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Equipment Exposê - Blue Yeti Blackout Edition

Finding the right microphone to record your audio project can be difficult.

Some are expensive, some are poorly made, some require additional equipment to run properly.

In our opening edition of this column, we'll look at one of the most versatile pieces of recording equipment in your arsenal, the multi Setting USB microphone.

Blue, makes a number of affordable, durable USB microphones with multiple settings to handle various recording environments. Available in a number of colors, these microphones allow for a case full of equipment to be stored within a very compact package.

Let's start with the design, Yeti Mics are modern looking. The brand is fun with cute little character designs in the almost unnecessary instruction manual. Yep, this thing is that easy to set up.

As a USB mic, it plugs directly into your computer's USB ports for all of its power needs, no additional equipment is needed to start recording with this piece.

With 4 settings to help shape where audio is picked up from, you have the equivalent of multiple mics in one which can be quite handy for audio with multiple participants.

Add the durability and ruggedness of the all metal construction to the superb sound quality for a digital mic and you come out with a reasonably priced package that can be a great jack of all trades tool for your audio endeavors.

As for some of the Yeti's weaknesses, they stem from a few of the same places it gets its strengths. Multi setting recording, especially in a 360 degree circle, tends to pick up quite a bit of background noise, and if your recording room isn't properly insulated, echos can abound.

Additionally, breath noise can tend to be a problem, though can be mitigated with a pop/windscreen and proper technique.

The headphone jack is also a bit awkwardly placed on the underside of the mic, and if your cords is dangling, unplugging your monitor headphones is unfortunately a bit too easy and accidental.

We've put our Blackout edition through quite a bit over the past year or so here at Westport Studios, it still looks great, with the exception of one, small paint chip on the mic stand revealing bare metal, likely a coating defect. The Mic stays tight in its stand generally, but sometimes if can feel like the knobs to adjust this don't turn far enough to secure the main body of the equipment at the right angle.

Overall, this product is a strong addition to any audio setup, and at the price of $129 on Amazon, it can't be beat for price and versatility.


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