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

Rode Reporter Omnidirectional Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing something a little different than any mic I've tested in the past; the Rode Reporter.

This is a dynamic, omnidirectional, XLR microphone. The majority of dynamic mics are used in stage situations where you want to reject most background noise. In that case, a cardioid setting is what you would want. This mic on the other hand is not designed for stage use. This mic is designed to be used as a reporting microphone (as I'm sure you guessed from the name). The omnidirectional polar pattern allows you to hold the microphone in between yourself and the interviewee while picking up the majority of the audio. This will remove the need to move the mic back and forth between yourself and the interviewee too much.

For the majority of this review I am connecting the microphone to my computer using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface with the gain set around 75-80%, and the audio was boosted +10dB in post as well.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $130 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Zip Pouch
  3. Microphone Flag
  4. Documentation
  5. 10-Year Warranty

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 70Hz - 15kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Omni Directional
  3. Sensitivity: -56dB
  4. Impedance: 150-Ohms

Performance / Features

This microphone's build quality feels pretty dang awesome. It has an all metal construction to hold up against the rigors or reporting. It has some decent weight to it, but it's not too heavy so it won't get uncomfortable during long interviews. It also has a ridiculously long handle so you can look like bob barker as you shove the microphone in an interviewee's face. And most importantly, the microphone's capsule is mounted on an internal shock mount to limit the amount of handling noise.

The frequency response of this mic is 70Hz - 15kHz, which is within the range of a standard dynamic mic. The fact that this rolls off around 70Hz is actually a good thing considering the use case. If you're in loud areas, or outside, you want to eliminate low rumbles, or wind noise which this frequency response will help with. The thing I was most impressed with was that my voice sounded pretty natural.

The omnidirectional polar pattern is the really unique feature of this microphone. As I previously stated that is because this microphone is meant to be held between two people while picking both voices up without having to reposition the microphone constantly. In that use case, this polar pattern works extremely well. 

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Natural Vocal Sound
  • Omnidirectional Polar Pattern
  • No requirement for Phantom Power in the field
  • A lot cheaper than a multi lav wireless system

Cons

  • A bit on the quiet side (need to boost preamp pretty hard)
  • Hyper focused use case

Conclusion

This is not my favorite sounding dynamic mic I've come across, and it will not do the best at background noise rejection, BUT, for video interviews or reporting, I think this thing is an absolute home run. It fulfills all your needs for field recording for relatively cheap when compared to alternatives. Therefore, if you are looking to do interviews in the field, I think this is a great budget option.

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 Reporter
US: http://amzn.to/2iXWA2l
UK: http://amzn.to/2iT0Eys

Buy the Zoom H6
US: http://amzn.to/2iXX9sT
UK: http://amzn.to/2i4o4nd

 

TPR PODCAST EPISODE 84: PQ's- COMFORT

Podcast Questions!

This week marks the start of a new monthly segment PQ's (Podcast Questions)! These shows will ranges from serious and thought provoking to the silly or absurd questions that I can think of or more importantly the questions that you the listeners tweet in! 

This episode features; Bandrew Scott of @Podcastage and Cynthia Gerriets of @Tentimesatiger. The theme is comfort and everything that means like your comfort food or being uncomfortable with our art.

-IF you want you questions on the show Tweet:  @thatlogan OR@Paper_Robots #podcastquestions

Get more of Bandrew, Cynthia and myself (Logan) in the links below:

Referenced:

Subscribe to Geeks Rising here

Understanding Underwater Welder

Grab your wet-suit as we take a deep dive into this month’s Do You Even Comic with The Underwater Welder.

Creator(s)

Created by Jeff Lemire (Artist/Writer) and released by Top Shelf Productions in August, 2012.

The Book

Described as an un-aired episode of the “Twilight Zone”, this graphic novel blends blue collar father with a splash of sci-fi.

Jack Joseph has a job welding pipes underwater for an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia, the small town he grew up in. Things should be great; he has a wife, a baby on the way, and a  good job, but things aren’t alright. He is constantly distracted and haunted by the disappearance of his father, who went diving on Halloween night 20 years ago but never returned. Now with a son on the way, and Halloween drawing near, things begin to pull Jack deeper down as he gets lost in thought. Reality fades away when Jack passes out while working on an underwater rig. Jack is left to reflect on the loss of his father and the reality of becoming a father.

Why this Book?

It’s important to note that Jeff Lemire created this book just after having a child of his own. It’s clear the trials and tribulations of fatherhood were on his mind during the creation of The Underwater Welder. The parallels to Jeff’s actual life only add to the work of a creator who is known for being personal. I know all artists and creators put themselves into their work to some extent, but in Lemire’s writing and art you can feel it and connect to it on a level that makes it feel familiar, even upon the first viewing.

The minimalist art of Lemire becomes visual poetry as you turn each page in this tale. The line work accompanied by the black and white creates a perfect atmosphere for a book about keeping the ghosts of the past and worries of the future at bay. This book compliments his work on DC’s Animal Man but also acts as a testing ground for paneling which would be put into practice in Trillium (another original story by Lemire released in 2015).

Typically these types of stories are something I would experience through TV or movies, but to be able to hold this book in my hands and be brought to tears is a unique and personal experience that cannot truly be explained. Lemire has always been a creator I have followed, but this book really stood out to me. I admit that I am the type that falls for parent/child moments. My heart strings still get tugged when a parent wants nothing but the best for their child while continuously fearing the worst. To this day my Mom still calls and asks if I put my jacket on in the cold weather (I am a grown man mom, but yes I did because it’s cold out and I live in a new state).

As we get older it’s easier to realize our parents didn’t know everything, but regardless, they became parents and did their best. So when I read or watch these stories I feel connected, and I am left wondering how I will be as a parent. Will I still be figuring it out or will I be haunted by the fears of my past as a dumb kid, not knowing anything.

Book:

The Underwater Welder

TONOR BM-700 XLR Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I'm reviewing a new microphone from Tonor; the BM-700

I do need to mention that this microphone was provided to me by Tonor in order for me to conduct this review. 

For the majority of this video, I'm connecting the BM700 to my computer using the SYBA Stereo USB Soundcard with my gain set at approximately 4%. Keep in mind that this is an XLR, electret condenser microphone, which means it does require some voltage in order to work properly. Connecting this microphone directly to your motherboard's microphone input will likely not provide great results, so I suggest the SYBA USB Soundcard, or a full Audio Interface that offers phantom power (Focusrite Scarlett Solo).

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $16 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Windscreen
  3. Shockmount
  4. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  5. XLR to 3.5mm Cable
  6. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
  3. Sensitivity: -34dB
  4. Impedance: 150-Ohms

Performance / Features

This microphone's build quality is exactly like all the other BM-700's and NW-700's on the market. It has an all metal construction, but is on the lighter side of things. However, I do think it will be able to last quite a while when it is taken care of properly. It also offers no additional features; it just has an XLR plug on the bottom of the microphone. 

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz, which is nice to see. The audio quality is nothing outstanding, but you can't expect flawless audio out of a microphone that costs about $16. The low end is not overly muddy, and the higher frequencies are not harsh. However, it lacks certain frequencies that really capture the energy of a performance.

The polar pattern of the microphone is Cardioid. During the tests, it did seem to pick up audio all the way around the microphone, but as you move away from the front of the mic, the majority of frequencies drop off. There was also a fairly drastic drop off as I moved away from the microphone. Lastly, it did decently at ignoring background noise, but it should be noted that I use an apple magic keyboard, which does not have mechanical switches.

Pros

  • It is Cheap!
  • Good audio for the price
  • Decent at background noise rejection
  • Can function on ~4.5v up to +48v

Cons

  • Doesn't capture performance's energy

Conclusion

In all honesty, due to the fact that this is a sub-$20 microphone, I struggled to find any real cons. For the price, I think it performed pretty damn well. However, I was expecting this performance since I have tested out this exact microphone under multiple different company names.

I'm definitely not going to recommend this if you're looking for a main microphone to launch a professional studio and charge a high hourly rate. But, if you are just starting on youtube, or want to launch a podcast or voice over career, I think that this is a great starting point. It will allow you to get very usable audio without breaking the bank, and if you enjoy that project, you can upgrade down the line without feeling guilty about this mic going to waste.

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

Buy the BM-700 Kit
US: http://amzn.to/2ihnBdv
UK: http://amzn.to/2iH731s

Buy the SYBA Stereo USB Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2jgNIpb
UK: http://amzn.to/2iH91yX

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2iHnGdr
UK: http://amzn.to/2ihqPOj

Samson Q7 Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today I'm talking about a dynamic XLR microphone by Samson; the Samson Q7 Dynamic Microphone.

This is an entry level dynamic microphone that has an insanely high Max SPL of 150dB. This leads me to believe that this would work great in a live situation.

For this video, I am connecting the mic to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo with my gain set at approximately 75%

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

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Mic Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. Hardshell Carrying Case
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Super Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -57dB
  4. Max SPL: 150dB
  5. Impedance: 200-Ohms

Performance / Features

This mic has no frills or special features. No lights. No switches. Nothing. As far as the build quality, the construction is all metal and it feels incredibly sturdy and well put together. It also has some really nice weight to it. It feels like this mic would be able to handle the wear and tear of live use. 

The frequency response of this mic is pretty standard for a dynamic microphone, ranging from 50Hz - 18kHz. However, the sound signature is not my favorite of the dynamic mics I've tested. While listening to the acoustic it sounds like it lacks some high-mids while sounding a bit boomy in the low-mids. All in all, not my favorite EQ from a Samson microphone.

The polar pattern of the mic is Super Cardioid, which means it is extremely focussed. As you can tell during the tests, as soon as I move a little bit off axis the audio drops significantly. That is why I think this microphone would be an excellent decision for live performances as well as those who are concerned with excessive background noise.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Hardshell Carrying Case
  • Extremely directional (superb noise rejection)
  • Relatively cheap

Cons

  • Quiet output
  • Not the best EQ tuning

Conclusion

I think this microphone is nothing more than a middle of the road dynamic microphone. It's not a mic I anticipate using for anything in the future, but I won't go so far as to not recommend it. 

If you are looking for a relatively cheap microphone for live performances, I think that this would be a great option since it has excellent noise rejection as soon as you get off axis. This means it would work well if you are playing with a full band, as your vocal mic would ignore quite a bit of the guitar amp/drums/etc.

Another use case I think this microphone would be fine for would be let's plays. Once again, the mic does great with noise rejection so you will not pick up as much of your keyboards noise as you would with a regular cardioid condenser mic.

Other than that, I think that you can find a better option within the same price range. 

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 Q7
US: http://amzn.to/2hIam7G
UK: http://amzn.to/2i0AmsG

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2iFxsKW
UK: http://amzn.to/2i0CrVE

Buy the XLR to USB Cable
US: http://amzn.to/2hIjivn
UK:http://amzn.to/2hIrQ5B