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Circulating Audio Equipment Guide: Home

This is a guide for finding general information about audio equipment

Basic Audio Information

Here you will find information on the recording and audio equipment Lewis currently has ready and available for patron use.

You'll also find general information on how audio equipment works.

Please see the tabs at the top for pages with more information.

Below is a current list of all the equipment Lewis has to offer in circulation.

The items may be borrowed by MIT community members; visitors are welcomed to use these items in the library.

Handheld audio recorders

  • Zoom H4nPro and accessories (6)
  • Zoom H4n and accessories (1)

Video recorders

  • Zoom Q8n-4K (2)
  • Zoom Q8 (1)
  • Zoom Q4n (1)


  • Logitech Brio 4K (3)


  • Dynamic
    • Shure SM58 - vocal mic (3)
    • Shure SM57 - instrument mic (4)
    • Shure MV7 - USB vocal mic with tripod (6)
  • Condenser:
    • Audio Technica AT4041 - small diaphragm (2)
    • AKG 451B - small diaphragm (1 pair)
    • AKG C414 - large diaphragm (1)

Microphone stands, tripods, and accessories

  • Mic stands
    • Boom stand, Hercules (3)
    • Standard, Hercules (4)
    • Standard, other (1)
    • Table-top (6)
  • Tripods
    • Mini tripod with smart phone mount, Benro (3)
    • Mini tripod for handhelds and mics, Rode (3)
    • Tripod for video camera, Benro (2)
    • Tripod for video camera, Sony VCT-R640 (2)
  • Accessories
    • Dual microphone bracket (1)
    • Pop filter (attaches to mic stand) (1)

Audio cables

  • XLR - 10ft (5) and 15ft (3)
  • XLR to 1/4” (2)
  • 1/4” to 1/4” (4)
  • 1/8” to 1/4” (4)
  • 1/8" to 1/8" (1)
  • RCA to 1/8”  stereo (1)
  • USB-A to USB-A, 10ft (1)


  • Evo4 - 2 channels (2)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - 2 channels (1)
  • Motu Ultralite mk4 - 8 channels (1)


  • Mackie 402VLZ4 - 4 channels (1)
  • Mackie ProFXv2 - 8 channels (1)

Disc drives

  • Asus (3)
  • Apple (1)
  • LG Electronics (1)
  • Lite-On (1)

MIDI keyboards

  • CMC Xkey (25-key, two octaves) (1)
  • Nektar SE25 (25-key, two octaves) (2)

Portable turntables (New!)

  • portable record player, Numark PT-01 USB (2)
  • scratch portable DJ turntable, Numark PT-01 (1)


  • Music stands (folding) (8)
  • Wolverine F2D Mighty digitizer 7-in-1 film to digital converter (1)
  • DVD player – region free, Panasonic S700P-K (for use ONLY with video monitors and TVs) (1)

Not seeing something?

If you have equipment suggestions for purchase, please let us know by emailing Caleb Hall at 

Microphone Types

This is a list of the types of microphones. Each kind has their own uses and polar patterns. I encourage you to experiment with different types to learn what mic will work best for your needs.

  • Dynamic
  • Condenser
  • Ribbon
  • Lavalier
  • Shotgun
  • USB


Follow this link for more details on mic types and their uses.

Microphone Details

Polar Patterns

A polar pattern is the directional field of sound a microphone can pick up. This field determines to which direction the microphone is most sensitive.

There are number of polar pattern types, here are a few of the most common:

  • Cardioid
  • Supercardioid
  • Wide Cardioid
  • Omnidirectional
  • Figure 8


Follow this link to see visual representations of the above mentioned polar patterns.

Polar Pattern Diagrams

Standard Recording Equipment

This is a short list of standard audio equipment that we have available in Lewis.

  • Interfaces
  • Cables
  • Microphones
  • Preamps
  • Mixers
  • Mic stands

Signal Pathways

When setting up audio equipment, it's important to keep in mind the path that the audio signal will follow. Keeping track of the path, especially when using a lot of instruments, mics, etc. is extremely important.

The pathways can be analogue, digital or a mix of both. 


Examples of each are as follows:

Analogue: Live sound, using a PA system, plugging a guitar into an amp.

Digital: Creating an instrument inside a DAW, manipulating prerecorded sounds/music.

Mix: Playing an instrument that is plugged into a DAW, for either recording or live performances.

The simplest way to think about a signal pathway is a simple input and output. No matter what goes in-between these two, the goal is always to have sound coming in and sound going out.

Here is an example with the least amount of steps possible:
(Input) Guitar -> Amp (Output)

Adding a few more steps looks like this:

(Input) Guitar -> Chorus pedal -> Delay pedal -> Loop pedal -> Volume pedal -> Amp (Output)

While there are more steps in the second example, the idea is still the same. Getting the sound from the Input to the Output.

This goal does not change when adding digital components. In every DAW, there are I/O (Input/Output) settings, these should be set to read the Input device, so the sound is coming in from the correct place, and the Output device, so the sound goes out in the correct place.