What is a good mic that won't die or cost a million dollars?

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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » November 3rd, 2016, 11:16 am

I'm still fairly new here, having joined LibriVox this past August. When I joined, I went out and bought an Insignia USB desktop mic. It picked up lots of electronic noise and buzzing. I never attempted to use it for a real recording, but went out and traded it in for a Logitech H390 headset mic. It worked just fine for about 2 1/2 months, until it suddenly was no longer recognized by the computer. The mic kinda worked, but the headphones didn't at that point. I was able to use it for one last recording, but the quality wasn't as good. After emailing Logitech for about three weeks and getting lots of canned responses that didn't address the issue, I gave up and traded it in where I'd bought it for a more expensive Samson Meteor Mic. This one I felt pretty confident with, and it's been given great reviews as far as its sound quality and ease of use. However, its longevity has not been praised in such glowing terms. Evidently, it works great! ...Until it doesn't... ...Which could be at any time between one week and two years of age, without warning. I just brought this home today, but am only now looking at reviews on it. I can still buy the product replacement for $10. Maybe I should just do that, and keep doing it every time it dies, but I know many of you have been here for a long time, and I don't see a lot of complaints about having to constantly replace your recording equipment.

So, what kind do you use? I know there is a wiki page giving some general suggestions, but I'm hoping to get specific responses. What brand/model do you use? How do you like it? What do you not like about it? How much did it cost? Where did you get it? How old is it, and has it had any issues since you've had it? Thanks for your input!
Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Insect Adventures Children NF
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » November 3rd, 2016, 12:13 pm

Check out this project and its predecessor. Perhaps it will give you an idea or two, and will show what other readers here use.

I use a Blue Yeti and an AKG P220 via Presonus iOne interface. I started out with a Samson Go mic, which served me well and is still alive. My Blue Yeti had to be replaced once, luckily it happened under warranty.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » November 3rd, 2016, 12:49 pm

Thank you for those links. That's a very interesting project! While sound quality is of course important, and very poor quality is a deal-breaker, what I'm really wanting to compare is cost and longevity. Would you be able to tell me about how much you spent on your mics, and where you originally got them?
Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Insect Adventures Children NF
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » November 3rd, 2016, 2:15 pm

mightyfelix wrote:Thank you for those links. That's a very interesting project! While sound quality is of course important, and very poor quality is a deal-breaker, what I'm really wanting to compare is cost and longevity. Would you be able to tell me about how much you spent on your mics, and where you originally got them?
It would be nice to have paid a fair price for the equipment and get a decent life out of it, wouldn't it? So, let's start with a disclaimer: what other people paid for their mics is not a guarantee that you can find similar hardware for similar amount today, nor is it a guarantee that you're going to feel the same about spending that amount as the other person did when they spent theirs; also, however [long] other person's hardware worked is not necessarily a promise that your equipment is going to do similarly, either.

Now, that aside, I don't recall how much I paid for Samson Go mic, but it must have been about $30 (maybe $35, US dollars). I don't remember where, honest. The Yeti I picked on Newegg on sale, for $90. The AKG was $150, Presonus iOne $90, an XLR cable $11.50, all at B&H Photo.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

commonsparrow3
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Post by commonsparrow3 » November 3rd, 2016, 3:11 pm

When I first joined LV, I used a Logitech wand mic that I bought used at a garage sale for about $5 - (I don't recall the specific model name). It worked well enough for about a year and a half, until it just stopped one day. Now I use a Samson Go Mic, which I bought on Amazon for about $30 new. I've had it for about two years now, recorded hours and hours of material on it, and it is still holding up very well. I've recommended it to several folks who are also looking for a less pricey model. It doesn't have as rich sound quality as some of the fancier microphones, yet the sound quality is decent enough, and it gets the job done without breaking my budget.

kayray
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Post by kayray » November 3rd, 2016, 9:42 pm

I've been using a Zoom H2 for, like, 6 years or something. Listen to my latest solo recording ( https://librivox.org/dracula-by-bram-stoker-2/ ) for a sound sample. I use it as a USB mic, and I don't clean or use any effects, just a little 10-band EQ to get rid of the lowest end. I love my Zoom!

Edit: Looks like it's so old they don't make it anymore. Lol. The new model is the H2n, for $160 on amazon.
Kara
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"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » November 3rd, 2016, 10:47 pm

I've had a Blue Yeti since 2010. I use it on a mike stand over four feet high. I've knocked it over a handful of times over the years, but it's never failed me.

No special software needed.

Peter
"Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." Kenneth Boulding, 1973

Carolin
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Post by Carolin » November 4th, 2016, 2:24 am

commonsparrow3 wrote:Now I use a Samson Go Mic, which I bought on Amazon for about $30 new. I've had it for about two years now, recorded hours and hours of material on it, and it is still holding up very well.
i use a samson gtrack at home, but when i travel i take the gomic with me. it costs 40 Euros but mine has been working well for four or five years, and the sound quality is good too.
Carolin

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » November 4th, 2016, 9:10 am

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I really appreciate it. Hopefully, my Samson Meteor mic will last for a long time, but I have read many reviews (since buying it) that all agree that it just dies after a few months or a year or two. So if it wasn't just a bad batch, so to speak, I will need to plan ahead as far as what to get when it goes. Or I may just take it back and see what Amazon's got. The electronics stores I've tried so far don't have much selection.
Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Insect Adventures Children NF
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

mightyfelix
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Joined: August 7th, 2016, 6:39 pm

Post by mightyfelix » November 4th, 2016, 9:41 am

Looking on Amazon, it seems as if any mic that has more than a handful of reviews has about 5% of 1-star reviews, mostly because the thing died after a short lifespan. This includes Blue Yeti and some others that have been mentioned here as favorites. So I guess you just have to be one of the lucky ones. Thanks again. I guess I will just continue to take my chances with this one.
Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Insect Adventures Children NF
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

dg73
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Post by dg73 » November 6th, 2016, 2:14 pm

Now, over a couple of years I've acquired some gear that works very well for me. I have a pair of behringer C2 mic's (they sell as a pair), an M-audio mobilepre usb interface and a cheap mic stand and pop filter I got from guitar center. All of these have been working well for over 5 years now and show no sign of any problems. Not really cheap but didn't break the banks either.

annise
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Post by annise » November 6th, 2016, 3:54 pm

I think the lifespan is probably more related to the way it is handled - if you are the only one using it and look after it it has a much better chance of surviving than if it's round a family computer . It's very easy to drop them off the table , jerk on the cords , spill coffee on them etc and they are not really designed for that.

Anne

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » November 7th, 2016, 12:36 pm

That's a good point. I don't have any way of knowing how those 5% of people complaining about short-lived mics treated their equipment. Some of them, from what I recall, claimed to have babied them, but really, I can't know.
Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Insect Adventures Children NF
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

AgeeC
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Post by AgeeC » November 7th, 2016, 2:54 pm

I use a Blue Snowball in a portabooth. Treating your space is equally important to mic quality. You can have an amazing mic, but if you don't do anything to treat your space, it will still sound like crap
Alpine Path: 1/10 recording complete. Post production 1/10
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pnagami
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Post by pnagami » November 7th, 2016, 3:10 pm

I agree with AgreeC about the nice sound with a portabooth, which I use, though recording toward hanging clothes, curtains, etc. is also very good.

I use a Samson mic, a solid mic stand, and a pop filter. I think the mic stand, which wasn't too expensive, is worthwhile because it keeps the mic from tipping over and getting damaged.

Hope this helps,

Pam
"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm."

Robert Louis Stevenson

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