Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mailbag: How Are You Using Your Yeti Pro?

Another tech question from the mailbag. This one on my review of Blue's Yeti Pro:
Just wanted to say thanks for the Yeti Pro review you did. I bought that mic last year for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Do you think it's necessary to set it up on XLR, or is plugging it straight into the computer via USB more than good enough? There are so many choices out there for XLR preamps and mixers that I don't know where to begin, so I've been sticking with USB. Anyway, thanks for the review. Best, Bob
There's NOTHING wrong with using a Yeti Pro on USB. That's what it was designed for, and truthfully, in a well treated room, the Yeti Pro delivers INSANE sound quality, 24bit/192kHz, over that cable. Quality you'll RARELY need in the world of dry voice spoken word recording.

You'll pardon, that being a gear snob however, if I can use a dedicated preamp, I will. This comes down to one of those personal preference things that audio folks like to argue about. There's something about the way that a good mid-range solid state pre will drive a mic that I just happen to enjoy. I don't have any scientific data to support my assertions here, but there's an edge to mids and highs that I just can't seem to recreate without a box solely designed to boost signal in my recording chain.

Especially in the current VO climate where everyone is trying to find a "warm" sound with tubes and ribbons, I feel we're starting to lose the tremor, vibrato, and edges of a voice which can help make us distinctive. I would never underestimate the value of a "crisp", "bright" recording for conversational commercial auditions. It'll do a much better job (IMO) of helping you cut through than focusing on "warmth" (analog style distortion) and compression. To many people are running towards "muddy"...    

So short story long, the great thing about a Yeti Pro is precisely the fact that it's not necessary to use it with a pre. However, if you start looking at upgrades for your studio, you wont need to scrap it.

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