Gear Review: Mackie Chromium Mic

Nov 14, 2022

Liam Day, Artistic and Education Director at Forte

Have you been struggling with an effective and easy way to use your electric piano or electric guitar in your online lessons? Some impressive ingenuity has gone into overcoming this challenge, but the solutions have usually been somewhat complicated. I have good news: The Mackie Chromium Mic is a simple, plug-and-play, professional-sounding solution.

This is not a sponsored post! When the Forte team comes across new tools and hardware that we think can be helpful to music teachers, we always share that information.

The Mackie Chromium Mic is an excellent sounding USB condenser microphone that also has a two-channel mixer built into it. And, it is on sale now for $150. With the Chromium Mic, you can stream high-quality acoustic sounds via the mic as well as an electric piano, electric guitar, or MP3 player via the second channel. There are zero latency issues, and the sound quality of the second channel is fantastic.

When I teach guitar on Forte, it had previously been difficult to incorporate a professional electric guitar sound with my speaking or singing voice. Loopback, by Rogue Amoeba, was the first reliable solution I found. A loopback is software that creates a virtual mixer on your computer and lets you stream many different mixes from different audio sources routed through your computer. After a $100 investment and a fair amount of time learning how to use it, I can count on Loopback in a professional setting. However, not every teacher wants to spend the time and money to make an option like this work.

The Mackie Chromium USB Mic is simple by comparison. It truly is plug and play. You just plug your instrument or audio player directly into the microphone. The controls you need to mix the two channels are built right into the base of the mic.

One thing to consider is that this particular mic does not support USB-C. So, if you are like me and have a newer MacBook Pro, you will need a USB-A to USB-C adapter. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend using an adapter, but in this case, the USB-C cable that seems like it should work will not. You must use a USB-A cable and then use an adapter so that it fits into your computer’s port.

Overall, the Mackie Chromium Mic is a game changer for those in the music education community who want something that just works. If you try it, we’d love for you to share your feedback with other Forte teachers during our weekly Community Office Hours every Tuesday at 1 pm ET. Look for an email from us with the link to join each week.