I Like it So Far
I bought this microphone specifically to replace a Blue Snowball and several cheaper microphones I was using for podcast recording. I'm running it into an Apogee Ensemble. Basically, I didn't want the mic or the audio interface to be the weak link any more -- if my voice or performance is the weak link, that's fine, it's my own fault.
I have just recorded my first short story using this microphone, and I am quite happy with the results so far. It seems to be slightly less sensitive to background and room noise than the Snowball (a condenser), so I was able to record in the same room with a Mac Pro down on the floor; the computer's fan noise is audible if you really listen for it, but it is not a big problem. An air conditioner downstairs was providing just a bit of noise through the floor, but the built-in rubber mount seemed to get rid of most of that noise.
Things I like about this mic:
- I can hang it from above, which makes it more suitable for recording something I'm reading. I positioned it so that it is a couple of inches from my nose, and I can see what I'm reading.
- Because it's not extremely directional, if I tilt my head a bit or go slightly off axis I don't get a dramatic drop in volume.
- I like having a bit of proximity effect since my voice is a little on the thin side.
- I also like its resistance to sibilance and pops -- even when I got a bit dramatic in my reading it didn't pop much.
I'm not experienced enough doing close listening to a lot of different mics to know whether another one would be better, but I think this is definitely a high-quality device. There are a few things I'm not really happy with:
- It puts out a relatively low level, which means I have to bring up the gain on the Apogee's input channel quite a bit to bring it anywhere close to where I want it, in terms of average peaks and headroom. Maybe that's not a problem, but I'm always a bit concerned when I have to turn a gain control up most of the way. In practice so far it does not seem to be a problem, and I get a much smoother range of levels out of it when recording at 24 bit than I did with the 16-bit Snowball.
- It is rather sensitive to mouth noise which can sound almost too detailed and realistic at times. I'm not certain if another mic would be better; I'd hate to lose the detail.
Maybe someday I will have the chance to do an A/B comparison with a similar Neumann condenser mic. I would certainly consider buying a second one to do interview-type recordings.