recording

What's the best USB mic for $100 to $200?

Blue Yeti Microphone

Episode 1556

Jake from Jacksonville, FL

Jake's friend wants to get into music recording and is looking for a good USB microphone. Their budget is between $100 and $200. Leo says there's a lot of choices in that price range. Blue is best known for this category. The Blue Yeti is the top dog. He should avoid the Snowball, though. It has no headroom. Audio Technica's ATR2100 is very nice as well.

Can I use an HDMI splitter with a MacBook Air?

The Audiobook Speakeasy

Episode 1499

Rich from Tuscon, AZ

Rich is an audiobook narrator and he just finished building his own vocal booth to record his audio files. But since the booth is so small, he wants to have his laptop on the outside with a monitor connected and a monitor on the inside. WIll an HDMI splitter do the job with a 2012 MacBook Air? Leo says that a splitter can degrade the image quality. The Air also has a mini display port, so he'd need an adapter for HDMI. They're pretty cheap. The Air won't really have an issue with the splitter.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Samsung Chromebook Plus

Episode 1399

James from San Francisco, CA

James is looking to get a Chromebook, but he's thinking that as a musician, he may need a Windows machine. Are there online ways around it? Leo says that there are online resources to record audio. Leo says that Chromebooks are great for most people, but it may not be for everything he does. Leo says that before he buys, he should try using nothing but the Chrome browser exclusively for a few days and see if there's extensions that can do what he wants. Leo's guessing that for recording music, the Chromebook may be lacking and he would need a full OS like Windows.

How can I record multiple tracks from a live performance?

Episode 1316

Shannon from Nebraska

Shannon is a southern gospel singer and they sing in 4 track harmony. He's looking for good software that can balance the volume and gain when recording separately during a live performance. Leo says that all recording software has that capability, and he can always use hardware to do it with a Telos compression/expansion module. It also protects against popping and clipping. Audacity is free and he could find a plugin for it that can work. It's available on all platforms, too.

How can I get rid of a clicking sound in my recording?

Yeti Microphone

Episode 1266

Sigmund from London, England

Sigmund recently had heart surgery and they replaced one of his heart valves. It 'ticks' rather loudly, though. Leo says that Dr. Mom says it's not unusual for mechanical heart valves to have an audible ticking noise. Leo says that some mics, mostly condenser mics, are very sensitive and can pick up the faintest of sounds. That's why most studios use dynamic mics. They don't pick up a lot of external sounds. But condenser mics can be tuned to not pick up that. Sigmund should find that in his Yeti settings. He can also "declick" the audio recording through recording software.

What equipment do I need to get into voiceovers?

Heil PR40

Episode 1263

Roger from Bannon, OR

Roger would like to get into voiceover work and wants to know what equipment he needs that is high quality, but affordable. Leo says that breaking into voiceover is a challenge, but it's easy enough to build your own sound studio. Many work out of their house thanks to high speed internet and ISDN telephone lines. But the ISDN line can be expensive, so it's better just to record at home and then upload.

Can I record music on a Chromebook?

Shure MV88

Episode 1228

Roger from Alabama

Roger wants to be able to record music and play with images. Would the Chromebook be a good option? Leo says that he can do it on a Chromebook, but it's all mostly done in the Cloud. The problem is that it needs an always on internet connection, and it's not really that easy for higher end applications like music recording. There are some Chromebook extensions that can do it, however. A good way to test it is to use the extensions on his existing computer.