Looking for a Microphone

The problem with lists is that when you forget to add something it can be pretty hard to slip an extra item onto the list, especially in my house!

Anyway first thing I want to get hooked up with this year is a condenser microphone with an arm that can be hooked onto a shelf and stick out towards me. Not the best description I guess, but basically something like Victors but that attaches to a shelf not a desk.

As I want a condenser microphone I guess I will need a pre amp to power it as well, and I will want a Pop screen, because they look cool.

Am going to get all this stuff off eBay I think as it will be my first venture into audio and I don’t want to hand over a lot of cash on new stuff that I don’t know if I will use.

So, if anyone has suggestions, or are looking to sell some of their equipment let me know. I have only just started looking so I don’t have anything specific in mind yet.

5 thoughts on “Looking for a Microphone

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    Hiya! Here are my 3 suggestions. 2 are actual experience, 1 is here-say. The first is the Rode Podcaster . manufactured in Australia. It’s the best USB Mic that I have used or experienced. Because of certain contractual obligations, I can’t go too much into it. I will say it is extemely quiet in terms of electrical noise. It has a built in pop filter, supposedly, and I can’t tell too much difference when placing an actual filter in front of it. The audio to digital conversion is 18 bits, with analogue signal conditioning. Not quite as much as a typical audio pre-amp that usually pushes into the computer at 24 bit, but well beyone the CD standard of 16 bit.

    It is a Cardioid Dynamic mic, but the pickup is large at 28mm. Freq is 40 to 14k.with optimal in the 100 to 10K range. (Sorry, this is hz, or basically the range of human voice. [qualifications: Ground Radio Technician in the US Air Force, 4 years. FCC license with A&P license with 14 years in avionics on heavy jets at DAL.])
    A nice mic but a little weak entering the computer. It would be nice having a stronger, or better amplification going into computer itself. Basically the same problems the Blue Snowball mic had when released. Biggest asset, a built in headphone jack with amp control for zero latency listening. Incredibly important, since if you listen down the line you can start to get small delays depending on software processing, which makes you slow down, make your vowels longer to try to make up for catching up, and makes you sound drunk. If the Dynamic part makes you hesitate, think about some of the best mics in the industry are dynamic, as is the Heil PR-40, which is Leo Laporte’s favorite mic.

    Brings up to the Snowball. Here-say only. About $50 cheaper than the Rode. Supposedly sounded muddy and not much amps going into the USB port when came out, but was, again supposedly fixed with a firmware upgrade.

    The last, the only other inexpensive mic I can think of is the MicFlex , also suggested by Leo Laporte on one of his MacBreak videos. USB, plenty of power going in. Definently needs a pop filter, but can be had for about $40. Believe it’s 16 bit.

    Why did I choose a USB mic instead of a whole setup? By the time I got the whole setup with the pre-amp and mixer and stuff, It was more expensive with a decent mic. They say one of the pitfalls is that if you get an inexpensive mixer like most new casters tend to do, it will introduce more noise (hum) into the process. The Rode has been very quiet for me. (But I do have to crank up the input level more than I’d like.)

    Hope this helps some, Chris. Here’s a great site, and another review of the Podcaster by Scott Bourne. http://www.podcastgearguy.com/index.php/archives/42

  2. Wayne LeFevre

    Eh, just wanted you to know I know a little bit about audio, waveforms, radio, how it’s produced, rectified, transmitted, amplified, etc. 🙂

  3. MyAppleStuff Post author

    Thanks for that – some qualifications those 🙂

    I considered the Snowball when it first came out as I thought it looked cool, but as I recall it is a desk mount microphone and I really do need to be able to fix it to a shelf that will sit at eye height directly in front of me.

    I hear what you are saying about the USB Mic not needing a pre-amp, but I kinda fancy having one sat on my desk as I think they are cool. NOT the best criteria for a decision I know but who wants to be sensible all the time? Again, I like the idea of a Pop filter for the sake of looks!

    BUT I will take a look at the podcaster as I have heard your stuff and it sounds really good. Decisions, decisions eh 🙂

  4. MyAppleStuff Post author

    My theory on a condenser mic and pre amp is that I can get a reasonable quality one first and then if I want to upgrade either I can one at a time, rather than have a dynamic mic that is all or nothing. If that makes sense?

    To be honest this is a side interest for me. Am going to get a DSLR camera later on this year so want to save my spending money for that as I will use it a lot more! iIam not going to be doing a podcast or anything, just want me guest segments to be a better quality.

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