX imac, didn’t show up on screen, but found your comment. Went to imovie, and was able to actually record from both mics…!!! i’m so thrilled. I like to input from lots of sources, so with these long cables can put one mic one place 10 (?) feet away. Let the dogs howl now!!

  12. dunno ..i mean it was sold as working of course and i tried both plug sockets ..i get a click when i insert the jack plug but then nothing from the mike itself….i might just give in and buy a usb mike..sigh!

  13. Did anyone tright to use non-Sony USB microphones to work with the Playstation2 and the Singstar USB Converter, the other way around Amazing mentioned last September.

    Your soon reaction will be appreciated.

  14. i read this article so i bought one off ebay for 5 bucks ..i have a g4 dual 1.42 ghz and it recognises the usb converter instantly but i cant get the mike i have to work with it..the jack plug goes all the way in no problem but i’m getting no i need a specific type of mike..??

  15. Does this also work on a PC? I’m getting a sound card where the digital out and mic in share the same jack, and I want to use both, so this would be really useful.

    I shall borrow one from a friend and see for myself if I get the chance.

  16. BobbyDavros

    Already had my singtar mikes, and was looking for a cheap garageband mic pre-amp, so I thought I’d give it a try.

    They work great, and can be used individually, or as the channels in a stereo recording, but there seems to be a noticeably latency in the feedback when using the USB box, from when using a regular microphone.

    That’s the only bummer I can see. Nice find!

  17. Got one cheap off ebay. 2 problems.

    1. The inputs are 3.5 mm jacks, which are really deeply recessed into the plastic. You need a really thin lead in order to get anything in there. Im gonna have a go at it with a hacksaw though, to try and rectify this problem.

    2. This may be due to problem one, but I get a massive feedback on the input. It’s probably because the only jack I have that is thin enough to fit in doesnt quite go all the way in. I will report on the situation when I’ve tried the hacksaw ; – )

  18. This post prompted me to try the headset that comes with the PS2 SoCom Navy Seals game..

    My Mac recognized it as a USB headset for both input and output :)

    Ta for the idea!