Need mic help

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Re: Need mic help

Post by orange »

ef37a wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:07 pm So peeps, if you want to make simple recordings buy a USB mic but if you come here and ask you WILL be told they are very limiting!

Dave, I'm guessing you haven't used one ?

Until I used them I think I felt the same - now I think there are plenty of applications where they are actually pretty useful. I think it's fairly obvious that wouldn't be your first choice for a micing a drum kit, but now I'd have no problem recommending one for a more casual or technophobic user.

It's horses for courses and about finding the RIGHT to for the job - that's not always about the most flexible or 'upgradable'

Taking a look at few SOS reviews from the last month
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/akg-ara
https://www.soundonsound.com/news/preso ... tor-series
https://www.soundonsound.com/news/se-ne ... microphone

seems like the market thinks they are a good idea too.

ef37a wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:07 pmFor sure, if you just want to record a message and bang the attachment to Mum

I can assure you that all the actors in that read through were delighted - and nobody's Mums were involved. I'm guessing you're not going to change your mind though.
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Re: Need mic help

Post by ef37a »

orange wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 10:17 pm
ef37a wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:07 pm So peeps, if you want to make simple recordings buy a USB mic but if you come here and ask you WILL be told they are very limiting!

Dave, I'm guessing you haven't used one ?

Until I used them I think I felt the same - now I think there are plenty of applications where they are actually pretty useful. I think it's fairly obvious that wouldn't be your first choice for a micing a drum kit, but now I'd have no problem recommending one for a more casual or technophobic user.

It's horses for courses and about finding the RIGHT to for the job - that's not always about the most flexible or 'upgradable'

Taking a look at few SOS reviews from the last month
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/akg-ara
https://www.soundonsound.com/news/preso ... tor-series
https://www.soundonsound.com/news/se-ne ... microphone

seems like the market thinks they are a good idea too.

ef37a wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:07 pmFor sure, if you just want to record a message and bang the attachment to Mum

I can assure you that all the actors in that read through were delighted - and nobody's Mums were involved. I'm guessing you're not going to change your mind though.

Well you have guessed wrongly matey! I had one several years ago from Maplins. Son used it for acoustic guitar and it was ok but we also had a computer with a 2496 sound card, a small mixer and monitors so he could build tracks quite easily. A musician with just a USB mic, even one with headphone facilities is going to struggle to do the same.

After he moved to France I sent him a Citronics CCU3 USB LDC (well, not THAT L!) and he did some very decent classical guitar recordings with it. However, he also wanted to make more complex music and so ended up with an interface, an SM57 and a couple of Behringer C2s.

I am not at all averse to USB mics, fine as I say for 'one off' jobs and a laptop but I shall say again, there is more to making good recordings than 'recording'. Monitoring is at least 50% of the job.

OP is a musician and I shall not give him bad advice. Had he simply wanted a mic for speech over the internet then yes, a USB jobby will do.

Dave.
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Re: Need mic help

Post by Bob Bickerton »

This debate gone on for a bit.

At the end of the day USB mics have their place, especially with people who don't aspire to do anything other than basic single track recording.

Separate microphone and interface gives more flexibility and is more future proof - something to consider if the OP gets hooked on recording.

At the end of the day, there's so much more to making a good recording, yes monitoring, though that can be done easily enough with half decent headphones, but room treatment is critical.

Of the two mics noted by the OP the XLR version has better specs and its frequency response doesn't seem out of place for recording clarinet. I can't find a frequency response chart for the USB mic - probably the same capsule, but if it was voiced for vocals with a high frequency lift, it may not be the best for an acoustic instrument.

Personally, I would want a high quality interface, with a nice mic (Neumann TLM193 or AEA N8) in my treated room with good monitoring - but hold on, what does the OP want to do:

needadvice wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 3:47 am I won't be doing professional recordings, I'll just be recording for fun.

Ah - so it really doesn't matter............

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Re: Need mic help

Post by orange »

ef37a wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 1:25 am
Well you have guessed wrongly matey! I had one several years ago from Maplins. Son used it for acoustic guitar and it was ok but we also had a computer with a 2496 sound card, a small mixer and monitors so he could build tracks quite easily. A musician with just a USB mic, even one with headphone facilities is going to struggle to do the same.

After he moved to France I sent him a Citronics CCU3 USB LDC (well, not THAT L!) and he did some very decent classical guitar recordings with it. However, he also wanted to make more complex music and so ended up with an interface, an SM57 and a couple of Behringer C2s.

I am not at all averse to USB mics, fine as I say for 'one off' jobs and a laptop but I shall say again, there is more to making good recordings than 'recording'. Monitoring is at least 50% of the job.

OP is a musician and I shall not give him bad advice. Had he simply wanted a mic for speech over the internet then yes, a USB jobby will do.

Dave.


well I may have 'guessed' wrong matey but I was just going by what you said ?

ef37a wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 1:25 amFair enough Drew I have not used one.


but now it turns out you have VERY valuable experience with your microphone from Maplins - thanks for sharing. You've certainly changed my mind :thumbup:
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Re: Need mic help

Post by ef37a »

The Maplin mic was bought several years ago and cost £70, comparable to one of £100 today. USB mics are mostly very similar because most are 16bit devices and I suspect use a standard converter?

In any case, do not denigrate the microphone! It was pretty good, not quite as good as my Sontronics LDC (through an A&H mixer into the 2496) but not at all bad.

The Citronics was bought only about 3 years ago and again, a very serviceable microphone, and, as mentioned, very handy for those tasks where you just want to plug in and waffle.

"...I have not tried one" referred to a specific mic with headphone capability not USB mics in general.

You seem to deliberately ignore my point that, whilst USB mics are convenient in many situations AND their sound quality can be as good as many XLR mics of a similar price. OPERATIONALLY for the musician they are often not the best choice.

Dave.
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Re: Need mic help

Post by blinddrew »

I think we need to wrap this up, everyone has made their point. The OP, should they ever return, has a nice list of pros and cons and can make their own decision based on their current and expected future needs.
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Re: Need mic help

Post by ef37a »

blinddrew wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:03 am I think we need to wrap this up, everyone has made their point. The OP, should they ever return, has a nice list of pros and cons and can make their own decision based on their current and expected future needs.

Yes...But I suspect I won't get the last word!

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Re: Need mic help

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

:silent::shh::lol:
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Re: Need mic help

Post by orange »

ef37a wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 10:37 am
You seem to deliberately ignore my point that, whilst USB mics are convenient in many situations AND their sound quality can be as good as many XLR mics of a similar price. OPERATIONALLY for the musician they are OFTEN not the best choice.

Dave - I didn't ignore your point at all ? In fact I agreed with it, more than once.

What I am saying is that sometimes they are the perfect choice - even for musicians. It's clear you don't agree but I think your opinion is based on very little evidence, or experience or understanding that everybody's needs and requirements are different....and that's my opinion, and you've said nothing to change that.

Yes...But I suspect I won't get the last word!

you're welcome to it if you feel it's important to you ? :lol: Please continue to share your wisdom. Like many others, I hugely enjoy your posts. In 2022 we need all the laughs we can get.
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Re: Need mic help

Post by forumuser840717 »

"Zyzzyva" is the last word.

According to the OED at least. It's apparently “a genus of tropical weevils (family Curculionidae) native to South America and typically found on or near palm trees.”

Those of a more spiritually misguided bent might prefer "Amen".

And for French film directors perhaps "Fin".

Or Chuck Jones might choose "Folks!".
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Re: Need mic help

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

:clap::D
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Re: Need mic help

Post by John Willett »

A USB mic is based on computer technology - although it can be a useful bit of kit, computer technology changes very fast and it should be treated as a "throw-away" and needs to pay for itself pretty quickly.

A proper microphone is a mature technology and will last (if treated properly) for decades. So, if you want to make good recordings get a good mic. and an interface. The interface can be a cheap one as it will be replaced every few years (computer technology) and just use the mic. with a new interface when you change.

USB-A is already dying as USB-C becomes the norm.

I remember reading a BBC report on the new Neumann U47 when it came out - price £100 - the s/h price of a good U47 nowadays is about £6-8,000.
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