Home Recording Techniques and Gear

What do you think of USB Microphones ?

GuyChanGuyChan 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 168
I once saw a Microphone directly connected to a computer via an integrated USB output. Without going through a preamp. I can't tell you which model it was, but what do you think about this ? The sound was so pure, it was incredible on the recordings. As far as I recall, it was years ago. Is it reliable?

Edit : take a Shure MOTIV MV51 as an example


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    Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,406
    i never used one, and they will not normally be used in a professional recording environment, since there are great preamps and soundcards etc so there is no need for this kind of design, but for home use, they are probably handy and useful. it will depend greatly on the brand and model but the design itself is not per se inferior to other designs with an XLR cable. they just have the A/D converter built in so you don't need a soundcard. you will get better soundcards and preamps than the one built in, but you could also buy these components in the same or even lower quality as individual pieces of gear. these days they can build stuff that is very small, compared to 20 years ago. i would test it for your individual use case, as you should with any mic
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    TheFlameTheFlame Member Posts: 5
    What do I think of USB microphnes? Well, I used a USB Microphone (Blue Yeti) for the past 5 years for basic podcasting, spoken word, and recording my bass guitar covers - nothing serious. What I can say is it got me by. It's not bad. It really depends on what you're doing with it and your budget. I like it for voice recording (non-singing). The audio quality wasn't that good when I recorded my bass guitar.

    I knew that my USB mic wasn't going to be for singing. When I recently decided to take the plunge into learning to sing for the first time, I upgraded to a Shure SM58 for vocals + audio interface.

    Like I said, from my experience the Blue Yeti USB mic is generally fine for most basic home recording aplications, especially if you're on a tight budget. One of the advantages of a USB mic is that you don't need something like an audio interface to plug it into your computer. It can be a good "get-you-by for now" microphone.

    I've grown a bit disatisfied with USB for it's infirier audio quality put together with the fact that if you're using it a lot, moving it around, the cable connections are prone to damage or coming loose. I woudn't use it for singing, though I've seen people do it.

    Voice, and instrument recordings are generally fine especially after cleaning up the audio in post.

    Now, I have my Blue Yeti as a backup and podcasting mic, and my Shure for vocals. One is a condensor microphone, and the other is a dynamic microphone. My best advise is to research microphones, get the best you can that makes sense for the application and budget, and make the best with what you got.
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