Behringer B-2 Pro Review / Test

Today we're looking at a "higher end" microphone from the budget company Behringer; the Behringer B-2 Pro

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 10:30. 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. Foam Windscreen

  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional

  3. Sensitivity: -37dB to -34dB

  4. Max SPL: 137 / 149dB

  5. Equivalent Noise: 16-18dBA

  6. Impedance: <100-ohms

  7. Power Requirement: +48v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels fairly average for mics in the $100 price range. It has an all metal body as well as a somewhat flimsy feeling metal mesh grill. On the front you will find a 3-way polar pattern selection switch to move between the cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional polar patterns. On the rear you'll find the high-pass switch that rolls off at 6dB/octave at 150Hz, as well as a -10dB pad if you're recording loud sound sources. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. We're only going to focus on the cardioid polar pattern response here as it's the most used pattern. It has a surprisingly flat response from 1kHz and below with a slight roll off beginning at 150Hz, which reaches -2dB by 50Hz. From 1kHz and up there's a gradual boost that hits +2dB at 7kHz, and then there's a large boost which reaches +5dB at 10kHz and gradually rolls off until it hits 0dB at 20kHz.

The overall performance here was decent. On the electric guitar, the low end felt a little loose, but did not get muddy, and then the treble air boost provided a nice amount of liveliness to the recording. The acoustic guitar sounded too focused in the high end, and left the strings resonance sounding dominating and a bit of a grating tone all around. For singing, the mic added a breathy quality to the voice as well as a bit of extra grit. For spoken word, I think the high end is a detriment to the microphone as it accentuates mouth noises, breathe, and sibilance a bit too much.

Pros

  • Relatively flat low mids and lows

  • All polar patterns are pretty usable (Rare in this price range)

  • Nice build quality

  • Plenty of nice accessories

Cons

  • Shrill in the higher end

  • Susceptible to plosives

  • Relatively high noise floor at 16-18dBA

cardioid
Omni.png
Bi.png

Conclusion

Although this microphone would not be my first choice in any use case, for the price I think it's a pretty good deal. Therefore, if you're looking for your first mic to record music in your home studio, I think this would be a fine option given the plethora of accessories that are provided with the microphone, and the clean and clear tone you can get out of the microphone. Just make sure to pick up a pop filter along with 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 Behringer B-2 Pro
US: https://amzn.to/2L3nqAU
UK: https://amzn.to/2zvQRui
CA: https://amzn.to/2N4g29d
DE: https://amzn.to/2uarcC0

 

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

CAD U1000 USB Studio Condenser Mic Review / Test

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

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

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

What's In the Box

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

Specifications

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

Performance / Features

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

BSP-044: Big Trouble in Little Microphone Market

00:00 - Intro
01:17 - My face is disgusting
02:20 - Thanksgiving
03:18 - Organization in the Studio
07:31 - Problems With the Mic Market
15:07 - My plans for the future
17:14 - Black Mirror Season 3
18:15 - Macbook Pro Skins
18:45 - Buying a new MacBook
20:11 - Apple Watch Series 1
22:05 - Finding the best iPhone Case
25:32 - Outro

On episode 44 of the BSP, I briefly talk about my disgusting face and why it is exceedingly disgusting on the day of recording. I also talk about what my thanksgiving celebration (or lack there of) consisted of. 

The main focus of this episode covers a severe problem in the microphone market place which can lead to confusing those new to audio recording, as well as drive me to point of losing my mind. This entire rant will likely ruin the possibility of any future relationships with mic companies.

Then I shortly discuss my future plans, black mirror season 3, purchasing a new MacBook, adding skins to my current matchbook pro, as well as what I have been testing.

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

BSP-027: YouTube Drama

00:00 - Intro
01:13 - Shoutout?
01:30 - Giving Up Sugar
02:55 - Murdered At The Door
04:37 - YouTube Drama
08:50 - New NES
11:13 - New Han Solo
12:20 - Jupiters New Satellite
13:05 - Stranger Things
15:20 - I Love the 80’s
17:35 - FitBit Customer Service
19:10 - Favorite Mic in your Collection?
20:56 - What’s a good audio interface?
22:05 - What’s most important in reducing hiss?
24:10 - Low Budget Studio?
29:21 - Outro

On today's episode of BSP, I talk about a new lifestyle I will be embarking on, and it requires your help. I talk about my thoughts on all the youtube drama going, what I think is causing it, and how I think it can be avoided.

For news, I briefly talk about the new NES, and Han Solo, and then I talk about an amazing new TV show titled "Stranger Things" which is available on Netflix. I then share my experience with FitBit's customer service department.

Then I go into the questions which include my favorite mic, good audio interface, reducing hiss/line noise, and a complete low budget studio.

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

http://www.geeksrising.com

Floureon BM-100FX Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I tested out the Floureon BM-100FX and it is ridiculous. It will run you about $32 on amazon, and it has built in effects. When I say built-in effects, I mean built in EFFECT. One effect. Lets look at this some more.

What's In the Box

This microphone came in the same box as pretty much every other mass produced chinese microphone that I have purchased. Inside you will get the Microphone, Pop Filter, Mic Stand, Mic Clip, Microphone Cable, & Specifications Sheet.

The mic stand feels very cheap and I don't think it will last very long, and the mic clip can barely fit the microphone. If you have some extra money after purchasing the microphone, I would definitely recommend picking up a different mic stand and shock mount

Performance / Features

The frequency response on this mic is 30Hz - 20KHz which is pretty comparable to other microphones in the same price range.

The polar pattern is 180-degrees. In front of the mic you will get good sound and behind the microphone you will only get low-mid frequencies being picked up. This is good if you are recording in a loud room or if you are recording while you are typing on a keyboard. (Just make sure to place anything you don't want to be heard, behind the microphone).

As I mentioned the BM-100x also has an onboard effect (echo). This allows you to add a delay effect to your audio. Regardless of how cool the idea is, I don't see any practical applications of this feature.

Lastly, the cable is XLR to 3.5mm/USB. This allows you to plug into your computers microphone input (which records the audio) and the USB port (which provides power to the microphone).

Pros

  • The microphone cable has USB jack to provide power to microphone
  • There is a microphone gain knob on the microphone
  • 180-degree polar pattern (it does not pick up noise all the way around the microphone)

Cons

  • The cable is XLR to 3.5mm/USB, this is too specialized of a cable, and will make it difficult to replace.
  • The knobs on the microphone feel flimsy.
  • The effect does not provide enough control
  • It is only one effect that I don't think has any practical applications
  • The microphone stand is cheap / Mic Clip hardly fits microphone
  • Slightly more expensive than similar sounding microphones that do not have effect

Conclusion

Overall, I think this mic falls short. It has some cool features that I think can be applied to microphones in the future more successfully, but they don't succeed here. The echo does not allow for enough control to make it a useful effect, the cable is too specialized, and the accessories feel like an afterthought. However, if you are interested, I have included a link to the microphone down below.

If you have any questions about the microphone, leave them in the comments down below or on youtube and I will get back to you ASAP. Thanks for watching & reading. 

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Mu2Ods

Podcastage Studio Gear

Hey Friends. I am back with another podcastage video on a day that I do not have a scheduled release. This is due to a request from one of my favorite viewers Cobra Gaming, requesting that I do a quick studio tour. I figured that this is as good a time as any to list all my gear for you and tell you why I chose the gear. This is in no way a comprehensive list of the gear that I use, but it is the main gear that I use.


Shure SM7B: http://amzn.to/1INp7J8
If you go into 100 broadcast studios, chances are you will see about 33 of these guys. There will also be 33 PR40's and 33 RE20's. Okay I made up that stat, but it sounds right. I personally prefer this mic because I just like the tonality of it, and it fit more in my budget when I was shopping around. They also used this model mic to record Thriller. My one issue with this mic is the super low output. In order to resolve that I had to invest in the cloudlifter CL-1 to get the best sounding audio that I could. 

Rode PSA1: http://amzn.to/1POxABd
Okay, I will admit that $100 is a bit much to pay for a mic stand, but let me justify the cost for you. First off. It is so incredibly convenient to have a mic available at all times, without having a bulky kick drum mic stand sitting on your desk. I also had a cheaper studio boom arm that kept breaking and dropping my mics off my desk. If you're going to be using expensive mics, you don't want a mic stand that could very easily break your $400 mic. If you have the room, a kick drum mic stand will run you $30 and work well though. Just don't get a cheap Studio Boom Arm that imitates this style.

Cloudlifter CL-1: http://amzn.to/1hZ4zIw
The cloudlifter CL-1 is nothing more than a mic activator. What that does is, it takes your interface's/preamps phantom power and boosts the signal by about +25db, meaning you don't have to drive your preamp which really helps eliminate a lot of preamp noise. If you are using a mic like the Shure SM7b, which is INFAMOUSLY quiet, this is a great investment, although it does make the overall cost of the mic about $500. So at that point, you can consider the RE20 or PR40.

Zoom H6: http://amzn.to/1POxBF8
This is hands down one of the best purchases I have made. I ditched my Tascam US-322 for this thing for a bunch of reasons. First off, the noise floor on the H6 is lower, meaning I can crank the gain higher before getting excessive preamp noise. Secondly, this thing can record 4 XLR mics to individual tracks for later manipulation. With the purchase of a $80 adapter, you can boost that to XLR mics to separate tracks! It also is portable, has effects, has great sounding, interchangable mic capsules, oh and did I mention it can function as a freaking audio interface! This can function as a 6 input audio interface on your computer! 

Logitech C920: http://amzn.to/1NPPdCW
This is where I didn't invest in the best gear. For what I'm doing (testing out microphones on youtube), I don't need to invest in a $700 DSLR camera for amazing depth of field. That's not what's important in my videos. What's important is the audio. Making sure that I am capturing the mics sound as naturally as possible so people who hear the test video know what they're getting. This webcam does shoot decent video, but I have very little customization, and the image seems to be washed out quite a bit. But as I said. It works perfectly for what I'm doing.

Giantsquid Lav Mic: http://amzn.to/1INpkf9
I never thought I would use a Lavalier mic that much until I started making videos. If you are making youtube videos, I am telling you right now, audio is the most important thing (almost all the time). If you are talking at all or trying to convey information through talking, you need good audio and this thing allowed me to do that. It's a 1/8" lav mic with a meter long cable (I think) and I just hook it directly into my Gopro while I'm Vlogging outdoors, or if I am recording a Vlog inside, I record this directly into my H2n, and sync the audio in Final Cut. Without this, my audio would sound like garbage, and you wouldn't be able to hear what I was saying half the time. You can get cheaper lav mics too. All I am saying is if you are making videos, invest in a way to make sure your audio is AMAZING!

GoPro Hero 3: http://amzn.to/1INpnaP
Why is the GoPro so popular? Because it is easy to use. You turn it on, hit record, and you are good to go. That's why I love this thing as a Vlogging camera. It is so easy to use, it has pretty dang good battery life, I can hook up an external mic (with an adapter), and the footage is high quality. All my geeks rising vlogs that are outdoors are shot with this and I am incredibly happy with how it has functioned so far with the Giant Squid lav mic. One thing I am thinking of doing to improve the footage is invest in a steady cam adapter for this, or a cheap gimble so the footage is not as shaky.


Alright everyone, that will do it for todays unplanned discussion of studio gear and what I'm using. I hope you found it helpful. If you have any questions about any of the gear mentioned above, let me know and I will answer it as best as I can.