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Re: A good usb mic for podcasting

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  • Kenn Crawford
    I bought the Avid Vocal Studio USB mic for podcasting my show, Podiorookie. The mic sounded okay but like all condensers it picked up everything. It had a
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 12, 2012
      I bought the Avid Vocal Studio USB mic for podcasting my show, Podiorookie. The mic sounded okay but like all condensers it picked up everything. It had a built-in headphone jack for "low latency monitoring" but there was no way of controlling the volume - everything was done through software and "low latency" is not exactly how I would describe it. Using the bundled software was okay but I have used Protools when I ran a recording studio and the bundled lite (or extra light) version was too limiting for my taste. I tried other software using ASIO drivers - some worked great, others not so much. One thing I did notice with the mic is that if you like the "up close and personal" sound using the proximity effect you didn't have a lot of room to play with. A couple of inches difference in distance made a big difference in sound. The bass and volume dropped off drastically as you moved further away from the mic. This is to be expected but in only a few inches? I returned the mic 2 weeks later.

      I then purchased the AT2020 usb mic. Much better sound to my ears. Unlike the previous mic I could plug it into an USB extension without any noticeable clicks or increased latency problems. All in all it was a much better mic, but being a condenser it picked up everything. I would recommend this mic if you have an area free from life's little distractions like noisy neighbors, kids running around and of course, you're computer is super quiet. My only gripe about this mic... well, there's two actually... is that it did not come with a headphone jack (which I think company's should start placing them on the bottom of the mic and not on the front where the headphone cable can rub and bang against the body of the mic... just saying) and my second gripe is the pathetic little stand it came with. Everything had to be angled just so or the bloody thing toppled over, not to mention being a desktop stand without any real damping meant you can't touch anything on your desk while recording. I don't actually use the desktop stand when recording but they would be handy for Skype calls or maybe a round-table discussion (with the right mic).
      Seriously, if you are going to spend a hundred dollars or more to improve the sound of your podcast with a better mic, buy a 25 dollar mic stand with a boom and get your microphone off your desk. Not to mention, being that far from the mic (you in chair, mic on desk) puts you too far away from the mic - you're just begging for added room noise and the mic is supposed to be close to your mouth, not your desk.

      If you're interested I did a quick review with sound sample of an dynamic mic that cost less than 30 bucks here: http://podiorookie.com/sv100review and there's some extra info in the show notes about vocal ranges and so on.

      Plus, an episode of my show was about microphones - I did a little shoot out of sorts and I tried to make a cheap no-name karaoke mic sound better. There are audio samples of the AT2020 and a couple of dynamic mics (AKG, Peavey) That episode can be found here: http://podiorookie.com/004

      When all is said and done I would use a dynamic mic paired with a USB interface rather than using a USB condenser microphone. I'm saving for an RE20 or a Heil PR40 for my next mic purchase.

      My two cents,

      > > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "TCA" <b.waidux@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hello guys, you may get this a lot, but I have to ask anyway.
      > > > I want to do some podcasting that is a bit more serious, and I was thinking of getting a USB microphone.
      > > > So I came across four microphones that I think are awesome, but I can't decide. I'm not very good with the whole technical part of audio hardware, so I was hoping to get some advice.
      > > >
      > > > So, the first one is the Blue Yeti. (http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/)
      > > >
      > > > The second one is the Audio Technica AT2020USB (http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/c75c5918ed57a8d0/)
      > > >
      > > > The third one is the Editors Keys SL300 (http://www.editorskeys.com/recording-equipment/sl300-usb-studio-microphone-extras.html)
      > > >
      > > > Last but not least Rode Podcaster (http://www.editorskeys.com/recording-equipment/sl300-usb-studio-microphone-extras.html)
      > > >
      > > > The criteria is fairly simple - a decent USB mic. I hope that you can shed some light on this.
      > > >
      > > > Thank you for your time.
      > > >
      > >
      > Thanks for the offer, but I live in a foreign country (and the main language is not English), so it's safe to say that I won't be having guests over anytime soon (at least not sitting right next to me).
      > So I won't need an XLR mic. Also, thanks for pointing me to the MXL USB.009, at least from what I found, it sounds great.
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