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> Usb Mics And Pre-amps And A Budget, usb mics and pre-amps
Mr. Jason E. Lec...
post Mon 10 Jul 2006, 05:34
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can anyone tell me if usb condensor mics record with good quality? i've heard only a small bit about usb mics with mixed reviews, but one thing that worries me is noise. is that a big problem with usb mics and if so is that easily remedied with software? this is for recording vocals.

i was wondering if it's better to maybe use a regular condensor mic and a usb audio interface. if that's the case do i need some sort of pre-amp or something with phantom power? what would you suggest?

anyone who responds to this, please keep in mind that i have a small budget and only a G4 1.07 GHz iBook with 512MB ram running Ableton Live 5. i obviously won't be able to do as well as a pro studio, but i want to be able to make a strong sounding demo. ANY tips would be fabulous!
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Mac Daddy
post Tue 11 Jul 2006, 11:39
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I think you will be the one who tells "us" about USB Microphones... Not sure if they have earned a following here yet. Dragon and Blue seem to be the leaders... Sound On Sound tested and reviewed the Blue Snowball. 130 Pounds.

Quote: "Pros: Stylish and simple to use. Needs no drivers for Mac OSX or Window XP. Switchable pad and polar pattern. Table-top stand included."

"Cons: Omni mode is more like a wide cardiod pattern with a high presence peak. The lack of gain adjustment (other than pad) means you need to work close to the mic to get a high enough recording level."

Summary: "Though subject to certain technical limitations, the Snowball works well for close-up vocals or speech, while the pattern switching system gives a choice of two very usable tonalities. The inclusion of a pad switch means that it may also be used for recording louder sources, such as guitar combos or percussion"

Sound On Sound July 2006.
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lepetitmartien
post Thu 13 Jul 2006, 03:21
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I've still to meet them in person wink.gif

Now, the first investment I think you should really make is some RAM! really, with 512 MB you starve OS X.

On the mic, Blue has one, Samson too, there may be a third one (what's this dragon you talk about Mac Daddy?). I'd see that this way, either you plan to work with a minimal set up for now, and you can use a USB mic so you can record with now. If you have a middle term plan to add for example an audio interface, it may be better to wait a little and have the interface with a decent pre and a decent mic.

I will never trust the result of an integrated mic/interface will be better than separated mic and interface/pre costing more.

As I said, I have not touched them already, I'd be dubious of the Blue, as the blue ball already was more a mic for speech than singing, the level issue was already there on the blue ball (their middle/higher end is wayyy better). I'd give a try to the Samson at least it's dirt cheap, SOS did a review too (no time now to look if it's available to the public), I've seen it at $79 on the net…

(did I tell you I just hate USB?) laugh.gif


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imhookt1
post Thu 19 Jul 2007, 21:52
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QUOTE (Mr. Jason E. Lectric @ Sun 9 Jul 2006, 23:34) *
can anyone tell me if usb condensor mics record with good quality? i've heard only a small bit about usb mics with mixed reviews, but one thing that worries me is noise. is that a big problem with usb mics and if so is that easily remedied with software? this is for recording vocals.

i was wondering if it's better to maybe use a regular condensor mic and a usb audio interface. if that's the case do i need some sort of pre-amp or something with phantom power? what would you suggest?

anyone who responds to this, please keep in mind that i have a small budget and only a G4 1.07 GHz iBook with 512MB ram running Ableton Live 5. i obviously won't be able to do as well as a pro studio, but i want to be able to make a strong sounding demo. ANY tips would be fabulous!

Jason I have a blueball usb and have used with soundstudio for mac it does seem to be a bit noisy but then again I was checking it out when I 1st. got it. I suggest try recording in a sound free room if that's possible? with your music and your vocal listening in your headphones when recording so you can sync with what your trying to record? as far as the pre-amp or phantom power can't really help with that aspect. I'm still looking for way to if this is possible for a usb to xlr or trs converter so I can use my blueball mic with an analog mixer for remote recording? so I can capture the live room (audience) when I perform live when I do. at least when recording.I'm a Blues 'n' Jazz cat live also a sound artist, painting with sounds if you will on the side, my blueball works great for that genre'. best of luck to ya' "Hook" ps. I also suggest adding more RAM you find it'll run a lot smoother, a satisfied pro tools user when I upgraded.
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lepetitmartien
post Fri 20 Jul 2007, 00:11
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The idea behind USB mics is to go directly and easily in the digital domain. For now, there's no "pre with USB in" and I'm not sure we'd see one, it's a bit out of its mind. Now there's the first mics with both XLR and USB available for these situation.

Lets check the ads I've seen yesterday…


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lepetitmartien
post Fri 20 Jul 2007, 03:16
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The SEelectronics USB2200a is USB or XLR, SE makes good mics, but how does it compare to others we still don't know.

I've always been bothered by the trend of USB mics, they spare you of the joys of preamps, it can help in some situation, but for serious stuff or versatility it's a big no-no.

Now, for guys podcasting it's fine! wink.gif as for starting up. But a good entry level mic will always sound better trough a decent pre than the same with its built-in lower-cost internal pre in USB.


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FastEddy
post Thu 7 Aug 2008, 23:46
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" ... curious to know if anyone knows anything about Blue's Snowball USB mic ..."

Serious? Professional? Forget about it. ....

Amateur and just planning a podcast? ... OK, but these USB connected microphones are all 16 bit conversions to digital = not professional quality ...

That said, I like 'em. And they are a great idea for a VoIP telephone mic or for just recording answering machine messages or YouTube sound tracks ...

" ... I've always been bothered by the trend of USB mics, they spare you of the joys of preamps, ..."

Ditto that, brother. Wanna record that Billy Holiday sound alike? Get a vacuum tube pre-amp and one of those really cool looking old style mics that look like the Buick hood ornament ... A good vacuum tube pre-amp will give you that mellow sound, smooth as glass ... cool.gif ... Now pipe the output from the Tube Pre-amp through a good 24bit / 96k ADC to your Mac / PC ... ' sounds jus' like her ... no kidding!

This post has been edited by FastEddy: Thu 7 Aug 2008, 23:52


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