Microphones - thinking of either Zoom H2 or Blue Yeti?

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Elizabby
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Post by Elizabby » April 21st, 2011, 10:46 pm

It will be my birthday in a couple of weeks, and my hubby has offered to get me a microphone for making podcast and LibriVox recordings! The only thing is, I'm not very experienced yet to know what is best. I use a Mac and Audacity and I am thinking that a USB microphone might be the easiest to use.

I've looked through the microphone comparison thread, and on most of the recordings the Blue Yeti seems to sound better, although *some* of the Zoom H2 recordings sound very good too - but the variation is much wider with that one. I'm not very technical, so am unlikely to do any major manipulation of the sound files - I'm looking for something that pretty much records and doesn't require much else to be done to it!

Any thoughts or comments?

David Richardson
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Post by David Richardson » April 22nd, 2011, 12:44 am

Sounds like one for Algy and Frank. But as a realtive newcomer all I can say is I love my Blue Yeti. A little large in size (but show me a Yeti that isn't) it just has a wonderful mellow sound and of course you just plug it in and go. Whilst you'd use it in cardoid mode for librivox it also has some others in case you'd like to start recording duets or playing a guitar! The H2 sounds good from what I hear and is more versatile in the sense that you can record without plugging into a computer (though you obviously need to download to a computer later on). I think room accoustics are important too - the best mic in the world is not going to sound it's best if you're recording in a very echoey environment which is why so many people at librivox seem to record in closets using the clothes to help dampen reverberation. So as well as getting the mic for your birthday it might be worth asking hubby for a few more dresses - just to help with the acoustics of course!

David.

PS. There's a big price difference between the Blue Yeti and the Blue Yeti Pro - unless you want to run the mic through a mixer at some point I'd stick with the standard Blue Yeti. Now lets hear it from the H2 fans...
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » April 22nd, 2011, 3:47 am

I like the H2. It is relatively easy to use. Almost as easy as the original tape recorders.

You only have to set your settings once and go record. My sound quality is excellent. I was the first one here with the H2 though another user had the H4 (More bells and whistles so more to go wrong)

At $175 it is almost half what I paid for it now. If you have any issues with a noisy family/road, the H2 allows you to hide away with it.

I generally try to record books that I have an actual copy of. This allows for so much more freedom. The biggest problem for H2 users is how to read. Paper or screen. I prefer paper but of course, I don't usually have the book. Many readers use a lap top which I don't have. The kindle and other ebook readers solve that problem. (On my wish list)

Transferring the files to the computer are as easy as using an SD card.

Now, when I bought it, I had no one for tech support and just played around with the settings till I got one that sounded ok. I'm not that tech savvy so if I could figure it out alone, certainly anyone can, now, since we have so much help.

I prefer the H2 merely for the portability so it's a personal decision. It's great for interviews too.

Esther :D
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

David Richardson
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Post by David Richardson » April 22nd, 2011, 5:58 am

Just another quick thought about Yeti v. H2 is where you're going to record. I generally use the Yeti plugged into my imac desktop about 6 ft away from it (the yeti has a nice long lead) and it doesn't (in cardoid mode) pick up the noise of the desktop at all. When I use it with my mac laptop it does pick up some fan noise (and Audacity does get the fans going on some mac laptops) so I tend to set the levels on the mic to ensure there's no major 'clipping' and then put the laptop outside the room and close the door! If you can't do that then Noise cleaning will remove the fan noise but ideally it's best not to have it in the first place if possible. I tend to read from an ipad so I don't need the laptop for reading. The H2 as Esther says can be used anywhere but the downside is it doesn't have a proper cuddly name which I think is important if you're going to spend a long time talking to it! :D

David
The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.
- Muriel Rukeyser


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catchpenny
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Post by catchpenny » April 22nd, 2011, 7:20 am

David Richardson wrote: ...the downside is it doesn't have a proper cuddly name which I think is important if you're going to spend a long time talking to it! :D

David
YOU think a Yeti is cuddly???
Anyone can read accurately. [i]I[/i] read with great expression.

Starlite
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Post by Starlite » April 22nd, 2011, 7:33 am

catchpenny wrote:
David Richardson wrote: ...the downside is it doesn't have a proper cuddly name which I think is important if you're going to spend a long time talking to it! :D

David
YOU think a Yeti is cuddly???
Well,,,, my boyfriend has big feet and is covered in hair (Till May 11th when he shaves it off for wigs for cancer) and he is cuddly. :wink:

Oh and what about Harry and the Hendersons?

Esther :hmm:
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

David Richardson
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Post by David Richardson » April 22nd, 2011, 7:50 am

Ah - you should see what I normally have to contend with... besides the 'Blues' are pretty tame compared to the White Yeti's - one could almost invite them to tea. The manufacturers do seem to have a bit of an icy obsession though with their 'Yeti's' and 'Snowballs' - what next - ' The Igloo'?...
The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.
- Muriel Rukeyser


My LibriVox Page Blog The Metamorphosis

Guero
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Post by Guero » April 22nd, 2011, 8:24 am

I use the H2 and love love love it. Small, portable, easy to use, great sound quality. It has completely changed my recording experience in a positive way. (I previously used a headset mic.)

I know nothing about the Blue Yeti (though I can't help wondering how a Yeti has blue hair?), so I can't tell you which one would be better for you. I can only say that I'm 100% happy with my decision to buy the H2.

Now...if I only had more time to record... :evil:
John
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Post by philchenevert » April 22nd, 2011, 8:50 am

Well ... I have both, now! A Yeti and an H2 that just arrived about a week ago. I have loved the rich sound from my Yeti but it really is sensitive and the never ending battle with ambient house and street noise drove me into the closet. Where my H2 shines.

True, I am still learning how best to use it, but so far the sound seems very comparable and there is no need for noise cleaning at all when I record in my wife's walk in closet (and the air conditioner is not on). More later.

Oh, I am compiling the many comments and suggestions about the H2 and will be adding them to the H2 Wiki page (bet you didn't know we had one, eh?). :D
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Elizabby
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Post by Elizabby » April 22nd, 2011, 3:42 pm

philchenevert wrote:Well ... I have both, now! A Yeti and an H2 that just arrived about a week ago. I have loved the rich sound from my Yeti but it really is sensitive and the never ending battle with ambient house and street noise drove me into the closet. Where my H2 shines.
Ah, this is exactly what I wanted to know - I read the Blue Yeti thread and it sounded excessively complicated with building foam boxes and things to reduce the sensitivity.
Oh, I am compiling the many comments and suggestions about the H2 and will be adding them to the H2 Wiki page (bet you didn't know we had one, eh?). :D
Actually, I saw that this was in process on one of the other threads, but since my birthday is next week I couldn't wait! I'll still come read the wiki page if I get one - so I can learn how to use it! I'm strictly at plug-and-play level technology!

David Richardson
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Post by David Richardson » April 23rd, 2011, 2:54 am

I think we all get a little passionate about the microphones we own at times which is why Phil’s comments are probably the most pertinent as he has both. But I thought I’d try and clarify things for your decision but please remember I’m not an expert and don’t own an H2.

First point – you’re not really comparing like with like. The H2 is a mic with a built in recorder the Yeti is simply a mic and needs a computer nearby. So first question: Are you usually going to record in the ‘dedicated place’ most times? If ‘Yes’ then both mics qualify – If ‘No’ go for the H2.

Second point – which is the less complicated? The H2 has an 86 page user manual and the Yeti a 12 page manual (with simple diagrams and cuddly Yeti’s!). The Yeti is less complicated. :wink:

Third. Which is the best microphone in terms of technical specifications? The Yeti has the edge over the H2 but probably in frequencies only dogs can hear! The Yeti is, it appears, more sensitive which can be a plus or a minus. If you have a lot of noise (traffic?children etc) impinging on the recording space then the H2 is probably the best bet. If you’re going to use the mic close to a noisy laptop, it’s the H2 again (which of course doesn’t need a laptop unless you’re reading from it). There’s no need to build boxes etc. for the Yeti, that’s a bit misleading really and more to do with the ‘echoeyness’ of the room you record in - it applies to any stand mic including the H2. Both mics have a gain control which can be used to increase/decrease sensitivity to some extent.

Fourth. Which sounds best? Often a personal thing – in fact one mic may sound best with one persons voice and another with another so just decide which sound you like most. The distance you speak into the mic at can affect the quality of a voice too.

Conclusion: If you can find a quiet smallish space to record and don’t have a very noisy computer and can get the mic 6-8 ft from the computer, then the Yeti wins for plug and play simplicity.

If not go for the H2.

Don’t know if that helps or hinders but both mics sound great so I doubt you’ll go much wrong with either.

David
The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.
- Muriel Rukeyser


My LibriVox Page Blog The Metamorphosis

Elizabby
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Post by Elizabby » April 23rd, 2011, 4:46 am

David Richardson wrote: Conclusion: If you can find a quiet smallish space to record and don’t have a very noisy computer and can get the mic 6-8 ft from the computer, then the Yeti wins for plug and play simplicity.

If not go for the H2.

Don’t know if that helps or hinders but both mics sound great so I doubt you’ll go much wrong with either.

David
Thanks for your comments! I'm really getting the impression that people are mostly happy with whichever they settle on. I'm thinking I have a pretty noisy household (2 kids) and that the H2 might suit me better, but I'll do a bit more looking around, maybe even go into an electronics place and have a try of some.

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Post by philchenevert » April 23rd, 2011, 6:23 am

David wrote:
Conclusion: If you can find a quiet smallish space to record and don’t have a very noisy computer and can get the mic 6-8 ft from the computer, then the Yeti wins for plug and play simplicity.
If not go for the H2.
Don’t know if that helps or hinders but both mics sound great so I doubt you’ll go much wrong with either.
A beautiful summation and I agree completely. :clap:
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David Richardson
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Post by David Richardson » April 23rd, 2011, 7:01 am

Elizabby wrote:
I'm thinking I have a pretty noisy household (2 kids) and that the H2 might suit me better.
The H2 doesn't actually silence the kids - if you want to do that the Yeti is better - it's much heavier :lol:

And Phil, thanks - to be honest I'd like both too!
PS. Can't make the link your tutorials work?? Just takes me to the sign in page on youtube - is there another way to find it?
David.
The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.
- Muriel Rukeyser


My LibriVox Page Blog The Metamorphosis

philchenevert
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Post by philchenevert » April 23rd, 2011, 7:30 am

David Richardson wrote:
Elizabby wrote:
I'm thinking I have a pretty noisy household (2 kids) and that the H2 might suit me better.
The H2 doesn't actually silence the kids - if you want to do that the Yeti is better - it's much heavier :lol:
HA!!! yes, the yeti would be much more efficient at getting their attention. Darned thing must weigh 5 pounds.
And Phil, thanks - to be honest I'd like both too!

PS. Can't make the link your tutorials work?? Just takes me to the sign in page on youtube - is there another way to find it?
David.
Ah ha! I was hoping someone would actually click on that link!! :D Linking to Youtube was a crude experiment and now I know that it works for ME but not for anyone else. darn. Should have thought of that. I am looking for a way to let new LibriVoxers choose quickly from a whole array of short tutorials but have not figured out the technicalities yet.

The 5 or 6 videos that are already on our Wiki are lost in the vast array of written information there.
I can't even find them most days. Do you have any suggestions? I'm willing to learn but technically behind the curve. Actually David, my goal this year to to make 20 short videos on simple things that stump new LVers such as how to upload, how to do simple edits, how to increase volume, etc. Since they are all on YouTube, how can I get around the problem of making people sign in to YouTube? this is an example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqmCOxOs_pM

<sigh>
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