Wanted: Microphone Recommendations

21 replies
I'd like to begin a podcast and I'm looking for a
high-quality microphone that I can use with my
laptop (PC). Does anyone have a recommendation?

Condenser microphones seem to be the most
professional... but I am super afraid they will
pick-up the cooling fan noise that comes from
my laptop.

Anyone have a microphone (or setup) recommendation?
My budget is around $100 dollars.
#microphone #recommendations #wanted
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5005285].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author koreancowboy
    Thanks IM! I've been looking for one myself (and for one for work)...I'll order it tomorrow!
    Signature

    I provide consulting for companies that use Adobe AEM...you can check out what I've done so far.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5005346].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    Blue Microphones makes a number of excellent USB microphones, the Yeti is their best but it's over your budget.

    However the Snowball is also very good and priced in your range.

    Amazon.com: Blue Microphones Snowball USB...Amazon.com: Blue Microphones Snowball USB... (also not an AFF Link)

    It has several pickup patterns and can indeed be used 12 inches in front of you. And unlike the Logitech it can be mounted on a professional microphone stand, and it comes with its own as well. It was designed with podcasting in mind.

    Hope this helps

    Bill
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5005464].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I use the Audio Technia AT-2020 USB condenser microphone:
    Amazon.com: Audio Technica AT2020USB Condenser...Amazon.com: Audio Technica AT2020USB Condenser...

    You will find plenty of sound tests/review videos for that microphone on Youtube.

    If you are worried about external noise then you can pick up something like this:
    Amazon.com: Porta-booth - Portable Sound Studio...Amazon.com: Porta-booth - Portable Sound Studio...

    They work great at eliminating all outside noise. I wouldn't suggest you purchase it from Amazon though. They are much cheaper to make by yourself. Instructions can be found here:
    Harlan Hogan - Porta Booth Instructions
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5006235].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
    These are very cool suggestions. To answer your question about my suggestion, yes, the Logitech can be placed on a desk, you do not have to speak right into it. That's how I use it. It also has a mute button on the stand which really comes in handy. Last, but not least, I use the ambient noise reduction and volume leveling capability of Camtasia Studio which makes the audio sound even better. Check out their free trial.

    Everyone else, thanks for these ideas!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5007005].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author James Liberty
    A few years ago, Josh Anderson told me to place an analog-to-digital
    converter between my microphone and my laptop. Is this still
    necessary with today's technology? If I purchase a USB microphone,
    is an analog-to-digital converter still needed?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5008501].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Originally Posted by James Liberty View Post

      A few years ago, Josh Anderson told me to place an analog-to-digital
      converter between my microphone and my laptop. Is this still
      necessary with today's technology? If I purchase a USB microphone,
      is an analog-to-digital converter still needed?
      All USB mics have A/D converters built in (because a USB cable can only carry a digital signal). All stock computer soundcards have A/D converters too. The only reason you would ever need to purchase a standalone A/D converter is if you needed a more high-end recording setup (ie for studio quality music recordings). But for podcast recordings and the like, all you need is a USB mic, or a headset-style mic plugged into your computer soundcard's audio in.

      That said, most stock computer soundcards are pretty cheap, so you will usually get a cleaner, fuller sound with a USB mic.
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009945].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Autowriter1
    Any sort of condenser microphone is going to be perfect for a podcast.
    Signature
    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ng-cancer.html

    100k youtube views - $350. 10% OF IT GOES TO CANCER!!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5008568].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author James Liberty
      Originally Posted by Autowriter1 View Post

      Any sort of condenser microphone is going to be perfect for a podcast.
      ...unless it picks-up background noise.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009322].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author KenJ
        Don't forget a good microphone pop filter to iron out all those t's and p's.
        I still use my faithfull Shure SM57 which is too much, but as I own it anyway I use it.

        Kenj
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009401].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Tom B
          Banned
          Strange timing! I just purchased a new mic today. I wanted something small that I could travel with and from some research really liked the samson gomic. I just purchased it today with an additional pop filter.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009419].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Michael D Forbes
          Any good condenser mic WILL pick up ambient noise if used 12" away, not to mention you lose a good bit of the natural "proximity effect" that you get using a condenser up close.

          You will almost surely want to close mic for best results, especially if your voice is thin. If you have a lot of natural resonance in your voice 12" away will work fine.

          Rather than getting all fancy with enclosures for your tower (to reduce fan noise, etc) you can just set a couple pillows or a blanket around it to really reduce the noise from it. Just make sure you aren't blocking air vents.

          You don't need an A/D convertor for Podcasting. If you invest in any outboard gear later on, get a good compressor with a noise gate, it will increase your audio quality by a huge degree.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009466].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Zubair Zm
    My vote is for Blue Yeti Mic. I had purchased it after few weeks of research. It worth the money.
    regards
    Zm
    Signature

    Get FREE Autoresponder For Wordpress at AutoresponderForWordpress.com

    Exclusive Private Label Rights To A Brand New Video PLR Business In A Box And Complete Sales Funnel. Every Single Month at DigitalInternetBusiness.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009451].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Top Dog Marketer
    I have owned 3 different plantronics headsets from the DSP series and they have always worked really well. High quality for a low price.

    I would go search for them on amazon and pick one up.
    Signature

    I'm the "Top Dog" when it comes to marketing.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5009965].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mgkimsal
    Something else to consider, you may want to run some compression on the mic, either 'live' or in some post processing step too.

    I'm using a Samsung Q7 through a Zoom H4 with a light guitar amp effect on it, then light compression during processing afterward - you can hear some of this at WebDevRadio Podcast home - web development discussion - News, views and issues for the web developer - if you dare (fairly boring nerd speak there).
    Signature

    Michael Kimsal
    http://heywords.com/ - for article writers

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5010501].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author inserate
    Use the Samson GoMic. It's cheap and sounds great. I did a lot of research, also with much more expensive mics, and this is really hard to beat. Portable, small and pro audio quality.
    Signature

    Marketing video producer, SEO specialist, positive thinker.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6828894].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sigurdur
      Well .. if you want to be able to walk around the room (I often do .. when I'm talking), then the MXL AC404 or CAD U7 are great choices.
      They are very good 360° microphones.

      Otherwise, the Yeti ;-)
      Signature

      Do you sell on your website?

      - I'll show you how you can Get 20% More Sales without adding ANY traffic by Making Your Website Faster.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6828935].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author salegurus
      Originally Posted by inserate View Post

      Use the Samson GoMic. It's cheap and sounds great. I did a lot of research, also with much more expensive mics, and this is really hard to beat. Portable, small and pro audio quality.
      Thread is 9 Months old, i'm sure the OP does not need any more advice...
      Signature
      Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

      ― George Carlin
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6829135].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lollobrigida
    I'm in love with my "Zoom H2".
    You can use it plugged and portable with normal batteries...
    it takes a SD card... depending on the size of the card you can
    record hours and hours...the batteries will last... you can literally
    leave it on over night to find out whether you snore (if no one else
    is there to complain about it)
    • W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90°
    • cardioid, Rear 120° cardioid and 360° polar patterns
    • Built-in USB 2.0 interface
    • Records in WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit, MP3 to 320kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) data formats
    • Time Stamp and Track Marker functions in Broadcast WAV Format (BWF)
    • 512MB SD memory card included
    • Accommodates up to 16GB SD memory cards
    • Auto Gain Control (AGC) for pristine recordings
    • Auto Start function means you're always ready to record
    • Low-cut filter eliminates wind noise
    • On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner

    The thing has the size of a pack of cigarettes...the quality is awesome...
    it's great for interviews even with more than 2 people talking...
    and did I say it? I'm in love with the thing.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6829120].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    If you have a local Guitar Center, I recommend going there and seeing what they have or your local music shop. I also recommend getting an interface!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6829982].message }}

Trending Topics