Budget mics for college lessons

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AC19
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Budget mics for college lessons

Post by AC19 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:07 pm

Hey guys!

I'm a music education major and because of the current situation, I'm doing all my lessons online through zoom for the foreseeable future. I'm looking for a microphone that I can plug into my laptop via USB, because my built-in mic in my laptop isn't cutting it, but I don't want to spend more than I have to. What decent options do y'all know of that are less than $150 (preferably less than $100 if that isn't too low)? I'm pretty new to the microphone world, so any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the help!
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Burgerbob
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Zoom H1 is a great handheld recorder that you can also hook up via USB to use as a microphone.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by mrdeacon » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:39 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:06 pm
Zoom H1 is a great handheld recorder that you can also hook up via USB to use as a microphone.
What type of cable does it use? Micro USB? Does it come with a USB cable?
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by Matt K » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:44 pm

The Shure SM57 has a USB condenser which can be purchased separately; buying both should be around your budget and then you have a great mic if you need to do other recording stuff with.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:49 pm

mrdeacon wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:39 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:06 pm
Zoom H1 is a great handheld recorder that you can also hook up via USB to use as a microphone.
What type of cable does it use? Micro USB? Does it come with a USB cable?
Mini-B. I have like 300 of those cables. I'm not sure if it came with one or not.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by tmarco97 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:03 pm

My Zoom H2N came with the USB cable, but I couldn't find it anymore. Fortunately, I found one on Amazon for around $5 and it works just fine.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by JLivi » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:08 pm

I don't know this to be true, but I've found that any USB mic is better than the built-in mic on your computer. I know the Blue Yeti is a popular one ($150), but to be honest I know nothing about those microphones. I would be more into buying a USB mic from a brand that makes decent gear (Audio Technica, Shure, M-Audio etc.).

Here's a few mics I found $100 or less that would probably be fine for lessons. You might want to do a little research though before buying one. I've never used any of these mics.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... one-silver

This one is $150, and the XLR AT2020's are pretty decent mics
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone

Depending on what you want to do with playing in the future, it might be worth it to get an audio interface and a mic/cable/stand and just make the ~$250 investment and it'll allow you to multi-track and record at home. That might not be in the cards quite yet, but something to think about.

Good luck in your search!
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by LeTromboniste » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:22 pm

I would absolutely get a Zoom (H2N or H4N) which will be an extremely useful to you for many years past the urgent situation
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by sungfw » Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:35 am

Assuming you have a smartphone and/or laptop, have you tried using the Zoom app for your smartphone or tablet instead of your your laptop? The smartphone/tablet mic will be significantly better than the one in your laptop. Stream to your TV/projector (assuming you have access to a streaming device; if not, you can pick up a Roku Express for $30) if you need a bigger display.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by JLivi » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:41 pm

sungfw wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:35 am
Assuming you have a smartphone and/or laptop, have you tried using the Zoom app for your smartphone or tablet instead of your your laptop? The smartphone/tablet mic will be significantly better than the one in your laptop. Stream to your TV/projector (assuming you have access to a streaming device; if not, you can pick up a Roku Express for $30) if you need a bigger display.
There way more audio settings you can mess with on a computer that makes the private lesson better. I can list those if anyone’s interested.

Also, someone is going to have to explain why Zoom is a better option? I had a Zoom in college and never found a use for it. Once I realized the “voice memos” app on the iPhones were pretty decent for practice & rehearsals I never really used mine again.

Maybe I’ve gone down a different path in regards to what my audio needs are.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by JohnL » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:09 pm

JLivi wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:41 pm
Also, someone is going to have to explain why Zoom is a better option? I had a Zoom in college and never found a use for it. Once I realized the “voice memos” app on the iPhones were pretty decent for practice & rehearsals I never really used mine again.
Not "a Zoom", the Zoom app (zoom.us); it's a virtual meeting system.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:11 pm

JohnL wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:09 pm
JLivi wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:41 pm
Also, someone is going to have to explain why Zoom is a better option? I had a Zoom in college and never found a use for it. Once I realized the “voice memos” app on the iPhones were pretty decent for practice & rehearsals I never really used mine again.
Not "a Zoom", the Zoom app (zoom.us); it's a virtual meeting system.
Well, also the Zoom recorders, which are much higher quality microphones than an iPhone mic.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by JLivi » Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:05 pm

JLivi wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:08 pm
I don't know this to be true, but I've found that any USB mic is better than the built-in mic on your computer. I know the Blue Yeti is a popular one ($150), but to be honest I know nothing about those microphones. I would be more into buying a USB mic from a brand that makes decent gear (Audio Technica, Shure, M-Audio etc.).

Here's a few mics I found $100 or less that would probably be fine for lessons. You might want to do a little research though before buying one. I've never used any of these mics.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... one-silver

This one is $150, and the XLR AT2020's are pretty decent mics
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone

Depending on what you want to do with playing in the future, it might be worth it to get an audio interface and a mic/cable/stand and just make the ~$250 investment and it'll allow you to multi-track and record at home. That might not be in the cards quite yet, but something to think about.

Good luck in your search!
Also, don't forget about eBay. There's a lot of good used gear there. You can usually get it for cheap. You just have to make sure that it comes with everything you need. If you don't care about the cord or stand (if it comes with a stand) then you can pick up the cords pretty cheap off of Amazon.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by sungfw » Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:59 pm

JLivi wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:41 pm
There way more audio settings you can mess with on a computer that makes the private lesson better. I can list those if anyone’s interested.
It's not like there aren't smartphone apps that will let you mess with its audio setting—in particular, its mic settings, since, according to the OP, it's his/her laptop's built-in mic that's "not cutting it."
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by nebtrombone » Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:53 pm

I have my students use the Samson GoMic. It's usb plug and play and works great. It's only $39.00 at Sweetwater.
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by Aznguyy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:32 pm

how is the Samson goMic? I've been considering that

I"m also debating in getting a Blue Yeti or Blue Snowball(anyone have experience with them?) or a H2N since I can use it as a recorder also. Thoughts?
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:10 pm

Those Blue mics are vocal and speech mics aren't they?
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by Aznguyy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:31 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:10 pm
Those Blue mics are vocal and speech mics aren't they?
Nah, they're instrument mics also. It's popular around my are with trumpet and sax players
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Re: Budget mics for college lessons

Post by JLivi » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:35 am

Aznguyy wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:32 pm
how is the Samson goMic? I've been considering that

I"m also debating in getting a Blue Yeti or Blue Snowball(anyone have experience with them?) or a H2N since I can use it as a recorder also. Thoughts?
One of my students uses the snowball. It’s better than nothing. We’ve had some good audio quality in lessons but for some reason last weeks lesson was a little weird. My student uses the snowball as a talkback and instrument mic at the same time. So it’s definitely ok, but again, better than nothing.
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