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> Blue Ball Usb Mic? 2 Xlr Input, any adapters to convert the USB to analog for mixer inputs
imhookt1
post Mon 16 Jul 2007, 22:10
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hello all, I'm brainstorming mobile recording with my BlueBall mic. pondering the conversion factor? to an analog mixer, can this be done, I do have a couple possible scenarios, will the soundtech USB intelligent instrument cable work? help thanks "Hook" 'em' up cool.gif
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FastEddy
post Thu 7 Aug 2008, 23:54
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No can do ... the solution to this is more time consuming and more expensive than just getting the right microphone in the first place ... (You have got to stick a computer and a DAC in to the circuit to deal with the digital USB signal.)

This post has been edited by FastEddy: Thu 7 Aug 2008, 23:55


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mortalengines
post Sat 9 Aug 2008, 01:46
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Funny the subject should come up regarding USB microphones. I was JUST reading an article on them and it gives a quick overview of several USB microphones....a couple of them offer surprisingly high quality and even got me thinking about buying one. You can read the article here:

http://www.eqmag.com/article/mics-meet-usbthe/jul-08/86389

Namaste!

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FastEddy
post Sat 9 Aug 2008, 02:50
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From your link above ( http://nav.440network.com/out.php?mmsc=for...he/jul-08/86389 )

" USB MICS: STUPID IDEA OR INSANELY GREAT?

...

You’re locked into a specific A/D converter. A standard analog mic can plug it into any A/D converter for digital recording, so you can take advantage of technological improvements and match your needs to your budget. A USB mic’s A/D converter can’t be changed—but A/D conversion technology has matured to the point where quality differences among A/D converters are relatively small. While that $70 USB mic might not have the “converters of the gods,” it’s not going to suck. [Oh Kay, sure ...]

... USB mics are disposable. ... And now, let’s look at the good stuff—because if there wasn’t good stuff, I wouldn’t be writing this article. ...

Exceptional convenience. USB mics have been a great addition to my mobile computing world of recording and video narration/editing compared to bringing a mic, preamp, and bulky XLR cable. .... Recording rehearsals. Yes, those cute little portable recorders are great for recording rehearsals. But USB mics often provide better sound quality, and a better choice of patterns, than the ultra-small mics included with typical recorders. ... Songwriting. I’ve sometimes used a USB mic with a laptop to sing an idea for a song. ... Most USB mics will work with either USB 1.1 or USB 2.0. See the section “Sorting Out USB Speeds” below. ... Sweetwater’s helpful PDF tutorial at www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/techlib/support/USB_Microphone_Guide.pdf.

THE WORLD OF USB MICS ...

BLUE MICROPHONES
(www.bluemic.com)

BLUE got an early start with the Snowball ($139 with desktop stand and cable), a dual-capsule condenser mic with a 3-pattern switch that selects among cardioid, cardioid with -10dB pad, and omni-directional responses. Of the two capsules, the cardioid is optimized for voice and sounds relatively neutral, while the omni-directional has a brighter, more present high end that I generally preferred. Resolution is 16-bit/44.1kHz. ..."


And that is my point: The "best" USB microphones are at best, "CD quality", 16 bit 44K or 48K resolution. Good enough for goofing around or as telecom / VoIP or rough draft recording. If you want professional quality, studio quality, don't even consider anything less than 24 bit / 48K (the same as decent DVD full motion video) or 24 bit 96K (the same as DVD-Audio and better DVD Video.)

Consider this: that $99 Yamaha mixer (analog: 4 to 8 channels in, 2 to 4 channels out) and a couple of decent balanced $100 Shure microphones plus a decent "sound card" adapter like the M-Audio FireWire connected digital to analog / analog to digital interface (ADC / DAC for Mac or PC) is worlds ahead of rebuilding/upgrading your motherboard, replacing your sound card ... AND ... eminently satisfactory for professional work like the sound track on an MTV or YouTube music video ... AND ... vastly superior to any combination of USB microphones.

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvd-audio ... and you can't even get here without 24 bit interfaces: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

Now if you have the whole band standing around and expecting to be able to cut that demo CD, you have to start with a decent master ... Its all in the dynamic range and bandwidth anymore and 16 bit doesn't make it.

This post has been edited by FastEddy: Sat 9 Aug 2008, 02:54


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mortalengines
post Sun 10 Aug 2008, 01:59
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You definitely have a point but I gotta admit I was kind of impressed with the SE Electronics mic that also offered a conventional XLR output was pretty nifty. Also you mentioned just buying a 99 dollar mixer and a 200 dollar interface and what I suspect would be at least a 99 dollar microphone puts you WAY ahead of the Snowball in terms of price. I wouldn't suggest buying a USB mic as my ONLY mic (by the way I don't own one either) and neither does the EQ article suggest it either. But it does offer a lot in terms of convenience and portability. The only other thing that I feel needs stressing is the fact that the previous thread implies that 16 bit 44100 HZ just doesn't make it anymore. NOT true. Some of my favorite records were made with 8-BIT samplers. What worries me about the post is that it really reinforces my impression that most people are WAY too screwed up about the gear and not what is really critical: the performance. Records made in the 60s and 70s are not necessarily considered good recordings but, to be honest, they sound better to my ears than most modern ones (and most of my favorite modern recordings are pretty "retro" in their feel). Heck, I still use 16 bit samples. Call me a dinosaur.

Again I am not trying to raise a whole bunch of controversy here....that would be useless as all of my mics are XLR and range anywhere from 70 to 500 bucks, and I just spent A WHOLE bunch of money on an Apogee Duet and a Universal Audio LA-610 channel strip. I'm just saying that it is ok to go with something that fits your budget and SOUNDS GOOD to your ears (forget about the sample rate). If I worried about meeting some kind of industry standard when I started actively recording around 1991 (with a Yamaha MT12, a digital delay, and a Shure SM57 mic) I wouldn't have ever got off the ground.

www.myspace.com/mortal_engines



This post has been edited by mortalengines: Sun 10 Aug 2008, 02:00
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FastEddy
post Sun 10 Aug 2008, 17:36
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" ... I gotta admit I was kind of impressed with the SE Electronics mic that also offered a conventional XLR output was pretty nifty. Also you mentioned just buying a 99 dollar mixer and a 200 dollar interface and what I suspect would be at least a 99 dollar microphone puts you WAY ahead of the Snowball in terms of price. ..."

Again, the costs of the professional level stuff is higher, sometimes by a factor of four or five ... But the results are worth it. This is not just my opinion. If it were then studios would not need all that fancy stuff ... wink.gif


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