Here’s my general tech advice: Before judging your tech devices, learn how to use it properly first.
I purchased a blue microphone Yeti USB Microphone from Amazon because I do a lot of voice over screencasts and I wanted a quality microphone that gave me that “radio voice”. Not that I have a radio voice but I wanted a mic that records a clear sound that eliminated background noise and the muffled sounding audio that my stock Mac microphone or the Apple earbud headset provided.
So, I purchased the Yeti USB microphone because of the positive 4 1/2 average star review and doing some of my own due diligence about the product. It seemed promising.
Once I received the Yeti within a week, I hooked it up immediately and got to work recording my screencasts. The set up was super easy as it is literally a “plug-and-play” device. No special software was needed. It just worked with the software that I already use which is Screencast-o-matic. Just plug it into the USB port with the provided wire and GO! Well, at least that’s what I thought.
After recording a video for a business prospect of mine, I was excited to hear my awesome “radio voice” (ha!) on the screencast. But to no avail, it sounded like crap! It literally sounded worse than my stock Mac mic or the Apple headset.
I played around with the dials that are on the Yeti and re-recorded the video. Still. I swear I re-recorded the video several times. I was turned off by the punchy “p” sounds, and harsh “t’s”. In the recording I could hear everything from my chair squeaking to the fan blowing in the background. I was pretty disgusted and disappointed with the mic.
I guess that’s where I was ignorant. After doing some research I learned my lesson. I searched for “how to use the Yeti USB Microphone” on YouTube and got schooled. To get that desired “radio voice”, the microphone needs to be used and set up to the proper settings. DUH Bee! I know, I know… Here’s what I missed:
THE 4 MIC RECORDING MODES
Those dials on the Yeti are four recording modes that you can set depending on how the mic will be used to optimize the recording.
1) Stereo Mode – This mode uses the left and the right channels to record sound. This is good for instrument and musical recordings for left and right sound separations. It is excellent for general realistic sound recordings to give the listener left and right sound effects when listening to the audio recording.
2) Omnidirectional Mode – This mode picks up sound equally from all directions. It’s good for recording a garage band, a chorus, or a room full of people that is around the mic.
3) Cardioid Mode – This mode is good for vocals and for recording podcasts, screencasts, and such. This mode is meant to be for a one person use and recorded from the front of the mic.
4) Bidirectional Mode – This mode records from the front and the rear of the mic. This mode is good when recording a one-on-one conversation or an interview.
The Gain Setting
The gain setting sets the sensitivity of the microphone. Adjust this in regards to the distance of the source of the sound being recorded. If the source is further from the mic, typically you would set it higher. To eliminate background noise you would typically turn the gain lower and record closer to the mic.
After I optimized these settings the sound was like night and day. I finally got to sound rake those “radio MCs” and Walter Cronkite.
So, lesson learned: Learn how to use your products correctly before giving it a negative review! You would think I knew this by now. It probably made me sound like a hypocrite to what I preach on this blog. But hey I’m human. Now, I’m human that has a “radio voice”…