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Looking to buy a half decent mic, probably usb?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey,
As above, since my current mic is a bit rubbish, I thought I'd buy myself a new one.
Will be used for online gaming, skype calls and commentating on some gameplay so I'd like something fairly good.

My current setup is a Fiio e7/9 combo, which doesn't have anything for microphones, so I'd assume getting a usb mic would be better than using the onboard audio jack?
I'm based in the UK which may have an affect (for example I think the Blue Yeti is roughly the same price in both dollars and pounds which doesn't make it quite as good value over here I think frown.gif )

Thanks
George
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm View Post

Hey,
As above, since my current mic is a bit rubbish, I thought I'd buy myself a new one.
Will be used for online gaming, skype calls and commentating on some gameplay so I'd like something fairly good.

My current setup is a Fiio e7/9 combo, which doesn't have anything for microphones, so I'd assume getting a usb mic would be better than using the onboard audio jack?
I'm based in the UK which may have an affect (for example I think the Blue Yeti is roughly the same price in both dollars and pounds which doesn't make it quite as good value over here I think frown.gif )

Thanks
George

 

 

 

I own an olympus clip on mic. It's analog but it's fairly well done. The cable is also detachable which is great. They cost about 8$ on the bay.

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-ME-52W-Noise-Canceling-Microphone/dp/B000MYPPPE/ref=pd_sim_op_1

 


I personally dont know of any small USB mic unfortunately. Though i'd advise that you just get an analog because it will be much cheaper.

post #3 of 7
I've got an LX-3000. Very cheap, sound quality of the mic is great for what you pay.
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by splinterize View Post



I own an olympus clip on mic. It's analog but it's fairly well done. The cable is also detachable which is great. They cost about 8$ on the bay.

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-ME-52W-Noise-Canceling-Microphone/dp/B000MYPPPE/ref=pd_sim_op_1


I personally dont know of any small USB mic unfortunately. Though i'd advise that you just get an analog because it will be much cheaper.

It doesn't have to be small, it can be a desk mic.
Looking for something a little more high end.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

I've got an LX-3000. Very cheap, sound quality of the mic is great for what you pay.
Already have decent headphones, so just looking for a microphone smile.gif
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post #5 of 7
Samson Go mic?

It's pretty good condenser mic but can be a little hard to place properly. And it's also found in the OCN recommendations. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
At 40 dollars consider the Samson Go-Mic This mic is very capable, but can be awkward to place. It's not designed to clip onto your headphones like the Zalman. It's great for latching onto monitors or laptops that are less than a few feet from you. It's also great if you're doing youtube commentary after the game play and want very clear audio quality. The Samson Go-Mic has multiple features that are useful. It's omni-directional, uni-directional and has a -10db mode which silences a large amount of background noise that even uni-directional mode picks up. This mode is meant for youtube commentary that you record after the game when you can hold the mic to your mouth or close enough.

Or for something more high-end:
t.bone SC440 podcast bundle 1
t.bone SC440 podcast bundle 2 (the one used in the video below) Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Edited by Tiihokatti - 11/2/13 at 7:54am
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post #6 of 7
Here's the basic signal chain for a mic set up: microphone -> preamplifier -> analog-to-digital-converter (ADC for short) -> your computer. You hook up all these components together with some combination of XLR, 6.3mm/3.5mm stereo, and/or USB cables.

Your motherboard has a built-in preamp and ADC.
USB mics have the preamp and ADC built into the microphone.
You can buy standalone preamps, ADCs, or units that combine the two.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm View Post

I'd assume getting a usb mic would be better than using the onboard audio jack?
Based on my experience, if there's a problem with the onboard microphone jack, then it's either the quality of its preamplifier or that most microphones made for the 3.5mm input are generally bad. Based on my experience, current onboard works well as an ADC for what you want to do.

As you approach $100 USB mics, I'm pretty sure that the mic, preamp, and ADC will all be satisfactory. I never tried the cheap USBs, so I'm not sure how they perform, and I would not trust reviews on youtube because the "reviewers" always edit out noise before uploading their "reviews", so you can't listen to the raw mic. Other "reviewers" don't position the mic well, and position is super important.

Mic position is important because there is background noise everywhere in your house, and any mic, no matter how expensive, will pick it up. The best way for us house-people to "eliminate" that noise is to make our target sound as loud as possible relative to the background noise, and the only way to do that is to move your mic as close as possible to the source of that sound (your mouth in this case).

When you're shopping for a mic, you have to ask yourself what positions you can put the mic in. With something like the Yeti, you're forced to plop it on your desk, where it'll probably block your view of the monitor and possibly your view of and/or access to your keyboard. I'm not a fan of the Yeti for online gaming or game commentary because of that.

I think the better set up options are some kind of actor's mic (lapel, lavalier), headset mic, or some mic that you can mount on a boom arm that clamps to your desk like the Rode PSA1 or attaches to a full sized floor mic stand.
Edited by cuad - 11/2/13 at 4:40pm
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post

Samson Go mic?

It's pretty good condenser mic but can be a little hard to place properly. And it's also found in the OCN recommendations. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
At 40 dollars consider the Samson Go-Mic This mic is very capable, but can be awkward to place. It's not designed to clip onto your headphones like the Zalman. It's great for latching onto monitors or laptops that are less than a few feet from you. It's also great if you're doing youtube commentary after the game play and want very clear audio quality. The Samson Go-Mic has multiple features that are useful. It's omni-directional, uni-directional and has a -10db mode which silences a large amount of background noise that even uni-directional mode picks up. This mode is meant for youtube commentary that you record after the game when you can hold the mic to your mouth or close enough.

Or for something more high-end:
t.bone SC440 podcast bundle 1
t.bone SC440 podcast bundle 2 (the one used in the video below) Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Thanks, I'll have a look at both of them.
Something I can put on a stand of some sort would be best I feel, since I won't be using it with a laptop and normally won't have a hand to hold it etc
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post

Here's the basic signal chain for a mic set up: microphone -> preamplifier -> analog-to-digital-converter (ADC for short) -> your computer. You hook up all these components together with some combination of XLR, 6.3mm/3.5mm stereo, and/or USB cables.

Your motherboard has a built-in preamp and ADC.
USB mics have the preamp and ADC built into the microphone.
You can buy standalone preamps, ADCs, or units that combine the two.
Based on my experience, if there's a problem with the onboard microphone jack, then it's either the quality of its preamplifier or that most microphones made for the 3.5mm input are generally bad. Based on my experience, current onboard works well as an ADC for what you want to do.

As you approach $100 USB mics, I'm pretty sure that the mic, preamp, and ADC will all be satisfactory. I never tried the cheap USBs, so I'm not sure how they perform, and I would not trust reviews on youtube because the "reviewers" always edit out noise before uploading their "reviews", so you can't listen to the raw mic. Other "reviewers" don't position the mic well, and position is super important.

Mic position is important because there is background noise everywhere in your house, and any mic, no matter how expensive, will pick it up. The best way for us house-people to "eliminate" that noise is to make our target sound as loud as possible relative to the background noise, and the only way to do that is to move your mic as close as possible to the source of that sound (your mouth in this case).

When you're shopping for a mic, you have to ask yourself what positions you can put the mic in. With something like the Yeti, you're forced to plop it on your desk, where it'll probably block your view of the monitor and possibly your view of and/or access to your keyboard. I'm not a fan of the Yeti for online gaming or game commentary because of that.

I think the better set up options are some kind of actor's mic (lapel, lavalier), headset mic, or some mic that you can mount on a boom arm that clamps to your desk like the Rode PSA1 or attaches to a full sized floor mic stand.

Thanks for the info. While I don't have a strict budget, I was looking at the slightly above 'budget' models, with things like the yeti. I don't think position of the yeti would be an issue, there's space to the right of my left arm when playing games inbetween me and my keyboard that I don't use for my mouse, and the height actually looks quite good.

Saying that over the weekend I was recommended a SL150/300 from Editors Keys, from some quick googling they sound pretty good, anyone have any experience with them?
I also like the idea of something I could attach to a more versatile stand of some sort (clipping to a desk would probably be better than floor I think)
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