#1
I'm thinking of purchasing a RØDE NT_USB.

Anybody here used one of these microphones?
Last edited by The Backslider at Sep 5, 2015,
#2
What for?

Budget?
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
#3
Quote by Sid McCall
What for?

Budget?


I'll be using it for home recording acoustic guitar and vocals directly to my laptop.

Budget? No, do you know a better USB mic for me to use?
#4
I don't know about the USB version but I own a pair of Rode NT1 mics. They are my favorite vocal recording mics. No audible noise floor, crystal clear sound. I have had them for about 15 years and while I own quite a number of nice recording mics I like the sound of vocals on the Rode NT the best.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#5
Quote by The Backslider
I'll be using it for home recording acoustic guitar and vocals directly to my laptop.

Budget? No, do you know a better USB mic for me to use?

USB mics are generally nowhere near the quality of a regular mic with an interface, so if you have a decent budget you should be investing in a solid rig and not a compromised USB mic (unless you're podcasting or something, then USB is usually fine).
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
#6
Quote by Sid McCall
USB mics are generally nowhere near the quality of a regular mic with an interface, so if you have a decent budget you should be investing in a solid rig and not a compromised USB mic (unless you're podcasting or something, then USB is usually fine).


I don't think it's necessary to go overboard for what I am doing. The RØDE NT_USB has the same internals as the RØDE NT1, which Rockholly74 tells us is a really nice mic. The noise of the USB version is barely detectable and I'm sure will be perfectly acceptable for my purposes. I am not recording an album after all, I am recording my music for family and friends and I'm sure they would never hear the difference.
#8
Quote by Cavalcade


Oh, you must mean this bit: "USB Microphones, a waste of money for long term use"

Well, I have pancreatic cancer, which has a one year survival rate of around 15% and five year around 3%. I really don't think I'm too concerned about "long term" in regards to a microphone. More important is what I can leave behind.....

Now, unless you are going to tell me "don't waste your money, they just sound bloody awful!", please don't waste any more of my precious time.
#9
Here is the frequency response curve for the NT-USB..... not too shabby and certainly not "anything above 9k starts dropping off very steeply", in fact it holds further than many mics, perhaps "peaky" around 6-7000:



Here is the Neumann U87 Ai for comparison:

Last edited by The Backslider at Sep 6, 2015,
#10
Quote by The Backslider
I don't think it's necessary to go overboard for what I am doing. The RØDE NT_USB has the same internals as the RØDE NT1, which Rockholly74 tells us is a really nice mic. The noise of the USB version is barely detectable and I'm sure will be perfectly acceptable for my purposes. I am not recording an album after all, I am recording my music for family and friends and I'm sure they would never hear the difference.

Okay cool, go nuts then. Didn't meant to make it sounds bad, just saying that if you were looking to invest in a serious rig, then you should skip the USB thing.

Sounds like a USB mic will work for you, so buy it and give it a shot. If you're at all worried that you won't like the sound, buy from a place with a great return policy like Amazon or Sweetwater or Musiciansfriend etc.

Enjoy!
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
#11
I personally wasn;t impressed with the NT-1 line, which was one of the mic pairs in the locker at the studio I worked. I thought it was pretty harsh considering what else I had on hand. I used it as an advantage as it ended up on some edgier vocal stuff for singers that needed that edge, some trashier cymbal sounds, or to get a bit more edge out of a high gain amp as a room mic.
I like the Audio Technica line better as it was more tame and representative of what my ears were hearing. I also liked the Shure condensers but they're out of your price range. Neumann's, AKGs are out also as they're way up there in price.
I disliked the MXL line more than the Rode so as USB mic the NT-1 will probably be better. I'd suggest you look at the AT2020, I seem to really like them in that price range.

Last edited by diabolical at Sep 7, 2015,
#12
Quote by diabolical
I'd suggest you look at the AT2020, I seem to really like them in that price range.


Thank you.

This looks like a bit of a cheapo, half the price of the RØDE. Reading up on them, they appear to be annoyingly hissy.

Well, today's the day, so it looks like I will be getting the RØDE as I haven't found anything else I can purchase locally. I did look for a Blue Yeti and Audio-Technica AT2020USB also, but could not find.
#13
Well, after getting up early this morning and reviewing what I had available locally to purchase today I decided instead to go with the AKG Perception 120 USB.

There were a number of reasons for this:

  • A brand I have worked with for years.
  • Good price - this mic has been discontinued, so I picked up a bargain.
  • 24 bit converter. The NT-USB has only a 16 bit converter. This equals less noise.
  • Frequency response - the AKG has a response curve much the same as any good mic for my type of recording, whereas the NT-USB peaks early and I was afraid of losing color, particularly with recording acoustic guitar - I play a vintage D41 Martin which sounds awesome and I just do not want to lose any of that.
  • Very robust construction - this mic is solid.
  • Good reviews


I shall post here after I have had a good play with it, but don't expect to be disappointed.
#14
Had my first little test of the mic, which was just for noise. Now I expected a little noise as I am sitting behind my laptop in the lounge room.... I can hear my washing machine chugging away in the laundry, the wall clock ticking and my kids playing in the bedroom....

So, I fired up the video app and hit record, let it run for about 15 seconds, then hit the stop recording button.

Then I played back and FREAKED OUT!!! Noise city..... hiss from hell!

Well, that really had me scratching my head, but then I thought "Ok, let's try something other than Windows 10 Camera App. So I fired up Debut, which is a nice little web cam app and did the same...... PHEW!! Extremy little noise considering the environment and easily removed with my mixer.

The moral of this story is NEVER ever use Windows 10 Camera app for anything! It uses the built in microphone even though I have the AKG set as the default device and there appears to be no way to change that. I was not even listening to my new mic but rather the crappy built in mic and all the noise generated by my laptop.......
#16
I make it a habit of not jumping to any new version of windows until it has several updates in place. Windows is a great OS but I think Microsoft puts it out and waits for the feedback to fix the bugs instead of waiting another 6 months to a year to do their own testing. I also don't make a move to a new version of windows until some software I use demands it. It took me a long time to get off XP (which worked great) and go to Windows 7. I even have my Windows 8 desktop configured to look like Windows 7. I don't like fixing things that aren't broken.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#17
Making the inroads on Win 10 with brand new machine, there are things that I like but the private info leeching they are doing is abhorrent. Also the big lump of screen stealing real estate that was the "store view", not the explorer view but the one that looked like tablet, or whatever they called it sadly hasn't disappeared and takes huge chunk of screen real estate.

Not 100% like it used to but quite a lot.

Regardless of what you do the new system sends "metrics" to Microsoft. You actually have to run manual scripts to remove things from the registry in order for them not to leach your data.

One thing I like that they've added and probably leaked from Linux is the ability to use more than one screens. That's actually a welcome addition. That is really about the only improvement I've seen over Windows 7.

The graphics still have that lumpy "I'm not a Mac" look, that unless you've been on a Mac you wouldn't know, but still 3 OSes down from when I switched back to Windows and it still bothers me.


Anyway....

Back to mics....

I am not sure why you limit yourself to USB mics and don't look at audio interface and a XLR mic. Since you're looking at around $300 that is doable as well. Either way, even USB mics shouldn't hiss like you describe them so I am not sure why, could be some electrical noise on the USB connectors being pass through...

I'd look at one of the cheaper Mackie, PreSonus, Scarlett interfaces around $150 which should leave you about $200 for a new mic.

You might want to look up the Audio Technica range, I loved the AT4040 but that one is above your budget.
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 8, 2015,
#18
Quote by diabolical

Either way, even USB mics shouldn't hiss like you describe them so I am not sure why, could be some electrical noise on the USB connectors being pass through....


The hissing I described was the Windows 10 camera app using the built in mic even though I had the new AKG set as the default mic. The AKG is extremely low noise and so far I am very happy with it.

I haven't managed to get a quiet time in the house as yet to give it a really good test.

I went the USB road because it is perfectly adequate for what I am doing - I am not laying down an album or trying to impress a recording exec. I am just trying to record some of my music before the cancer beats me.... after all these years playing I have never done it before
#19
I'm past that age too, just that the audio interface route gives you more options and probably better driver support for the DAW.
A mic is something that you should be able to use forever but with pairing it with USB it goes along the same obsolescence route as the other regular audio interfaces.

I like AKG as well so I think you made a good choice. I'm mainly tracking through C3000 right now.
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 9, 2015,