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What's Your Microphone?


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#1 Nahton

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

And do you like how it performs? Would you recommend it to someone else or are totally unsatisfied with it and considering an upgrade?

Do you use any additional sound recording devices with it such as a preamp? Does anyone use a stand alone digital recorder such as a Samson H2?

I use a Logitech USB Desk Microphone and I just don't feel it is producing recordings at a level of quality I am comfortable with. It was an economical solution at the time I purchased it and my first USB microphone.

I have been looking at 2 Blue Microphones and I'd be interested if anyone had any feedback they could provide on either of these:

Blue Snowball ($83.99 on TigerDirect)
Blue Snowflake ($53.99 on TigerDirect)

I have concerns from a couple of reviews I've read that indicated the microphone picked up too much ambiant noise.

I've also previously looked at the Samson C01U Condensor Microphone. (Retailing around $80)

I'd like to hear any other microphone recommedations anyone may have.

I expect there would be others interested in this information as well.

Thank you in advance!

#2 steelblade

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:17 PM

QUOTE (Nahton @ Mar 2 2010, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And do you like how it performs? Would you recommend it to someone else or are totally unsatisfied with it and considering an upgrade?

Do you use any additional sound recording devices with it such as a preamp? Does anyone use a stand alone digital recorder such as a Samson H2?

I use a Logitech USB Desk Microphone and I just don't feel it is producing recordings at a level of quality I am comfortable with. It was an economical solution at the time I purchased it and my first USB microphone.

I have been looking at 2 Blue Microphones and I'd be interested if anyone had any feedback they could provide on either of these:

Blue Snowball ($83.99 on TigerDirect)
Blue Snowflake ($53.99 on TigerDirect)

I have concerns from a couple of reviews I've read that indicated the microphone picked up too much ambiant noise.

I've also previously looked at the Samson C01U Condensor Microphone. (Retailing around $80)

I'd like to hear any other microphone recommedations anyone may have.

I expect there would be others interested in this information as well.

Thank you in advance!


Tera and I use the c03u Samson, bout $90. All our recent movies are recorded with it. It's really rocks, but you gotta pay a bit more.

#3 lucindamc123

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:36 PM

I never use a desktop mic. I have a very expensive one and it just picks up too much ambient noise and I can't use it at all for recording for movies. I think it was made for studio recording or using on stage where you want an ultrasensitive mic.

I like my Logitech headset. I think it is the one that costs $40 - $50 and I don't get any ambient noise when I record. Another trick is to buy those round makeup sponges, your wife or girlfriend will know wht they are. They are very dense but soft and they fit over the tip of a mic when it is a headset mic and you secure it with a rubber band. That really helps. Also I always have my mic way above my mouth so I don't get any breathing noises.

Strange thing, last summer I had a virus that wiped my hard drive and I had to reformat everything and reinstall all my software and ever since then I have gotten better sound with my mic. I was getting some pops and cracking before that.

I didn't change anything with my mic or hardware either after I did all that reinstalling.

#4 twilit.tera

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:14 PM

The soundcard has as much to do with the quality of recording as the mic. For best results, I use the Samson that Steelblade mentioned above on our desktop PC. No idea what soundcard is in it (it was the Acer Factory standard) but it smokes!

If I try the Samson on my netbook though (I like to shanghai my friends into service when we visit them) I get garbage. I don't know why but in that case the logitec headset that Lucinda mentioned is my best bet, being careful with mic placement in relation to mouth and nose, of course.

#5 equinoxx

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:37 PM

The Samson C01U (which I have used for a couple of years now, and continue to love) and C03U are USB mics (hence the "U" in the model number), and actually bypass the sound card.
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#6 twilit.tera

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:42 PM

Interesting. I wasn't aware that USB mics did that.

Nonetheless, when I plug the Samson into the PC it's clear as a bell, and when I plug it into the netbook, I get this gawd-awful hissing, even in a completely isolated room with no other equipment running.

#7 iceaxe

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:46 PM

I use a Zoom H2, and I cannot recommend it enough.

It's a condenser mic which records in WAV format directly onto an SD card, or when connected by USB to a computer it's a straightforward USB condenser mic. It will record stereo, or surround sound and is great for recording interviews because it will record front and back of the mic's position.
I have a little mini-tripod that I usually stick it on, but it also comes with an adaptor which lets you stick it onto a mic stand.

The portability is great - it's the size of a compact camera, and runs off batteries in standalone, or you can plug it into the mains (it comes with a power adaptor), or when connected to a PC it uses the power from the USB. I honestly can't tell you how much I love this little recorder.

Two button presses and it starts recording. It has controls to let you set sensitivity and a bunch of other things that I never use. (Has a built in guitar tuner for example). You can pick it up for about £150.

All of the dialogue in Cloud Angel was captured using this. Most of the dialogue in Clockwork too (with the exception of the narrator).

Buy one!

#8 lucindamc123

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:31 PM

I have the Samson G track and I get too much ambient noise with it and I have tried every combination of settings I can think of. Maybe Tera, you can tell me your settings. Since my Logitec works great on this computer it isn't the sound card, I am pretty sure. So it is brand new from a year ago and never really been used. Maybe I will trade it to someone for music or animation.

#9 twilit.tera

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:47 PM

Hmm. Well the C03U is a lot simpler than what I see on the G Track, Lucinda. Tell me, I couldn't tell from the description on Amazon, can you change the recording pattern? We leave ours on Supercardioid and make sure to aim the "quiet" side toward any sources of ambient noise (which sometimes requires turning the fridge off temporarily so we can block out sound from the window without picking up the running fridge).

#10 supermep

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:16 AM

Just using the built in microphone in my laptop! smile.gif

#11 lucindamc123

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:13 AM

QUOTE (twilit.tera @ Mar 2 2010, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmm. Well the C03U is a lot simpler than what I see on the G Track, Lucinda. Tell me, I couldn't tell from the description on Amazon, can you change the recording pattern? We leave ours on Supercardioid and make sure to aim the "quiet" side toward any sources of ambient noise (which sometimes requires turning the fridge off temporarily so we can block out sound from the window without picking up the running fridge).



I think you can. I will try it and see and it might work better now since last summer because all my sound works better since I got rid of the horrid viruses I had on my computer and reinstalled everything.

#12 kv

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:37 AM

Right now I am using a logitech microphone which believe it or not is actually the microphone from the Guitar Hero band pack for Xbox 360. It works really well however it can be a little quiet compared to the samples I recieved from actscene for his VA on my Cross 3, he uses a Samson G Track and all the samples he sent me are mint quality, so I am planning on getting a mic like actscenes when I finally get myself a graphics card rolleyes.gif

#13 Robear

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 09:07 AM

I also use the Samson C01U.

It's a great cardioid condenser mic for the price, and it's built like a brick poophouse. Comes with a nice little tripod stand and a long USB cord.

Highly recommended.

#14 primaveranz

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:22 AM

I have access to a Shure SM58 which I use to record into a TASCAM DR-1 digital recorder.
But being no expert I am not really impressed with what comes out the other end. Seems like I have to have the Input Level on the DR-1 set to 10 when using the Mike to get a half decent sound level. Without the mike, I get much higher volume. Which made me think I had it plugged in the wrong place. But I have tried all combinations.
Also when using the mike I often get an annoying static sounding crackle that I have put down to some faulty wiring connection somewhere, as I was under the impression that both these bits of equipment were pretty good.
Bad workman I guess wink.gif

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#15 celestina

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:22 AM

I use Microsoft USB chat headphones with mic... got them from Amazon a few months ago... seem to work well and cost about £8.00 (as reconditioned). I am not very technical I'm afraid laugh.gif

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#16 daburners

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 07:31 AM

I Am Using A Built In Microphone On My Laptop!

#17 Nahton

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:20 PM

I want to thank everyone for their feedback on this thread. The response has been great! I think I've narrowed my choice down to something manufactured by Samson.

As I said, I had considered the C01U previously and that is back in the picture as is the C03U. I am however, considering spending the extra cash and purchasing the Zoom H2.

@ IceAxe: Why do you tempt me so? laugh.gif

Actually, I've always been a fan of stand alone devices and I like the idea of getting away from the fan sounds of my PC. I also love the idea of being able to capture ambient noise for background purposes. Since I work in a bustling city I've tried this while walking out on the street with my Blackberry to see if I could get something useful but it just doesn't pick up enough to be used as a faint ambiant track.

I rewatched Cloud Angel to focus on the dialogue crispness and it was quite impressive. Could I ask how "sterile" your recording environment was? I try to isolate myself from as much noise as possible and I think I do pretty weil in that respect.

@kv: It's kind of funny Jorge spurred you to consider a new mic. He was the one who pointed out to me my VO's were usually softer then his other VA's and motivated me to look at upgrades.

@Steel and Terra - I rewatched a couple of your movies as well for C03U quality and they sounded great.



#18 twilit.tera

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:30 PM

=) Thanks for noticing. We do not live in a very isolated location. In fact, this morning I was having issues with the grocery trucks next door. I think if there is too much sound from one direction it reflects off the wall on the opposite side.

So even with the mic, which I still love, recording can sometimes require patience.

#19 johnnie

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:39 AM

I have a Samson CO1U, and I have nothing but effusive praise for it. It's an amazing bit of kit for the price. The pickup is crisp and clear, and the dynamic range is great (particularly for acoustic work).

I think I'm right in saying that the narration for the Moviestorm Made Easy tutorials was all captured using a CO1U as well.

I haven't used the CO3U. I suppose it's theoretically possible that it could be even better, but you'd have to go a long way to beat the CO1U in my book. Me and this microphone are getting married.
Johnnie Ingram
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QUOTE (The Overcast @ July 23 2006)

#20 iceaxe

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (Nahton @ Mar 4 2010, 09:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I rewatched Cloud Angel to focus on the dialogue crispness and it was quite impressive. Could I ask how "sterile" your recording environment was? I try to isolate myself from as much noise as possible and I think I do pretty weil in that respect.


Actually I recorded in several locations (not an ideal situation, but there you go): a meeting room at work (where there is the constant sound from the air conditioning), in a friend's kitchen (lots of hard surfaces causing echo sad.gif ), our spare room (switched off my PC before recording).

Has 3 prefixed gain settings (switch on the right hand side) which you can then fine-tune through the control panel when getting a level.
On one occassion when recording I was concerned about road noise outside, but through the headphones I could clearly hear birds twittering! (did I mention that you just plug in headphones directly?) No birds were in sight.

When making Embers I had planned on doing lots of foley sounds, and recording these myself for the first time. In the end it wasn't really necessary and the only sound that I recorded was the rain at the point the girl is inside the greenhouse. That was a very rainy day last November when I opened the front door and just let the H2 record whatever it could hear.

I have no idea how the H2 compares to the other mics you're considering. What I wanted was a mic that didn't sound like a gaming headset (popping, breathing, etc.) and would be super-portable so I could go to my voice actors, set up, record, and do this with minimum fuss.

(BTW. I've never used noise reduction in my sound editor for anything that the H2 has recorded. )


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