Mic round-up: sE2200T, Samson C01U, Shure SM58

Andy White, author of Podcasting Unleashed, has created three videos that show common microphones in action.  These mics are great for screencasting and Andy shows you a few tips on mic technique.

If you’ve never used a higher-end mic then watch these videos – you’ll learn how to identify the front, top and back of these mics, you’ll know how their sensitivity varies and you’ll know how sensitive they are to background noise.

Update – I’ve added another link at the end.

sE 2200T Valve Condenser Mic (approx. £300 GBP)

The sE2200T is a higher-end mic, if you don’t get the USB version then you’ll need some hardware to interface the XLR connector to your computer’s USB interface.  Personally I use the next mic down, an sE2200A (non-valve).

The video is great as Andy shows (and you can hear!) what happens when you speak to the front, top and back of the mic.  If you’ve never used a high-end mic then this guide to speaking into the right part of the mic is invaluable.

Note that you have to listen to the left channel – use ear buds.  The right channel has some high-end fluttering (also known as ‘twittering’) which was probably introduced by the encoding at YouTube.

Samson C01U USB Condenser Mic (approx. £50 GBP)

The C01U is quiet for the first minute as Andy is pointing the front of the mic at the camera rather than at his mouth!  He also shows again how the mic’s sensitivity varies when you speak into the front, top and back.

Andy puts it on par with the Shure SM58.

Shure SM58 Dynamic Mic (approx. £50)

The SM58 is an all-round mic, it is much favoured by singers and recording artists (you’ll see it on TV a lot).  Andy removes the pop-shield so you see the diaphragm too.

The above microphones and mic techniques are discussed further in The Screencasting Handbook.

Other tips:

Lynn of TeleStream (of ScreenFlow 2 fame) has a blog entry called ‘Can you hear me?‘ which discusses several mics, sadly there are no examples.  The readers chime in with their own suggestions too.

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3 People have left comments on this post

» Mike said: { Nov 15, 2010 - 05:11:48 }

Thanks! videos very helpful for deciding purchase.

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