Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Can anyone recommend a USB mic? I've been using a borrowed Yeti Blue for a few months, but they need it back. Are there any other alternatives I should consider? I see that Yeti has two more expensive models than the one I've been using ($130). The Yeti X ($170) and the Yeti Pro ($250!)

    Blue - Yeti

    Alternatives to Yeti for a USB mic?

    Thanks all.
    WS

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I have been looking at the same things, this site is really helpful.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I've heard and read very good things about the Rode NT-USB microphone ($169) and its newer, smaller cousin, the Rode NT-USB Mini ($99). LOTS of videos on YouTube about them (the Mini in particular).

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I am sooooo behind the times..
    And I need to catch up.

    So with something like a USB mic, that can go right into my laptop and I can record in Reaper or something? Or do I still need an audio interface in between?

    I'm as clueless as possible when it comes to digital recording.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont

    So with something like a USB mic, that can go right into my laptop and I can record in Reaper or something?.
    Yes. USB mics require no digital audio interface.

    USB mics, in my experience, are good for talking (-podcast, voiceover). I'm not sure how well they capture singing. (Does anyone know?)

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I already owned good condenser microphones. I ordered and use this.

    Behringer Xenyx 302USB mixer

    It works well for guitar and singing, I just place it above, just out of the video frame.

    With that position the blend of voice and guitar seems just right.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I am sooooo behind the times..
    And I need to catch up.

    So with something like a USB mic, that can go right into my laptop and I can record in Reaper or something? Or do I still need an audio interface in between?

    I'm as clueless as possible when it comes to digital recording.
    I am no audio engineer either but have crawled up from the swamp a little bit. Sorry, but I think they suck (USB mics that is).

    Some say that the biggest impacts on the quality of your sound are the mic and amplifier (audio interface that is, not guitar amplifier).

    My free advice (and worth every cent) would be to get a good DAW and a good audio interface. Save your money for a great mic and record/plug directly into the audio interface until you're ready to purchase. (Bypassing the mic and guitar amplifier that is). Direct recording can actually be pretty tough to beat if on a budget mic-wise. You need to work with EQ and reverb a bit after recording, but that's easy - and you'll be doing that anyway!

    You can even get digital software packages that add virtually every sound effect for guitar (distortion, overdrive, echo, delay, reverb, chorus, etc. etc.), if you have other ideas/styles in mind.
    Last edited by GTRMan; 10-05-2020 at 10:23 PM.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    The Yeti Blue is very nice. However, I had an occasion to use the AT2020 and it did just fine. The Yeti Blue Pro is nice because you get both XLR and USB capability. Because of all the online teaching and meetings taking place during COVID, the prices for USB mics has gone up and inventory has been low at times.

    And concerning the previous post, I am a recording engineer and take exception with the comment that USB mics "suck". For basic demo recording or for spoken word/voiceover, you can capture of fine record into Garage Band, Reaper or any other program. When I'm mobile, in a hurry, and don't want to bring my interface along, I've gotten fine results with my Yeti Blue or Zoom H4 plugged into ProTools on my laptop. Proper mic placement and setting your input level correctly can get you pretty far. Remember, George Benson recorded the vocals for Masquerade on a crappy Sure cardioid SM-66, set up as a studio talk-back mic and used only to capture his vocal guide track. However, when you have engineer Al Schmidt in the control room and a talent like Benson...well, you judge the results.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    You take exception but have lots of caveats there.

    • You're a recording engineer
    • When you're in a hurry
    • Good for vocals.


    I assumed (perhaps shouldn't have) that we are trying to get really good sound - not just passable sound - for jazz guitar.

    You know what I take exception to? I take exception to wasting my hard earned money on a USB mic. It came "recommended" of course.

    Lol, but I'm three good mics past all that now, so I'm over it.

    So I'll just say - buyer beware. Ask tough, specific questions.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    usb mics are usually
    the mic
    and a usb interface (bi- directional)
    in one neat package ....

    so that might suit you ....
    for portability , minimalism etc
    and you can get excelent results with a decent usb mic (rode , AT , yeti etc etc)
    a laptop and a good pair of cans

    or
    if you need more flexibility ,
    use speakers and headphones
    and/or you already have some mics you like ,you can go for a usb interface

    i just bought a behringer 2 in 2 out interface and i’m loving it

    horses for courses ....
    (its not really a quality issue)

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Right, it's not a quality issue, it's a grade issue.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Right, it's not a quality issue, it's a grade issue.
    What does that mean? (Not being cynical, truly ignorant here.)

  14. #13
    A friend recommended the Zoom H6. I already have an H4N, but I don't think he understood that I like the idea of picking up the whole live room vibe out of the amps and then into the usb.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    What does that mean? (Not being cynical, truly ignorant here.)
    I understand. You can Google "quality vs. grade" but most of what comes up is project management oriented, which is how I learned it. It's valid, but a little different from product management.

    One interpretation: "High grade products have low quality if they do not meet specifications, Low-grade products have high quality if they meet or exceed the specifications". (Note however that the "specs" are not necessarily identical. Some may be much more modest.)


    A couple of illustrative examples:

    1. The $75,000 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 beat the Porshe Turbo, Ferrari, and Lamborghini in a drag race, for top speed - and last but not least - around the track!
    All were high quality, except perhaps the Lambo (which have gotten better). But the Euro cars were also high-grade. They had intangibles like comfort, style, beauty, fit and finish, and luxury. The more spartan Corvette? Not so much. But the Vette cost a lot less - AND - delivered on its fitness for purpose. Was it a little more wobbly? Yes, but a good driver could still use it to kick some major butt, and did.


    2. Some super high-end and super expensive audio amplifiers and speakers are superior to others that are merely "high-end and expensive". But many listeners can't discern a significant difference, all things being equal (room, volume, tone). So, does one need the super expensive ones? No, but some rich guys will insist on them. They are higher grade.


    The affordable USB mic may be able to do what it claims to do. But - ask what that is. Ask the seller to compare it head to head with the same type of mic (condensor vs, ribbon, etc.) that is used in the best recording studios, and for the same instrument. Then they will say somethig like "well...that's apples and oranges. The other microphone costs 10-30 times more!" Which is correct, but in this case you can hear the difference - and it is significant. There is a reason that people use the best mics in studios and it's not to show off - nobody ever sees them. But they hear them. And regarding the price difference, well we're talking about a $1,000 - $5,000 difference, not a $50,000 - $300,000 difference as was the case for those audio and automotive examples.

    That's why I say - save your nickels and get a great mic. Because you WILL hear a difference.

    I didn't mean to rain on any parades, it's just that I went through it. I was taking a guitar class years ago and had to turn in recordings. I had my USB mic from Guitar Center and was recording with the free DAW - Audacity. After about 4 assignments I couldn't take it anymore. I discovered that my classmates were using good DAWs, and either plugging straight in to their audio interfaces, or using a nice mic. So a friend showed me how to do the same.

    But that's just me.

    EDIT: To clarify, it is a grade difference between the cheapie mic (yes I said it) and the great mic, for sure. And, it is also a quality issue - if - the specs/demands are the same. If the bar is lowered for the cheapie mic and it does the more modest thing that it claims to do, then it's not a quality issue.

    Last edited by GTRMan; 10-07-2020 at 12:30 PM.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    I recently got a Blue Snowball (the multi-pattern one, not the one that's just cardiod). I haven't used it much yet, but so far I'm liking it quite a bit. I got it mainly for stuff like trading songs over zoom and doing quick youtube videos of acoustic playing and singing, and it works well for that. It seems fairly flat and accurate to me, and the results I've gotten struck me as comparable to what I would get with my better mic's under the same conditions. Doing something more serious, maybe not, but I haven't gotten that far with it yet.

    John

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    I recently bought a USB Mike and was surprised to find that you have no obvious way to boost the input gain. Several years ago Windows removed the mixer app. There is apparently a third party option out there but it looks a little complicated to install. You can always boost the weak signal with your music editor, but it seems more graceful to use a regular Mike with an interface gadget.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals
    I recently bought a USB Mike and was surprised to find that you have no obvious way to boost the input gain. Several years ago Windows removed the mixer app. There is apparently a third party option out there but it looks a little complicated to install. You can always boost the weak signal with your music editor, but it seems more graceful to use a regular Mike with an interface gadget.
    Unless I am mistaken, the Yeti does.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Unless I am mistaken, the Yeti does.
    USB Mics?-yeti-gainpattern-483x500-jpg

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Well let's hear one of those suckers. Let 'er rip!

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Consider what you already have. If you already have one or more good mics (an sm57 or 58 will do), then I'd go for an interface. An interface gives you more flexibility, like direct monitoring, recording direct, using different mics, multiple mics, balanced monitor speaker outputs, etc. Also, a usb mic has an audio interface built in, so you are buying an interface and a mic. If you already have a mic, it's kind of a waste in that you would be partially buying something you already have.

    I'd guess many musicians already have a mic or two.

  22. #21
    Here's the problem. My wife and I are doing live zoom performances. She sings though an EV mic and plays keyboard , both going through a small Behringr mixer through a frfr Alto 110 powered speaker. I play my guitar though a few different amps. But I am not mic'ing it with my SM58. Instead, the usb Yeti mic picks up the whole performance acoustically and into zoom.

    I *could* use the usb mixer to go direct into the Mac mini, I've tried, but the Behringer does *not* play well with Mac OS and it problematic. See here:

    [Solved] Behringer USB Audio Mixer with Mac OS X Not Working "The selected device has no input controls" - Pupuweb

    I suppose I could get a different mixer. <shrug>
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 10-11-2020 at 07:28 PM.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Here's the problem. My wife and I are doing live zoom performances. She sings though an EV mic and plays keyboard , both going through a small Behringr mixer through a frfr Alto 110 powered speaker. I play my guitar though a few different amps. But I am not mic'ing it with my SM58. Instead, the usb Yeti mic picks up the whole performance acoustically and into zoom.

    I *could* use the usb mixer to go direct into the Mac mini, I've tried, but the Behringer does *not* play well with Mac OS and it problematic. See here:

    [Solved] Behringer USB Audio Mixer with Mac OS X Not Working "The selected device has no input controls" - Pupuweb

    I suppose I could get a different mixer. <shrug>
    Given that, a USB mic seems like a good solution, as would some other condenser mic and an audio interface, or stereo with two condenser mics into an audio interface. Not sure stereo matters much with that set-up going into zoom.