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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 2574

post #38596 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

 

The SM7B is certainly a classic microphone, and I do enjoy its sound signature for vocals, but with Shure mics I'd probably reach for their KSM8 with its dual diaphragm instead. Being able to have use a dynamic without worrying about the proximity effect is just one less thing to think about for a streamer. And IMO it's more attractive than the SM7B, which will probably appeal to some streamers as well.

 

For $400 I'd most likely grab the RE320 over the SM7B and put the remaining $100 towards something else. Easier to drive, a tad more linear tonality, less proximity effect and cheaper. At $500, between the RE20 and KSM8, now that's a tough call.

 

Of course, your average gamer doesn't have the other gear necessary for these mics, so something like a Snowball or the humble BoomPro would be plenty for most.

For sure, just regular ol' gaming? A boompro or lapel mic is plenty. 

post #38597 of 38624

For non regular ol' gaming...

 

Bit OT (Click to show)

Desk setup. Fed by a Sennheiser GSX 1200.

 

Apartment gaming setup (PC) currently utilizes a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Chord Mojo and a cheap LyxPro HHMX-10 mic.

post #38598 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

Cad U37 or Neewer NW-700, most likely. The Neewer isn't USB but it comes with an XLR -> 3.5mm that a buddy of mine says works pretty well.

 

Look, I like Blue mics, I have a Blue Spark sitting to the left of me, but their USB line (Snowball, Yeti, Nessie) leave a LOT to be desired. Frankly, if you HAVE to go USB, my suggestion remains the AT-2020+, best bang for the buck USB mic out there. And heck, if you go with the other cliche headphone pick of the M50x you can basically make yourself a full Audio-Technica setup.

 

Blue's cheap USB mics are just plain dodgy. The number of people I've had to help try and get the settings right because they couldn't find a balance between "keeps blowing out" and "is barely audible" is amazing. 


I was asking mostly because I didn't think that there was much competition for the Snowball, or at least nothing with the consistently good reviews it gets. I don't own one and nor do I intend to buy one (as AxelCloris says, I'd personally go for a dynamic mic due to the better ambient sound/noise rejection) but bear in mind that before Blue came along with the Snowball and Yeti, the vast majority of USB mics were awful by comparison.

 

They built their reputation because at the time, there weren't really any other high quality plug and play USB mics. If you wanted something better than the old Logitech desktop mics, you had to have an interface and use an XLR mic. People still think of Blue as a safe bet because so many people have used/recommended them in the past. There likely are better choices available nowadays, but I understand why people still go for Snowballs and Yetis. I'd also say that calling the Snowball "garbage" is a bit strong, but you're entitled to your opinion.

 

I am peronally interested in mics myself as I'm a musician and singer. However, for gaming voice communication, even a Snowball is OTT. Some gamer circles, you can see people using (what look like) AKG condenser mics and the audio in their own video sounds good. When you listen to their voice chat audio on someone else in their circle's video, it sounds awful. The quality will get murdered and it will be a waste of money if it is purely for game chat. With the amount of complaints I read about Youtube's audio quality, I'm not sure buying an expensive mic to record Youtube content would be the wisest investment either.


Edited by Napalmhardcore - 3/20/17 at 12:52pm
post #38599 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalmhardcore View Post
 


I was asking mostly because I didn't think that there was much competition for the Snowball, or at least nothing with the consistently good reviews it gets. I don't own one and nor do I intend to buy one (as AxelCloris says, I'd personally go for a dynamic mic due to the better ambient sound/noise rejection) but bear in mind that before Blue came along with the Snowball and Yeti, the vast majority of USB mics were awful by comparison.

 

They built their reputation because at the time, there weren't really any other high quality plug and play USB mics. If you wanted something better than the old Logitech desktop mics, you had to have an interface and use an XLR mic. People still think of Blue as a safe bet because so many people have used/recommended them in the past. There likely are better choices available nowadays, but I understand why people still go for Snowballs and Yetis. I'd also say that calling the Snowball "trash" is a bit strong, but you're entitled to your opinion.

 

I am peronally interested in mics myself as I'm a musician and singer. However, for gaming voice communication, even a Snowball is OTT. Some gamer circles, you can see people using (what look like) AKG condenser mics and the audio in their own video sounds good. When you listen to their voice chat audio on someone else in their circle's video, it sounds awful. The quality will get murdered and it will be a waste of money if it is purely for game chat. With the amount of complaints I read about Youtube's audio quality, I'm not sure buying an expensive mic to record Youtube content would be the wisest investment either.

 

I can do this as a quick series.

 

1) Blue got their rep because they're a brand you can get at Best Buy. You can find Yetis and Snowballs at any big box store, they're the Bose of microphones (sort of, again I love my Spark), but I honestly do not ever recommend the USB line to anyone. Even the Spark is one that I picked because it matches my voice particularly well.

 

2) Dynamic vs condenser comes mostly down to application. If you have a noisy ass room and a super loud keyboard then okay you will need a dynamic. Unless you've got constant traffic through the room, dogs barking, and you're typing on cherry blues, I honestly think a condenser does a-ok.

 

3) YT's audio compression isn't any worse than its video. Yes, it's not going to sound as good as a pure file made locally, but believe me the audio difference is readily noticeable. I've used Blue, AKG, Audio Technica, Neat, Shure, Sennheiser, Neumann, and Rode mics and it will  make a difference, even with YT's compression.

post #38600 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

 

I can do this as a quick series.

 

1) Blue got their rep because they're a brand you can get at Best Buy. You can find Yetis and Snowballs at any big box store, they're the Bose of microphones (sort of, again I love my Spark), but I honestly do not ever recommend the USB line to anyone. Even the Spark is one that I picked because it matches my voice particularly well.

 

2) Dynamic vs condenser comes mostly down to application. If you have a noisy ass room and a super loud keyboard then okay you will need a dynamic. Unless you've got constant traffic through the room, dogs barking, and you're typing on cherry blues, I honestly think a condenser does a-ok.

 

3) YT's audio compression isn't any worse than its video. Yes, it's not going to sound as good as a pure file made locally, but believe me the audio difference is readily noticeable. I've used Blue, AKG, Audio Technica, Neat, Shure, Sennheiser, Neumann, and Rode mics and it will  make a difference, even with YT's compression.


Retail isn't in a good way where I live and admittedly I don't do a great deal of retail shopping nowadays, but I've never seen one available at retail where I live. I became aware of them because it's the first thing (and has been for a long time) that pops up when you enter desktop or USB mic into Amazon's search. Also, as I said, with the amount of reviews for it or video reviews/recommendations for them in comparison to any other USB mic, the internet has certainly been a part of the reason for their success.

 

I said that I'd personally opt for a dynamic mic as my environment isn't particularly quiet. You are absolutely right, a mic's application is context sensitive.

 

I don't think the majority of the Youtube audience would appreciate the difference between a recording from an entry level/mid-tier mic and a high end Neumann when listened to in isolation. Yes, they'd hear the difference in an A-B comparison, but I don't think a lot of people would say "Wow, your audo sounds amazing! What mic are you using?" when listening to a video that makes no mention doesn't prompt the question of what audio equipment you're using. Maybe they wouldn't even notice with an uncompressed audio file, but I certainly think it is more likely they would than if listening over Youtube.


Edited by Napalmhardcore - 3/20/17 at 1:43pm
post #38601 of 38624

I'll disagree slightly that a Snowball is OTT for gaming communication. For example, a while back I used to play Destiny on PS4 fairly regularly with Stillhart, and others like Evshrug and Hansotek can attest to just how crappy the mic was that he was using at the time. Absolute garbage. When he picked up a Snowball on the cheap and started using it, we could finally understand what he was saying clearly. Having clear communication helped improve our gameplay as a group.

 

The two key components are the capturing method and the delivery. You can have an incredible mic and a crap delivery system like TeamSpeak and get poor results. You can have an amazing communication portal and a crap mic and get poor results as well. If you have a good communication method and an adequate mic, you'll sound better than many who are also gaming with you. Going back to Destiny again, team communication was much clearer when using a PS4 group rather than the communication options that are built-in. A good mic in game was meh, a crappy mic in party was meh, but a good mic in party chat was awesome.

 

A system is only as good as its weakest component. Don't let that weak link be your choice in mic. ;)

post #38602 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

I'll disagree slightly that a Snowball is OTT for gaming communication. For example, a while back I used to play Destiny on PS4 fairly regularly with Stillhart, and others like Evshrug and Hansotek can attest to just how crappy the mic was that he was using at the time. Absolute garbage. When he picked up a Snowball on the cheap and started using it, we could finally understand what he was saying clearly. Having clear communication helped improve our gameplay as a group.

 

The two key components are the capturing method and the delivery. You can have an incredible mic and a crap delivery system like TeamSpeak and get poor results. You can have an amazing communication portal and a crap mic and get poor results as well. If you have a good communication method and an adequate mic, you'll sound better than many who are also gaming with you. Going back to Destiny again, team communication was much clearer when using a PS4 group rather than the communication options that are built-in. A good mic in game was meh, a crappy mic in party was meh, but a good mic in party chat was awesome.

 

A system is only as good as its weakest component. Don't let that weak link be your choice in mic. ;)

What mic was he using previously?

post #38603 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalmhardcore View Post
 

What mic was he using previously?

 

I believe it was his headset's built-in mic. I don't know which one he was using at the time. Either that or it was a clip-on.

post #38604 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

 

I believe it was his headset's built-in mic. I don't know which one he was using at the time. Either that or it was a clip-on.


In which case, I retract my comment. Maybe there is value in having a better mic for voice chat, however I would still imagine that a reasonable quality headset mic or something similar to a Modmic would be sufficient.

post #38605 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalmhardcore View Post

 

I don't think the majority of the Youtube audience would appreciate the difference between a recording from an entry level/mid-tier mic and a high end Neumann when listened to in isolation. 

 

Audio in a video is critical, IMO, because frequently YT videos are played in the background and the audio is the only thing they're getting. A Neumann is undoubtedly overkill, but the difference between a headset mic and a decent condenser is HUGE. People might not consciously think about it, but they will absolutely enjoy clear audio more than muffled and blown out audio. 

 

I mean, by that same merit, the majority of YouTube might never notice if you're uploading 1080p60, they might not notice if you've got a bad recording codec that has a lot of artifacts, or if your camera has poor lighting, if your game footage is jittery, etc etc etc, but you know what? They do notice. If you flip between two videos, one where the guy has sharp, smooth video and a clear voice, and the other looks like it's being done with a cheap webcam and a headset mic, you're already a few steps behind if you're the latter guy. 

 

YouTube/Twitch have developed a lot, to make a dent at all you really can't have the technicalities being weak. You only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention, and they're gonna be outta there if the video doesn't look and sound sharp. They'll hang around to check you out if it seems professional, but if it seems cheap they'll be gone. It's a shame, but true. I mean, again, I use a Spark, those cost like $130 now, the $700 TLM102 is totally unnecessary, but the Snowball and Yeti just aren't up to snuff.

 

BTW, I'm aware the Yeti and Spark cost about the same, but the quality difference is stark. The Yeti is more interested in having the switchable patterns, plus it has to have the internals of analog-to-USB conversion (an ADC, if you will). A nice XLR into an interface will have a significantly sleaner signal.

post #38606 of 38624
All this talk about mics.....just ordered a modmic 5, to pair with an HD 700. I ordered both today, so looking forward to trying them out. I also record music and have quite a few mics, including a Shure SM7b. I might do a comparison recording, just for fun.....if anyone is interested.
post #38607 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post

 

Audio in a video is critical, IMO, because frequently YT videos are played in the background and the audio is the only thing they're getting.

 

Agree 100%, and not just because they're often played in the background. In today's world of video compression for mobile viewers, it's not uncommon for many of us to be accepting of the occasional lower quality video. That's normal. However for me, and I imagine for many of you as well, I will not suffer a video that has terrible audio quality, no matter how incredible the video quality.

 

The same is often true for video games. In today's market we want games with incredible sound design. We want immersive details and soundtracks so spectacular that we stop just to listen to the music. Graphics don't have to be the sharpest if the audio helps balance it. Look at Overwatch. Solid sound design with a cartoony aesthetic. It's not taxing on a machine and yet it's just as much fun as something like Crysis and Far Cry, games that have far more emphasis placed on visuals.

 

Disclosure: I'm biased. I went to school for and earned my degree in audio, after all. ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectronicTonic View Post

All this talk about mics.....just ordered a modmic 5, to pair with an HD 700. I ordered both today, so looking forward to trying them out. I also record music and have quite a few mics, including a Shure SM7b. I might do a comparison recording, just for fun.....if anyone is interested.
 

I'm always interested in mic comparisons. :D

post #38608 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post

 

The same is often true for video games. In today's market we want games with incredible sound design. We want immersive details and soundtracks so spectacular that we stop just to listen to the music. Graphics don't have to be the sharpest if the audio helps balance it. Look at Overwatch. Solid sound design with a cartoony aesthetic. It's not taxing on a machine and yet it's just as much fun as something like Crysis and Far Cry, games that have far more emphasis placed on visuals.

Absolutely! One reason I was super impressed with Overwatch is that it has a special headphone mode rather than speakers. I definitely agree 100% that good audio will always cover for mediocre graphics better than the reverse. You give me spot on sound and a 720p30 game, that'll be a better experience than low-fi sound playing 4k60.

post #38609 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

 

Audio in a video is critical, IMO, because frequently YT videos are played in the background and the audio is the only thing they're getting. A Neumann is undoubtedly overkill, but the difference between a headset mic and a decent condenser is HUGE. People might not consciously think about it, but they will absolutely enjoy clear audio more than muffled and blown out audio. 

 

I mean, by that same merit, the majority of YouTube might never notice if you're uploading 1080p60, they might not notice if you've got a bad recording codec that has a lot of artifacts, or if your camera has poor lighting, if your game footage is jittery, etc etc etc, but you know what? They do notice. If you flip between two videos, one where the guy has sharp, smooth video and a clear voice, and the other looks like it's being done with a cheap webcam and a headset mic, you're already a few steps behind if you're the latter guy. 

 

YouTube/Twitch have developed a lot, to make a dent at all you really can't have the technicalities being weak. You only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention, and they're gonna be outta there if the video doesn't look and sound sharp. They'll hang around to check you out if it seems professional, but if it seems cheap they'll be gone. It's a shame, but true. I mean, again, I use a Spark, those cost like $130 now, the $700 TLM102 is totally unnecessary, but the Snowball and Yeti just aren't up to snuff.

 

BTW, I'm aware the Yeti and Spark cost about the same, but the quality difference is stark. The Yeti is more interested in having the switchable patterns, plus it has to have the internals of analog-to-USB conversion (an ADC, if you will). A nice XLR into an interface will have a significantly sleaner signal.


Perhaps I'm giving the average Youtube viewer less credit than they deserve. On the other hand I've seen so many videos with titles along the lines of "$50 mic vs $5000 mic, which is better?" and see plenty of comments saying "Can't tell the difference" or "Call me crazy, but I prefer the $50 mic". The thing that gets me is this kind of comment often will have quite a few thumbs up.

 

Very obviously poor audio is certainly enough to make me turn off a video, but more often than not it is misuse of the equipment rather than the equipment being used (too much gain being the number one offense closely followed by no attempt whatsoever to avoid plosive popping, too much EQ and/or too much compression). I remember watching this one video and a guy was demonstrating a channel strip and started talking about how it could be used to "improve your sound". He then proceeded boost the bass massively, whack the de-esser to 11 and compress it so I could hear the hamster on a wheel that was powering his brain. He then said "Listen. Here's without..." and it sounded acceptable, then he switched it on and said "...and here's with". It sounded a complete mess! It was like a caricature of a radio DJ that had a heavy cold and/or was deaf.


Edited by Napalmhardcore - 3/20/17 at 7:29pm
post #38610 of 38624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalmhardcore View Post
 


Perhaps I'm giving the average Youtube viewer less credit than they deserve. On the other hand I've seen so many videos with titles along the lines of "$50 mic vs $5000 mic, which is better?" and see plenty of comments saying "Can't tell the difference" or "Call me crazy, but I prefer the $50 mic". The thing that gets me is this kind of comment often will have quite a few thumbs up.

 

Very obviously poor audio is certainly enough to make me turn off a video, but more often than not it is misuse of the equipment rather than the equipment being used (too much gain being the number one offense closely followed by no attempt whatsoever to avoid plosive popping, too much EQ and/or too much compression). I remember watching this one video and a guy was demonstrating a channel strip and started talking about how it could be used to "improve your sound". He then proceeded boost the bass massively, whack the de-esser to 11 and compress it so I could hear the hamster on a wheel that was powering his brain. He then said "Listen. Here's without..." and it sounded acceptable, then he switched it on and said "...and here's with". It sounded a complete mess! It was like a caricature of a radio DJ that had a heavy cold and/or was deaf.

 

It's a subconscious thing. Yes, obviously, if you're taking a guy who slaps ten thousand effects onto his mic audio to sound "better" then you're dealing with someone who doesn't know what the hell they're doing, but these are all things that viewers might not consciously go "wow that guy is using an expensive microphone" but someone flipping around from video to video is far, far more likely to stick around when the person sounds bell clear like they've got a professional setup going. 

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