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#667809 - 11/14/08 08:24 AM USB MICROPHONE?  
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Mcfortunato Offline
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Mcfortunato  Offline
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Does anyone know about usb mikes. I would prefer to just plug it in and use my recording software to record vocals,
Thanks, Michael

#667831 - 11/14/08 12:04 PM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Mcfortunato]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
There was a thread on this before and the consensus is that USB mics generally are inferior in quality to either dynamic or condenser mics. They are to avoided as a first option. Most are designed for the bottom end of the market and are used mainly for webcasts, not really suitable for music production ie recording vocals or recording acoustic instruments.
I would get a good quality mic an interface and a decent soundcard.

#669982 - 11/23/08 08:31 PM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Mcfortunato]  
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One good, simple, inexpensive alternative is the MicPort by a company named Centrance.
It's basically a USB interface that acts like a USB mic, except you can use any mic. You plug the mic into it and it into the USB port. It's simple in that it doesn't require any drivers and is compatible with almost any software.

It acts as a preamp and (unlike USB mics) as a very high-quality playback device, so you can overdub with no latency. 24/96 recording, I believe. It also has phantom power and the whole shebang is powered from the USB. I've used high end condenser with it and it works fine.

It's very portable -- a little cylinder about half the size of a cigar.

It only costs about $150.

The downside, of course, is, like a USB mic, you can only record one track at a time. But the company offers free software that allows you to use more than one at a time.

#670204 - 11/24/08 06:14 PM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: ]  
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Hi Joyboy did not know such a thing existed. It is a neat idea and solves lots of probs. It even has USB powered phantom WOW. Looks like a pretty good piece of kit. Price wise comparable with some other multi channel interfaces or mixers with USB interfaces might be the stumbling point.

#670251 - 11/24/08 09:45 PM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Mcfortunato]  
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Yeah, pluses and minuses. But as far as plug and play goes, it's pretty hard to beat.

#670369 - 11/25/08 09:10 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: ]  
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Lamorna Offline
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Brilliant, just what i want, most I have seen in Europe are 500
euros, that one you quote sounds just the ticket.

Thanks for the info


Writing Great songs are a gift,

Getting those songs to the right ears is the hardest part.

#696356 - 02/26/09 11:40 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Lamorna]  
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Problem with cheap USB mics is that they're doing two jobs at once - namely capturing sound waves AND analogue to digital conversion. A2D conversion is a very delicate process (some preamps that do this go into the tens of thousands) and it's unlikely that they'll go out of their way to do the job well, depending on the market that they're aiming for (e.g. dictation).

Give it a go and see if it works, by all means, but I reckon you'd get a better job outta a proper mic plugged direct into your soundcard, which is just as plug and play imho.

Or Joyboy's suggestion might be good, actually. Though if you were going for that, http://solodeals.com/PreSonus-FireB...anic&utm_source=froogle-GB&id=uk might end up being a better choice, Presonus have a good reputation for quality preamps and this would give you an incredible amount of options as your skills and requirements develop.

The most disturbed shoe-gazing music that you've ever not danced to, in glorious low fidelity
#696365 - 02/26/09 11:55 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: SimonFairbairn]  
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argo Offline
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Usb mics are great for podcasting from your bedroom. I found one on sale(maudio large diaphram) so when I tried it out it sounded terrible. I use a plain, old, simple, sm57 through a 4 channel mixer(mackie) directly to the sound card.
So many mics, so little time(or money).

#696367 - 02/26/09 11:57 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: SimonFairbairn]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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I read of one problem with a USB microphone. The USB aspect of it provided no way to monitor the existing tracks so you could not sing along to what was already recorded. May be a software or connection issue but worth checking out.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#696783 - 02/27/09 10:06 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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SimonFairbairn Offline
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I'd second the SM57. These microphones are the granddaddy of dynamic mics. I adore mine, they're not that expensive (for a microphone - $70), and they're super-durable.

Get the right cable (extra $10), and you can stick it direct into your soundcard. Boom, you got decent quality recording.

Following up on Colin's point, singing along to what you've already recorded MAY be difficult whatever microphone you've got. I would say that USB mics add an extra potential problem, depending on the software.

Latency can be an issue when overdubbing (I suffered with it for ages before I got me a Firepod - it really ain't pretty) - it doesn't matter so much when you're just speaking, but when timing becomes important, then it becomes a problem.

With a regular mic, the only potential problem is going to be the soundcard (which could well be fixed with finding better drivers). With the USB mic, you're going to have the soundcard AND any latency that the USB mic or it's driver software cause.

Nothing like a forum to make even the simplest question super-complicated, right? smile

The most disturbed shoe-gazing music that you've ever not danced to, in glorious low fidelity
#696792 - 02/27/09 10:59 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: SimonFairbairn]  
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argo Offline
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One more thing about recording direct, the soundcard is really the key. When I first started using my computer for recording I used a simple card with 1 mic input,1 line input and stereo outputs for monitoring. Any Creative Soundblaster card will do the trick and they're relatively cheap. Also I never had a problem with latency using them.
Good Luck,

#696794 - 02/27/09 11:05 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: SimonFairbairn]  
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Lynman Bacolor Offline
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Caloocan, Philippines
yup theres another thread long time ago about the USB mic.
This USB mic can be useful in podcasting ONLY but recording vocal tracks or instruments one at a time is quite pain in the a$$.

Hope they already resolved the latency issue. Because if not then using it will be hard on day one of your recoding session. There this chance that you can get a nice cut but most of time you cannot get one so the chance of repeated takes until your vocal hurts.

The regular mic is still useful if you invest a nice USB preamps adding 100 dollar to purchase a 4-6 inputs preamps will not hurt your pocket either and for additional benefits your recording session will be a breeze.

Actually seeing a weird flat jack for a microphone is really ackward compare to the classic jacks we are using on the road.


#696829 - 02/27/09 01:09 PM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Lynman Bacolor]  
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There are basically two problems here LATENCY and SOUND QUALITY.

Here are some short abbreviated answers to explain and help you resolve these issues.

Latency is present whether we like it or not. The only way to resolve the problem is to reduce latency to an acceptable level.
This can be done by using a fast high spec PC.. a good quality soundcard and as direct an input as possible.....Certain plugins and fx can increase latency so using them post record is preferable.

Sound quality....rubbish in rubbish out is the old adage...Get the best mic you can afford...try to eliminate extra outside noise. Re SM57 or 58 Whilst I agree that they are not bad mics there are other mics just as good if not better in the marketplace and for serious studio work not the preferred option. Most pro studios will use a proper studio type condenser mic with a wider audio spectrum range.

#700452 - 03/11/09 02:19 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Northern Minnesota
They tend to be problematic. And I have used mainly older PC's.
I prefer the patch cord with the mic and line-in in any event.

But I have a rule dealing with software.
Use cautiously and only when is neccessary.
When I had a USB mic I needed software to run it.
But the conventional method is straight and simple.
Software can be fun, if I had the computer to blow for it.

But I realize that others may demand more with that for what they are looking for.

Even if the USB mics are made better and without the software, I guess in a sense I am a prisoner of nostalgia.
I have worked in public places and have seen live acts.
Still with the original setup mainly.
All those cords sticking out.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

#701841 - 03/16/09 04:01 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: mattbanx]  
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Stevens119 Offline
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Nashville, TN
The Blue Snowball is a great sounding USB mic. I use it while writing so I don't forget stuff. It keeps me from having to use a tape recorder!

#707296 - 04/02/09 11:18 AM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: Mcfortunato]  
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D rock Offline
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I am new on the site and saw this post. I use an Audio-Technica AT 2020 cardioid condenser USB studio mic. I think the sound is very good and the price $150.00 not to bad. I like the easy just plug and go aspect. It's a bit late but hope it helps

#708634 - 04/06/09 04:55 PM Re: USB MICROPHONE? [Re: D rock]  
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Rick Heenan Offline
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Lockport NY, usa
Never too late, the industry is changing as we speak. A fifty dollar "Icicle" will turn any XLR mic cable into a USB device.

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