Before choosing a good studio microphone, it’s also important to choose a good microphone! But which type to take when you want to turn to a small microphone pass everywhere in USB more practical for transport, reporting, bloggers all ground, less imposing than a condenser microphone even if it is not the same use. This blog post is destined to explain what it will be used for and to give you some ideas to guide your choices according to your needs! Enjoy reading!
What’s a usb microphone? 🧐
One of the first details you check before buying a microphone is its three-pin output jack. It should actually be compatible with a laptop or computer. Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology, microphone designers have been able to develop a new variant called the USB microphone.
While it may not have all the advantages of other types of microphones, it is an excellent alternative that deserves your full attention.
General information about the USB Microphone ? 👏
A USB microphone is a transducer, like all other types of microphones. By the way, its operating concept is the same as that of a conventional microphone. It will pick up sound and translate it into an electrical signal. It allows you to make a voice recording or a voice audio broadcast.
In other words, it’s easy to use and suitable for everyone. It offers premium recording quality on your computer or tablet in minutes. One of its major assets is the fact that it is portable. It is a plug and play, it works perfectly on PC, Mac, iPad.
Choosing a USB microphone for your recordings also saves you from spending a small fortune on devices and gadgets. You don’t need any special skills to install it on your computer. Just plug it in and it will install the necessary driver for its operation.
It’ s a microphone that you can carry with you anywhere. Whether you are a nomad, a traveler, or an explorer, a USB microphone will always please you. It is a versatile, multi-platform tool. If you buy one, you should be able to use it on your laptop, Mac, iPad or desktop. In short, it’s the economical option for clear, crisp, high-quality sound on your PC, tablet or smartphone.
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What are the essential tools to make sure a Micro USB is working properly? 🛠
Technically, if you purchase a USB microphone, it will come with all the hardware that allows it to be immediately operational. The microphone will be delivered with all the necessary cabling to connect easily to a USB port. It allows for immediate recording by the user. On some models, a USB microphone is equipped with a headphone output. This is a considerable advantage, as it allows the user to listen to the sound directly through headphones.
The USB Microphone in a few points ✅
- Modern tools for everyone
- Plug and play : connect and record
- Suitable for all platforms: Windows, Mac, tablets with a USB port
- No additional equipment required
- Quality and low cost recording
Utility of a USB Microphone 🙌
A USB microphone is a very good way to record vocals and instruments. Usually, it has a cardioid pickup pattern that allows it to focus on the main sound source. This makes it ideal for voice-overs, podcasts, radio broadcasts, conferences, and chat programs such as Skype or Teams.
A Portable Home Studio? 🤙
You want to make a good quality recording? You don’t have the time or the budget to buy all the necessary components for your home studio? A USB microphone is the best solution. You no longer need a mixer, external power supply, phantom power or amplifier. All you need is a good audio interface to get the equivalent of a good studio recording.
For more Performance, do we need an External Sound Card? 🤔
Your computer already has a sound card for sound playback. This is another advantage of the USB microphone. You don’t need to buy anything else, it’s just a matter of using the USB microphone.
Depending on your budget, some manufacturers offer USB microphones with a built-in sound card. One example is the Rode Procaster.
The sound quality will be even better in this case. Other types of USB microphones are also equipped with a jack plug, such as the Rode Podcaster USB. This is an option that will allow you to record and listen to the microphone feedback at the same time.
Is a USB Microphone enough for your recordings? 🎼
It depends on you and your requirements. In any case, a USB microphone is a great way to start recording on your computer. It doesn’t require much technical knowledge. It does not require the skills of a sound engineer to produce quality sound. It is an easy tool that gives good results.
You want to set up a small recording studio in your room and record several materials at the same time? Start by plugging in all the equipment (all the musical instruments: keyboard, acoustic guitar…) and your USB microphone. And you are ready!
It’ s important to note that for some applications, you could need to use some gadgets. These include the use of a pop filter, windscreen or windscreen to reduce background noise. To reduce handling noise, you can use a tripod, or a microphone boom.
If you are a beginner, using a USB microphone will help you to not be swamped with other items to buy. However, it’ s a microphone that will surely meet your needs while being very easy to use. Later on, you can always upgrade your recording studio by purchasing a condenser or dynamic XLR microphone and investing in a quality microphone preamplifier. In this case, the USB microphone will always find its place in your microphone park, especially if you are YouTuber or podcaster.
What should you base your purchase of a USB Microphone on? 🤯
At present, most microphones claim to be versatile. But the choice of a microphone should be based on its use and the result you are looking for. Nevertheless, to guide you, here is a list of requirements to consider before investing in a USB microphone.
Microphones share a set of characteristics that allow users to make a comparison. Among these characteristics are:
The directivity :
Directivity is the sensitivity of a microphone to sound, depending on the direction from which it comes. There are several types of directivity:
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👉 Omnidirectional Directivity:
It’ s characteristically equal in sensitivity in all directions. This means that the USB microphone is very sensitive to the ambience of the room in which it will be used. In other words, it will be impossible to isolate an instrument when several musicians are playing at the same time. This type of polar pattern is also sensitive to feedback events.
Microphones with this type of polar pattern are mainly used in the studio. Their uses can be very varied. However, you should have a room with good acoustics. Usually they deliver a very natural sound. They are excellent for use on overheads, drums or delicate instruments such as piano.
One example is the Blue Yeti Pro. It’s a USB microphone not dedicated to a professional use, but it will be suitable for recording voice over in a context of podcast, commentary on a video tutorial …
👉 Bidirectional Directivity:
Bidirectional polar pattern is also known as figure-8 polar pattern. It is characterized by the sensitivity of the microphone at the front and rear. It also has an angle with a sensitivity of 90°. In other words, the microphone will not pick up sounds from the sides.
A USB microphone with figure-of-eight pattern is primarily used to pick up opposing sound sources. For example, it can record two singers at the same time, just as it can be placed between two drum sets.
This type of microphone can also be used to record a podcast. The result will be just as breathtaking. You will probably not find this type of microphone on a movie set. However, many people use it as a backup microphone for a talk show. Among the USB microphones with this type of pickup pattern is the Superlux E431U. This is an electret microphone with switchable pickup pattern.
👉 Super and hyper cardioid directionality:
The USB microphone has a heart-shaped polar pattern. This is the type of polar pattern most often used in a recording studio. This is because it is only sensitive to sounds coming from the front. This makes them less prone to feedback, and it is easy to isolate the different sound sources you want to record.
Supercardioid and hypercardioid patterns are simply variants of the cardioid pattern. They are characterized by a reduced sensitivity in the front compared to the rear.
As far as use is concerned, this type of directionality is used for recording a directional sound source. Examples are recording a singer’s performance, picking up a guitar amp, recording drum elements (snare drum, bass drum…). The Blue Yeti Pro also has this type of directionality. By design, it is a versatile USB microphone.
👉 The proximity effect:
This is a feature that mainly affects USB microphones with a bidirectional pickup pattern. Simply put, depending on how close the microphone is to the sound source, the bass sound will be more pronounced. Depending on the user’s needs, this can be a good thing for the microphone.
👉 The passband :
Bandwidth is simply the ability of a microphone to pick up and reproduce frequencies.
👉 The response curve:
The response curve can be defined as the character of a USB microphone. It consists of a diagram showing the humps and dips in relation to the frequencies picked up.
It corresponds to the voltage that the microphone is able to supply as a function of the acoustic pressure received by the diaphragm.
It plays an important role in terms of frequency response. More larger is the diaphragm of the USB microphone, more low frequencies will pick up.
👉 Maximum allowable pressure:
This is the maximum pressure the microphone can handle without distortion.
A USB microphone is the simple solution for recording audio on your computer. It can plug directly into your USB port and allows you to record directly to your computer. Everything is done without the need for additional hardware.
All you have to do is plug in your microphone and make a few adjustments. Then you’re ready to start making quality recordings. They are as easy to use as any headset you may know.
They are effective for recording voices such as singing, podcasting, voice-overs and musical instruments. Some USB microphones come with a headphone output. This allows you to directly monitor the audio you are recording with your headphones. It’ a good alternative on mobile studios so you don’t need to move your dynamic microphones or condenser microphone from your studio.
One of the limitations of a USB microphone is that you can only use one microphone at a time. So if you want to record more than one voice, this is probably not the best solution. Unless you choose a microphone with an omnidirectional pickup pattern, but in any case you will need a preamplifier with multiple inputs, so consider other types of microphones for more advanced use.
Our Selection of the Best USB Microphones ❤️
On the market, you can find several types of USB microphones. Here is our official selection of the best microphones you can find.
The Rode Podcaster is the reference microphone for your podcasts and voice-overs. It offers unbeatable value for money. It’ s a dynamic microphone. It is based on a simple electromagnetic system. It connects directly to your PC via a USB cable. It”s very effective in filtering unwanted noise to produce excellent sound quality.
🎤 Audio Technica AT2020 USB
The Audio Technica AT2020 USB is a condenser microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. It offers a very good sound quality. By the way, its design was inspired by the AT2020, a legendary studio microphone. It’ s a small, easy-to-carry microphone. With low self-noise, it can be used with all types of recording equipment. Very rugged, it is your ally if you are always on the move.
Rode is known for its production of high performance microphones. The Rode NT-USB is no exception. It delivers spectacular sound: crisp, clear and natural. It is remarkably insensitive to plosives and hiss. It is a very practical condenser microphone for recording voices. In the studio, it also helps singers and instrumentalists.
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