Best USB mic for my needs or suggest an other option

Artcats

New member
Hello,
I am just getting into recording my voice for music. An amateur singer with low skill level and not the best voice. This is going to be more of a hobby and learning process than anything.

I want to spend around 100 to 200 canadian dollars on the setup

My requirements are to be able to hear a pre recorded backing track and my voice in my headphones in real time with 0 latency.

I have been doing some googling and have found the blue yeti mic will allow me to do this by plugging into my PC (USB) and plugging my headphones into the blue yeti mic, to be able to hear myself and whatever backing track i have playing onto my PC on my headphones. All that said from what i understand it will only record my voice and not the backing track and thats what i want.

I have heard though that the yeti mike is better for podcast and such and isnt the best mic for singing into. But they say its ok for amatures

So knowing my requirements what would you suggest i purchase. Im not looking for anything expensive and again this is just a hobby. Thanks allot and sorry for the bad grammar.

FyI i already have the PC and the Headphones i require just looking for the rest of the equipment to complete my needs
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
I believe the Yeti Pro will allow essentially zero latency input monitoring, but then you are stuck with what's essentially a mic and an audio interface in one device. We generally recommend stepping up to a separate mic and interface so you have more options. You could probably get a used Shure SM58 and a used Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 plus an XLR cable in your budget. A mic stand might push it slightly over. (I'm going by $US, so $Can might be different.)
 
I would recommend getting a separate interface and mic as well. There's some pretty good deals on the used market. There's a ton of mic options that open up once you move away from USB only. I would avoid buying Shure, or Sennheiser used on eBay, as they're very frequently counterfeited. There's SM48s used on Guitar Center website (USA) for $30 as an example for a durable mic on a budget (and I don't think the 48 is as faked as the 58 is).
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Some people work for years with a single mic, but they're rare. Even if that is how you start, your suddenly need to record two people, or one person and a guitar - or any accompaniment instrument. Investing in a wonderful USB mic removes the possibility of two mics. They're fine if you will never need to add extra kit, and most of us do it quite often - plus of course, we like to buy microphones!
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Good point Rob.

Check Reverb. The first interface of mine, Gen 1 6i6 from focusrite, was less than $50 dollars off reverb. It had midi connections too. Came with a bundle of basic VST effects.

Microphones I would buy new. They have some nice microphones at entry level prices. The mic is where Id spend some money. A good microphone is necessary.

Get a entry LDC or proper dynamic for about $100.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
I'm in agreement about having a separate mic & interface. I've got this mic package on my shopping list - I don't know how good it will sound, but I believe @ecc83 (Dave) is familiar with this one.

XLR Mic Package
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The really weird thing with these is that for the money they actually sound pretty clean and tidy. That crazy 3.5mm cable also powered the mic from the old laptop I tried it on AND 48V phantom. Really that should not have worked, but the preamp inside seems to work on virtually anything! Remember that mic does NOT need a lithium battery - the advert says it does?
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
While I would go the std mic/interface route, there are quite a few options for USB microphones these days. Besides the low priced ones like Neewer and FFine, you have mics available from AT, Rode, Shure, Apogee, etc. Here's a pretty big list from Sweetwater USB Mics.

One thing that I would stay away from are mics with little desk stands. Desktop mics are made for podcasts where you're sitting at a keyboard. Get one that will work with a real mic stand, as you do your best singing standing! Something like the AT2020 USB+ would be one such item.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Firstly Artcats let me welcome you to the forum, secondly, as the others have said DON'T get a USB mic! And thirdly...You want a 'king lot for your money! Ok, bit harsh perhaps as you don't know the business.

I can tell you at once that those Neewer (aka BM-800) mics are really surprisingly good for the money...IF you get a good one. I did, twice but many folks report samples that are noisy, low in level or just plain don't work. In any case, such a mic is only half your problem and, in some ways the easy bit.

Forgive me for saying it but 'newbs' always concentrate on the INPUT side of recording and do not think of how they are going to monitor their creations. This latter is where even a basic Audio Interface is invaluable. So, what can we do for CA$200?

The Behringer UMC204HD is in budget, just, so that leaves a microphone and yes, if you can stretch to a 'name' get one but if not the Behringer* XM 8500 is a very good mic for £15 ( yes! One Five) here and I know of a couple of 'pros' that use them for bog standard live work. If you are a 'lusty' signer the 8500 dynamic and the 204HD will give you plenty of low noise level. The combination is also just about good enough for speech work. The 204HD uses ASIO drivers (most very cheap AIs don't) and therefore you should be able to get low enough latency. You can't have none!
If you can find a few more shekels for a capacitor mic the Mackie EM-91c is well under £100 here and pretty good.

N.B. You can see the 204 has TWO mic inputs? Do NOT cheap out on a 'one lunged' interface. You will kick yourself in a few month's time.

*I have mentioned largely Behringer products? No, I don't like some of their business practices either but there is little else on the market AS good for the money.

Dave.
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
You can get effectively zero latency with an analog input monitoring signal path, but the very low latency monitoring of ASIO drivers is more than adequate.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
You can get effectively zero latency with an analog input monitoring signal path, but the very low latency monitoring of ASIO drivers is more than adequate.
Indeed friend BSG but OP also wants to sing to backing tracks and whilst I am not sure of their MO having ASIO drivers is not going to hurt. Then "latency" was mentioned in the original post so there was some knowledge there and I thought it best to advise 'best practice'?

Dave.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Keep in mind that most of us don't even notice latency until it's quite large, so the original question is a bit tricky. You want a mic that will record decently for under 200? Yes - that can be done. You want a mic that can cope with you as a whisper quiet singer, or a real belter? Then it gets more difficult. USB mics are designed for in the middle - not all have any gain adjustment, so your 200 has to cover a mic and an interface - still doable. As people have said - do you have the other things? Monitors, software, decent computer? PLUS - time to learn? If you're not sure recording will be your thing, then the cheap interface and a cheap mic you can swap at a later date makes a lot of sense.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Keep in mind that most of us don't even notice latency until it's quite large, so the original question is a bit tricky. You want a mic that will record decently for under 200? Yes - that can be done. You want a mic that can cope with you as a whisper quiet singer, or a real belter? Then it gets more difficult. USB mics are designed for in the middle - not all have any gain adjustment, so your 200 has to cover a mic and an interface - still doable. As people have said - do you have the other things? Monitors, software, decent computer? PLUS - time to learn? If you're not sure recording will be your thing, then the cheap interface and a cheap mic you can swap at a later date makes a lot of sense.
This ^ is so very true. So often new people to the hobby hand wring for ages about 'stuff'. Don't matter! The gear I and others have suggested will deliver results the guys recording just post ww2 would have KILLED for! Even a $1000 Revox tape deck and mixer would not equal the low noise performance of that interface (well, maybe close with Dolby A but how much more would that have cost?)

So, get a cheap mic and AI if that is all you can afford and get started! You still have much to learn but that budget kit will not hold you back for a very long time.

Dave.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
In fact, the budget kit today that often we moan about is amazing compared with just 20 years ago. We obsess with 'best' - there is no such word, just 'most appropriate for now.'
 

ecc83

Well-known member
It is pretty evident to me.


Everything after 1993 is garbage.

Software based has improved.
Depends what you are doing Beak. My son could live with a bit of latency when just palying a MIDI kbd but was really stressed when trying to play the same kbd along with another track and that was at 64 samples IIRC. The gear was an M-A 2496 and Cubase.
Incidentally, we have only had USB interfaces that can better that at about the same price for about 3-5years.

Dave.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Depends what you are doing Beak
True
Incidentally, we have only had USB interfaces that can better that at about the same price for about 3-5years.
And they keep knocking my socks off too with features and VSTs. Even a Gen1 6i6 or Line6 interface can be had for less than $50 on Reverb. They work and are fully adjustable with software and or a DAW. The interface and some software will get the professional results they want and more.
 
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