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David Lee King

Playing with Mics



I was playing with different microphones this morning – testing out four microphones for podcast & videocast quality, and decided to do a video test, too.

So here are 4 mics, plugged into my MacBook Pro laptop. Video is the cheesy-but-easy PhotoBooth. Microphones I tested were:

  • Samson C01U
  • Blue Snowball
  • Bescor TCM-88 lavalier mic
  • … and the Mac’s internal mic

So… which one do you think sounds the best? The worst? Were any/all/none adequate? Why? Thanks!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://verticalresonator.blogspot.com/ Bryan

    I thought the Samson C01U and MacBook Pro internal microphone were the best. Who-da-thunk the internal mic would sound just as good as a $100 Samson.

  • http://verticalresonator.blogspot.com/ Bryan

    I thought the Samson C01U and MacBook Pro internal microphone were the best. Who-da-thunk the internal mic would sound just as good as a $100 Samson.

  • davidleeking

    Bryan, I’d agree – those two were the best. I’m always surprised by the Samson – it’s an awesome mic!

  • http://llamadavirtual.wordpress.comm/ Rossana I. Barrios

    I think MacBook Pro internal microphone was the best.

  • http://llamadavirtual.wordpress.comm Rossana I. Barrios

    I think MacBook Pro internal microphone was the best.

  • ceci

    David–I like the Samson, the first one, best. The internal mic, like most, has an echo quality and will be disturbing to older adults. Samson sounded most like I was right there, didn’t seem to drop any part of the range, and had a clarity missing from the internal.

  • ceci

    David–I like the Samson, the first one, best. The internal mic, like most, has an echo quality and will be disturbing to older adults. Samson sounded most like I was right there, didn’t seem to drop any part of the range, and had a clarity missing from the internal.

  • Brian

    David – I own a Snowball and wanted to ask: what setting it is on? It has an directional capsule (switch in position 1), and an omni-directional capsule (position 3). They have different sounds. Also, the Macbook mic sounds louder because your talking directly into it and are closer to it. It will be a better comparison if you do this with the other mics as well.

  • Brian

    David – I own a Snowball and wanted to ask: what setting it is on? It has an directional capsule (switch in position 1), and an omni-directional capsule (position 3). They have different sounds. Also, the Macbook mic sounds louder because your talking directly into it and are closer to it. It will be a better comparison if you do this with the other mics as well.

  • davidleeking

    Brian – thanks for the comment! With the Snowball, I was using the #1 setting – the cardioid, unidirectional one. I didn’t mess with other two settings.

    Not really sure I was any closer to the internal mic than the others – I had the snowball and the Samson sitting on their stands right beside the Mac, so they’re all approximately the same distance apart.

  • davidleeking

    Brian – thanks for the comment! With the Snowball, I was using the #1 setting – the cardioid, unidirectional one. I didn’t mess with other two settings.

    Not really sure I was any closer to the internal mic than the others – I had the snowball and the Samson sitting on their stands right beside the Mac, so they’re all approximately the same distance apart.

  • Brian

    Cool. Check out the other omni as well. I use it to record song ideas with a few musicians in the room.

    Also, with directional mics, proximity effect is key. If the mic is sitting off to one side, it will sound thinner and farther away than if you are directly in front of it.

    Great site, BTW!

  • Brian

    Cool. Check out the other omni as well. I use it to record song ideas with a few musicians in the room.

    Also, with directional mics, proximity effect is key. If the mic is sitting off to one side, it will sound thinner and farther away than if you are directly in front of it.

    Great site, BTW!

  • daniel cruz

    I own the Samson microphone and the macbook pro and to be honest i prefer the internal mic over the samson because it sounds louder and easier, maybe im just lazy thats why i dont capatilize my I’s and i got a run on sentence.

    However if I am going to record something important or vocals then I whip out the Samson and spend the time equalizing it. Then the magic happens.

    Samson+Bose+Mac=one beautiful orgy

  • daniel cruz

    I own the Samson microphone and the macbook pro and to be honest i prefer the internal mic over the samson because it sounds louder and easier, maybe im just lazy thats why i dont capatilize my I’s and i got a run on sentence.

    However if I am going to record something important or vocals then I whip out the Samson and spend the time equalizing it. Then the magic happens.

    Samson+Bose+Mac=one beautiful orgy

  • davidleeking

    Bryan, I'd agree – those two were the best. I'm always surprised by the Samson – it's an awesome mic!