So, I've got a few audio questions on my mind right now. One's been bugging me for a long time, now, and the other has only come up since I started eyeing a certain sound card.
Question 1: I have an Azden SGM-X supercardioid shotgun condenser microphone, which I've tried before to use as a desktop microphone for my computer. When it's plugged it into my Canon Vixia HV30, it performs great, if having a somewhat low amplitude. When I plug it into my computer though, the amplitude drops even further, and the line noise goes through the roof. The microphone is rated at a 65 dB SNR, and about a 50 dB SNR is where line noise should become almost undetecable. So, why on earth is does the line noise shoot way up when I plug it into any computer?
I've tried running the mic inot the computer through a mixer with, I think, an internal pre-amp (a now-broken Behringer Eurorack MX602A) and that pretty much eliminated the line noise problem, but was a pain in the ass to set up and take down. I also tried using the MX602A into the computer and using an old pro-quality drum mic, which had overall better sound quality and higher amplitude, but required an XLR cable, on top of everything else.
Question 2: So, short of getting a new mixer, is there any way to reduce the line noise that I get with that Azden mic? I've also got an Antlion Modmic (with a 58 dB SNR) coming in the mail, soon, which I'm hoping won't be subject to the same line noise problem as this shotgun mic I'm currently trying to make work properly. If it still has a line noise problem, what should I do? Get a dedicated sound card, and try to EM shield the computer's internals as best I can?
Question 3: I've been eyeing the ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card, and I'm wondering: What is a good pair of 7.1 channel headphones to go with it? I'm not looking for a headset, I'm looking for a pair of headphones, since I already have an Antion Modmic on order, like I mentioned above. I like the audio quality and durability of Sennheiser (I love my pair of HD 202s) but the only 7.1 channel headphones they make is a headset with an attached boom microphone, which isn't what I'm looking for. Price isn't really an object right now, as I'm just starting to shop around, but I'd prefer a pair that isn't more than $150 to $200 USD.