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USB mic recommendation?

247 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 17, 2012 6:48 AM by Thomas Whaley RSS
Thomas Whaley Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 16, 2012 1:31 PM

I am simplifing my workstation and moving to a USB mic. What would you recommend?




iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 16 GB RAM
  • James Cude Level 4 Level 4 (1,155 points)
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    Nov 16, 2012 3:32 PM (in response to Thomas Whaley)

    At what price and for what use? Voiceovers or direct recording during video takes?

  • Magic Feather Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 3:54 PM (in response to James Cude)

    The CAD u37 is a really fanstastic edit system mic we use in our suites.  Crip, clear, and if you get close you get nice bass, too.


  • dastoelk Level 3 Level 3 (650 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 6:32 PM (in response to Thomas Whaley)

    I swear by my Blue Yeti. Nice dynamic range. Zero latency foldback. AFFORDABLE!


    Would I record the Fleetwood Mac "Rumors" album in my den? No. I don't have the acoustics.


    But, the voice-over is, still, broadcast quality. My clients (including network TV) have not complained.



    I have augmented my set up with a shock mount ("Radius," also offered by Yeti) and a pop screen.


    I may never go into the office again!

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
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    Nov 16, 2012 8:52 PM (in response to dastoelk)

    Let me second that. I am very pleased with my Blue Yeti.

  • fox_m Level 4 Level 4 (3,335 points)
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    Nov 17, 2012 1:18 AM (in response to Thomas Whaley)

    I'd recommend foregoing the USB mic and get a USB audio interface... then you can use whatever mic you like. Really high quality mics? ...  ain't gonna be USB. You really can't beat a Shure SM58 (you can... but it would be a matter of opinion.)


    If you need to take your show "on the road", I would recommend one of the Zoom mics. I have the H1 and H2 (got the h2 first.) It can be configured as a USB audio interface/mic for your computer. It can be taken on location (without a computer) and used as a recorder. It can use other kinds of mics as the audio input... on location... which means if you have a fancy mic like the Shure, you can take it with you and use it on location just with the H1... awesome (you will need an XLR to 1/8in stereo adapter though.) It's great with lavalier mics. Zoom mics have an outstanding dynamic range (some might say it's too good — they can pick up *everything* – if you're not careful.)


    Here are some examples [absolutely NO noise reduction used in any of them]:

    This first clip is a recording of a folk guitar, outside, on a breezy day. I used a lavalier mic (with windscreen) clipped to the soundhole connected to the Zoom H1 and set the levels down low enough to cut the ambient noise.

    ... not very impressive by itself (compared to a Tascam PortaStudio 4-track cassette recorder I had in the early nineties... it's bloody amazing!)


    and this is what it sounds like after post in Logic:

    You can really pull a lot of audio out of those lower levels because the recorder is exceptionally quiet (as far as I can tell – and i'm kind of old, so: some hearing loss — it's dead silent... but I can't find any data on the "floor" or the recorder [dead silent is at least -96dB]).


    Here's what it can sound like. Again, I mic'd a steel string guitar out in my backyard with a lavalier mic clipped to the sound hole (mic inside the guitar -- you can't tell how windy it was.)

    If it weren't for my amateurish playing, it sounds as good as a professional studio recording.


    If you don't need a fancy mic and all you *really* need is good noise reduction... invest in ScreenFlow. It has the BEST noise reduction of any software I have ever used (including Soundtrack Pro, Audicity, Logic, FCPX, you name it...) and you don't need to be editing video to use it. Just turn it on (default setting) and save! Listen to any of my later tutorials on youtube (channel: fxmah)... and realize I'm sitting 6 feet from a window air conditioner/heater that is ON all the time. You would never believe it. BTW - for those tutorials, I use a cheap GE headphone/boom mic combo (gaming headset?)... it's perfect for the job. Always in the right place and always out of the way. Headphone part is not all that great, but I like what I get from the mic.



  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2012 6:39 AM (in response to Thomas Whaley)

    Yes. Blue Yeti and other USB mics feed directly into the Voiceover Tool.


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