AmazonBasics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today we're looking at a microphone from Amazon...let that sink in. Amazon is making microphones now. The mic we're looking at is the efficiently titled AmazonBasics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone

For the majority of this review, I have the mic connected directly to my mac with the gain set at approximately 40%, with a boost of +4dB in post to make the audio more listenable. 

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $43.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone (Preinstalled mount: 5/8" threading)
  2. Desktop Tripod
  3. 1.5m USB Cable
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -35dB
  4. Bit Depth: 16-Bit
  5. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels bad man. The body is made out of a very cheap feeling plastic that feels very weak. The grill is metal and feels sturdy enough to withstand a few drops, but the mic is all around very light and feels cheaply made. On the top of the mic there is a Blue LED indicator light to indicate that you are connected, and this light will turn red if you mute the microphone with the large microphone mute button. The light unfortunately does not offer any sort of metering to inform you of a clipping signal. On the back you have a single USB port, and on the bottom you have the mount. 

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 18kHz. No graph was provided, so we're unable to analyze that. Listening to the audio samples it sounds as though there is somewhat of a boost in the low mids section with at times leads to a boxy sound, or almost muddy sound on the electric. There also seems to be a boost that slightly accentuates more nasally tones. 

The overall performance here was surprising. On the electric guitar the tone was a little bit muddy, but definitely usable for demos. The acoustic guitar sounded pretty nice with the low mids adding a good amount of body, while the highs remained clear without being overpowering. For singing this had a warmer tone to it, and all around it was fairly smooth sounding. For spoken word, it also sounded surprisingly good for the price. As previously mentioned, it can sound a little bit nasally, or a little bit boxy, but all around for skype meetings, chatting with friends, or recording demos at home, I think it was really nice.

Pros

  • Overall nice sound for the price
  • Clean preamp up to about 80%
  • Plenty of gain, without being too hot

Cons

  • Terrible performance with plosives
  • On the verge of being boomy at times
  • No 0 latency monitoring
  • Really bad feeling build quality

Conclusion

To summarize my thoughts of this microphone in a single word: Surprised. This microphone exceeded all my expectations. A lot of budget usb microphones fail significantly in at least one of these tests, but this mic provided usable audio in every scenario. Is it the best microphone on the market, no. Did they sacrifice a lot on the build quality, yes. But it does seem like they sacrificed the build quality to allow more money to be placed into the audio quality which turned out great.

If you're looking for a budget usb condenser microphone, and you're considering this mic, I would suggest it, but make sure to pick up a pop filter, make sure to take care of it, and if you have a few bucks left over, I'd suggest picking up a boom arm.

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

Buy the AmazonBasics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone
US: https://amzn.to/2utsY1f
UK: https://amzn.to/2zL1r0o
CA: https://amzn.to/2zH3baQ
DE: https://amzn.to/2zUmIVJ

AKG P220 Condenser Microphone Review

Today we're looking at another microphone from AKG's 20 series microphones, the AKG P220.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 12:30. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Hardshell Storage Box
  2. Microphone
  3. Shockmount (Includes: 5/8" & 3/8" adapter)
  4. Extra shock mount eleastic bands

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-34dB
  4. Max SPL: 135 / 155dB
  5. Equivalent Noise: 16dBA
  6. Impedance: 200-ohms
  7. Power Requirement: +48v +/- 4v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels awesome. It has an all metal body that feels very robust in your hand, coming in at over 1 pound. The grill also feels very sturdy and does not bend when squeezed with fingers. On the front you have two switches, a high pass filter, which rolls off frequencies at 300Hz at 12dB/octave, and a -20dB pad.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. Unlike most microphones, this does not have a natural roll off in the low frequencies. Instead it has a minor dip around 150 hz and a boost from 150 down to 500Hz peaking at +4dB, which is then rolled off at 50Hz and down.  The mids are very flat from 100Hz -  4.5kHz at which point a gradual boost begins which ends up peaking at +4dB at ~11kHz, and then rolls off up to 20kHz.

The overall performance of this mic left me a bit underwhelmed. I did really like this microphone on the acoustic guitar as it had a nice full body and then the treble and air boost added some nice percussiveness to the tone. However, on electric guitar, spoken word, and singing, I did not enjoy the mic, and the dislike all stems from the treble and air boost. The boost led to the treble frequencies sounding a bit overpower on the electric guitar, while it left the spoken word and singing sounding top heavy, a bit brittle, breathy, and sibilant. 

Pros

  • Nice flat mids
  • Awesome build quality
  • Nice shockmount & storage box provided

Cons

  • Relatively high noise floor at 16dBa
  • Fairly sibilant

Conclusion

I was not terribly impressed with this microphones performance. The treble & air boost on this thing added some very unfavorable characteristics on the vocals and electric guitar. Although I did personally like this mic on the acoustic guitar, i think the tone is very specific and not very versatile. With all this being said, I don't think I can really recommend the 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 AKG P220
US: https://amzn.to/2tuNbDi
UK: https://amzn.to/2lwNRng
CA: https://amzn.to/2tuRAGx
DE: https://amzn.to/2tEzwcj

 

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Beyerdynamic M88TG Dynamic Mic Review

Today we're looking at another handheld dynamic microphone from Beyerdynamic, but this time it's a hypercardioid mic, and it is the M88TG.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 2:30. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $350.00 - $400.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Carrying/Storage Pouch
  2. Microphone
  3. Microphone Mount (5/8" & 3/8" threading)
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 30Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Hyper-Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-51dB
  4. Impedance: 200-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels very beefy. It has an all metal body which has some substantial weight to it. Additionally, the metal grill is a tank. Most of the time when I squeeze the grill, there's some give to it, but this held firm. There are no features on this mic, but on the bottom you will find the XLR port. 

The frequency response is listed as 30Hz - 20kHz. This has a minor roll off beginning at 150Hz. The low-mids are flat until you hit 1kHz where it begins to boost, reaching a max of 4dB at 2.5kHz. There is a .5dB cut at 5kHz (+3.5dB) and a 1dB boost at 6.5kHz (+6dB) And then there is a gradual roll off until 20khz.

The overall performance of this mic is great for voice. Being that this has a broader and less dramatic boost in the top end, it yields a much smoother and even sound than many other handheld dynamic microphones. On electric and acoustic, I found the microphone underwhelming with a bit of a honky sound to it, and a little bit of mud in the low end. Additionally, the microphone did excellent at background noise rejection, but it was subpar at handling noise and plosive rejection.

Pros

  • Hyper-cardioid great for bg noise rejection, feedback rejection, or bleed.
  • Very smooth sound
  • Pretty healthy output for a dynamic
  • Hefty build quality

Cons

  • Not good at rejection plosives
  • Did a bad job at handling noise rejection
freq.png
polar.png

Conclusion

It's not very surprising this mic was lackluster on guitars, as it is not marketed as a guitar microphone. Beyerdynamic markets this as a Kick Drum, Bass Drum, Vocal, and Woodwind microphone. Speaking of that, on vocals I think that tonally this microphone sounded excellent. The broader boost gave it a smoother sound which made it more pleasant to listen to than most handheld dynamics, and that's why I recommend it for that. If you do plan to pick this microphone up, I believe it is essential to pick up a pop filter, and leave it in a stand or have a very soft touch.

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

Buy the Beyerdynamic M88 TG
US: https://amzn.to/2M0Oykg
UK: https://amzn.to/2tfukv2
CA: https://amzn.to/2t8U6ls
DE: https://amzn.to/2yn94cD

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Sennheiser MK4 Mic Review

Today we're looking at the Sennheiser MK4 XLR Condenser Microphone, which is a great way to get into the Sennheiser / Neumann condenser mic ecosystem. 

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 11:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $300.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Carrying/Storage Pouch
  2. Microphone
  3. Microphone Mount (5/8" & 3/8" threading)
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-32dB
  4. Self Noise: 10dBA
  5. Impedance: 50-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is good. I'm legitimately running out of things to say about all these mics. Most of them have an all metal body and a metal grill. This mic is no different. It has no switches for a padding or high pass / low pass, but on the bottom you'll find an XLR port. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. This has a minor roll off beginning at 150Hz, and a much more drastic roll off beginning at 50Hz. The low-mids are flat until you hit 1kHz and it boosts 1dB with the peak at 1.5kHz which then returns to flat at 2.5kHz where it begins it's presence/treble/air boost beginning at 2.75kHz and ranging all the way up to 10kHz, where it gradually rolls off the air, where it is neutral at ~14kHz.

The overall performance of this mic is great for the price. On electric guitar, this mic sounds a bit dull because it's not over boosted anywhere, but I think fo that as a good thing when recording. On acoustic it sounded stellar with a good body and plenty of shimmer on the top. For singing it had a nice and airy tone, and on spoken word it had plenty of clarity that could be offset beautifully while utilizing the proximity effect. Additionally the off axis coloration around 90-degrees is not unpleasant like many cheaper condensers, which will yield a much better sounding recording if you're in a reverberant room. 

Pros

  • Nice, fairly subtle coloration
  • Good off axis coloration
  • Pretty hot output signal
  • Decent job at background noise rejection
  • Respectable 10dBA self noise
  • Good built quality

Cons

  • I personally don't like the look of it.
freq.png
polar.png

Conclusion

This seems to be a great all purpose microphone as it worked well on everything I tested it on. I think where it really shines is on voice over. The thing I have loved about the Neumann condensers I have tested is the proximity effect. This microphone offers that buttery smooth low end that helps off set the boosts to the presence/treble/air, and it sounds stellar for that considering the price. 

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

Buy the Sennheiser MK4
US: https://amzn.to/2Jz9ims
UK: https://amzn.to/2t0Iv7k
CA: https://amzn.to/2HGDuWL
DE: https://amzn.to/2HFmBMh

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Beyerdynamic TG V50 Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today we're looking at the Beyerdynamic TG V50, which I was super excited to test out because I loved the TG V70D so much.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 2:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $80.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Carrying/Storage Pouch
  2. Microphone
  3. Microphone Mount (5/8" & 3/8" threading)
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 17kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-52.5dB
  4. Impedance: 600-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is the same as almost all handheld dynamic microphones. It has an all metal construction with no features around the body and it has an XLR port on the bottom. There's really nothing more to say about it. 

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 17kHz. This has a fairly neutral mids, but it boost rather significantly up until 5kHz, followed by a minor cut, and then an even larger boost up until 9kHz.

The overall performance of this mic is pretty good. For singing, I think this thing really shined. It had great clarity and a nice presence boost to help cut through a mix. For spoken word I thought it worked pretty well but think the plosive and sibilance issue can be an issue. On electric and acoustic guitar, it was a pretty usable tone...it was very aggressive and non-muddy, which could be pretty rad, but it wouldn't be my first choice for that use. 

Pros

  • Plenty of clarity
  • Not much proximity effect
  • Really nice build quality

Cons

  • Didn't do a good job at rejecting plosives
  • Didn't do a good job at rejecting handling noise
  • The boost can be a bit 

Conclusion

If you're looking for a live singing microphone, I think it's a great option there. The lack in proximity effect means the singer will not need to have great microphone technique to avoid boominess. However, the plosives will need to be remedied with a windscreen/pop filter, and you'll need to leave it on the stand. For electric and acoustic guitar, it would be fine in a bind, but it would not be my first choice, so I wouldn't buy it just for that. 

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

Buy the Beyerdynamic TG V50
US: https://amzn.to/2sGi06X
UK: https://amzn.to/2Hkfdpf
CA: https://amzn.to/2JvjzPE
DE: https://amzn.to/2Jg9mD4

 

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Heil PR-781 Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today we look at an Amateur Radio microphone and see if it will work for any other applications. The microphone, is the Heil PR-781.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at ~1:30 - 2:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $185.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8 to 3/8" stand adapter
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 16kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-55dB
  4. Impedance: 600-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is excellent. It is an all metal construction with a metal grill. It feels like it can take a beating or two, so I'd venture to say that this will last years in your Ham Shack.

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 16kHz, but no frequency response graph was provided. From listening to the mic it's abundantly clear that there is a drastic treble boost which gives this thing a large amount of clarity. It also over powers any low end of this microphone making it sounds harsh at times.

The overall performance of this mic is hard to judge. On everything I threw at this mic, I just kept thinking  "there's too much clarity". It was so bright and clear that it began to sound unnatural to my ears at times, and it also became shrill at other times. Being that I am not a Ham Radio operator, and know little of the topic, I cannot speak to the microphone requirements, but I believe that's what this microphone was actually designed for. 

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Very very very very clear

Cons

  • The treble boost on this thing leads to shrill tone

Conclusion

I cannot recommend this microphone for the majority of applications due to the hyper-bright tone of it. I don't think it accomplished anything well on the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, singing vocals, or on HD vocals. I imagine the over bright tone is meant to assist in transmitting higher frequencies over Ham Radios. Being that digital audio captures all that sound without having to overcome the inherent shorter travel of higher frequencies, it just does not seem to translate well. 

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

Buy the Heil PR781G
US: https://amzn.to/2slq2CS
UK: https://amzn.to/2J3THGR
CA: https://amzn.to/2kIwP5z
DE: https://amzn.to/2LKtAXj

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone Review

Today we're looking at Shure's update to the classic Elvis microphone, the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at ~3:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $250.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Carrying Bag
  3. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 60Hz - 17kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Super-Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-53dB
  4. Impedance: 290-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is superb. It has an all metal construction that feels like it can really take the abuses of stage use. There is a small plastic badge with the branding for the mic, and the foam windscreen is bright blue. The sides and rear of the microphone have no additional features, and on the bottom you'll find a 5/8" threading for a standard mic stand, and an XLR port. 

The frequency response is listed as 60Hz - 17kHz. There is a cut that begins at 1kHz and ranges down to 150Hz, and then drastically drops off. At 1kHz a boost begins which remains consistent to about 2kHz where we see a gradual increase with a significant boost at 4.5kHz, peaking at 6kHz. We see a dip immediately after this followed by a peak from 8-10kHz, at which point the air is cut.

The polar pattern of this mic is super cardioid. At 90-degrees the level is almost non-existent, but what is there is mainly high mids and treble. At 180-degrees, the signal is slightly stronger, and is mainly focused in the low end. 

The overall performance of this mic is exactly what you should expect out of a live vocal microphone. The cut to the low-end helps tame the proximity effect, handling noise, and plosives. The presence boost helps your voice cut through and sit on top of the mix. And the super-cardioid polar pattern helps limit bleed from instruments on stage, as well as limiting feed from the PA. 

freq.png
polar.png

Pros

  • Super cardioid polar patten is very beneficial in a live environment
  • Does a great job with the proximity effect, handling noise, and plosives
  • Your voice will cut through a mix
  • You're gonna look really cool

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very specific use case

Conclusion

I was not the biggest fan of this microphone for instruments or spoken word. The tone on instruments just was not too flattering, although in a bind, I think it is passable for that application. On spoken word, I think you're better off with a flatter microphone since you'll likely be recording in a studio and have better control over your environment and ambient noise. Live singing is where I think this microphone will really shine. It will allow the sound engineer to capture your voice as clearly as possible, and set it in front of the mix, even if you don't have good microphone technique.

If you're looking for a live singing microphone with an aesthetic that screams "I'm Elvis" or "I front a Rockabilly band", then I do not think you can go wrong with 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 Neewer NW-8
US: https://amzn.to/2Khy7jl
UK: https://amzn.to/2HsUMLD
CA: https://amzn.to/2r0CAz4
DE: https://amzn.to/2r5j03w

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Razer Seiren Elite Dynamic USB Mic Review

Today we're looking at the brand new Dynamic USB Streaming Microphone from Razer, the Seiren Elite.

For the majority of this review, I was connected to my Mac, which did not have gain controls on my computer, but the gain on the microphone was set to 100%. On the windows machine, I set the computer gain to 77%, and the microphones gain to around 25%. The audio was then boosted in post, which is notated in the lower third on the video.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $200.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Desktop Stand
  3. Windscreen
  4. 3m Braided Cable
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Max SPL: 120dB
  4. Features: Analog/Digital Limiter
  5. Bit-Depth: 16-Bit
  6. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is good for the most part. It has a metal body coated in a rubbery paint, it has a metal grill, and the desktop stand is metal with a good amount of weight and a foam bottom to keep it from sliding around your desk. On the downside, the dials are a bit wobbly, and they have no markings to assist in determining your gain setting or headphone volume. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. They do not provide a graph, but honestly, I don't think the graph would even help. The limiter is set so extreme that it sounds as though the audio is being overly compressed, which would affect the frequency response anyways. 

The polar pattern of this mic is standard cardioid, and did a surprisingly good job at side and rear rejection which is exactly what you want out of a microphone that will be used in a noisy environment like a gaming room. 

The overall performance of this device was a huge let down. First off, the noise floor on this thing was excessive, making all the audio sound dirty. The limiter also sounded as though the threshold was set too low, meaning it was activated too frequently, causing the recording to sound overly compressed. This mic also did not do a good job at rejecting shocks, so if you bump your desk at all, this mic picks it up, which is the last thing you'd want in a gaming microphone. Additionally, my unit had so much hiss in the headphone amp that it was almost deafening (I will be replacing this mic to determine if the headphone amp in another device is better). 

Pros

  • Plug and play
  • Good job at background noise rejection
  • Has zero latency monitoring
  • Offers a limiter

Cons

  • Expensive for what you're getting
  • Unable to turn off or adjust the limiter
  • Can't turn off or adjust the mix of the 0 latency monitoring
  • The noise floor on this thing is too loud
  • Little to no shock absorption
  • The headphone amp (in my unit) was insanely noisy

Conclusion

I do not recommend this microphone at all. On paper, it's a nearly perfect streaming microphone, but in practice or execution it did not meet any expectations. So although I do not think you should buy this, I will be keeping my eye on Razer for the next iteration of this microphone to see if they improve this.

If Razer is reading this, I will give some suggestions. Please add software functions to this device to allow people to adjust the limiter's settings or turn it off. Please allow users to shut off zero latency monitoring, or at least mix between computer playback and 0 latency monitoring. Please add some kind of internal shockmount for the capsule to assist in shock absorption. Please put in a better preamp so the noise floor is not so loud in this device. However, I think you're on the right track here. I can't wait for the next iteration.  

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

Buy the Razer Seiren Elite (but are you sure?)
US: https://amzn.to/2K33ld7
UK: https://amzn.to/2jEGXLV
CA: https://amzn.to/2wlTYmP
DE: https://amzn.to/2rxGKOn

How To Set Your Gain for Beginners

Gain can be a very complicated topic, so in this article, I will try to make it as simple as possible.

1. What is gain?

Simply put, gain is how much you are amplifying (or increasing the level) or your microphones output signal. This is necessary because microphone's output signals are very quiet, and you need to get this signal to a level that you are able to work with in post production. 

2. Factors that impact gain requirements.

I receive the question "What's the best gain to use on this microphone/preamp", and to tell you the truth there is no absolute answer there. This is because there are multiple factors that impact how you set your gain.

  1. Loudness of the sound source: If you're recording someone whispering, the sound source will be quiet and you will need more gain. On the other hand, if you're recording a guitar amplifier with the volume set to 11, you will need significantly less gain.
     
  2. Distance between the sound source & the microphone: The farther away the sound source is from the microphone, the quieter the audio that is being picked up. Therefore, if you are 6 inches away from a microphone, you'll need less gain than you would if you were 10 feet away.
     
  3. Sensitivity of the microphone: Sensitivity of a microphone tells you how loud the output signal of this mic is. Dynamic & Ribbon mics typically have a quieter signal when compared to condenser microphones. So if you're using a dynamic, you'll need a higher gain than you would if you were using a condenser.

3. What level should you record at?

I've heard many people say "Record so you're hitting -18dB on your meter", others have said "Record at -10dB" and others say "Record at -6dB". Regardless of what level you choose, when this is being said, it means you are recording so your peaks (the loudest parts of your recording) hit -6dB, -10dB, or -18dB. 

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 9.11.19 PM.png

The reasoning behind this is to allow for headroom. Headroom is nothing more than the difference between the loudest part of your recording and 0dB, which is where your recording will begin to clip. 

For example: if I am recording spoken word, and I set my preamp gain so I'm hitting -10dB at my loudest, then my voice can unexpectedly get 10dB louder before I begin clipping/distorting, ultimately ruining the recording. 

It ultimately comes down to how dynamic the sound source you're recording is. If it is a sine wave that does not change volume, you can probably set your preamp to record around -1dB or -2dB. But if you're recording an expressive singer that goes from soft singing to screaming in a single take, this can vary drastically in loudness, so you may want to set your preamp so you're hitting -10dB or even -18dB.

4. How does gain affect your sound?

There are many schools of thoughts, and arguments to be had regarding coloration of preamp on your recordings, but we're going to avoid those in this article and focus on the more noticeable impact on your recording.

  1. Setting your gain too high: When you set your gain too high (i.e. so you're hitting -1dB on your meter), this does not allow for any wiggle room. You have to remain consistent in your levels, and if you get excited and begin to speak loudly, your signal will exceed 0dB and clip or distort.

    Once you have recorded something and it contains clipping, there is nothing that can be done to clean up that recording. You're stuck with it. So I would always suggest you err on the side of caution and record slightly quieter than you think you need.
     
  2. Setting your gain too low: This issue seems to be less pervasive online, but if you set your gain too low and you're using a subpar preamp with a high noise floor you risk losing, or mixing your signal in the noise floor.

    What this means is that if your preamp has a noise floor of -50dB, and you're recording so you're peaks are hitting -30dB, you're going to run into some issues. This is caused because in post, you're going to have to boost this recording by ~30dB. This means that your noise floor is no longer -50dB, but it's been boosted so it will be -20dB. So just remember, when you're boosting your recording in post, you're not just boosting the recorded sound source, you're also boosting the noise that's introduced by your preamp.

Conclusion

I think that should give you a basic framework to work off when you're setting up your preamp/interface before recording a podcast or youtube video. Until next time, may your recordings have no clipping, a low noise floor, and contain good content. Good luck.

 

 

 

Cyber Acoustics CVL-2001 USB Mic Review

The clearing of all the cheap microphones off of my shelves continues, and today I'm reviewing the Cyber Acoustics CVL-2001.

During the majority of this review the mic is connected directly to my mac with the gain set at 65%. I did boost the audio slightly during portions of the test to make it listenable. During other portions of the test, I connected the mic to a Joby Gorillapod to get the mic closer to my mouth.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $40.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Pre installed desktop mount/stand
  3. USB Cable
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Bit-Depth: 16-Bit
  4. Sample Rate: 44.1kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels pretty terrible. It has a cheap plastic body that feels very flimsy. It has a metal grill that I dented by barely squeezing it, demonstrating how bad the metal is. On the bottom of the mic, you will find a 1/4" threading (standard camera threading) as opposed to 3/8" or 5/8" which is standard for microphones. On the rear of the mic you have the USB port, and on the top of the mic you have an LED indicator light to let you know if you're getting power. 

The frequency response is listed as 40Hz - 18kHz, and it sounds about as good as you would expect out of a $40 usb microphone. I did not do any close micing of instruments due to the poorly designed mounting options, so I cannot speak to that. I can however speak to the awful proximity effect of this thing. If you're speaking between 1-3 inches of this mic, it becomes terribly muddy and unintelligible. 

The polar pattern of this mic is standard cardioid. The off axis coloration is very drastic, and it did not do a good job at off-axis or rear rejection. This is very important considering it is mounted on a desk mount that offers no shock absorption from the desk.

The overall performance of this mic was awful. The reason I say that is because of the noise floor which was terribly loud, causing a constant hiss in the background. Additionally, there is a grounding/shielding issue that adds a hum into the mix. So not only do you have a hiss, but you have a electronic hum to also destroy your recording. These two factors really ruin the microphone, and should make you look to other options. 

Pros

  • Plug and play
  • Surprisingly good latency

Cons

  • Noise floor unacceptably loud
  • Grounding/Shielding issue causing electronic hum
  • Poorly design 1/4" threading
  • Cheap build quality

Conclusion

DO NOT BUY THIS MICROPHONE! 15 years ago you may have to suffer through the high noise floor and hum, but with how competitive the USB mic market is, you do not need to settle for that. If you're on a super tight budget you can go with the Neewer NW3u, which cost me about $15 and I think goes for $20 now, which offers equal tone, and much better noise floor performance with no electronic hum. The Marantz PodPack1 is another great option which sounds better, has no noise floor/hum, and comes with a boom arm, all for $10 more. So bottom line is, I see almost no reason why someone should buy 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 Cyber Acoustics CVL-2001
US: https://amzn.to/2HE3iaL
UK: N/A
CA: https://amzn.to/2HCTg9S
DE: N/A

Sennheiser E935 Handheld Dynamic Mic Review

Today we're looking at a handheld dynamic microphone from Sennheiser, the E935.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 3:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $180.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Adapter
  4. Carrying Pouch
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-51dB
  4. Impedance: 350-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels like it was made for the stage. It has a very substantial feel in the hand, with an all metal body, a very sturdy metal mesh grill, and a good amount of weight to it. There are no bells or whistles on this microphone either. It is a just a microphone with an XLR port so you don't screw anything up while you're performing on stage. 

The frequency response is listed as 40Hz - 18kHz. The frequency response on this mic begins to gradually roll off the bass at around 150Hz with a minor .5dB cut beginning at around 500Hz. From 500 Hz up to 1kHz, we see a gradual boost . and then we remain flat up to 2.5kHz at which point we begin another boost of ~ 3.5dB which remains relatively flat from 4kHz - 10kHz. There is a minor peak at 11kHz, and then a roll off that decreases steadily. 

The polar pattern of this mic is standard cardioid. The off axis and rear coloration are not terribly drastic which is a benefit. The main thing I noticed about this mic is how great it did at off-axis rejection. When playing an acoustic guitar a few inches away while singing, you could definitely hear the acoustic, but it was not distracting from the voice at all. 

The overall performance of this mic is excellent for stage use. On the electric guitar, you get some very bright and aggressive tones, as well as a nice bass roll off which cleans up the mix, and makes room for the bass to do it's job. On the acoustic you get a nice full body with plenty of high end attack which sounded very nice. Then on voice for singing the presence and treble boost allow this mic to cut through the mix, and the bass roll off helps tame any proximity effect, handling noise, or plosives. Unfortunately, the presence boost does introduce some minor sibilance issues.

freq.png
polar.png

Pros

  • Excellent performance in regards to handling noise & plosive rejection
  • Great off-axis rejection for a cardioid microphone
  • More extended high end for added clarity
  • Sturdy build quality for stage use

Cons

  • Presence and treble boost lead to S's sounding slightly sharp

Conclusion

For stage use I think this microphone performed excellent, especially for a cardioid microphone. This mics ability to reject plosives (better than most dynamics), avoid handling noise, and tame proximity effect makes this a great mic for venues who cater to artists who do not necessarily have the best microphone technique. If you're a podcaster or let's player who is also concerned with background noise and not afraid of a mic being in your face, I think this thing will do a fine job for you. No matter what use case you are buying this mic though, if you are using this on voice, make sure to pay attention to the sibilance as it is somewhat sensitive in that frequency range and you may need to eq some of that out of your recording. 

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

Buy the Sennheiser E935
US: https://amzn.to/2HmBLGU
UK: https://amzn.to/2FbKTvX
CA: https://amzn.to/2Jkld2Q
DE: https://amzn.to/2qOAF0j

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio Review

Today I'm reviewing another microphone from IK Multimedia, iRig Mic Studio.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input gain set at 10:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter
  4. Desktop Tripod Stand
  5. USB-A Cable
  6. Lightning Cable
  7. Micro-USB Cable
  8. Storage pouch
  9. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-42dB
  4. Max SPL: 133dB
  5. Self-Noise: 11dBA
  6. Bit Depth: 24-Bit
  7. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone doesn't give me anything to complain about. It has a metal body construction and a metal grill that feels sturdy. It is also a bit on the light side. These are all good attributes for a travel microphone. On the front you'll find a gain dial to adjust the microphone's gain, a multi-color LED light for metering, and a headphone volume control. Lastly, on the back of the microphone you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, which does not offer latency free monitoring.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. They do not have any frequency response published, but while listening to the audio samples it sounds as though this mic has a significant treble boost which gives it too much clarity, to the point that it starts to sound unnatural. Additionally, this mic has a rather prominent proximity effect, so if you mic any source closely, you will get a slightly scooped mid tone. 

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. It didn't do a good job at background noise rejection. There was a slight volume decrease as you move around the microphone, but the ambient noise, keyboard noise, guitar noise will be apparent in your recordings. 

The overall performance of this mic is fine, but I'm becoming pickier, and more curmudgeonly. First, the preamp is relatively quiet all the way up to 100%, the main noise introduced was ambient noise. The tone of this mic is overly bright, and this adds too-much clarity in my opinion which leads it to sound somewhat unnatural. As I already mentioned, if you mix this frequency response with the proximity effect, you will likely end up with a slightly scooped mid tone. Also when I compared this mics samples against flatter mics like the NT1, it had a minimal nasal tone.

Pros

  • Convenient since it's compatible with multiple OS (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)
  • HD Recording (24-bit, 48kHz)
  • Relatively quiet preamp
  • Fairly good job at rejecting plosives

Cons

  • Overboosted treble frequncies
  • Lacks latency free monitoring
  • No specs included in documentation

Conclusion

This microphone is perfectly mediocre. Nothing really sticks out to me as a reason to buy it except for the almost universal compatibility. Other than that, I do not think that I can recommend it. This is mainly because the overly boosted high end leads to a unnatural tone which I am not a fan of.  I am also turned off by the lack of zero latency monitoring.

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

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio
US: https://amzn.to/2qF7X0O
UK: https://amzn.to/2HEi4v3
CA: https://amzn.to/2H8ig8U
DE: 

IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD Review

Today I'm reviewing an outdated microphone that has a newer model already released...the iRig Mic HD.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the input gain set at 11:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $110.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter
  4. USB-A Cable
  5. Lightning Cable
  6. Cable lock
  7. Storage pouch
  8. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Max SPL: 134dB (3% THD)
  4. Bit Depth: 24-Bit
  5. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is sufficient. It has an all metal body and a sturdy feeling metal grill. It does feel a bit on the light side which makes me reluctant about the durability of this microphone's body. On one side you will find the microphone gain dial, and on the other side you will find a multi-color LED light which can be used for metering. 

The frequency response is listed as 40Hz - 18kHz. They do not have any frequency response published, but while listening to the audio samples it is apparent that this not as presence boosted as the majority of handheld dynamic microphones. 

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. The background noise rejection did not blow my socks off. At 90 / 270-degrees, there was almost no low frequencies; there was only treble. Once we got around the mic to 180-degrees, all the treble had been eliminated and the low end returned. 

The overall performance of this mic is a mixed bag. The tone of this microphone is pretty good (if you like flatter microphones). Because it is flatter it is more neutral, and is a bit more boring sounding. The preamp fairly quiet all the way up to 100%, but it is difficult to measure the actual noise floor since I do not have an anechoic chamber to test this in. On the other hand, it suffered significantly from plosives which could lead to ruined recordings. The handling noise was also pretty disappointing. 

Pros

  • Convenient since it's compatible with multiple OS (Mac, Windows, iOS)
  • HD Recording (24-bit, 48kHz)
  • Relatively neutral response compared to other handheld dynamics
  • Relatively quiet preamp

Cons

  • Lacks latency free monitoring
  • Suffers from plosives
  • Did not perform well with handling noise

Conclusion

If you are looking for a USB mic to run on your windows or mac computer, I would suggest you look somewhere else for a microphone. I say this because this microphone suffers so badly from plosives, it doesn't do well with handling noise, and it lacks latency free monitoring. Additionally the USB microphone market it very competitive so you can get a microphone that meets all your requirements for the same price if not cheaper.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a handheld dynamic microphone, that requires HD audio, has a relatively neutral frequency response, and runs to your iOS device over lightning cable, then your options are much more limited. I think in that case, this may be one of the only options you have, but i would suggest you check out the Mic HD 2 as it added the latency free monitoring, and hopefully they improved the plosive issue. 

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

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD
US: https://amzn.to/2v9xvJ4
UK: https://amzn.to/2v6cDSY
CA: https://amzn.to/2EEZHDc
DE: https://amzn.to/2IN4RPW

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2
US: https://amzn.to/2Hfgr9n
UK: https://amzn.to/2v7q2dn
CA: https://amzn.to/2EEGdhS
DE: https://amzn.to/2qqFZWt

 

Beyerdynamic TG-V70D Dynamic Mic Review

Today we're looking at a handheld dynamic microphone from Beyerdynamic, the TG-V70D.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 2:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $200.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Adapter
  4. Documentation (including frequency response & sensitivity of the actual mic you bought)
  5. Carrying Pouch

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 25Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Hyper-Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-49dB
  4. Impedance: 280-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is basic but robust. It has a standard tapered metal handle and a sturdy feeling metal mesh grill, which has a good amount of foam on the inside to attempt to reject some plosives. 

The frequency response is listed as 25Hz - 18kHz. The frequency response on this mic begins to gradually roll off the bass at around 250Hz, and then starts a drastic roll off around 150Hz. The low mids are flat, and then in the high mids we start to see a boost beginning at around 1.5kHz. This boost ends up peaking betwen 7-8kHz, and then begins a consistent roll off from 8 -18kHz. 

The polar pattern of this mic is hyper-cardioid. The 90-degree rejection on this mic is great. You have almost no low end, and the volume significantly decreases. When you get around to 180-degrees some low end returns, but the higher frequencies seem to disappear. In the tests I conducted, it did an excellent job at rejecting keyboard noise and acoustic guitar noise when they are in the null spots of the polar pattern. 

The overall performance of this mic is great. On electric guitar you're getting a tight low end without any muddiness, on the acoustic you get a nice body with a bit of shimmer on the high end, and on vocals you get amazing clarity with full low end which you can adjust by utilizing the proximity effect. 

freq.png
polar.png

Pros

  • Very detailed tone without sounding harsh
  • Prominent proximity effect that can be used to your advantage
  • Hyper Cardioid Polar Pattern assists in background noise rejection and feedback rejection
  • Minimal Handling Noise
  • Great Build Quality

Cons

  • Proximity effect can be a detriment if mic technique is poor
  • Not the best at rejecting plosives
  • Some may find it expensive in comparison to entry level live mics

Conclusion

I think this has become my new favorite handheld dynamic microphones. This thing cut right through mix on the vocals due to the presence and treble boost, and it also picked up minimal ambient noise, even when I was playing the acoustic guitar about 1 foot off-axis. The proximity effect also allows you to offset some of the detail, or beef up your voice if you have a thin voice. If you do not have good microphone technique, you will need to be careful on this thing because the proximity effect on this mic can be dangerous.

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

Buy the Beyerdynamic TG-V70D
US: https://amzn.to/2qkivlS
UK: https://amzn.to/2IFSllc
CA: https://amzn.to/2HmUe6X
DE: https://amzn.to/2II0CoR

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Cyber Acoustics USB Condenser Mic (CVL-2006) Review

Today I'm reviewing a USB multi-pattern condenser microphone and I don't know what the proper name is. I think it's the Cyber Acoustics Tahoe, or Rainier CVL-2006, or Cyber Acoustics CVL-2006.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to my 2017 iMac with the computers gain set to 100% and the microphone gain set at approximately 25-30%. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $70.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Desktop Stand
  3. Foam Windscreen
  4. 1.5m Cable
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid / Omnidirectional
  3. Max SPL: 124dB
  4. S/N Ratio: 121dB
  5. Bit Depth: 16-Bit
  6. Sample Rate: 48kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone decent. It has a metal body, and a metal grill that feel sturdy enough. The desktop stand is flimsy feeling and offers no shock absorption so it picks up every bump of your desk. On the front you have a headphone volume control, microphone gain control, and an indicator light to let you know if it's plugged in and getting power. 

On the back of the mic you'll find a button to switch between cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns. On the bottom you'll find the USB port to connect this to your computer, a 3.5mm headphone jack which does offer latency free monitoring (which cannot be turned off unless you turn the mic volume all the way down), and a 1/4" threading for additional mounting options (this is the standard camera mount size.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. I don't know if this is accurate, and no frequency response graph was provided. All I can say is that this thing sounds harsh and thin, and all around is painful to listen to.

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid or omni directional. The cardioid polar pattern seems fairly wide so it tends to pick up a bit of room noise, and the omni polar pattern just sounds bad.

The overall performance of this mic left a lot to be desired. There's a constant underlying digital interference in the noise floor, the tone was painful to listen to while editing the video, the fact that you can't turn off latency free monitoring without muting the mic is irritating, and the fact that it doesn't have a standard mounting option just adds an additional cost.

Pros

  • Offers latency free monitoring

Cons

  • Harsh & Thin tone
  • Constant digital interference in the noise floor
  • Can't turn off latency free monitoring
  • Camera mount threading and not a mic stand threading
  • Flimsy desktop stand that picks up all bumps of deak
  • Bit depth limited to 16-bit

Conclusion

I do not recommend this microphone. In my opinion, this mic seems like it's attempting to compete with something like the Blue Yeti, but it fails on all fronts. I think you'd be better off saving some money by going with the Q2u, or spending the same amount on an ATR2100USB or AT2005USB. Or if you're deadset on a usb multipattern condenser microphone, go with the Blue Yeti. 

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

Buy the Cyber Acoustics CVL-2006
US: https://amzn.to/2JnORFh
UK: N/A
CA: https://amzn.to/2qa4s2c
DE: N/A

Samson C01 XLR Condenser Mic Review

Today we're not looking at another microphone from Samson, the C01.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen), with the input gain set at approximately 12:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back around $75 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Plastic Storage Box
  2. Microphone
  3. Microphone Mount
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Stand Adapter
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Hyper Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~ -33dB
  4. Impedance: 200-ohms
  5. Max SPL: 136dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is perfectly fine given the price. It has an all metal body as well as a sturdy metal mesh grill, and a good amount of weight to it coming in at 1.1 lb. On the front of the microphone you'll find a blue LED light that lights up when phantom power on your interface is turned on and on the bottom you'll find the XLR port. 

The frequency response is listed as 40Hz - 18kHz. The bass frequencies begin to roll off at 150Hz but peak again at around 95Hz before rolling off the remainder of the low frequencies. The mids and presence fluctuate quite a bit with a minor boost around 600-700hz, a peak at around 1.7kHz, 2.7kHz, and 5.5kHz, with a broad boost from 6Khz to 12kHz. 

The polar pattern of this mic is Hyper-cardioid. This means that the front is sensitive and the rear of the mic has a small lobe of sensitivity with the dead spots around 112-degrees. 

The overall performance of this mic lacks. As far as a vocal mic it seems to lack significantly in the low frequencies, sounds a bit nasally, and has some minor sibilance issues as well. On the electric guitar, I had to put the mic right on top of the amp to get some low end in the guitar, but it did end up sounding fairly decent. The acoustic on the other hand sounded brittle in the high end. Something that was not listed on the specifications sheet was the self noise, and when I was testing the mic, it seemed like a fairly big downfall of this mic. Finally, the tone of the mic all around was somewhat harsh and become painful to listen to after lengthy listening sessions. 

Pros

  • Pretty good build quality
  • Comes with a storage box

Cons

  • Subpar performance with self noise
  • Lacks in the low end
  • Sibilance issues
  • Harsh tone that became painful after long listening sessions
C01Freq

Conclusion

I was somewhat let down by this microphone. I have really enjoyed the majority of Samson mics on the market, but this one didn't meet my expectations. The frequency response left a lot to be desired in that it left the voice and guitar sounding thin and harsh. The self noise also makes this unusable for professional applications as well.

Due to how competitive the mic market is, I don't think I can recommend this mic. There are too many mics in this price range for me to recommend a mic that doesn't perform amazingly.

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

Buy the Samson C01
US: https://amzn.to/2JgDkHs
UK: https://amzn.to/2EdQZvt
CA: https://amzn.to/2pZmnJ5
DE: https://amzn.to/2pZZPZu

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV