USB Microphones

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Mr. Anderson, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    I'm planning on doing some voice over work and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this and could recommend what I'd need. Nothing too fancy, but it needs to do the job easily.

    Also, what would be the best app to capture the audio?

    Thanks,

    D
     
  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    What's your target for this, I'm not sure a USB mic will help, I've never heard one that sounds any good when compared with a decent mic.

    Radio voice-overs are usually covered with a decent condensor mic, say a U87 from Neumann, but at £1600 I'd guess thats a bit steep for your work?

    Condensor mics are getting much cheaper now, the Oktava MK219 is a U87 copy from Russia, costs around £150 over here, an excellent VO mic, there's also the Rode NT1 at much the same price. You'll also need a pre-amp to drive the mic. Joe Meek does some great cheap ones, the digidesign M-box also carries great pre-amps (Focusrite) for the price.

    It really depends upon the quality you are aiming for, you could plug a Griffin iMic into a USB port and get audio, but it won't sound much good.

    As for the app, for simple stuff Bias Peak DV is cool, and it comes bundled with FCP, TC electronics Spark is also good, both are very capable stereo recording editing packages. Course if you're going upmarket with the M-box, you get ProTools LE which is Pro level stuff and multitrack too.

    There are plenty of share and freeware apps that'll record and edit audio, but I've never found one that rivals the dedicated systems.

    Give me a bit more info on your plans and I can suggest kit with a bit more accuracy, a budget would be good too.
     
  3. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #3
    imic

    Get an iMic. My brother has one and it sounds really good. Well, better then my old skool apple gray mic (one that sits ontop of monitor.)

    [Edit]- My bad, the iMic is just for using Mics. But here is a mic i found on apples site...HERE
     
  4. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Online and digital video. It doesn't have to be great, but decent enough that it appears to sound good.

    I'm doing animations and video and I need to have voice tracks. I'll be using my own voices and have a few friends/coworkers help. And even though this is garage level stuff, I'm not settling for poor quality. I don't have access to a sound studio or good acoustic room, so it will most likely be done off my TiPB. That's why I was thinking USB mic, since there is no mic jack on it.

    I do have an older G4 desktop, and that's a bit noisy with the fan kicking in. I'm sure I could arrange something to work.

    Although a quick search shows that there is a Edirol UA-1A USB Audio Interface that might work.

    As for money? Not too much and definitely not $1600 :D But if I need something good, I'll get it someway.

    Would the Edirol USB Audio jack work with a better mic? Or this http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powerwave/index.html

    Thanks,

    D
     
  5. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    Both units you mention are basic a/d converters, I'd imagine the Edirol would sound fine, as it uses the same a/d converters as the Roland VS range.

    Your problem is a lack of mic level input, you can't plug a standard mic into an RCA connector, and the condensor mics require 48v power (otherwise known as phantom power).

    I still think a mic like the Oktava or the popular AKG C3000 plus a nice little pre-amp is the way to go, or there is a lovely little package from Joe Meek which is a mic and pre-amp (http://www.joemeek.net/specials/index.php) its the P3TP: P3 / JM27 TrakPak at £169 it's a steal, plus its red. (?) You'll still need the converter obviously.

    You'd need to source the leads to go from the pre-amp to the converter, but anyone with a little electrical knowledge can put them together.

    Other options include the ProTools M-box, which has mic amps (very nice), but you'll need the mic as well, which bumps the price, but as I said before, it's ProTools...

    The above suggestions will give you good sounding, controllable audio with a USB connection, the easy way is the M-box and mic, but it's also the most expensive (I don't know how much the M-box is in the US) and you get a great audio recorder that imports video, the mic/pre-amp and converter is probably a little cheaper, but you'd need to brush up on your recording technique (not by much) and you'll need an app to record into.

    Hope this helps, let me know if there's anything else.
     
  6. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #6
    Re: USB Microphones

    I would imagine most half-decent mics will sound good so long as your atmospheric recording envirnoment is good acoustically too.
     
  7. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    Re: Re: USB Microphones

    Depends how far away from the mic you are, most VO work is done at about a foot, which doesn't leave much scope for acoustics, plus most VO booths are dead or diffuse and have no signature acoustics to speak of.

    A good dynamic mic wont be any good for ambient recording, but a cheap condensor can sometime do the job admirably. It really depends on your intention, Mr. A's target is VO, so he can reasonably dispense with/ignore the acoustics.
     

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