music composer
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Keyboards
choosing a good keyboard a checklist of things to look out for
touch sensitive keyboards the different types of sensitivity available
keyboard weighted keys the four different weighting options for keyboards

yamaha p95 review 88 note digital piano
casio px-330 review light weight keyboard
m-audio keystation pro-88 budget mother keyboard

Sustain Pedals
sustain pedal polarity why pedals are often not compatible with keyboards
yamaha fc4 sustain pedal a well-built yamaha pedal
yamaha fc5 review budget pedal from yamaha
m-audio sp2 review a sturdy m-audio pedal

USB Microphones
best usb microphones things to look out for when buying a usb mic
snowball-blue microphones retro looking classic mic logitech usb mic popular desktop mic samson co1u mic review studio condenser

MIDI Equipment
what is MIDI? with a list of popular control numbers
usb to midi cables for recording your ideas into your computer etc. yamaha UX16 USB/MIDI a midi/USB cable adaptor guitar midi interfaces for transforming your guitar into any midi instrument!

Sound cards
usb sound cards a list of things to look our for when buying one.

sounds cards for the Mac

covering the different types of cards & uses.

maya 44 sound card a short review of this popular sound card.

 


Blue Microphones Snowball USB Mic Review

 

On it's release, this product was hailed as the first professional USB microphone. If you are somebody who wants to make high quality vocal recordings, (podcasts or voice-overs) or even record singers, this mic is worth a serious look. It is stylish - with a retro feel which makes it feel distinct from most of it's contemporary rivals. Like all USB mics, it is also a condenser (powered) microphone, as a opposed to dynamic, and is powered via the usb port. The mic is shipped with a small tripod stand and a USB cable.

 

 

 

Technical Details

1. Works on both PC and Mac

2. Direct Plug 'n Play

3. connects via USB

4. Doesn't need any extra software to work

5. Unique three-pattern switch (omni, cardioid and cardioid with -10dB pad)

6. Dimensions - 19 x 19 x 13 cm

7. Weight 16.22oz (460g)

8. Frequency response 40Hz - 18kHz

9. Sample rate 44.1kHz / 16 bits

 

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pros

This mic has received favourable reviews online. It is noted for it's solid construction and rugged build quality.

With a frequency response down to 40Hz (sub-bass) and up at 18kHz, this mic is capable of capturing some of the finest sonic detail in your recordings.

Competitively priced - some reviews online indicate that it is worth the price of a $500 conventional mic.

The mic is both omnidirectional and cardioid. Omnidirectional means that it will capture sound all around, and not just in the direction that it is pointing. This may be a problem if you need to record your vocals in a noisy envirnoment, or in a room with a lot of background noise (traffic from outside etc). As the snowball also offers a cardioid pattern (meaning that it will only pick up sounds immediately in front of the mic) this is a major plus point.

 

 

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cons

The supplied stand is noted as being quite unstable and needs to be firmly pressed down for it to work OK. You may want to consider in investing in a proper mic stand if you intend to use the Snowball a lot.

This is a monophonic microphone (meaning that it only records one channel, unlike stereo which records in left and right) . You will need to invest in one of the mics more expensive "Blue" relatives (such as the Yeti or Yeti Pro) if you would like a stereo microphone.

 

buying tip:-

The snowball USB microphone is shipped in three different colours - white, black and sliver. They are internally exactly the same. You will often find price offers on the less popular options.

 

 

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verdict

Generally a great mic at a great price. A microphone with a crisp and clear reproduction, and easy set up. Having the ability to flick between omni and cardioid is a major plus point - if you record instruments (such as a piano or solo instrument) being able to block out unwanted noise is very useful. Overall, one of the best budget USB mics on the market.

 

 

 

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