An affordable, high-quality digital mic for podcasts, VOIP, more
We've been writing a lot lately about some of the aspects involved in podcasting -- see this Pointers column as an example -- as well as moving our own site example of the form, The MacNN Podcast, to Soundcloud and now (finally) iTunes for better distribution. For some of our staff that contribute to the broadcast, its meant getting a decent microphone for the first time. As a veteran podcaster, currently a regular on no less than three very different podcasts, I generally recommend the Blue Snowball USB.
Beyond FaceTime calls, there are handy reasons to record
Most Macs (with the exception of the Mac mini and the Mac Pro) -- and all iOS devices -- come with a built-in microphone that is above-average in quality for that sort of device. A typical user might employ it for all kinds of purposes beyond the normal phone calling: dictating emails, voice memos, FaceTime calls. There are times, however, where you need much higher quality, and this Pointers column will talk about some of those situations, and how to create recordings you can be proud of.
Blue reveals Hummingbird microphone at NAMM
Blue unveiled its Hummingbird Class A small-diaphragm microphone at NAMM. Based on the Blue B1's cardioid capsule, the Hummingbird has a head that rotates 180 degrees, measures just 70mm (6.7 inches) tall, and offers a signal-to-noise ratio of 85.5dB-A and a maximum sound pressure level of 130dB. Shipping later this spring, the Hummingbird will cost $300.
Small, handy mic add-on enhances iOS recordings
Blue Microphones, a company that makes some of the most popular digital USB microphones among podcasters and musicians, has for some time made a Mikey clip-in microphone for 30-pin iOS devices that significantly enhanced the sound quality of recordings. The company has now brought out a new model -- the Mikey Digital -- designed for Lightning-based devices, and introduced a few new tricks in the process. While not the equal of Blue's more expensive desktop mics, it is a godsend for on-the-go recording. Is it right for you? Check out our review for samples and insight on this little wonder.
Field recording through Lightning devices, stand gives tablet users positioning options
Two new products are coming from IK Multimedia, as the company announced the iRig Mic Field and iKlip Xpand Stand. The iRig Mic Field offers high-quality stereo recording through Lightning-compatible devices for projects that need a separate audio recording, like live bands or films. The new iKlip Xpand Stand offers tablet users a way to mount their tablets, giving them the flexibility to use them in a freestanding manner without bulky hardware or permanently attached fixtures.
Based on popular 30-pin version, includes line-in and USB passthrough charging
A little less than two years after it introduced its first digital 30-pin attachable microphone for the iPhone and other iOS devices, Blue Microphones is finally bringing out a Lightning-based version that works natively with the iPhone 5 and later models such as the iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini. The new Mikey Digital includes two condenser microphones -- identical to the ones used in its popular Yeti and Snowball microphones -- and thanks to its reversible Lightning connector is now able to pointed either forwards or backwards.
Lightning-connected audio recording accessory for iPhone, iPad as well as iPod touch
Audio accessory maker Zoom has launched its iQ5 microphone for iOS devices this week, offering the ability to capture high-quality audio in 90- or 120-degree fields, adjustable by a switch on the device. Including two microphone elements in a mid-size configuration,the iQ5 records 16-bit/44.1kHz audio with an analog-type mic gain wheel. Fitted with a Lightning connector, the microphone has three auto-gain levels, built-in timing, automatic recording, and a dedicated headphone jack to avoid any latency in monitoring.
New microphone source will be used once mic stocks dry up
HTC is planning to change its source of microphones for the HTC One once its existing inventory has run out, following Nokia's recent court action in the Netherlands. A statement from the manufacturer seeking to clarify the injunction filed by Nokia explains that the injunction isn't against HTC itself, but is against a component supplier in the Netherlands called STM.
Microphone features USB, 30-pin dock connector
Blue Microphones has unveiled the first studio microphone for both Apple's 30-pin iOS dock connector and USB -- the Spark Digital. The new digital version of the microphone features the same studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-selected components as the original, delivering high-fidelity recording and consistent performance.
Accessories built based on rumors, may be inaccurate
Despite the lack of any formal announcement from Apple, a handful of overseas manufacturers have once again jumped the gun and developed accessory cases designed to fit the so-called "iPad mini" said to be announced sometime next month. The case designs indicate the presence of a rear-facing camera, but also have a "mystery" opening that could be for a second microphone.
Uses Camera Connector Kit USB adapter
Marshall Electronics' MXL Microphones has launched a vocally-oriented USB-powered condenser mic called the MXL Tempo that can also be attached to an iPad via Apple's Camera Connector Kit, which includes a limited-use USB connector for the iPad. Aimed at podcasters and chat users, the mic includes a no-latency headphone jack for monitoring and works out-of-the-box with a wide variety of recording and chat programs.
Chrome model of USB mic also available
Samson, a long-time player in the microphone industry, is debuting a limited gold-plated edition of their new USB studio condenser microphone, dubbed the Meteor Mic, exclusively at Best Buy -- which is taking pre-orders starting today for the release on April 15th. The Meteor Mic, in either the gold or regular chrome-plated editions, features a remarkably flat frequency response and a zero-latency headphone jack built into it.
Mic brings higher recording resolution
MacNN had a chance to check out Blue Microphones' latest offering, an upgraded version of the Yeti. The updated design, named the Yeti Pro, brings the same form factor as its predecessor, but with several features that may prove appealing to musicians. Both mics share the same arrangement of three condenser capsules, but the Pro variant adds stereo XLR outputs alongside the existing USB option.
Turns iPhone or iPod Touch into high-quality mic
Blue Microphone -- a 15-year maker of professional analog and digital retro-styled microphones -- has announced that its long-awaited revamped Mikey iPhone/iPod stereo microphone is now shipping. The redesigned dock-port-connecting microphone is capable of recording CD-quality (44.1kHz/16-bit) sound on almost any model of iPhone or iPod Touch -- along with the second through current generations of the iPod Nano and the Classic and fifth-generation versions of the original iPod (the iPhone 4 and iPad are not yet officially supported). It includes both a 3.5mm stereo input jack and USB pass-through (mini-B type, intended for power transfer only), and a free app called Blue Fire, a licensed version of the professional Fire field recording app from Audiofile Engineering.
Mic offers XLR and USB connections
Samson on Wednesday introduced the Q2U Recording Pack which includes a microphone, HP20 headphones, and other accessories. The Q2U dynamic mic features both XLR and USB outputs, allowing users to simultaneously connect with a computer and other gear for live performances and recording. The mic offers a cardioid pickup pattern and an integrated A/D converter for 16-bit, 48kHz sampling.
Mic offers four patterns for recording flexibility
Blue Microphones has expanded its line of consumer products with the Yeti, a USB-attached condenser mic with THX certification. The mic features three of the company's 14mm condenser capsules arranged in a triple array, with support for omni, cardioid, stereo or bidirectional polar patterns. Users can attach headphones directly to the 16 ohm, 130mW amp for direct zero-latency monitoring.
Samson Go Mic released
Samson has released its newest microphone, the Go Mic. The device utilizes a USB connection for direct input, while a laptop mount that doubles as a tabletop stand. The microphone is compact in size, measuring 2.5-inches by 1.5-inches, and utilizes a multidirectional hinge to help ensure users record the intended audio. The device integrates a condenser microphone with a frequency response of 20Hz to 18kHz with 44.1kHz/16-bit resolution.
Audio Technica new mics
Audio-Technica on Wednesday debuted 11 new ATR series microphones designed for home recordings, live performances, computers or camcorders. Products include the ATR1500, ATR1300, ATR1200 and ATR1100 vocal/instrument mics; the ATR6550, ATR6250, ATR4697 and ATR2250 specialty mics; the ATR4700 and ATR4600 computer mics; and the ATR5200 headset mic.
ThumbTacks now shipping
Switcheasy has launched ThumbTacks, an ultra-small microphone for the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G. The microphone attaches to the iPods's 3.5mm headphone jack and allows the media player to be used as a voice recorder. The ThumbTacks microphone is shaped like a thumbtack and measures 1.21 inches by .46 inches, using gold plating on the plug.
SoundMeter 1.0 for iPhone
FaberAcoustical is making use of the iPhone's built-in and handset microphones with an app that measures sound levels. SoundMeter 1.0 levels in a variety of ways. Although not up to professional standards, the company says its app is "an excellent alternative to other inexpensive handheld meters for home or hobbyist use."
Vue 3D contest
In brief: We have posted the second part of our review of Steinberg Sequel, the Vue 3D Environment Competition 2008 has been announced, fmDataGuard has announced its "First Anniverary Sale," and there is a newly announced DEVONthink 2.0 upgrade grace period ... We have posted the second part of our review of Steinberg Sequel. The tool allows you to record using a MIDI controller or through an external microphone, which is very similar to GarageBand. We recorded live audio from a microphone and it worked well. The intuitive design worked as we thought it would. Cutting and arranging segments of recorded material is also similar to GarageBand. You can move segments freely or snap them to a metronomic grid.