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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

New Microphone: Blue Snowball

I bought a Blue Snowball last week.

So I was at Mary Robinette Kowal‘s blog listening to the audio fiction she recorded to test out her new microphone. I thought it sounded pretty good. I am not sure if it’s the microphone or it’s her voice, but you know how people buy Air Jordans and thinking they can play better basketball as long as they put on those shoes, or buy Proactiv so they can look like Jessica Simpson? I am no different. Maybe this microphone is exactly what I need to make myself sound better!

All kidding aside, I was already looking into buying a new microphone to replace my cheapo 20-dollar Sony F-V220 that I’ve been using. So if someone recommends one, I’ll look into it. I found mostly pretty good reviews about it, and I like what people said about the functionalities, so I went ahead and ordered one.

A few days later the package arrived at my door (yay, new toy!). I gave it a test-run. Here’s some random crap I made up on the spot and recorded in one take while talking to myself:

Of course, I’ve only used this microphone for about half an hour so I can’t say that I know everything about the microphone. But I what I noticed was that the Snowball is better than my old microphone in two things that I used to have to be very careful about. One is the hard P. I used to puff a lot of air when I say my P sounds into a microphone. I’ve been more careful about it to not do it so much, but I still do it every now and then. I don’t have a puff screen so I tend to just wrap the top of the microphone in a thin piece of tissue paper. When I used the Snowball, I noticed that it did a good job of wind resistance. It didn’t pick up much of that. Two, the other thing that I used to have to be very careful with was holding the microphone still. A small change in the way I hold the microphone during the recording could turn into a big noise in my old one, but the Snowball handled that aspect pretty well. Not sure if it’s because I have a stand to hold or because it was designed well that way. But either way, it’s nice to be able to not worry about those things during a recording.

As for the sound quality itself, it’s an improvement. I don’t consider it a huge improvement, but there’s improvement. My old microphone picks up 100-12000 Hz, and the Snowball’s frequency range is 40-18000 Hz, so that’s definitely bigger. The human voice frequency is 300-3000 Hz, though, so that falls within the frequencies of both. The fundamental frequency are 85-155 Hz for males and 165-255 Hz and for females. I haven’t really measure mine so I don’t know where it is. Would be interesting to find out one day, though. The new microphone with higher frequency range will likely pick up more resonance though.

Another thing that’s handy about the microphone was that you can switch between uni-directional and omni-directional easily, which was handy for using it in different situations. The only complain so far was that I couldn’t get it to work right away in Cubase. I need to look into the settings some more. I had a hard time getting things to work in Cubase in general anyway.

And here’s a recording of a song that I heard in elementary school. I believe it was in English but I knew no English back then. If anyone can help me identify the song, it would be awesome. 😀

How about this? If you can name it, I’ll send you five bucks.


  1. September 26th, 2008 | 9:31 pm

    Oh wow. That song sounds frustratingly familiar and yet I have no idea what it is.

    Mary Robinette Kowal’s last blog post..Dark Crystal screening!

  2. September 27th, 2008 | 1:18 am

    Haha, it’s great to know that I’m not just crazy and somehow dreamed up that song!
    Still though… any clues? Genre? Era? Several words from the lyrics?

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