Blue Snowball vs. Samson C01U?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by nagromme, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #1
    I'm zeroing in on a USB mic for recording sound effects, and both of these get good reviews. I couldn't find a thread here about the pair of them, so here goes:

    Has anyone tried BOTH to compare? Any opinions?

    Is the Blue Snowball worth $140 vs. $80 for the Samson C01U?

    And what about vs. the C03U which apparently costs $130? (Or it's not out yet?)

    What is the benefit of "multi-pattern" mics, like the Snowball and the C03U? Will I care, for sound effects?

    (And excuse my ignorance--will a mic attach directly to my camera tripod? Do mics and cams use kind of screw hole by any luck?)

    TIA!
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    IIRC you were asking for a mic that could record specific individual sounds, and at other times ambient (background) sounds. These imply 2 different pickup patterns: Directional, or cardioid, for specific sounds in front of the mic (while rejeecting sound from the back and sides), and Omnidirectional for surroundiing background ambience from all directions. That means either 2 mics, or a multi-pattern mic.

    Nope, mic stands use a different thread fitting.
    The Samson has s mic stand mount, and a shock mount (to eliminate noise transmitted up the mic stand) is available SASP01 SP01 Spider Mount $39.99

    THe Snowball has an optional shock mount, and comes with a swivel mount that goes on standard mic stand threads.
     
  3. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #3
    I see--the threads looked similar in the pics--glad I asked. I see that on Amazon, for just $10 more ($150) you can get the Blue Snowball with a little tripod stand (not a shock mount just a desk stand).

    But I'd probably end up holding the thing in my hand anyway, and I'm sure Legos and rubber bands can make a shock mount :)

    Thanks for the explanations--I'm leaning towards the dual-pattern ones if I can get past the sticker shock!
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    don't -- you'll get a bunch of handling noise and it'll sound like amateur hour.

    if you're on location, either get a reporters' mic (meant to be held, like an EV 635A), some kind of boom pole or some kind of pistol grip.
     
  5. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    May 2, 2002
    #5
    I'll be warned. "On location" for me probably means things like "out in the woods breaking sticks and banging rocks" so maybe the little included tripod would be sufficient--so I don't have to hold it. Or Legos and rubber bands again :)
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    it's just going to be hard to place the mic, which is of utmost importance. the other thing you could do is go to guitar center and get a $20 mic stand; that will make it MUCH easier to position the mic for static sources.

    for moving the mic during recording, you need either a boom pole or handgrip (or both) for that.
     
  7. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #7
    I don't think I'll need to move, but $20? Now THAT's more like my price range :)

    I'll be capturing mainly one-shot sounds, but I'll appreciate the flexibility to do more in future if the need arises.

    (The $150 set from Amazon, below, seems to have vanished but jandr.com still has it.)
     

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  8. macbodock macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2005
    Location:
    Mostly Harmless
    #8
    TIA,
    The short answer is YES! The "SnowBall" is like having 3 microphone's in one.... Read the SnowBall Review that I wrote for MacInTouch website. I use the SnowBall to do VoiceOvers in my home studio! Check out my website XXXX, and go the the demo section to hear how it sounds.

    Kindest Regards,
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
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    toronto
    #9
    it sounds like you're two inches away from it and without a pop screen. it's difficult to get the sense of a mic with such positioning.
     
  10. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #10
    Thanks for the advice.

    I think if I want USB, decent quality, and both close-up vs. 360 recording, then there isn't much out there except the Snowball and the C03U--which I'm not sure even exists yet and is about the same price. I do like the portable Samson shape (but I can't tell how big it is from the reviews.)
     
  11. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    Little grey, chilly island.
    #11
    Just a note of warning - I'm not sure how relevant it is in your situation:

    I have used the Snowball but only briefly and it was in a short session with a friend of mine.

    I would heartily say that it is an extremely useful tool...But:

    What came across to me was problems in getting a decent level into my DAW. It does give good quality results, but the lack of a gain adjustment other than a pad means that if you're recording from say 12 inches away or more (whether that be the ambient sounds you mention or anything else) you're going to get an extremely small aplitude in your recording platform.

    As I said in an earlier thread, the problem (in my experience) seems to be the undwerpowerd nature of these devices. The limiting factor is the draw you can get from a USB buss.
     
  12. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #12
    Thanks for the warning. Does that mean the 360-degree mode is useless? Or can you boost the waveform after capture and get decent results?

    Close-up sounds are more important to me, but the Samson can do that anyway. I wouldn't want to pay more to get ambient sound effects, and then not be able to.
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    that boosts the signal and noise in equal amounts. i.e. a crappy capture would become a loud crappy capture.
     
  14. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #14
    So, fair to say that the Snowball's omnidrectional capability is of little real-world value, and so there's no justifying the higher price vs. the Samson C01U?
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    you're asking two questions: is omni in general useful, and what about the snowball's omni?

    i can't answer the latter, but for the former, i say emphatically yes. stereo omnis are excellent for "like you're there" reproductions. and all pickup patterns other than omni distort the sound somewhat with phase.

    some engineers record with nothing but omnis. once i get a properly treated room, i'll be doing a lot more of that.
     
  16. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    Little grey, chilly island.
    #16
    Omni on the snowball good?

    Well, I had mixed results. It conveyed stereo positioning well upon listening - but when I tried it for an "around table" discussion, certain points in the table were not picked up as well as others.

    Therefore obviously we can assume it wouldn't be any use for something like podcasting - but ambience, effects etc - its nice...provided that you're close to the source like I mentioned earlier!

    Maybe I'm being a little too critical - the best way that I can sum it up is this:

    The Snowball is a pretty decent mic - but is hindered only in terms of the technology it uses to interface - that being USB. That's not because it isn't a good standard; it just isn't particuarly suited to supplying the voltage needed to get a reall good, accurate pickup from a mic such as this. The Snowball does an amazing job with what it has however, and so don't dismiss it on the grounds of my testing which was for what I would have been using it for.

    Hey; can you nip down to a local large electronics store an try one out? We have a great store over here where they just have onoe massive recording room filled with varying mics, and you can play with them until you decide whether or not it's right for you.
     

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