If you need to record clear audio for video or podcasts, this microphone will grow with you.
Let me start with a story: my first video project was a documentary film that Christine and I started in 2010. I asked a lot of people for advice that year – about gear, about filmmaking, about creating a high quality product – and there one thing everyone consistently told us.
Video is all about audio.
You can’t fix bad audio. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your footage is… if you have audio with background noise or you can’t hear your subject, it’s unwatchable. So what about audio for bloggers? What if you’re recording videos, webinars, e-courses, podcasts or live streaming? Do you also need to use something beyond your built-in mic? Absolutely.
This summer we took the plunge for a Blue Yeti USB Microphone. Typically a microphone of this quality would be minimally $400 or well above, but the Yeti cost us just $129 (It now retails for $114.99 on Amazon) It’s absolutely perfect as a pro-level mic for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of cash on something more complicated. Here are some reasons you should consider getting this if you want to record anything at all while stationary (this is not a walking-around mic).
The sound quality will be professional level sound for as long as you own it. Unlike DSLR cameras which increase their megapixels, get faster, and generally become obsolete after 5-10 years, microphones age much more gracefully. As long as you take care of it, you may never need to replace it unless you get to a level of success that you have to consider truly high end sound solutions.
Multiple settings allow for different uses. Are you interviewing someone across the table from you? There is a two-directional setting. If it’s just you, there is a setting that will pick up whatever is directly in front of the mic. There are also stereo and 360 degree settings for picking up music or everything all at once.
The USB jack is rare for such a high quality microphone, which typically comes with this monstrosity that required an adapter that can go into your computer.
For our courses, we use Camtasia and Adobe Audition, but whatever software you are using, it is a simple adjustment to define the Yeti as your primary input in your software preferences, and the controls are incredibly simple on the mic itself. You plug your headphones into the mic, turn it on and then play with the volume and gain (gain defines how sensitive the microphone is to outside noise, we turn ours down as far as possible as we tend to have a great deal of white noise. And roosters, unfortunately.)
So if you want to dip your toes into podcasting or you are planning on running webinars or doing video course modules, this is the only microphone we would recommend. It’s not cost prohibitive whatsoever compared to other professional quality mics, so even if you don’t use it right away, it will be there, sounding great, whenever you decide to get started.
Here is a quick and dirty demo of what the Yeti sounds like in a loud environment vs just using your computer’s internal mic.