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Needing the Highest Quality USB Microphone

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Anonymous
October 13, 2004 7:47:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Hello,

I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.

At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
options I have would be appreciated.

Thank you!
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 11:25:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

"S-TypeR" wrote ...
> I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> quality USB microphone available.

"High quality" and "USB microphone" are unlikely to be found
in the same device. High quality microphones are used by people
with more than minimal recording systems, and USB microphones
are used for non-critical applications like basic (telephonic)
communications.

>One that produces a clear voice
> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.

That is almost more a function of the space that you are recording
in than the microphone itself.

> At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> options I have would be appreciated.

There are several USB mic preamps and more on the market
all the time. Suggest using one of those and a conventional
(even if "cheap") microphone.

More details of your space, budget, etc. may help gather
some more specific advice.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 1:36:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

> I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.

Perhaps it'd be better to get a USB sound card device and then get the
microphone separately. That way you can change the microphone as conditions
require. Handheld, lapel or even wireless would work. That and you can
upgrade to better microphones as budget allows.

-Bill Kearney
Related resources
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 1:58:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

In article <60e9d1a6.0410130247.48424b76@posting.google.com> jeremysherk@hotmail.com writes:

> I am looking for the highest
> quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>
> At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> equipment

Obviously you have to compromise. You can't get the best for any less
than four arms and six legs, and you're not even willing to spend one
of each.

I'd suggest that you first find a way to connect a standard microphone
to your computer. There are many mic preamps with USB output starting
at around $100. I don't think this will be terribly critical for your
application, but don't get real junk. Then go shopping for microphones
and find one that suits your voice and your budget. Understand that
the room in which your record will have a significant bearing on the
"cheap hollow" effect. The best mic can sound bad in a bad room,
particularly with an inexperienced reader.

> so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> options I have would be appreciated.

If you weren't going to try anything I'd suggest starting with an
Electro Voice RE-20 (shop for a used one) and one of the M-Audio USB
interfaces with mic inputs. Or for a little better quality and a
little less flexibility, perhaps the Lavry Engineering USB input
interface.

And before you ask, you won't find something in the range you're
looking with only one input channel even though that's all you need.
Every computer audio interface is at least two channels, because the
data comes in in pairs.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 4:22:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

On 13 Oct 2004 03:47:43 -0700, jeremysherk@hotmail.com (S-TypeR)
wrote:

>I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
>online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
>quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
>without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>
>At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
>equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
>options I have would be appreciated.

AFAIK there is no such thing as a USB microphone. Certainly not a
quality one.

What computer are you using? What does it presently have as a
soundcard? Is Firewire available as well as USB?
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 4:22:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Also, recording quality will depend as much on the voice used, and the
quality of the space that it is recorded in.

JHH
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 4:22:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 07:22:36 -0400, Laurence Payne wrote
(in article <3q3qm0lgou7bh7v136pah8s0p6eu3mnoda@4ax.com>):

> On 13 Oct 2004 03:47:43 -0700, jeremysherk@hotmail.com (S-TypeR)
> wrote:
>
>> I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
>> online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
>> quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
>> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>>
>> At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
>> equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
>> options I have would be appreciated.
>
> AFAIK there is no such thing as a USB microphone. Certainly not a
> quality one.
>
> What computer are you using? What does it presently have as a
> soundcard? Is Firewire available as well as USB?
>
>
>
>

There are several, some combined with small ipod-like devices. Try googling
USB and microphone.

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 6:34:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

S-TypeR wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>
> At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> options I have would be appreciated.
>
> Thank you!

How much is a arm and a leg worth these days ;)  ?

Last time i was in, Comp USA had Telex USB mikes.
A couple of varieties. These are NO substitute for a pro
mike, but they might work for your application.

If you need something better, you need to get a USB mike
interface such as a editrol or tascam US-122 and and pro
mike to go with it. You get what you pay for.

Bob




----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
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Anonymous
October 13, 2004 7:06:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

jeremysherk@hotmail.com (S-TypeR) wrote in
news:60e9d1a6.0410130247.48424b76@posting.google.com:

> I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.

AFAIK there are no good USB microphones. You should just get a standard
recording microphone and plug it into your Microphone-in jack. If you want
even better quality, you can get a USB Microphone Pre-Amp from M-Audio:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MobilePreUSB-main...

--
Lucas Tam (REMOVEnntp@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 7:43:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Maybe a PS2 microphone?


"Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel
messaggio news:3q3qm0lgou7bh7v136pah8s0p6eu3mnoda@4ax.com...
> On 13 Oct 2004 03:47:43 -0700, jeremysherk@hotmail.com (S-TypeR)
> wrote:
>
>>I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
>>online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
>>quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
>>without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>>
>>At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
>>equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
>>options I have would be appreciated.
>
> AFAIK there is no such thing as a USB microphone. Certainly not a
> quality one.
>
> What computer are you using? What does it presently have as a
> soundcard? Is Firewire available as well as USB?
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 9:22:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

S-TypeR wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>
> At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> options I have would be appreciated.
>
> Thank you!

While my suggestion is not the best sounding microphone I have ever used
by any stretch of the imagination, it will most likely be good enough
for your application.

Look at the Plantronic DSP-500
(http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products...)

The sound quality is fairly good, with decent noise cancelation. This
product is no replacement for $10k of high-quality gear, but it works
extermely well for its ~$110 price tag. We have about 30 of the DSP-500
at our computer Language Labs on campus, and 60 of the DSP-300.

Good luck!
David Cull.
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 12:30:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

BOB URZ <"sound(remove)"@inetnebr.com> writes:

> S-TypeR wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> > online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> > quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> > without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
> >
> > At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> > equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> > options I have would be appreciated.
> >
> > Thank you!
>
> How much is a arm and a leg worth these days ;)  ?
>
> Last time i was in, Comp USA had Telex USB mikes.
> A couple of varieties. These are NO substitute for a pro
> mike, but they might work for your application.
>
> If you need something better, you need to get a USB mike
> interface such as a editrol or tascam US-122 and and pro
> mike to go with it. You get what you pay for.
>
> Bob
>
>
>
>
> ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
> http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups
> ---= East/West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =---

Griffin "iMic" works for me. This is designed for a Mac, but it works OK
under Windows/Linux too.

It has a USB connector and two stereo 3.5mm jacks: line out and mic/line in.
You choose between mic and line level with a small slider switch. The quality
on mic in is nothing special, but it will give pretty good mono or stereo
sound on a condenser mic.

If you need professional sound I recommend either Edirol UA5 (1/4" and XLR mic inputs) or similar. This is an "industrial strength" version of the imic.

Beware of devices such as the Tascam or M-audio. These often require special
drivers, at least under Linux. I like the plain USB audio interface that the
iMic and Edirol products follow.

Richard
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 7:41:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Richard,

Thank you for the info. The bottom line is, I am no techie and am
wanting the simplest set up possible. My space is limited to my home
office so I am not wanting a lot of hook ups and bulky equipment
because this may only be a one-time deal for me.

I would be willing to pay $200 max for whatever could produce a decent
quality voice recording. I realize that's a tight budget but can I get
something good enough to produce a marketable voice recording?

So to clarify Richard, spending money on a good PREAMP and getting a
average mic is my best bet? Do you have any specific brand name
advice? I am open to suggestions for this.

Thank you for your time.


"Richard Crowley" <rcrowley7@xprt.net> wrote in message news:<10mqemrsc6c11a4@corp.supernews.com>...
> "S-TypeR" wrote ...
> > I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> > online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> > quality USB microphone available.
>
> "High quality" and "USB microphone" are unlikely to be found
> in the same device. High quality microphones are used by people
> with more than minimal recording systems, and USB microphones
> are used for non-critical applications like basic (telephonic)
> communications.
>
> >One that produces a clear voice
> > without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>
> That is almost more a function of the space that you are recording
> in than the microphone itself.
>
> > At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> > equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> > options I have would be appreciated.
>
> There are several USB mic preamps and more on the market
> all the time. Suggest using one of those and a conventional
> (even if "cheap") microphone.
>
> More details of your space, budget, etc. may help gather
> some more specific advice.
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 10:07:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

"S-TypeR" wrote ...
> Thank you for the info. The bottom line is, I am no techie and am
> wanting the simplest set up possible. My space is limited to my home
> office so I am not wanting a lot of hook ups and bulky equipment
> because this may only be a one-time deal for me.
>
> I would be willing to pay $200 max for whatever could produce a decent
> quality voice recording. I realize that's a tight budget but can I get
> something good enough to produce a marketable voice recording?
>
> So to clarify Richard, spending money on a good PREAMP and getting a
> average mic is my best bet? Do you have any specific brand name
> advice? I am open to suggestions for this.

On a $200 budget, I'd consider M-Audio MobilePre USB
($150) which leaves you $50 budget for a real mic (even if
a low-end one). Haven't really seen enough detail to know
what kind of mic to suggest.
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 8:15:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

I was just kidding....

"Maxy" <maxy888@tiscali.it> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:o habd.24811$B06.23153@news.edisontel.com...
> Maybe a PS2 microphone?
>
>
> "Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel
> messaggio news:3q3qm0lgou7bh7v136pah8s0p6eu3mnoda@4ax.com...
>> On 13 Oct 2004 03:47:43 -0700, jeremysherk@hotmail.com (S-TypeR)
>> wrote:
>>
>>>I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
>>>online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
>>>quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
>>>without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>>>
>>>At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
>>>equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
>>>options I have would be appreciated.
>>
>> AFAIK there is no such thing as a USB microphone. Certainly not a
>> quality one.
>>
>> What computer are you using? What does it presently have as a
>> soundcard? Is Firewire available as well as USB?
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 8:49:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

"S-TypeR" <jeremysherk@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:60e9d1a6.0410140241.6869284e@posting.google.com...
> Richard,
>
> Thank you for the info. The bottom line is, I am no techie and am
> wanting the simplest set up possible. My space is limited to my home
> office so I am not wanting a lot of hook ups and bulky equipment
> because this may only be a one-time deal for me.
>
> I would be willing to pay $200 max for whatever could produce a decent
> quality voice recording. I realize that's a tight budget but can I get
> something good enough to produce a marketable voice recording?

Marketable to whom? If you're planning to produce a demo to sell your
services as a reader, then *maybe* a cheap USB microphone will be adequate,
although the person listening will probably not like wanting to "listen
through" a bad-quality recording.

If you're planning to produce a recording to be sold by a commercial record
or talking-book company, that won't cut it. And if you're planning to sell
to customers directly, you'll have customer complaints about bad sound, and
the word-of-mouth won't be good.

My suggestion would be to look for a used Electro-Voice RE15 as a minimum,
or better still an RE-20, on e-bay. Get a USB preamp/converter box like the
M-Audio USB Mobile Pre, which ain't fantastic but will do the job. Check out
a copy of one of F. Alton Everest's books from the public library, and treat
your recording room with some inexpensive wall treatments (6" fiberglass
batts wrapped in thin cloth on chipboard backing work nicely for some
applications -- ugly as sin, but you can take them down when you're not
using them). If you don't have them already, you'll need a mike stand and
cables; you can make a pop filter from panty hose and an embroidery hoop.

Since this is a one-time project, after you're finished, sell the gear on
e-bay. You should be able to get back what you spent on the microphone (put
a reserve price on it equal to what you paid), and about half of the cost of
the Mobile Pre. Net cost: about $65 plus what you spend on fiberglass,
cloth, chipboard, embroidery hoop and panty hose.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 8:51:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Nope, the only method I can think of is using the MIC input of your
soundcard.I have a thingy, that converts two mono-inputs into a stereo
jack.Necessary to have this to connect the two micros to the soundcard.

--
Dimitris Tzortzakakis,Iraklion Crete,Greece
major in electrical engineering
freelance electrician
dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
Ï "Maxy" <maxy888@tiscali.it> Ýãñáøå óôï ìÞíõìá
news:o habd.24811$B06.23153@news.edisontel.com...
> Maybe a PS2 microphone?
>
>
> "Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel
> messaggio news:3q3qm0lgou7bh7v136pah8s0p6eu3mnoda@4ax.com...
> > On 13 Oct 2004 03:47:43 -0700, jeremysherk@hotmail.com (S-TypeR)
> > wrote:
> >
> >>I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> >>online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> >>quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> >>without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
> >>
> >>At the same time, I am not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on
> >>equipment so any suggestions on what mics to look into or what kind of
> >>options I have would be appreciated.
> >
> > AFAIK there is no such thing as a USB microphone. Certainly not a
> > quality one.
> >
> > What computer are you using? What does it presently have as a
> > soundcard? Is Firewire available as well as USB?
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 9:19:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:

> Get a USB preamp/converter box like the
> M-Audio USB Mobile Pre, which ain't fantastic but will do the job.

How about Dan Lavry's little USB preamp? Anybody driven one of those
yet?

--
ha
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 3:13:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Richard Crowley <rcrowley7@xprt.net> wrote:

>On a $200 budget, I'd consider M-Audio MobilePre USB
>($150) which leaves you $50 budget for a real mic (even if
>a low-end one). Haven't really seen enough detail to know
>what kind of mic to suggest.

Our Low Cost Binaural mic set would go well with the MobilePre USB -- it
can power them. At $135 for the MobilePre and $75 for the LCBs, you're
only $10 over your budget and will have a pretty good sounding recording
setup.

--
Len Moskowitz PDAudio, Binaural Mics, Cables, DPA, M-Audio
Core Sound http://www.stealthmicrophones.com
Teaneck, New Jersey USA http://www.core-sound.com
moskowit@core-sound.com Tel: 201-801-0812, FAX: 201-801-0912
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 4:00:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

I am using a Intel Pentium 4.... how do I find out what soundcard I
have? As well as firewire?
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 4:03:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

Thanks for your reply Bill...

Would a "USB sound card device" be the 'M-Audio USB MobilePre' that so
many of the respondants are suggesting?


"wkearney99" <wkearney99@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<2JWdneVGStVVsvDcRVn-rA@speakeasy.net>...
> > I will be recording some audio books that will be made available
> > online as MP3 or WAV downloads. Thus, I am looking for the highest
> > quality USB microphone available. One that produces a clear voice
> > without a cheap "hollow" sound or anything like that.
>
> Perhaps it'd be better to get a USB sound card device and then get the
> microphone separately. That way you can change the microphone as conditions
> require. Handheld, lapel or even wireless would work. That and you can
> upgrade to better microphones as budget allows.
>
> -Bill Kearney
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 11:12:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

"S-TypeR" wrote ...
>I am using a Intel Pentium 4.... how do I find out what soundcard I
> have? As well as firewire?

Depends very much on your operating system. Assuming MS
Windows, there are several places where you can view the
computer configuration including sound device(s) and I/O
ports (including firewire).
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 11:13:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

"S-TypeR" wrote ...
> Would a "USB sound card device" be the 'M-Audio USB MobilePre'
> that so many of the respondants are suggesting?

Yes, M-Audio USB MobilePre is just one of the "USB sound card device"s
out there. It appears to be one of the better ones in the low-cost range.
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 12:41:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.pro,rec.audio.opinion (More info?)

> Would a "USB sound card device" be the 'M-Audio USB MobilePre' that so
> many of the respondants are suggesting?

Even something as simple as a Creative Soundblaster USB would work.

But to back up a bit, is this a desktop or laptop machine and does it
already HAVE a soundcard installed in it? If there's already a MIC input
jack then just use whatever mic best suits the way you'd be recording. If
it's a desktop machine then put in a PCI card. If it's a laptop them you'd
obviously have to use either a PCMCIA card or USB. USB probably being
easier.

As to whose USB device to get it largely depends on the price compared
against the quality needed. For voice recording it may well be overkill to
get into some of the more expensive USB devices. They're great and offer
great quality but you may find your money better spent on the microphone
itself.

-Bill Kearney
!