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Need recommendation for a good mic for making youtube videos

  1. Red Dragon
    I'd like to start making youtube videos. I need a recommendation for a mic that will make my voice sound good.

    I'd prefer to spend $300 USD max, but I'd also be willing to go a lot cheaper than that if it makes sense to do so.

    I've heard some youtubers who use the Bluebird mic and to me it makes their voices sound amazing. Except I also watched this review and he said the Bluebird sucks:

    Is what he said in that review true?

    Can you recommend any mics for the same or cheaper price that are guaranteed to sound better than the Bluebird?

    Another thing to consider is that I'm using a 750D Airflow Edition computer case, this one: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Cases/Obsidian-Series™-750D-Airflow-Edition-Full-Tower-ATX-Case/p/CC-9011078-WW

    My mic is going to be positioned about one or two feet away from the mesh/semi-open front panel of my case. That design makes the sound of my two 140mm intake fans noticeable.

    Therefore, I need mic that will pick up my voice, but simultaneously, not pick up the sound of my fans spinning.

    Also, right now I don't have an audio interface. I'm using a ZXR sound card. So if I buy the Bluebird then I'll have to buy an audio interface too, I suppose?

    I also have a Magni 3 in my closet, in case that would help me not have to buy a new audio interface, if I can use that as a preamp for the mic that I buy? (But I have no idea if it can be a preamp for mics or not?)

    Should I go with the Bluebird?

    What mics can you recommend for my situation?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  2. HBen
    For around that price or just a little more you can buy a used Neumann TLM102 (at least where I live), which does sounds amazing with voices (and much other stuff too) and tops pretty much any microphone below 1000 $ ... and yeah that one needs an audio interface too.

    Your request that the mic should be amazing with voices but should't pick up the intake fans of your case is kind of silly if you ask me ... that means that a certain frequency shouldn't be recorded by the mic which basically means the mic needs to be crap - or definitely not an omnidirectional condenser mic ...

    Maybe consider moving your computer case further away or at least direct the fans away from the microphone ... cables are cheap ...
    otherwise you're better off with a directional microphone or just trying to filter out the respective frequencies afterwards ...

    If you wanna look for cheaper alternatives, look for Sennheiser, AKG, Shure or Rode mics ...

    Good luck
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  3. Red Dragon
    Thanks for the info.

    I don't seem to have a lot of options for moving the case far away from the mic, unless I record with the mic far away from my computer table. My computer is on a table that's 44 inches wide by 32 inches long. And it's already very cramped right now with no mic on it, because it has to hold my computer, and my monitor screen, and my LSR 30X speakers which are positioned behind my monitor screen.

    If I put the mic on the table, then it would probaly have to be to the right of my keyboard, with computer tower on the opposite side, about two feet to the left of where the mic will be.

    I have no idea what an omnidirectional condenser mic is, or whether or not that is better than other types of mics.

    When you say cables are cheap, does that mean you are suggesting that I run a cable away from my computer table and position the mic somewhere that is not on my computer table as I record? I guess I could do that, although I'd have to figure out a way to construct a solid surface, or buy a stand, or something...since I don't have a lot of other things available to put the mic on, other than my computer table.

    If I want to search for a used version of the mic you mentioned, is eBAY my only possible venue? Or are there other websites that also might sell used ones?

    Another question: are the Sennheiser, AKG, Shure or Rode mics all better than the Bluebird? Or is that debatable?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  4. HBen
    Without quoting all the text .. here some replies :)

    1) well you do have quite a lot of options actually. One is of course recording a bit away from the computer, another one is to just move the computer case a bit away from the microphone.
    I personally solve the problem of the computer noise by recording the sound with (respectively connecting the audio interface to) a laptop ...

    2) microphones have different recording characteristics ... maybe you wanna read into that a bit.
    In simple words: omnidirectional microphones record sound from 360 degree around it (not perfectly evenly though), whereas directional microphones record sound mostly coming from a certain angle ...

    3) yes when I say cables are cheap I mean you can use cables to either move the noise source (the computer) away from the microphone or move the microphone away from the computer

    4) yes eBay is a place to possibly find a used TLM102, but also many other places where people sell used electronics and recording gear

    5) well I'd never say every microphone from a certain brand is better than every microphone from another brand among the 5 brands mentioned. Except maybe that pretty much all large diaphragm Neumann mics are kind of the holy grail of condenser mics for voice recording :)
    All those brands have good mics in their portfolio ... do your own research ... thats what I meant ^^
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  5. Red Dragon
    Thanks again. I am trying to do my own research by virtue of asking questions here though. Because if I search elsewhere, like on youtube, then I get lots of varying opinions. For example, some people on youtube say Bluebird is great, and others say it sucks. So I don't know who to trust. I don't have a large income with which to gamble on who might be right or wrong among potentially unreliable opinions.

    I.e. I don't want to be stuck with sucky mic because I believed a guy on youtube who said it was good even though it actually isn't. By the same token, I don't wanna avoid buying the best mic because a guy on youtube said it sucks even though it is actually the best.

    Is there an advantage to me using an omnidirectional mic instead of a directional one?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. WildStyle-R11
    I used to have Blue yeti, but it kinda sucks really. There are better options for the same price. I upgraded to Rode NT1 Much better mic in my opinion, also you can get a cheap boom arm from rode as well PSA1, get their own interface and you are golden. Albeit it is a wee bit more expensive, but much better than blue crap. Don't get me wrong you can get blue mics to sound great, it is just a lot more unneeded work. As a side note Rode NT1 has a 10 Year warranty. :D

    Whatever you do, DO NOT get a focusrite interface.
  7. rredge
    Hi Red Dragon,

    I have a good deal of experience with sound recording and have made some YouTube videos. I'd like to respond to your question, but it would be helpful to know a few things:

    1. Do you have a smartphone? If so, which one? If you don't have an iPhone, can you borrow one when you need to record?
    2. Is your computer screen part of your YouTube content or are you just using it to record your voice? What sound recording software do you plan to use?
    3. What are you going to use as a camera?

    In general, it would be helpful to know what kinds of YouTube videos you plan to make.

    I look forward to your responses.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. rredge
    For what you are doing, you want the mike to pick up the sound of your voice but reject much of the sound coming from either side of you or from in front of you. That means that you want a directional mike. There is an exception. You can also use a lavalier mike, also known as a lav or lapel mike. These are omnidirectional because if they were directional your voice would noticeably taper off every time that you turn your head to the left or right.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  9. rredge
    You don't need a Neumann TLM102 and it is highly unlikely that you are going to find a used one in good condition at a price close to your budget of "$300 max".

    I can't comment on the Bluebird, never having used one. There is a reason why a very high percentage of YouTubers use Røde microphones. They offer very good value for money. Røde and Sennheiser also have fairly new mikes out that can be used to record directly to a smartphone, which, depending on your answers to the questions I raised a few posts above, may solve your computer noise problem. For that matter, Zoom makes some quite good portable recorders that include a microphone that would also work well and that are very reasonably priced.

    I use expensive, high-end sound gear to make YouTube videos because it’s just what I have for reasons that have nothing to do with YouTube. Frankly, what I use is overkill. There is no doubt in my mind that you can put together a perfectly good sound setup in its entirety for $300, not just purchase a mike.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  10. vertex_shuffle
    I use a Blue Snowball iCE for streaming and a couple of youtube videos. Plugs straight into usb, the sound quality is adequate but picks up a lot of room noise (soundproofed computer case and quiet fans are a godsend but I found I can filter this type of noise out in post if I really need to.).
    I set mine up a few feet away in a shock mount on a cheap 'cast iron' base and it serves me very well in any situation where I need to record my own voice. Can't imagine needing a more expensive set up than this, but then I don't know what you're recording.
    rredge likes this.
  11. rredge
    This is why it would be helpful to know whether Red Dragon plans to use the computer just as a sound recording device or whether it has a larger role and has to be on to make his video content.

    If it’s the former, there’s a lot to be said for just turning the computer off and recording to either a smartphone or to one of the Zoom H-series recorders.

    One of his posts countenances the idea of moving away from the computer, which suggests that his computer only needs to be on if it is being used to record audio.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018

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