Joe's son wants to get into voiceover. He's been doing video editing in school but wants to move over to voice work. What microphone and mixer should he get? Leo says that a mixer may not be necessary. Start with a USB Microphone and go into the computer directly. However, Behringer has a podcast setup that has a mixer and mic for a very low cost. What about the Blue Yeti? Leo isn't a fan for that purpose. He recommends a SHURE SM58. Also, get a Focusrite Scarlet. Those two will give a great sound.
Chef Guy agrees with Leo that the so-called "Zoom fatigue" is setting in. Could it be due to bad audio quality? Leo says that could definitely be a contributing factor. The better quality audio you provide, the better. But most people Zoom using their computer laptop microphones. Would a lav and earbud microphones help? Leo says that a better choice is a Plantronics Model 540 or 478 USB headset. But good luck getting them these days.
Doug is in the market for a microphone. Leo uses the Heil PR40. It's great for video conferencing. But there's a vast variety of setups out there.
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.
Jake bought a new phone on eBay, but he can't activate it because it says he owes money to AT&T — but he's never used it with AT&T. Leo says it's probably the carrier that has flagged the IMEI of that phone and locked it out. Leo advises contacting eBay and getting his money back. He should give the seller a bad review as well. Of course, he could pay the bill. But who wants to do that? This is why you don't buy phones on eBay.
Gayle wants to know if she can do dictation with her desktop. Leo says that she can plug in a headset or microphone to the audio jack in the back of the computer. Windows 10 has Cortana that can handle the dictation. She can also get software like Dragon Naturally Speaking, but these days, voice dictation is available as part of Windows OS. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well.
Leon is a knife and armor blacksmith and makes videos on YouTube. He wants to improve the video quality over a webcam that he uses. He also needs a better microphone. Leo says webcams have a built in microphone that work close up, but from a distance, he'd really need an off camera mic. A USB microphone would work, since Leon uses a webcam. He would just need to configure it in the webcam software while capturing.
Paul has had an issue where Microsoft was installing newer drivers during an update that he didn't want. Leo says that he can choose to not install the newer drivers when he runs the update utility.
Paul also wants to know if the Movo wireless microphone works well. Leo says it's a good low-cost wireless microphone, but he's concerned because the cheaper a wireless mic is, the more likely he'll run into interference.
Paul wants to start podcasting and he heard about the MicMe, which would let him record through his iPhone. Leo says that it does an interesting thing. It records to the mic first and then uploads it to the phone. It's also not cheap at $500.
Ralph's pastor wants a camera to use to post videos and teach at church. Leo says that most point and shoot cameras take great video, but what he'll want to be sure he gets a camera that can support an external microphone so he'll sound better. Then he can plug in a lavalier mic.