Review of IK Multimedia’s iRig Microphone For iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Home recording is our thing at Home Brew Audio. And in that capacity we are making it our mission to spread the word that professional sounding audio is do-able for just about anyone. The technology leaps in the past few years make professional audio recording affordable to pretty much everyone with a computer and microphone. That’s what we’ve been saying. But IK Multimedia is challenging even the need for a computer now! We’re still a bit shell-shocked about their new products for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. These include the iRig Mic, iRig AmpliTube electric guitar/bass adapter, and the iKlip microphone stand adapter for the iPad. Today we’re going to talk about the iRig Mic. So what is the iRig Mic? It is a condenser microphone that you can plug into your iPhone, iPad or iPod … [Read more...]

Wind Across US Open Microphone Causing Distraction

At the US Open Men's final, heavy winds blowing across the umpire's microphone caused a very loud, deep noise to echo across the court. Announcer John McEnroe said "Someone should tell the umpire to turn his mic off - it's distracting to the players." This just goes to show that even though microphone windshields help greatly, they cannot completely eliminate that wind noise. I wrote a few days ago about the very large and peculiar-looking windshield being used by the US Open tennis umpires, the Rycote Baby Ball Gag Windshield. Read more about that here: … [Read more...]

The New Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Mic Now Available For Pre-Order

This is really exciting.  Sennheiser announced their new shotgun mic, the Sennheiser MKE 600, very recently and you can be among the first to get one.  It's available for pre order exclusively at B&H, the first retailer to stock and ship the new mic.  You can order yours by clicking here. The reason I said it was so exciting was that I have stated that my "desert island mic" was the Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic (see my review, along with audio and video samples here:  But that one costs about a thousand clams.  If the new MKE 600 sounds anywhere near as good as the MKH 416, it will be a fantastic value at just $399.95.  Plus I can justify that to my wife a lot easier than the grand I'd have to drop for the … [Read more...]

Microphone Used By Chair Umpire At US Open Tennis Tournament

I was going crazy trying to figure out what that large (huge really) microphone was that the chair umpires were using during the 2012 US Open Tennis Tournament.  And no wonder I couldn't find an answer - it isn't a large mic at all!  It's a cover for the mic (any mic) called the Rycote Baby Ball Gag Windshield (yeah, sounds like something kinkier than a microphone attachment;)). The Baby Ball Gag Windshield actually covers the capsule of a microphone to reduce the effect of wind blowing across it.  The ball-shaped cover actually comes in two parts so if you need to cover a standard ball-end microphone like a Shure SM58, you can, though it is really designed for cylindrical mics like the Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic. The inside of the Ball Gag is made of the same kind of materials … [Read more...]

Tips For Recording Electric Guitar

There are lots of different ways to record electric guitar.  The sort of default way in the past was to plug the guitar into your amp, stick a Shure SM57 mic in front of it (the amp), plug the mic into your recorder and shred (or strum, or whatever).  You can also alter tone by changing what part of the cone you point the mic toward, or changing the distance.  If you were really adventurous you might also add a large diaphragm condenser mic for added flexibility and tone in the mix. Of course in the recent past it has been possible to dispense with the amp altogether. You can get DI (direct inject) boxes and amp modeling software now as well. Here is an article that gives you some tips and no-nos for recording electric … [Read more...]

Q&A About The Rode NT2-A Microphone

Someone sent me a question this morning after listening to the audio samples in my review of the Audio-Technica AT2035 large diaphragm condenser microphone here: I thought I'd share his question and my answer. Here is his question: I was looking at your review of the AT2035 and i noticed an emphasis on the mid range.  The Rode NT2-A mic sounds better to me. Now, I'm looking for a microphone that i can record my electric guitar ( loud volumes but not blistering loud) my voice, and my acoustic guitar.  So I was wondering - can I record my electric guitar with the Rode mic that you demoed in the video? Thanks! Here is my answer: Yes the Rode NT2a is definitely the better mic no question.  And you can also … [Read more...]

Review of the Audio-Technica AT2035 Microphone

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a large diaphragm condenser (LDC) microphonewith a cardioid pickup pattern. (For a review of what a large diaphragm condenser mic is, see our post: What Are The Different Types of Microphones?) The AT2035, which sells for $149, is an improvement on its less expensive sibling, the AT2020, which sells for $69.99, still a great value. The capsule in the 2035 is a newer (and larger) design that gives a flatter response in the low (bass) frequencies and is overall more sensitive than the 2020. So What is Different? For the extra 81 bucks or so you not only get a more sensitive mic with flatter low end and more sensitivity, but you also get a mic with less self noise and some additional features thrown in for good measure. The 2035 gives you more control over … [Read more...]

3 Must-Know Tips For Getting Good Quality Audio From Your Home Recording Studio

Ah, the home recording studio. So many folks have one (if you have a computer and any kind of microphone - you have one!), yet so few use it to its full potential. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, a really professional-looking website with cool graphics and slick videos, will have audio content that sounds crappy? What’s with that? It seems like lots people have set up a computer-based home recording studio in their homes or offices, but they don't seem to know how to create really good sounding audio, even though it is possible to do it with just a little knowledge...and not even hard knowledge. The home recording tips you'll find at Home Brew Audio will help tremendously. I think it has something to do with myths that still linger in the zeitgeist from the old days, when audio … [Read more...]

New Home Recording Bundles: Rode and Pro Tools Vocal Studio

I just found out about some killer home recording studio bundles now available from B&H Pro Audio. Both use the Rode NT1-A large diaphragm condenser microphone, which is one of the most amazing vocal mics on the market for recording your voice.  And both of these bundles fall into my home studio classification of "configuration 2," which means they are standard XLR microphones that get plugged into an audio interface, which in turn gets plugged into a computer, via USB in this case. Mbox Mini Vocal Studio The Avid Mbox Mini Vocal Studio (the "mini" is for the product called the Mbox Mini) consists of the awesome Rode NT1-A large diaphragm condenser mic, along with the Rode shock mount and integrated pop-filter and 20-ft. mic cable; the Avid Mbox Mini audio interface with ProTools … [Read more...]

What Is the Difference Between A Condenser and A Dynamic Microphone?

The whole home recording equipment thing can be confusing. There isn't just one kind of microphone. To add to the confusion, they have scary-sounding names like "large-diaphragm condenser," and are often differentiated from each other by more strange and intimidating terms like "transformerless" or "field-effect transistor." To heck with that! I just want to know what mic to use and how it will sound. Welcome to the world of jargon. Computer geeks have their jargon and so do audio geeks. At the end of the day I think we're stuck with some of these terms. But I'll try to clue you in to the things you should know, and the general rules-of-thumb for use. That should give you a starting point at least, without having to earn a degree in electrical engineering (although if you have one of … [Read more...]