Budget USB Microphones under $100

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Strings and Things Budget USB Microphones under $100

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #31057
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Hey Fiddlers and Home recording people!

    The following article is not so much a review as it is the listing of several USB microphones costing under $100.   Naturally, depending on your needs and your budget, if you can afford to pay more for a quality microphone then I would suggest you do just that, but for those on a tight budget, a mic from the list below is still worth considering.

    From my own experience, I know it can be very daunting trying to decide which microphone to get for your home recordings.  When I was in the market for a decent all-round microphone, the whole concept of locating a mic to suit my own recording needs turned into a whole new education.  I already knew a bit about microphones and recording, but it was the absolute plethora of makes and models that bewildered me a little, making the job of buying just one decent-sounding microphone a very difficult one.    I finally settled on the Shure SM 57 costing around $150.00.  I bought it at the wrong time and the wrong place, hence its price; however, I was lucky enough to purchase it via a store gift card that a friend had sent me for my Birthday.  The Shure SM 57 is suitable as a studio mic that is very good at recording vocals and musical instruments, including the higher frequencies of the violin.  It is also a very good mic to use for voice-overs and pod-casting.  Sadly, it is not USB, and it does require phantom power from an external power source.  Prior to this purchase, I was seriously considering buying the Audio Technica 2020 listed below, but I already had my own external power source in the way of my audio interface.

    So, for the newcomers to home recording, I will let you in on a little secret.  The biggest thing that affects the sound of your recordings is the microphone.  The better the microphone, the better the recording.  However, getting a good recording via a good microphone doesn’t always mean you have to spend a small fortune.  There are actually some very good inexpensive microphones that sound almost as good as microphones costing another $100 or more.  The trick in finding these good inexpensive microphones is by taking the time to read as many reviews as you can and asking a lot of questions if you have to, in order to make your decision a lot easier.  For now, however, we will be looking at budget USB microphones that require no extra outboard equipment in order to get you recording.  USB mics are virtually plug ’em in and away you go! There are, of course, a few other USB mics which are suitable for use with Mac and Windows computers, but I have left them off the list because they cost well over $100.  Those, I may cover in a future article.

    Why use a USB microphone?

    Quick and easy with no outboard power supply needed.  While it is possible to get sound into your computer using a microphone connected to an XLR or 1/4” connector/cable, the easiest and best way to get audio from a microphone directly into your computer is via a USB cable.

    Many condenser microphones require phantom power, which, in turn, requires an additional outboard power source.  However, using a USB condensor mic means that the micrcophone is powered by the computer’s own power via the USB cable.

    All microphones are not created equal.

    Bear in mind that some microphones excel at pod-casting and voice-over work but fail at recording instruments such as drums or violins, for example, due to the higher frequencies of the instruments.  And some microphones are better suited to recording vocals and instruments than what they are for recording voice-overs or pod-casting.  Thankfully, there are a few microphones that can be used as all-rounders.  I will cover non-USB microphones at a later date; but for now, here are some USB mics listed in alphabetical order worth your consideration.

    Please note:  This article is still a work in progress.  I have posted it unfinished due to several members inquiring about USB and regular microphones.  I hope it will give them a glimpse of what is available to them.

    Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Cardioid Condensor Microphone

    Price:  $211.00 at Amazon.  Also $138.00 from Amazon.  Can be found for as little as $99 if you search around.

    Reviews:  http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT2020USB-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B001AS6OYC

     

     

    Video review:  AT 2020 vs Blue Yeti (mentioned farther on)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQIbg8ZGOKc


    AT2020 Cardioid Condensor microphone specs…

    – High performance to cost ratio.  Produces quality audio for both vocals  and musical  instruments.
    – Side-address studio condenser with USB digital output (Windows and  Mac  compatible).
    – Crystal-clear, natural sound for pod-casting, home studio recording, field recording, and voice-over use.
    – Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response.
    – Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source.
    – Low self-noise – perfectly suited for sophisticated digital recording equipment.

    This mic can be comfortably placed in a shock mount.  A shock mount is recommended (but not absolutely necessary) for people who want to record away from their desk top.  Below is a good, inexpensive shock mount.


    The three-legged fold up desk top stand is cheap and flimsy and is made from cheap plastic that will easily allow your mic to topple over.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    Audio-Technica ATR2100 – Hand held Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone.
    Price:  $53.00 at Amazon

    Reviews:   http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATR2100-USB-Cardioid-Dynamic-Microphone/dp/B004QJOZS4

     

     

    ATR2100 specs…

    – Handheld dynamic microphone with USB digital output and XLR analog output.
    – USB output connects to your computer for digital recording, while the XLR output connects with your sound system conventional microphone input for use in live performance or studio work.
    – Smooth, extended frequency response ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, voice-over, and on-stage use
    – Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay.
    – Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear.

    Uncertain what accessories come with this mic but it could possible come with a mic clip and possibly a small plastic desk top stand.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condensor Microphone
    Price:  $65.00 at Amazon
    Reviews:  http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATR2500-USB-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B004QJREXM

     

     

    ATR2500 specs…

    – Side-address condenser microphone with USB output for easy connection to your computer.
    – Ideal for pod-casting, home studio recording, field recording, and voice-over use.
    – Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay.
    – Adjust headphone volume with easy-to-use controls on the front of the microphone.
    – High-quality AD converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate.
    – Side-Address Studio Condensor Microphone With USB Output.
    – Relatively low self-noise.
    – The performance is of a sligthly lesser quality compared to its bigger brother, the Audio Technica AT 2020.

    Comes with USB cable, microphone desktop stand, and microphone clip.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    Blue Yeti USB Condensor Microphone (Silver)

    Price:  $99.00 at Amazon

    Reviews:   http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Yeti-USB-Microphone/dp/B002VA464S

    This solidly – built microphone is a very popular microphone but it also is very large; standing about 12 inches tall and taking up a large space on the desktop.  It is difficult to shock mount but it can be attached to a microphone arm.  However, bear in mind that the weight of the microphone may cause the microphone arm to swing downward.  The sound of this microphone is very similar to the sound of the Audio Technica AT2020.

     

    Blue Yeti specs…

    – High quality audio suitable for a variety of applications.
    –  Offers a rich and rounded sound.
    – Built-in volume control.
    – Three custom condenser capsules and four different polar pattern settings: Cardioid, Stereo, bi-directional and Omnidirectional.
    – Cutting-edge A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path for use with professional studio mixers and pre-amps.
    – Built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring, and direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, mute, and microphone gain.
    – 15 Hz-22 kHz frequency response.
    – 192 kHz/24 bit Sample/Word.

    Uncertain of what (if any) extras are included in the price but I think it may include a USB cable.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    Blue Snowball USB Condensor Microphone

    Price:  $60 at Amazon but can get new as low as $50 also from Amazon.

    Reviews:   http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Snowball-Microphone-Textured/dp/B000EOPQ7E

     

     

    Blue Snowball specs…

    – USB Output: The USB output enables direct integration with a desktop or laptop computer, allowing CD-quality recording.
    – Dual Capsule Design: The dual capsule design incorporates omnidirectional and cardioid elements to give you a choice.
    -10dB Pad: A -10dB pad switch eliminates noise and distortion when capturing signals at extreme volume levels.
    – Offers the choice of omini-directional or cardioid pickup patterns.
    – Decent sound quality.
    – Decent first mic for home recording studio or voice-overs and pod-casting.
    – Available in a variety of colors.

    Included Accessories: A weighted desktop stand and USB cable.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

     

    CAD U1 Dynamic microphone

    Price:  $22.50  At Amazon

    Reviewshttp://www.amazon.com/CAD-U1-Dynamic-Recording-Microphone/dp/B000ULQTE0

     

    CAD U1 specs…

    – Dynamic microphone element designed for vocals and instruments.
    – Cardioid pick-up pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise.
    – Smooth, extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and instruments.
    – Built in pop filter minimizes “P-popping”.
    – On-Off switch for instant mute.
    – Entry-level mic ideally suited for first-time home recordists and pod- casters.
    – Can be used either with its desk top stand or can be hand-held.

    This microphone is not one that I would say produces studio quality sound but it is still a good mic for the price you pay.

    Unsure of any extras (if any) come with the CAD U1 Mic.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    CAD U37 USB Studio Condensor Microphone

    Price:  $49.00 at Amazon

    Reviewshttp://www.amazon.com/CAD-U37-Condenser-Recording-Microphone/dp/B001AIQGUO
    This is a VERY popular microphone, however, its sound is not of the quality of the Yeti or the Audio Technica AT 2020.

     

     

     

    CAD U37 specs…

    – Large condenser microphone element for warm, rich recordings.
    – Utilizes a larger, higher-end condenser element for a warmer, richer sound.
    – Cardioid pick-up pattern minimizes background noise and isolates the main sound source.
    – Smooth, extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and instruments.
    – It has 10dB overload-protection switch minimizes distortion from loud sound sources.
    – Bass-reduction switch reduces room noise.
    – Offers computer-adjustable sensitivity.
    – The U37 is Windows and Macintosh compatible, with no software to install–simply plug it into any available USB port, select it as your input in your software settings, and you’re ready to create your own audio.

    I think a desktop mic stand and a USB cable also come with the CAD U37.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    Samson Go portable USB Condensor Microphone

    Price:  $40 at Amazon

    Reviews:  http://www.amazon.com/Samson-Mic-Portable-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B001R76D42
    Samson have been in the audio industry many years, manufacturing both Pro and Consumer grade good quality products. The Samson Go Mic is a great little microphone but is probably better suited to voice-overs and pod-casting rather than recording musical instruments, because the higher pitched musical instruments or higher pitched voices have a tendency to blow it out.  It is also very sensitive and will pick up every bit of unwanted sound.  It can also be used as a better alternative to your computer’s built-in microphone.

     

    Microphone test — Guitar and vocal

     

    Samson Go Mic specs…

    – Portable, compact USB condenser microphone.
    – Can be used in non-USB mode.
    – Can be used for both cardioid and omnidirectional recording.
    – Good for situations where you don’t need to make recordings of the highest quality.
    – Plug and Play Mac and PC compatible, no drivers required.
    – Custom compact design that clips to a laptop or sits on a desk.
    – Perfect for recording music, pod-casting and field recording.
    – Ideal for voice recognition software, iChat, VoIP and web casting.

    Uncertain if any extras come with the Samson Go Mic.

     

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

     

    Samson Meteor USB Studio Microphone (Chrome)

    Price: $55.00 at Amazon.

    Reviews:  http://www.amazon.com/Samson-Meteor-Studio-Microphone-Chrome/dp/B004MF39YS

     

     

    Video review: Comparison to other mics

     

     

    Samson Meteor specs…

    – Large, 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser microphone.Works with iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin).
    – 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution.
    – Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.
    – Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring.
    – Large, 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser microphone.
    -Works with iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin).
    -16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution.
    – Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz?20kHz.
    – Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring.
    – Not really suitable for mounting in a shock mount.  More suited to desktop situations.
    – Small desktop foot print.

    Comes mounted on its own 3-leg fold up desktop stand.  Uncertain if any other accessories come with it.

    #31068
    nagumaqnagumaq
    Participant

    Wow ! How to choose ?, budget good, under 100$, even better, I ll probly want the highest quality no doubt, that’s so awesome Usb ! Great news great Scott ! I have been using my apple I thing , works nice, but I real want to use my q base soft ware I thing usb Mike is the way to go.
    Thank you for the reviews and info.
    How did you know , that’s what we need ? ????❤️☺️
    Gu

    #31087
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Scott, what a cool post. You have put a lot of work and research into this. Way too often, I have read gear advice where the author sneers at “cheap” equipment. There are so many people out there who want to start doing some home recording, and frankly don’t want to spend $2000 on a microphone. It really irks me when these snobs totally discount the wide array of products that are focused on creating quality products that will allow a novice to get into the business without breaking the bank.

    Also, too many people turn up their noses are USB mics. After the purchase of an expensive microphone, you are then expected to spend as much again on an analog-to-digital converter before you can even get a signal into your computer.

    Like your “Fiddles Under $500” post, this is so refreshing. There are so many people out there who just need an inexpensive, plug-and-play mic that will immediately get their music to their audience. But you know what? Most people don’t need a pristine, studio sound. And here’s why.

    Studio engineers want a mic sensitive enough to pick up the sound of a pin dropping across the room. So they spend thousands of dollars on this mic, only to realize that it keeps picking up the sound of a pin dropping across the room. And an airplane flying over. And a fly buzzing nearby. You get the point. So, then they are forced to spend thousands of dollars on insulation and baffles in order to make the room quiet. If the normal person tried to make a home recording with one of those mics, they would be plagued with the hum of a distant refrigerator, cars going by in street, sounds of construction, etc.

    All that to say this: A post like this that realistically and honestly compares inexpensive microphones is exactly what is needed for someone searching for a good way to ease into home recording. Well done, my friend.

    #31088
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Hey Gu!!!!!  Thanks for the positive feedback!   Yes, there are a few good USB microphones in the list I provided, especially if someone is on a very tight budget.  However, if you want to spend around $230 for a VERY good USB microphone, then I would like to suggest you have a look, and try out, the mic in the image below.  It is the Apogee MiC 96k Pro Quality mic for iPad, iPhone and Mac computers.  It can also be used with windows, but a bit of tweaking will  be required.

     

    This is the same mic that brother John uses for all his fab recordings.

     

    I am currently in the process of researching some affordable non-USB mics that are good for use in home recording studios.  Compiling these lists / reviews takes a lot of time, but I hope to get the list up here on BGD as soon as I can.  There is something for everyone on that list, with no prices TOO scary.

    So, if you are not in a hurry to get a new mic, then wait for my list to be posted and you will be able to compare USB mics to non-USB mics and see which one you prefer.

    Buona giornata!   🙂

    GS, from the otherverse

     

     

     

     

     

    #31091
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Scott, I have been super-pleased with the Apogee MiC. However, windows buyers should beware. As you said, some configuration is necessary in order to use this with a PC. You have to download ASIO drivers and set them up from your recording software’s audio configuration options. (I have set up these drivers in several different programs, and I currently recommend Reaper as a nice free option.)

    However, don’t expect it to work with Audacity, or any program that only makes use of your PC’s sound configuration. I guess it is possible, but really hard to do.

    #31099
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Howdy brother John!   🙂  Thanks for all your great comments.  And what you say is absolutely perfectly correct.  The sad thing about setting up a home recording studio, is that new-comers to the hobby all too often get sucked into all the hype of manufacturers and stuck-up pretentious wannabies — those so-called “Home Pros” dictating to the newcomer what he or she needs to make good recordings.  Man!!!!!  I have heard some brilliant recordings coming out of a garage with the front door open!  Those truly great recordings from the sixties / seventies that are warm and full of life and those extra nuances that you just don’t find on the sterile contemporary recordings of today.  Those “brilliant” recording I mention, actually came from bands who recorded in their small home garage!  None of this modern-day over-priced insulation on the walls.  No sir-ee!!!!  All they had around the walls were shelves with power tools on them, some storage boxes stacked alongside one of the walls, kids’ bikes along the other side wall; and if their dad was in a good mood that day, then the car would be moved out of the garage so the band had more room to move.  And if their mom was feeling extra nice on the day of recording, she would reluctantly give her permission for a few of the neighborhood slappers to hang around the garage door and swoon and scream at their idols.  “Groupies” we called them!   However, bands’ moms were always ready to put the garden hose on the screaming slappers and shoo them out of the yard any time they got out of hand.  And we all know what screaming teenage girl fans can be like!

     

    You get the picture!   🙂

    And, on the subject of microphones and wall insulation / sound insulation:  I have used an old Apple iMac to record a number of things.  I have NO sound insulation in my recording studio, and I have made some of the most pristine recordings, with no background noise or echo or interference whatsoever; just the pure sound of my voice.  Those particular recordings sound just as good as if they were recorded on a $3,000 Neuman Studio microphone!

     

    The bottom line is this:  Making music is supposed to be FUN, not a financial headache.  So, forget all the wall insulation, the hugely over-priced and buggy ProFools (play on words there), the hugely expensive DAWs (digital audio workstation), the $500 or $3,000 microphones, the fancy leather chair to sit in while you record, and all the other CRAP that you simply do NOT need.  For as little as $300, you can set up a small home recording in your bedroom or basement or spare room.  Hell!  You could even set up one in the out-house if you have to!

    And how do you do this for $300?  Here’s how (considering you already have a computer)

    1)  Software (for starters) = Audacity… FREE!  OR move up to something better by spending $60 and get REAPER — one of the best and most comprehensive PROFESSIONAL pieces of music sequencing software on the planet!  Let’s suppose you decide to go with Reaper…

    Reaper $60

    Sub-total = $60

    2) Inexpensive but good mid-level microphone.  If you go with a USB mic, then it is literally plug and play with no extra expense needed to buy an audio interface.  If you go the route of a non-USB microphone, then you will need an audio interface.

    Microphone $80

    Sub-total = $140

    3) Audio Interface.  You can pick up one of these starting at around $100.  OR, you can pick up a better quality used one in good condition for around the same price.

    Audio Interface $100

    Subtotal =$240

    And if you really want to sound-proof your walls a little, then tack up some old carpet on the wall OR stack some boxes around the walls OR fill your room with soft furnishings OR buy some of those thick foam camping tiles that go on the floor of your tent and hang them on the wall.  OR, if you are  using your bedroom for recording and your hamster insists on using his squeaky running wheel, then get rid of the hamster and buy a gold fish.

    So, with my warped humor now all expired, I am going to put ZERO cost on insulation, because it you use your ingenuity, you will be able to come up with a FREE solution; however, you more than likely won’t need it.  So…

    Sub-total = $240

    Which means the

    Grand-total = $240

    If you have a $300 budget, then spend the $60 from the above grand total to get a microphone cable (circa $13.00) OR spend it on a slightly better microphone or a slightly better audio interface … or buy a loveable puppy.  🙂

    Friendly note to all the newcomers to home recording:  DON’T listen to all those Wallies who tell you that you MUST have this and you MUST have that bit of kit in order to produce good sounding recordings.  You are a novice home recordist, for Pete’s sake!  You are expressing yourself and exercising your musical talents by producing music for yourself and your friends:  You are NOT a professional sound engineer working for Abby Road Studios!!!!!

    Once you have become proficient at using your fundamental gear, then move up slowly to the next bit of studio gear in the way of a better microphone and / or a better audio interface etc.

    My message is simply this:  Be cautious, be frugal, be willing to learn and take one step at a time, but above all else, make the whole song writing / music creation thing A LOT OF FUN!!!!

    Peace! 

     

    #31100
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    John, thanks for sharing your warning and those tips.  ASIO drivers and PCs.  Ah yes, the two biggest killers of any musical inspiration.  I hate both the A drives and PCs.

    Did you know that the majority of people who create music on their computers these days are creating that music on Apple computers?  Why?  Because PCs  SUCK!  And I say this from my own contentious and bitterly disappointed experience trying to get anything creative done on a kantakerous, ill-conceived Operating System on my PCs.   🙁

    If you want to kill your creative genius, buy a PC.

    #31115
    AvatarBruce
    Participant

    Scott, thanks for this thread.  I have been using the mic on my Macbook to record fiddle into Garage Band.  It does not sound very good but I have really learned just how much I need work on certain areas of fiddling by listening to my playing. What my ears hear and what the mic hears are not always the same ( ears lose-ha).  I had been thinking of a USB mic and your info really helps me understand what might work for me.

    #31119
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Hi Bruce!  You are welcome!  And thank you for your post.

    Perhaps Apple used a different microphone in their MacBooks as compared to their old iMacs.  My iMac is now 13 years old, so I will call it a “teenager”; other people might even call it an “old girl” .   🙂  Mine does a great job at recording voice and acoustic instruments, including the violin.  But you are right!  What our own ears hear and what the mic hears can often be very different.  I have recorded live fiddle through the iMac’s mic and on hearing the live playing, I shuddered, and I was ready to toss the fiddle in the fire, BUT… when I played back the recording, it sounded pretty decent, even though it did pick up every little error in my playing.  Microphones are often the best critics.   🙂

    Good luck with your USB microphone purchase, should you decide to buy one.  I will be adding some more information to the USB mic list, so keep an eye out for that.

    Scott

    #31132
    nagumaqnagumaq
    Participant

    Thanks again, this is an important thread , I am ready , and will be waiting for more info first , I am not in a hurry , but sooner better, I lost the recording function on my piano , so I can’t make my back tracks anymore, got to get back into recording ! I guess I ll be throwing out the old Dell , or pass it on to my 6 year old. iPad might not do either, so an old lady Apple sounds not to bad too.
    Merci,
    Gu

    #31134
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Thanks Gu!  I am sorry to hear about you Roland losing its recording function.

    I have updated this thread with some video reviews and comparisons between some of the mics on the list.  I hope they give a good visual and audio representation of each microphone.

    Ciao,

    Scott

    #31137
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Hi GS, I love the additions to the post. This has turned into something pretty awesome!

    About those old recordings… I heard once that Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” was recorded in a bathroom. These days, we use highly-engineered foams and fabrics to completely deaden a room, then digitally add reverb and reflections until it has the same impulse as a bathroom. 🙂

    Well, OK, it is nice to have that kind of control, but if you just want a bathroom sound, why not save some money and record in the bathroom?

    #31146
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Thanks John!  Jeff Lynne, English composer, songwriter, lead vocal and all round nice guy from ELO aka Electric Light Orchestra (huge in the 70s and 80s) records his stuff anywhere:  living room, kitchen, and even bathroom in his own home.  He uses the bathroom when looking for a special sound.  And by using the bathroom, I mean he records in the bathroom without actually paying his penny, if you get my drift.   🙂  All of him home recorded stuff sounds just as good as if it were done in a recording booth.  And yes, he / they have also recorded a lot of their albums in a recording studio as well; but when Jeff updated and re-recorded a number of the band’s albums years later, he did it in him own home, in open rooms.

    With all the hype the manufacturers of audio recording /studio products and the self – appointed  Home Recording Police (wallies for short), I suppose the next thing they will concoct in order to make their money and glorify their egos is to have home recording enthusiasts book recording time in a hospital’s operating theater, with all the life support machines turned off, just to make the pristine environment totally sterile and quiet.

    #31205
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    What gets me is that engineers spend $2000 on a mic, then digitally set a low-volume roll off in order to cut out the ambient noises that come through the foam walls. This basically turns an expensive mic into a cheap mic.

    Well, I didn’t mean to detract from what you’ve done here. Bravo! This really is a thoughtful and helpful resource.

    #32217
    kevinjkevinj
    Participant

    I use a Samson Meteor USB mic, and I’m really happy with it. I couldn’t stand the chrome look, so I got a brushed nickel version. They also come in black. To answer Scott’s question in the review, you get the mic (it has flip-up builtin legs, very nice, very convenient) and a USB cable.

    The mic is really well built, and is half the size of the giant Blue Yetis and Audio Technica mics. I like mine because you don’t have to be right on top of it for it to pick up sound nicely. It’s a cardoid pattern, so it’s slightly directional, and does a pretty good job of ignoring off-axis background noise.

    I would easily buy another one.

    Just a tip — it has a headphone jack in it for podcasts and such, so that output from speakers doesn’t feed right back into the mic and cause feedback loops. So when you plug it in, the computer will assign both recording (mic) and output (speakers) signals to the mic. So your speakers will go dead when you first plug it in. You’ll either have to use headphones on it, or click the speaker symbol in the Windows system tray to set the default output device back to your usual speakers.

    The mic also has a button for muting the recording signal, and a rotary headphone volume dial around the mute button.

    Oh yes, and it has very wonderful, classic looks… 🙂

    #32219
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Thank you for those tips, Kevin.  It is always nice to hear the thoughts of someone else who owns one of these mics.

    #32220
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    [quote=31091](I have set up these drivers in several different programs, and I currently recommend Reaper as a nice free option.)[/quote]

     

    Hi John, I don’t wish to correct you, but I feel I need to let the folks know that Reaper is not free.  It costs just $60 BUT it does come with a fully-featured 30-Day free trial.  Reaper is a wonderful DAW, and the newer version of Reaper 5 was officially released on August 13, 2015, and they have made several updates since the official release and are now on version Reaper 5.12.  WOW!!  Talk about being on the ball!

    A new Reaper 5 license includes unlimited free updates through to Reaper 6.99.  A current Reaper license will last you for several years.  You could then either upgrade or stay with the Reaper 5.

    It can be installed and run from a portable or network drive and has a very small footprint of just 10MB for Windows and 13MB for OS X.  It can also be run on Linux using WINE.  There are no dongles or iLocks and it is DRM-Free.

    Reaper can do everything all the other DAW software programs can do … and MORE!  Reaper is never advertized.  It is only by word of mouth that people get to know about this quality professional DAW that has such a tiny footprint of just .  The one complaint that users of other DAW programs have when they want to try out Reaper, is that Reaper’s UI (user interface) looks a little bland.  That is really subjective, however, you can download FREE skins developed by other users, and use them to make the UI as colorful as you like.  Check out the review video below and see just how colorful Reaper really is.   The Reaper community is a fantastic bunch of people willing and eager to help anyone with their questions.  Oh, and did I mention that Reaper also has basic Video editing capabilities.

    Reaper is a very deep program, and may look a little intimidating to many newcomers, however, the same holds true for just about all the other DAWs on the market.  The good thing is that there are a ton of FREE videos out there that will easily help a newcomer through the process of creating their first song

    http://www.reaper.fm/

    Below is an excellent review of Reaper 5:

    Note:  Firefox will not allow me to copy and past the review URL to this post. This reviewer appears to have locked his site to prevent the copy and pasting of his link.  So to get around that, I will manually type  the URL (link) .  All you have to do then is manually type it into your URL window using the proper www. etc, typing with no spaces.    Because of all the trouble and the lock this guy obviously has on his website, I really shouldn’t give him the satisfaction of allowing others to see his review.  However, it does showcase Reaper 5 quite well; and it is ONLY because I like the guys at Cockos Reaper that I am posting this other guys link, otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my valuable time!

    double u double u double u extremraym dot com/en/reaper-5-review/

    Do I work for or have any affiliation with Reaper?  No.  I simply like to share information about this VERY affordable bit of remarkable software.   🙂

    #32232
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Kevin, thanks for the informative review. It sounds like a great little mic!

    Scott, I stand corrected — Reaper isn’t free. Although software is complete and uncrippled, after the evaluation period you will start getting a nag screen reminding you of all the hard work that went into the DAW. Even though some people continue to use the software without paying, I hope that most would pay the $60 (or $225 for a commercial license) and reward Cockos for their hard work in developing this fantastic software.

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.