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Old 05-01-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
LindyHoppingPiper
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Default Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

So I've tried doing some recordings with my built-in mic on my laptop and needless to say that didn't really work, even after adjusting volume and stuff. Recording facing the mic produces a very distorted sound without much drone sound, turning away from the mic gives me almost all tenor drone and makes the bass sound really weak (and I'm playing a MacLellan with Rockets by the way, it shouldn't sound like that I wouldn't think).

I figure the quality of the mic is probably the issue. Can someone recommend a mic that won't distort under high volume, accurately capture the drone sound, but not break the bank? Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
wysper
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

Good thread Lindy.

I will follow this one too, I tried using my Logitech Skype Camera (has a mic built it). It was not good. A cheapie for sure but not any good for recording my playing.

So I will be interested in peoples experiences too.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

I've been using an iPod touch with the "Blue Mikey" external mic ($50) and the recording app "FiRe" and have got surprisingly good results. I get a good balance of sound between chanter and drones with no distortion. I practice in a room about 13ft by 12 ft with an 8 ft ceiling and place the ipod about 5 feet behind me facing up. That seems to get a good blend of drone and chanter together.

The mic has adjustable sensitivity and the software allows lots of tweaking in the recording. It will upload recordings wirelessly to your PC or to SoundCloud, preformatted as one of several formats for playback. The Mikey is for older iPods/iPhones and won't work with iPhone 4 models. The FiRe software company (Audiofile Engineering) recommends a mic called the iRig mic for newer devices. I think there is also an Android version.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

If you can spend $90 then you might consider a Zoom H1 recorder, which is a stand alone recorder, but can also be connected to your computer.


For $30 the Blue Snowflake would probably work, but I don't have one. Supposedly the max SPL is 120 db, which is plenty.

No matter what microphone, for best results if you only have one you want it to be six to nine feet away, and maybe at shoulder height. You can move it to change the balance between chanter and drones.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

I've used the snowflake with great success. Very good for pipes as it has a -10dB setting so it doesn't saturate as much when recording pipes.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

There is no such thing as 'good' and 'cheap' .. Those words just never work when said in the same breath..

It is either good.. or cheap.. but never both.

You buy cheap, you get cheap.. simple as that.

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:54 AM   #7
Nicholas Monin
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

I haven't used the Snowflake, but I have been using a Blue Eyeball (webcam/mic) lately and the microphone handles the pipes very well. The webcam isn't the greatest but it works. A quick look on Amazon has them from $40-$60.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
bob864
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnniez View Post
There is no such thing as 'good' and 'cheap' .. Those words just never work when said in the same breath..

It is either good.. or cheap.. but never both.

You buy cheap, you get cheap.. simple as that.

Johnnie
Actually, a Panasonic WM61 is a good microphone capsule by many measures and you can buy it for $2. It has more self noise than you'd want to put on a commercial recording, but it's exceptionally accurate and handles very high spls.

My plastic McCallum bagpipes were cheap too, as far as bagpipes go ($450) and they are very good. My Jerry Freeman tinwhistle was only $30 and it is exceptional.

In many cases there seems to be little correlation between price and quality. In fact, in many documented cases companies have been able to decrease costs by improving quality.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

I don't know much about these cheap mics, but I would prefer a large condensation microphone for drones and a small one for the chanter. I really love the clip-om mic. That way the drones will be recorded separately. You can then mix the drones and the chanter together in a simple software.
You can actually do this on a single input by splitting it. Drones in left, chanter in right (or the other way around). It will then be in mono, but that's easily adjustable afterwards.

That's the cheapest version I can think of.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Good, But Inexpensive Computer Mic?

I do ALL my recording and Skype Lessons with a Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 video Camera. You just have to take the Inteli Mic off or the volume goes in and out. Go to manual mode and you can adjust it, and i have some Excellent Quality using it. I have used this also while deployed in Iraq and it STILL did well. But thats just my 2 cents
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