CAD U1000 USB Studio Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today we're reviewing a potato, I mean a microphone from CAD; the CAD U1000. This mic is listed compatible with Windows & Mac.

For the majority of this review, I have connected the mic directly to my mac computer with the computer gain set at ~35%. I have not boosted the audio at all in post, and there is no other post processing completed on the audio.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $40-$80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Wind Screen
  3. USB to USB cable
  4. Microphone Mount
  5. Desktop Microphone Stand
  6. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz
  4. Bit Depth: 16-Bit

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone feels decent. It has an all metal body and a metal grill covering the capsule. On the front of the microphone you will find a blue LED light to indicate that it is receiving power. Directly beneath this, you will find a headphone volume up and down control. Next you'll find a microphone mute button that does not mute the microphone's signal to the computer, but rather mutes the zero latency monitoring. Lastly you will find a 3.5mm headphone port which does offer latency free monitoring.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. I do not think this microphone offers any sound worth discussing in depth. It is underwhelming and sounds exactly like you would expect a low end USB mic to sound.

The polar pattern of this mic is listed as cardioid. It did pick up a fair amount of audio as we moved around the microphone, and also picked up a bit of the quiet keyboard that I test while reviewing the mic.

The overall performance of this mic is mediocre at best. As you can tell, throughout the majority of the review (on the mac), there are clipping artifacts in the audio. I demonstrate how no matter what gain I set the mic at, there are clipping artifacts. On the windows machine this issue did not occur. My issue here is that the mic is listed as compatible with Windows and MAC, and just like other CAD mics I've tested, the performance on the MAC computer leaves a LOT to be desired.

Pros

  • Comes with everything you need
  • Fairly quiet preamp
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • Decent build quality

Cons

  • If you get too close to the microphone on a mac, it clips
  • Audio recorded sounds very mediocre

Conclusion

No I do not recommend this microphone, even if you can get it for the discounted $40. I think that the clipping issue on the mac is unacceptable and do not have faith in a company that would release a product like this.

Some of you may be thinking I'm being too harsh, and that this could be attributed to a faulty unit, however, I have tested out two other CAD microphones and experienced very similar issues, and was not able to receive any assistance from the company. For $40, I would suggest looking at something like the Samson Go Mic, and all around better microphone.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2lAwHGU
UK: NA

TPR PODCAST EPISODE 88: PQ'S- QUALITY

Hey Everybody, I am back with another episode of Podcast Questions! This episodes theme is quality and what we as creators look for in our products as well as our own creations.

The Halo effect:  is a   in which an observer's overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences the observer's feelings and thoughts about that entity's character or properties. Essentially we think of things we like as "better" than they may actually be.

Guests

Cynthia Gerriets @TenTimesaTiger

Kalie Stanton @KalieStanton (Emerald City Comic Con Booth #D14)

Referenced:

The evolution of comics through the images of Batman

The evolution of comics through the images of Batman

 

 

 

 

 

 

BSP-056: Thoughts on PewDiePie, Disney, & YouTube

On episode 56 of the BSP, the main focus is discussing PewDiePie getting dropped by Maker Studio, YouTube canceling part of his monetization ability, and the cancellation of Scare PewDiePie. I share my thoughts on this event as well as political correctness, and what I think society needs to do to move forward.

Before this, I share one of the most satisfying moments of my life, and a dream that explains why I'm in no rush to jump into another relationship, as well as why my previous relationships have likely failed.

In news, I talk about Russia sending Edward Snowden back to the US, the possibility of Social Media Passwords being required to enter the U.S. and updated to the UK OSA. As far TV, I recommend Mind Field on YouTube Red. Lastly, what I have been testing, I cover verizon unlimited very briefly, and then getting set up with YubiKey, and my current status of Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference.

00:00 - Intro
01:08 - Recording with Blue Spark
01:49 - Most Satisfying Moment of Life
05:13 - Sharing My Dream
07:30 - PewDiePie Incident
12:40 - Russia Sending Snowden Back
14:02 - Social Media Passwords Required to Enter the U.S.
15:43 - UK Law Updates for Whistleblowers
16:44 - Mind Field
18:02 - Verizon Unlimited
18:24 - YubiKey Update
19:58 - Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference
22:04 - X-Files Books
22:36 - Outro

The Bandrew Says Podcast is available on:
►iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bandrew-says-podcast-audio/id1046423132?mt=2
►Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/music/m/Ieua25h7tadlb2ti4p5nclqhjuu?t=The_Bandrew_Says_Podcast_Audio_Video__Tech
►RSS Feed: http://bandrewsays.libsyn.com

Follow us on:
► Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
► Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays
► Website: http://www.geeksrising.com

FiFine K669 USB Podcast Microphone Review / Test

Today we are looking at another extremely budget USB Microphone by FiFine; the K669 USB Podcast Microphone.

This microphone is listed as compatible with the following operating systems: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP Home Edition or XP Professional and Mac OS and Linux OX.

For the majority of this review, I have connected the mic directly to my mac computer with the computer gain set at ~10%, and the microphone gain set at ~25%, and then boosted +12dB in post. No other processing was done to the audio.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $25-$28 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Permanently Attached Cable
  3. Microphone Mount
  4. Desktop Microphone Stand
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Uni-directional
  3. Sensitivity: -34dB
  4. Max SPL: 130dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is what you would expect out of a $25 microphone. It has a metal construction but it does not feel like high quality materials, and it does not feel as though it's extremely well put together. The grill offers minimal protection from plosives, so I would suggest a pop filter. The front of the microphone has a single volume dial, which is a nice feature but has a bit of wobble to it. The USB cable is permanently attached which is less than ideal because if the cable goes bad you will just have to replace the microphone.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. When listening back to the audio it sounds compressed/thin, kind of like you're recording over a really nice phone call. Because of this sound profile, I do not think that I would personally use this for anything other than skype, chatting online, or home demos.

The polar pattern of this mic is listed as uni-directional, which means it should mainly pick up audio directly in front of the microphone. However, during the background noise test, it picked up quite a bit of my apple magic keyboard (which is a relatively quiet keyboard).

Pros

  • Super cheap
  • Microphone volume dial
  • No digital artifacts / clicking when gain set high

Cons

  • Audio sounds like high quality phone call
  • Permanent USB Cable

Conclusion

Overall, for $25, I think that this microphone is pretty decent. It doesn't have excessive line noise or digital artifacts, and the audio is relatively clear sounding. However, as I mentioned it does sound similar to a high quality phone call. 

This means I will not be recommending this mic for any professional applications. If you are just going to be chatting online with your friends, or recording preproduction/demos at home, I think this microphone would be perfectly fine. You may be able to get away with this for starting a youtube channel, but you will be pushing it. Other than that I would recommend you look for a higher quality microphone. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2kPfq9x
UK: http://amzn.to/2ld4a7R

Steel Series Arctis 5 Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we're looking at a universally compatible gaming headset; The Steel Series Arctis 5 Gaming Headset.

This gaming headset is listed as compatible with Windows, Mac, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Android, and iOS. It also offers digital 7.1 channel surround sound if you are using the headset on Windows (7 or greater). I should note that to get the most out of this headset you need to download Steel Series Engine 2 or 3 which is available for Windows & Mac.

If you are interested in this headset, it will set you back $100 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset
  2. 1.2m Cable
  3. 3.5mm TRRS Adapter for Smart Phone
  4. USB Chat Mix Dial (allows connection to computer)
  5. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 22kHz
  3. Impedance: 32-Ohms

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Bi-directional
  2. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10kHz
  3. Sensitivity: -48dB

Performance / Features

Throughout this review, I have my computers gain set at 100%, and here's a quick screen shot of my settings with in Steel Series Engine 3.

The build quality of this headset feels amazing. The construction is all plastic, but it feels like incredibly high quality plastic, and as though it is well put together. The ear cups are very soft and breathable, and the headband is extremely comfortable and allows for minor adjustability via a velcro strap. On the outside of the headphones there are also LED ring lights that you can control through the software.

On the bottom of the left ear cup you will find a 3.5mm headphone share jack, and a 4-pole jack for the main headset cable. You will also find a volume rocker to control the headset volume, and a microphone mute button. The microphone retracts into the headset, and also allows you to articulate it for optimum position. 

The main cable is standard rubber measures in at 1.2m. The USB Chat Mix Dial offers a dial to mix between the chat volume and game volume, makes the total cable length 3m, and allows you to connect the headset to your computer. 

The headphones offer a full frequency response ranging from 20Hz - 22kHz from a set of 40mm drivers. Unlike most gaming headsets, this is not overpowered by low frequencies. Out of the box it offers a nice flat frequency response with a nice full low end that doesn't sound muddy, clean and warm mids, and plenty of high frequencies without sounding harsh. Out of all the gaming headset's I've tested so far, this is easily in the top three in terms of headphones. If a flat frequency response is not for you, then have no fear because the software that you can get for free off of Steel Series' website, allows you to customize your EQ.

The microphone, as you would expect, leaves a bit to be desired.  It has a harsh tone that cuts through any mix, which would actually be ideal for online gaming. It has a bi-directional polar pattern, and I'm assuming the rear facing pick up is used to determine what sounds to eliminate while noise cancellation is enabled. On that note, the software offers adjustable noise cancellation to help rid yourself of that keyboard click, or line noise.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Mic Articulates / Retracts
  • Great Headphone Audio Quality
  • Software allows for custom EQ/Lighting/Mic Settings
  • Microphone cuts through game sound due to harsh tone

Cons

  • Bad sounding microphone for any professional application
  • Non-standard headphone connector

Conclusion

As I previously mentioned, out of all the gaming headset I have tested so far, this headphones are in the top 3. They have an excellent frequency response, and the soundstage is surprisingly good even in stereo mode. The microphone on the other hand has the standard harsh tone that I have come to expect out of gaming headset.

I absolutely will recommend this headset, but only for a few applications; 1) Online Gaming, because that's what it was designed for and that's where it will excel, 2) A headset that will be mainly used as headphones, with an occasional Skype call. If you want a headset for any professional applications, I'm sorry to say that this headset won't cut it, and your search will have to continue.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2l2EomV
UK: http://amzn.to/2kricku

BSP-055: Using Social Media for Convictions

00:00 - Intro
01:05 - Something New For the Podcast
01:53 - Different Theme Song?
02:30 - Removing All My Information from Facebook
04:44 - YouTube Live Streaming
07:09 - 4k WebCam
09:33 - Verizon Unlimited Plan
10:48 - Correction Re: FBI Collecting E-mails from Google
12:22 - Police Scouring Social Media for Evidence
15:30 - Vizio Tracking Users Viewing Habits & IP Address
17:55 - Update to Electronic Communications Privacy Act
20:37 - FBI No Longer Accepting FOIA Requests Via Email
23:00 - TV Announcements
24:41 - Recommended YouTuber
25:32 - Recommended Music
26:31 - Updated Thoughts on Signal
27:22 - Leef RSS Aggregator
29:18 - Outro

On episode 55 of the BSP, I start by explaining the second camera angle used in this episode. Let me know in the youtube comments or on twitter if you think I should continue to add a second angle. Then I explain my journey in removing all my information from Facebook.

In news, I cover youtube rolling out live streaming from mobile devices, Logitech’s new 4k webcam, Verizon’s new unlimited plan, Police using social media to convict rioters, Vizio tracking users and selling their data, an update the the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and change to FOIA requests.

Following the news, I talk about 3 TV show release dates that I am anxiously awaiting, and suggest I Fight Dragons The Near Future, and iDubbbzTV’s youtube channel. Lastly, I update my thoughts on Signal and share my thoughts on Leef RSS Aggregator.

The Bandrew Says Podcast is available on:
►iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bandrew-says-podcast-audio/id1046423132?mt=2
►Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/music/m/Ieua25h7tadlb2ti4p5nclqhjuu?t=The_Bandrew_Says_Podcast_Audio_Video__Tech
►RSS Feed: http://bandrewsays.libsyn.com

Follow us on:
► Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
► Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays
► Website: http://www.geeksrising.com

Touring the comic of Teenage Switchblade!

Get ready for comics like you do for a gig cause its time to follow the band; Teenage Switchblade (a Fuck off Squad Story) in this edition of Do You Even Comic.
 

Creator(s)

  • Dave Baker -@xDaveBakerx
  • -Action Hospital, Suicide Forest
  • Nicole Goux -@NicoleGoux
  • -Fuck Off Squad, This Is Not A Girl Gang

The Book

Teenage Switchblade follows an electro-punk band at the end of their tour. Making their return home to Los Angeles the goal is simple finish the tour, and don't break up. Time wears on all the band members and life seems make them face plant as everything comes to a head at the in of the tour. There is also some great Deep Space 9 reference for those of you inclined to like Star Trek.

Why this Book?

I know Dave Baker and I original saw this book on Kickstarter, I had yet to read his work but was already interested when the pitch mentioned it follows the lives of kids in a band on tour. 

I was once a bass player in bands and before that I loved the idea of being in a band, in fact I owned the Blink 182 tour documentary and have watched it way too many times with my brother growing up. Along with many other music documentaries. Needless to say that always was something that caught my eye was traveling in a car going from show to show just having fun.

Now this book goes into the personal sides of as the small band traveling around meets love and loss. Teenage Switchblade fights to stay together on the last leg of their tour I found myself turning pages of amazing artwork by Nicole Goux. The tonality and paneling achieved in this book inspires me to push for creative layouts in my own work. I really dig this book and its well worth the read as well as supporting some awesome creative people.

Book:

Teenage Switchblade

More comics at HeyDaveBaker.com


Bonus:

I (Logan) did and interview with one of the creators, Dave Baker:

Marantz Professional Pod Pack 1 Review / Test

Today we are testing out a microphone pack that I picked up for $17; the Marantz Professional Pod Pack 1 Kit.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $17 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. USB Cable
  3. Microphone Mount
  4. Boom Arm Mic Stand
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 17kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -34dB
  4. Max SPL: 132dB
  5. Impedance: 100-Ohms
  6. Power Requirement: 5v Provided Through USB Plug

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is nothing special. It has an all plastic construction and it does not feel like it can handle a beating. There are no features on the microphone; no headphone port, no light, nothing. The boom arm has an all metal construction, and feels very reminiscent of a Neewer Boom Arm, and I was not able to tighten the head to ensure the microphone would not swivel. 

The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz - 17kHz, and in all honesty, the mic sounds decent. It doesn't have the greatest low end performance, but it has a decent amount high frequencies without sounding harsh. 

The cardioid polar pattern, also did an admirable job. It did a good job at rejection on the sides of the mic, but as you move around the back, it starts to pick up low frequencies again. It also did pick up a bit of keyboard noise as well, but it wasn't unbearable. 

I was absolutely blown away by this microphones noise floor. This is typically the place where you can tell that you're using a budget usb microphone, but the preamps in this thing were extremely clean all the way up to 75%, at which point you start to get a slight bit of digital noise. But all around, the audio was still usable; all you would have to do is pass the audio through a noise gate.

Pros

  • Super cheap
  • Low noise floor
  • Decent audio performance
  • Comes with everything you need to start recording

Cons

  • Build quality feels subpar

Conclusion

When reviewing this mic, it was important to remember that I picked this up for under $20. For that price, I think that this microphone pack is an absolute steal. Out of all the budget USB microphones I have tested to date, this one has the best sound quality on instruments, on voice, and ESPECIALLY on the noise floor (apparent during the gain test). If you are looking for a budget USB microphone, then buy this pack and a pop filter and you should be set, and ready to start recording!

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2lumDvv
UK: http://amzn.to/2ksfGv2

TPR PODCAST EPISODE 87: Comic Creator Andrew Huerta

Hey everybody! This episode is with comic creator Andrew Huerta. Currently his is working on his creator owned book (Sovereign) and has worked as a freelance artists for several comic publishers. We chat more about the industry and a creators life inside the comic world as well as focus how the comic world is changing for better or worse.

Follow Andrew:

Razer Kraken Pro Analog Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we're looking at another gaming headset from Razer; the Razer Kraken Pro Analog Gaming Headset.

I think the main selling point of this headset is the universal compatibility. It is marketed as compatible with Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac! 

For the majority of this review, I have the Razer Kraken Pro connected directly to my MacBook Pro with the input gain set at 10%. In my sound preferences, I checked the meter, and I was not clipping, however, you will hear that there is an exorbitant amount of clipping. I tried dropping my gain all the way down to 1% and I was still encountering a clipped sound signal even though the meter was showing sound levels no greater than 50%. 

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back between $50 & $80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset (1.3m TRRS Cable Permanently Attached)
  2. TRRS Splitter
  3. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  3. Impedance: 32-Ohms

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Uni-directional
  2. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this headset is nothing spectacular. The majority of the construction is plastic, but it does feel like relatively high quality plastic when compared to a $20 headset. The headphones do offer a nice fit; providing a decent amount of give and just the right amount of pressure to ensure that they fit the majority of people's heads. The ear cups are very soft and comfortable. While the headband does not offer too much padding, it did not become uncomfortable at any point of my testing. The microphone articulates which is something that is important in a gaming headset, and it also retracts when not in use. The 1.3m cable is standard rubber, in the middle you have a control panel to adjust headphone volume and mute the microphone, and the cable terminates into a single 3.5mm TRRS jack.

The headphones offer a full frequency response ranging from 20Hz - 20kHz. The 40mm drivers push a lot of the lower frequencies which seem to drown out a lot of the higher end. However, the audio does not sound muddy. If you are a big fan of bass-heavy headphones, then this may be a good option for a gaming headset. If you're looking for an even sounding, flat frequency response set of headphones, this is not going to be for you.

The microphone, simply put, is not good. It has a harsh tone to it which almost hurts your ears. On the mac it was clipping no matter what gain I set it at. All around, it's just not a usable microphone for most applications. If you are looking to podcast, do voice overs, or do video game commentaries with this headset, look some where else. BUT, if you are going to be using it exclusively for online gaming, this mic may be perfect for that. Due to the harsh tone, it will allow your voice to cut through the games audio and ensure you're not lost in the mix.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Mic Articulates / Retracts
  • Heavy bass without sounding muddy
  • Microphone cuts through game sound due to harsh tone

Cons

  • Bad sounding microphone for any professional application
  • Bass overpowers higher frequencies
  • Headphone volume rocker is sensitive, and easy to accidentally hit

Conclusion

Overall, I can only recommend this for a single use case: Online Gaming. That's what it was designed for, and that's where this headset will live. It has good sounding headphones (if you like bass), and the microphone will cut through the game sound to ensure you're heard. On the other hand, if you want to use the microphone for Skype calls, voice overs, commentary, podcasts, etc, this headset will not cut it and you need to continue searching.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2kfOS0M
UK: http://amzn.to/2klnAbN

TPR PODCAST EPISODE 86: Da FUNK!?

What in the holy hell is happening?!

This solo episode is all about catch everyone up on Logan's Life. Including life events, likes and dislikes and writing comics. Stress has consumed my life for the past two months but I am ready to get back in the game and make some amazing stuff (comics,art and podcast).

  • ReDown below are links to current politics and what I am concerned about as well as links to things mentioned in the episode.

 

Referenced:

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

- Questions Betsy DeVos

VlogBrothers

Understanding Trumps E.O. on Immigration

Daily Show with Trevor Noah

- Trump's Reality

APPS

  • Reporter (Daily Questionnaire)
  • Liblib (Stores your list of books and movies)
  • Strides (Streaks of goals)
  • Lose it! (Health)
  • QuizUp (Game)

BSP-054: Facebook is Taking on YouTube

00:00 - Intro
01:04 - A Strange Story / Why I’m Not Watching the Super Bowl
03:06 - Stop Being Stupid Idiots
05:05 - Facebook is Taking on YouTube
08:12 - Zero Rating Allowed by FCC
10:45 - FBI’s iPhone Cracking Software Stolen
13:08 - FBI Access to All Gmail Stored on Foreign Servers?
15:38 - The Expanse Season 2
17:18 - Graf Orlock Destination Time Tomorrow
18:48 - X-Files Trust No One
19:50 - YubiKey Mistake
21:21 - Signal E2E Messaging App
24:00 - Your Audio Isn’t as Bad as You Think
28:16 - Outro

On episode 54 of the BSP, I share the first recording I ever made on my computer, and explain why the audio you’re getting out of your $30-$50 is much better than you think. 

In the personal portion of the podcast, I share a very strange encounter I had with a pizza delivery man, my boycott of the NFL, and rant about how I hope all of you are smart about how you drive.

In the news, I cover Facebook’s plans for video hosting, the FCC allowing zero rating, the FBI’s iPhone cracking software being stolen, and the FBI gaining access to all of Google’s e-mails stored outside of the US.

In pop culture, I talk about the return of the Expanse on the SyFy channel, I recommend a grind core album that I’ve been listening to for over 10 years, and I suggest an X-files book that should satiate your conspiracy mind during the absence of new X-files episodes.

As far as what I’ve been testing, I share a big mistake I made while purchasing a couple of Yubikey encryption keys, and explain why I like Signal, and the difficulties of using it.

The Bandrew Says Podcast is available on:
►iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bandrew-says-podcast-audio/id1046423132?mt=2
►Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/music/m/Ieua25h7tadlb2ti4p5nclqhjuu?t=The_Bandrew_Says_Podcast_Audio_Video__Tech
►RSS Feed: http://bandrewsays.libsyn.com

Follow us on:
► Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
► Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays
► Website: http://www.geeksrising.com

FiFine USB Condenser Mic (K056 / K058) Review / Test

Today, we're looking at another budget microphone straight from China, the FiFine K056 / K058 USB Condenser Microphone.

The main difference between this mic and the BM-100FX & NW-300E is the fact that this has 4-Pin XLR plug and a 4-Pin XLR to USB Cable, while the former 2 mics have a 3-Pin XLR plug and a 3-Pin XLR to USB/3.5mm Cable. The BM-100FX & NW-300E did not work well without the addition of a USB Soundcard to your audio connection; The K056 & K058 allow you to plug directly into your computer without the need for any additional gear. 

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $30 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. 4-Pin XLR to USB Cable
  3. Windscreen
  4. Microphone Mount
  5. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  6. Desktop Microphone Stand
  7. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -32dB
  4. Max SPL: 130dB
  5. Impedance: 1000-Ohms
  6. Power Requirement: 5v Provided Through USB Plug

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is nothing great. It feels as though it is made with very cheap metal, so I would be careful with this mic. There are two dials on the side that control Volume & Echo. Unfortunately, the dials feel a bit loose and wobble when you put any pressure on them. The bottom of the microphone is the 4-PIN XLR PORT, which means you can ONLY USE 4-Pin XLR cables on this thing, so keep that in mind when shopping around. If this cable goes bad you may be out of luck in terms of a replacement. The desktop stand, microphone mount, and windscreen are also built with low quality materials.

The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz - 20kHz. I spent about 15 minutes trying to find a decent microphone placement for the electric guitar, but realized that it wasn't the placement that was bad, it was the mic. It lacked the majority of presence and just sounded dull. The acoustic was barely passable as well. It sounded as though it had a pulsating effect on it which made it unusable. The vocals, were okay at best. They lacked any shine or warmth, and were underwhelming.

The cardioid polar pattern did a nice job at background noise rejection, but still picked up a decent amount of keyboard noise. I believe that the echo feature is insane to include on a microphone. It only provides with the ability to control the intensity of the echo, with no way to adjust the timing of the echo. Also, there's no way to turn the echo off completely. Even with the dial set to 0, you can still hear a very slight echo.

Pros

  • Single USB plug
  • Volume Control on Mic
  • Echo (some may view it as a pro, although I hate it)
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Cannot completely turn off Echo
  • 4-Pin XLR is not very common (difficult to find replacement cable)
  • Cheap build quality
  • Subpar performance on Electric, Acoustic, and Singing

Conclusion

I think this mic is just decent. When I heard it I was not blown away, I was left thinking "Yup. That's what I expected from a $30 microphone". The polar pattern is fine, the frequency response left a lot to be desired in the higher frequencies, and the echo feature baffles me since you can't turn it completely off.

I'm not going to recommend this for any musicians as it does not sound good in any of the tests I performed. I'm not going to recommend it for podcasters either because having a slight echo would drive your listeners mad.

The only people I'm going to suggest this for are people who want a cheap mic to improve their Skype phone calls, people who want to do live streaming, or people who want to do light gaming commentary. Skype calls can have that very slight echo without bothering anyone, and for live streaming / gaming commentary, you'll have the game sound in the background to mask those imperfections.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the K056/K058
US: http://amzn.to/2l0ILys
UK: http://amzn.to/2l0FajM

 

Sennheiser HD429s Over Ear Headphone Review

Today we're looking at the Sennheiser HD429s; a pair of mid level wired headphones that are designed to work with your smartphone.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $80-90 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headphones (1.2m Cable)
  2. 3.5mm Adapter (Required for some Smartphones)
  3. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 18Hz - 22kHz
  2. SPL: 112dB
  3. Impedance: 32-Ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of these headphones is decent for the price. The construction is all plastic, but it maintains a decent amount of flexibility and adjustability which means they should fit on most peoples heads. The cable measures in at 1.2m which is plenty long enough for your smartphone, and it offers an inline control and microphone.

The sound frequency response of 18Hz - 22kHz provide the headphones is natural and provides a nice amount of low end without becoming overwhelming or hindering the higher frequencies. Since they are closed back headphones, they do not have the greatest sound stage, and 

Pros

  • Natural sound
  • Full frequency response
  • Good amount of low end without sacrificing high frequency clarity

Cons

  • All plastic construction
  • Didn't come with a carrying case or any protection

Conclusion

Even though the sound of these headphones doesn't fit my personal preference, I can admit that they sound good for the price. These are a HUGE improvement over your cheap in ear headphones, as well as the majority of headphones on the market. This is mainly because the majority of headphones on the market are marketed has SUPER HYPER BALL BUSTING BASS, and these just have a nice full low end without overwhelming every other frequency response.

If you have been stuck using stock apple earbuds, or cheap in earbuds and are looking to upgrade to a higher end pair of headphones, I highly recommend these. Sennheiser, is well known for their great audio quality and these headphones allow you to dip your toe into the audiophile market without killing your bank account.

If you have any additional questions about these headphones, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the HD429s on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2kl8nbP
UK: http://amzn.to/2jx1ShF

BSP-053: VPN's Are Now Illegal in China

00:00 - Intro
02:58 - Original Bandrew Says Theme Song
03:46 - Recording with the Rode M3
04:17 - Thank Yous
06:42 - Be Careful at the Protests
07:26 - I Know Where My Trolls Live
10:16 - Australia is Using Biometric Scanning to Replace Passports
14:12 - Apple is Rolling Out Find My AirPods
15:30 - VPN’s are Illegal in China
17:32 - Did Trump Really Ban the EPA & USDA from Social Media?
22:19 - Supplemental Podcast Advice
24:58 - Outro

On episode 53 of the BSP, I talk briefly about the history of the bandrew says podcast and discuss the gear I’m using to record this episode, as well as let you know how you can request the gear I use to record a podcast. I then share my thank you’s with Stephen and S.P. of Better Podcasting for having me on their show, Panser (TradeChat) for providing advice, and the GiantBomb folks for suggesting the Podcastage youtube channel. During the intro I also ask people to be careful at the protests in the United States, and share how I was able to find out where my trolls live.

As far as news, I talk rather extensively about Australia’s plans to roll out Biometric scanning to replace passports, and what this means for our privacy, security, and my ability to find an Australian wife. I also cover Apple’s upcoming Find My AirPods feature, VPN’s Becoming Illegal in China, and try to tackle the question of whether or not Trumps administration really did Ban the EPA & USDA from Social Media.

The last portion of the podcast, I just add some supplemental advice for podcasters that I forgot to mention on the Better Podcasting show. Make sure to go check out Better Podcasting if you need advice on how to improve your hobby podcast, and also subscribe to Panser (Trade Chat) if you are looking for a new youtuber to follow who does awesome work, and acts as a positive influence on the world.

The Bandrew Says Podcast is available on:
►iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bandrew-says-podcast-audio/id1046423132?mt=2
►Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/music/m/Ieua25h7tadlb2ti4p5nclqhjuu?t=The_Bandrew_Says_Podcast_Audio_Video__Tech
►RSS Feed: http://bandrewsays.libsyn.com

Follow us on:
► Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
► Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays
► Website: http://www.geeksrising.com

Rode M3 Condenser Mic Review

Today, we're looking at another microphone from Rode; the Rode M3

This is an XLR condenser microphone, which means you will need to connect this to an audio interface that offers +48v of phantom power. For this review, I have connected the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, with the +48v phantom power turned on and my gain set around ~55%. In post, I did boost the signal +8dB as well, but no actual post processing was done.

What is really unique about this microphone is that it is Multi-Powered, meaning you can power the microphones capsule through different methods; with the standard +48v phantom power, or with a 9v battery!!!

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $150 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pouch
  3. Microphone Mount
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  5. Windscreen
  6. Documentation
  7. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -40dB
  4. Max SPL: 142dB
  5. Impedance: 200-Ohms
  6. Phantom Power: 48v or a 9v Battery

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone feels incredible. It has a full metal construction that feels extremely well put together, as well as a decent amount of weight to it. This thing feels like an absolute tank. On the side we have a 3-way switch that allows you switch between 1) Off, 2) flat frequency response, 3) low cut filter. When you unscrew the bottom, you will find another 3 way switch that allows you to turn on a -10dB or -20dB pad, as well as a spot to install a standard 9v battery.

The frequency response of this mic is 40Hz - 20kHz. The electric guitar sounded pretty good, offering a decent amount of low end and plenty of crispy high frequencies. On the voice it did seem to lack a bit of lower frequencies, but it still sounded absolutely usable. Then on the acoustic guitar, it sounded incredibly natural. What I liked most about it was the percussiveness that it picked up from the strumming. This is a personal preference of mine, and it is one of my favorite mics I've come across for acoustic guitar.

The cardioid polar pattern did a nice job at background noise rejection. In a studio, I think this would work well for live tracking as it would help minimize bleed between microphones. For gamers and podcasters, it does seem like it would work well at eliminating background noise, but it may still pick up more than what you desire.

Pros

  • Battery Powered
  • Great build quality
  • Great Natural Sound
  • 10 YEAR WARRANTY!!!

Cons

  • Lacks low end on voice

Conclusion

I think this microphone is EXCELLENT for the price. It is absolutely going into my rotation of mics I use for recording music. The tone is absolutely not going to be for everybody, but if you are looking for a microphone with a more mid/high focussed frequency response, then I think this is a great option.

If you run a professional studio, or you do a lot of interviews/recording in the field, I think this would be a great mic to add to your arsenal. Not only does it have an incredibly high Max SPL which will handle loud instruments really well, but it also allows you to power the mic with a 9v battery! Therefore, if you're ever out in the field, and don't have access to a phantom power supply, you don't have to worry.

I don't think I would PERSONALLY recommend this for podcasting or gaming because the tone doesn't seem to fit my voice. But if you have a deeper voice, this may provide the right frequency response which would help avoid too much bass while maintaining a crisp and clean high end. Another downside for this applications is that the polar pattern might also pick up more background noise than you would prefer. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the M3
US: http://amzn.to/2jjNFaP
UK: http://amzn.to/2jjx8Uq

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2jpDz96
UK: http://amzn.to/2iA4ZER

TPR PODCAST EPISODE 85: COMIC CREATOR DAVE BAKER

This episode is with artist and writer and, all around comic creator person Dave Baker. We discuss working in comics and how Dave got started. The conversation goes from where he started into how it's more important to create a product with substance and quality of flash looks and relying on gimmicks.

To enjoy more check links below.

 

Artist:

Referenced:

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today, we are looking at another high quality microphone from Rode, which is labeled The World's Quietest Studio Microphone; The Rode NT1-A.

This is an XLR condenser microphone, which means you will need to connect this to an audio interface that offers +48v of phantom power. For this review, I have connected the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, with the +48v phantom power turned on with my gain set around ~55%. In post, I did boost the signal +6dB as well, but no actual

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $230 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pouch / Dust Cover
  3. Shock Mount
  4. Pop Filter
  5. XLR to XLR cable
  6. Documentation
  7. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -31.9dB
  4. Max SPL: 137dB
  5. Impedance: 100-Ohms
  6. Phantom Power: 24v - 48v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is excellent. We have a full metal construction with a metal grill. Unlike a stage ready dynamic mic, this mic is delicate, so I absolutely recommend using care while handling this. The pouch does not offer any padding, but it can be used as a dust cover while the mic is mounted on your stand. The shock mount is all metal and feels very well built while performing it's job admirably. The pop filter is attached to the shock mount and did an excellent job at eliminating plosives during the test. 

The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz - 20kHz. On the electric guitar, it sounded full and crisp. During the electric guitar test, the palm muting had plenty of punchy low end without sounding muddy, and sharp high end that was not overwhelming. While testing the acoustic, we hear a similar sound; full low-mids, and crisp highs. On the vocals, the mic seemed to focus on the mids and highs without too powerful of a low end. As with every mic, this is based off a single microphone placement, and as you know, playing around with the mic placement is essential when getting the correct tones for your recording.

The cardioid polar pattern offers just the right amount of background noise rejection while maintaining the ability for your room to color the recording. For gamers and podcasters, this may not be ideal because you want as little background noise as possible, but for professional recordings made in a nice room, this will allow your recordings to sound unique to your studio.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Great Natural Sound
  • Low Signal to Noise Ratio
  • Excellent Shock Mount & Pop Filter
  • 10 YEAR WARRANTY!!!

Cons

  • Delicate

Conclusion

As I said with the Rode NT1 review, I love this microphone. I think it sounds excellent, and I will absolutely add this to the mics I rotate for music recording and podcasting. If you like the tone of this microphone, and are looking for very low line noise, I absolutely recommend this mic! Keep in mind it does have a fairly wide polar pattern, which will pick up a bit of background noise, so if you're concerned with that, you may want to look into some dynamic microphones.

I also don't think that this is the right mic for people who are just starting on youtube or podcasting. I think that when starting out, you can get by with a much cheaper microphone. Then down the line if you want to improve the audio quality and you are well researched on microphones, then you should consider this microphone.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Rode NT1-A
US: http://amzn.to/2iFdsK5
UK: http://amzn.to/2jhStfq

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2jpDz96
UK: http://amzn.to/2iA4ZER

BSP-051: How I'll Get 100,000 Subscribers

On episode 50 of the BSP, I talk about my strategy to reach my goal to grow my youtube channel from 20,000 to 100,000 subscribers in one year. I also talk about improvements I have made to my studio to help with video quality.

As far as news, I talk about X-Files Season 11, Facebook Live Streaming, YouTube Live Streaming, Facebook Advertisements, and Twitter Advertisements. I also cover how your web browser could be leaking your login information, how the FBI paid Best Buy employees for providing information regarding child pornography, and finally how President Obama passed legislation that allows the NSA to share raw surveillance data with all 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies.

Lastly, I share my thoughts on Mike Birbiglia and his new film Don’t Think twice.

00:00 - Intro
01:08 - Throwback Theme Song
02:08 - Blackout Curtains in the Studio
04:32 - How I Will Get 100,000 YouTube Subscribers
06:55 - X-Files Season 11!!!
08:29 - Live Streaming from Facebook
10:21 - Monetizing YouTube Live Streaming
11:47 - Facebook Video Advertisements
12:45 - Twitter Video Advertisements
13:36 - Your Browser is Leaking Your Logins
15:38 - FBI Paid Geek Squad for Information
18:43 - NSA Can Share Surveillance Data with Other Intelligence Agencies
23:32 - Don’t Think Twice
25:19 - Outro

The Bandrew Says Podcast is available on:
►iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bandrew-says-podcast-audio/id1046423132?mt=2
►Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/music/m/Ieua25h7tadlb2ti4p5nclqhjuu?t=The_Bandrew_Says_Podcast_Audio_Video__Tech
►RSS Feed: http://bandrewsays.libsyn.com

Follow us on:
► Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
► Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays
► Website: http://www.geeksrising.com