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I want to get a good quality mic to record myself for videos etc for lesson feedback and my own listening feedback. I don’t want cheap but I don’t want $1000 either. What’s the great $200-$300 solution for USB based mic?
 

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Another interesting post . . . I opened the link provided by Guto.

Help me understand the audiophile lingo, please.

In the past, I've been recorded by folks in the audience using hand-held recorders. Those recordings were awful (maybe because of my playing?) because the microphones were those that focus on the loudest sound, so my soprano almost always dominated the recording (even when I was purposefully playing down).

Were those microphones omni or uni directional? The specs for the IOS recording system linked by Guto said their microphones were unidirectional. May I assume that means that the unidirectional microphone does not focus on whatever is loudest within its range but instead it focuses on where ever the microphones are directed?

The gadgets in Guto's link looks kinda useful. DAVE
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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Does it have to be a handheld solution? If not it may make more sense to simply pair an XLR to USB converter with a traditional mic.

Something like this, for example, can be paired with an SM57 or SM58 for under $200, and will be more dependable, flexible, and easily upgradeable than a dedicated USB mic.
 

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No it doesn’t have to be, I just don’t know much about this whole area so whatever is good for saxes is good for me. Was originally thinking clip on but mic stand is probably better anyway.
 

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Another interesting post . . . I opened the link provided by Guto.

Help me understand the audiophile lingo, please.

In the past, I've been recorded by folks in the audience using hand-held recorders. Those recordings were awful (maybe because of my playing?) because the microphones were those that focus on the loudest sound, so my soprano almost always dominated the recording (even when I was purposefully playing down).

Were those microphones omni or uni directional? The specs for the IOS recording system linked by Guto said their microphones were unidirectional. May I assume that means that the unidirectional microphone does not focus on whatever is loudest within its range but instead it focuses on where ever the microphones are directed?

The gadgets in Guto's link looks kinda useful. DAVE
I have tried mics like this in the past and they are limited.
I’d say my budget is arundn $200-300 all in
 

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I have a shure mic that attaches to my iPhone or iPad but I don’t use it. I guess the recording is improved over the internal mic, but not sure if using the mic I conjunction with your iPad is critical for you. If not, I’d rather use my iPad to read music, and the whole setup with a mic sticking out just feels awkward. I much prefer using my Zoom H6, but the Zoom H4n is within your budget. https://www.zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-h4n-handy-recorder

It is quite flexible in application, rugged, very easy to use and can make really excellent recordings. If I feel the need, I can download recording by attaching a usb cable or by removing the sad card and putting that in a laptop.
 

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I like the Shure MV-88 that I have. It's a huge step up from the built-in mic and you can do things control the gain, use a limiter, etc. I typically use it with my iphone for recording and use my ipad for reading music (when needed).

You mentioned a clip-on mic. I recently bought this package which includes a Shure WB98H/C Microphone, a BLX4R Wireless Receiver, and a BLX1 Bodypack Transmitter. It sounds good live. I have yet to record with it, though.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Another interesting post . . . I opened the link provided by Guto.

Help me understand the audiophile lingo, please.

In the past, I've been recorded by folks in the audience using hand-held recorders. Those recordings were awful (maybe because of my playing?) because the microphones were those that focus on the loudest sound, so my soprano almost always dominated the recording (even when I was purposefully playing down).
First I don't quite understand the concept of a mic that focusses on the loudest sound. All mics should pick up the balance of sounds present at the location of mic. Loudest should sound loudest. (Mr. Pedantic hat on: it would probably be more correct to talk about sound pressure levels which is measured in decibels. "Loud" is really just a human perception and we tend to hear certain frequencies over others, even when the decibels may be lower)


Were those microphones omni or uni directional? The specs for the IOS recording system linked by Guto said their microphones were unidirectional. May I assume that means that the unidirectional microphone does not focus on whatever is loudest within its range but instead it focuses on where ever the microphones are directed?
The two mics are set pointing at 90 degrees, which is a typical x/y or coincident pair. This is common for stereo recording, and each mic would need to be directional to in order to create the stereo. Two min mics so close would only create a teeny tiny narrow stereo image. Generally when using omni mics for stereo recording they need to be spaced apart.

The coincident pair (when looked at as a pair) is directional to a certain extent in that you can point the pair at a source that will then be the centre of the stereo image.
 

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You can get a usb audio interface for not a lot of money and use any mic you want.
Sure, though I have a Blue Yeti USB mic that does pretty well. (The Shure KSM32 into the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 does do better, though.) ;)
 

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Pete: Thanks for the reply. After I posted, I decided to search the internet for discussions about various microphones. Microphone design has always been a subject that made my eyes glaze over.

I read about omni and uni-directional designs and cardioid (sp?) mics, etc. Much of the discussion was about the shape of the area being recorded (within a 360-degree circle) amnd how they varied.

So maybe what I heard from recordings from the audience was not so much from a mic that picks up the loudest sound (even though the recording certainly sounded like that's how the mic worked) as it was a mic that was uni-directional and pointed right at my horn.

I'm thinking that omni-directional (or maybe even better - cardioid) is the better way to go if I want the recording to be more inclusive of all the instruments. DAVE
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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So maybe what I heard from recordings from the audience was not so much from a mic that picks up the loudest sound (even though the recording certainly sounded like that's how the mic worked) as it was a mic that was uni-directional and pointed right at my horn.
Exactly. If a directional mic is pointed at the loudest thing, the balance will be even more in favour of the loudest thing than if you had an omnidirectional mic.

I'm thinking that omni-directional (or maybe even better - cardioid) is the better way to go if I want the recording to be more inclusive of all the instruments. DAVE
NB: cardioid is directional
and hyper cardioid even more directional

So no, one cardioid mic would basically pickup up directionally. So to be more inclusive, you'd want either an omni or something like the above, which as you can see is actually two cardioid mics configured for stereo (pointing left and right so pick up a wider range that is actually stereo).

A cardioid mic works by making the "off-axis" sound out of phase. Such phase cancellation is not 100% though, some will get through so there is a small amount of sound ththat is potentially of a less natural quality so theoretically omni is better anyway. With stage PA systems omni is not so useful though on account of it picking a lot more the other instruments and more feedback potential.

(There's also figure of 8 which most ribbon mics are, but I wouldn't go there unless you really know what you are doing)
 

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"(There's also figure of 8 which most ribbon mics are, but I wouldn't go there unless you really know what you are doing)"

Obviously, I don't . . . DAVE
 

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I've been happy with my N/D468.
+1 for the N/D 468. Great mic for recording.

I use a Blue Icicle to connect it to my Mac and straight into Garageband.

But you can plug in any good mic you want. I am also experimenting with
a NoHype LRM-V ribbon mic that way with success. However to protect the ribbon you need
to use a Phantom Power Blocker in between.

That said I occassionally record with an iPhone only.
The sound quality is decent but not great. Just good enough to get an impression.

You can however plug in a XLR connector cable straight into your iPhone and connect
any mic. It works all right but I think it is very maladroit.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sure, though I have a Blue Yeti USB mic that does pretty well. (The Shure KSM32 into the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 does do better, though.) ;)
I was looking at the Blue Yeti....and the Apogee Mic+. Do you know how they compare?

I was unaware (this is so new to me) of the usb audio interface option...is there a go-to one?
 
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