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Best USB Microphones for Music

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Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby anna-marie music » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:12 pm

I'm not even sure if this is the right category to post this in... but what do you all recommend for a good quality USB microphone?

I've been using Zoom for the last six months for vocal lessons, a few impromptu music performances, etc... but the quality of the sound from my webcam microphone is not good (it's fine for normal conversation, but if I start playing guitar/singing, it sounds like I'm singing through some sort of filter... it gives off almost a robotic sound if that makes any sense!).

I do have an Aston Stealth mic, which is exceptional for recording on DAW's such as Ableton, etc..., but it has an XLR plugin, so I can't exactly plug it into my computer to use for video calls (I tried it earlier, to no avail).

My dad has an older-model Samson G-Track USB mic, which is pretty good quality... but it is about 10 years old so I would definitely want something even a bit newer.
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:20 pm

How do you get the signal from you Ashton Stealth into your DAW? I'm assuming you have a USB audio interface of some kind (or similar), if so that would be the way to make the same mic usable for zoom meeting audio.
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby anna-marie music » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:25 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:How do you get the signal from you Ashton Stealth into your DAW? I'm assuming you have a USB audio interface of some kind (or similar), if so that would be the way to make the same mic usable for zoom meeting audio.

I use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen I believe it is?) interface with my DAW. My webcam is a Logitech C920... I tried switching the default microphone in the sound settings on my computer and didn't have any luck with it (couldn't get the sound to work)... but now that you mention it, I may try this again and see if I just happened to select the wrong settings or something :)
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:29 pm

The Stealth into the Scarlett will appear the same to the computer as a USB mic (which is just a mic and USB interface in a single unit). It should be possible to make the Scarlett work as a zoom audio source.
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby Fishnish » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:37 pm

Dunno if it's "the best" because it's the only USB mic I have, but I'm pretty happy with the Blue Yeti I use for my office computer + laptop. It's multi pattern (cardioid, omni, stereo + bidirectional). not crazily expensive, and sounds decent for the price. I use it it for much the same tasks as you describe - a general computer mic rather than a "recording" mic.

I have a Blue Bluebird in the studio too, which can be a useful vocal/ general purpose cardiod.
They're both quite bright sounding mics, but that's not necessarily always a bad thing.
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby anna-marie music » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:57 pm

Fishnish wrote:Dunno if it's "the best" because it's the only USB mic I have, but I'm pretty happy with the Blue Yeti I use for my office computer + laptop. It's multi pattern (cardioid, omni, stereo + bidirectional). not crazily expensive, and sounds decent for the price. I use it it for much the same tasks as you describe - a general computer mic rather than a "recording" mic.

I have a Blue Bluebird in the studio too, which can be a useful vocal/ general purpose cardiod.
They're both quite bright sounding mics, but that's not necessarily always a bad thing.
Thank you for the recommendation :) I'll definitely take a look at the reviews for that one!
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:02 pm

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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby The Korff » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:02 pm

You might find this article helpful:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ch ... microphone
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby anna-marie music » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:18 pm

The Korff wrote:You might find this article helpful:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ch ... microphone

Thank you! :)
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby blinddrew » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:49 pm

Are you running Zoom on a pc, a mac or ipad/tablet? I think it affects what you can do in terms of selecting inputs and outputs. E.g. on my last Zoom conference I had the video coming from the website, the audio in coming from one interface and the audio out going to a second interface, all easily selectable within zoom.
But I think if you're on a tablet the options are more limited.
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby sound bites » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:21 pm

Just to be spoiled for choice here’s one more:

https://europe.beyerdynamic.com/fox.html
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby blinddrew » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:29 pm

Worth having a scroll down this article: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ch ... microphone
It's aimed at podcasting but a lot of it transfers and there's a useful list of mics at the end.
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Re: Best USB Microphones for Music

Postby ef37a » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:32 am

https://soundcloud.com/user-157646387/u ... iving-room

Hope that works, first time of trying!

For those on a tight budget that mic is commonly available at £20-30 and is really nicely made. Citronics CCU3.
My son is playing in his flat in France. The place has a high ceiling he tells me and the microphone is about 1mtr from him.

He is waiting for the Mackie LDC PW was quite taken with in the August issue but they are back ordered until mid October. That will go into a Behringer UMC204HD.

Dave.
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