USB Microphone for podcasts, recommendation + (dis)advantages ??!!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by igmolinav, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. igmolinav macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005

    Several months ago, a forum member recommended me some higher-quality microphones to record a project that consists of recording several podcasts during a year period. These are the USB mics he recommended.

    My questions to you are the following:

    What do you think about the microphones on the list??

    Do you have in mind another microphone in mind that you may want to recommend, wether it may be a USB one or not??

    Are the recordings smoother when one uses a USB microphone ??,

    or should I buy a good regular microphone and an adapter like the iMic, but with better quality. This is a photo of the iMic:

    What do you think about the iMic adapter, do you know a better one, or is it really a waste to record with such an adapter when there are already USB microphones ??

    Thank you very much, very kind regards,

  2. salientstimulus macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2009
    To some extent it depends what you're recording, and perhaps more importantly where. If it's just speech by a single narrator, you really don't need too much, whereas if you want to record music you'll want to invest in something of good quality. Music also really benefits from stereo recording (either a stereo mic or two mics). Either way, you want a relatively soundproof room (no honking cars outside, no air conditioner noise, etc).

    For what it's worth, I got the MXL USB.007 and I'm quite happy with it -- I've used it for recording vocals and acoustic guitar, and has a nice, crisp sound for the price. MXL makes good mics for a reasonable price, so I'm sure any of their USB series would be fine.

    I'd definitely recommend a condenser mic, no matter what you're doing. Which means a USB mic is probably the way to go, because if you buy a condenser mic with the standard XLR connection, you'll also need to buy an audio interface that supplies phantom power. A USB condenser mic has the phantom power (and analog/digital converter) built in.

    This article is geared towards musicians, but it explains the difference between dynamic and condenser mics pretty well:
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The iMic is a low end device. There is no way to plug in a profesional quality mic to the iMic. ALL of the better mics will have a balanced XLR cable and theiMic uses 3.5mm There are some XLR to USB "cables" that would be better.

    OK, Griffen (who makes the iMic also make an adaptor cable with XLR on one end and 3.5mm on the other and a transformer in the middle some place. But the combined price is about $70. For that you could buy something like the Lexicon "Alpha" or one of the M-Audio interfaces. and be much better off

    One thing to think about is the length of the cable. A USB mic is tethered by a short USB cable but you could buy a 100 ft long XLR mic cable if need be. So think about your recording space and how far from the computer you need to be. All computers are noisy you want to be as far away as you can. USB cables are not long enough to allow you to put the mic in another room

    But you trade flexibility for ease of use. The USB mic is easy to understand

    You will likely get better technical quality using a better mic and a better interface. But I doubt the hardware will be your quality bottle neck. The person doing the voice work needs to be very good and the recording room has to be good before I'd worry about the sound of one mic over another.

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