Apogee Mic: Is It Worth The Money?

Apogee Mic: Is It Worth The Money?

Apogee Mic: Is It Worth The Money? 680 453 Maye

Our Engadget HQ staff is no stranger to the world of mobile recording. In any case, we love to be able to lay down tracks on the go. You could blame our fledgling amateur careers, but at any rate, we are always looking for ways to get our hands on technology. The fact that Apogee would also offer up a new product designed with the same intent is also of no surprise. part of Apogee’s mobile recording network, the Apogee MiC provides a complementary product to its jam guitar adapter. In much the same way as the guitar-specific model, the MiC is compatible with Apple devices and Macs, and its compact design won’t take up much room in your travel luggage. The cost of staying mobile is high, as you might imagine. The MiC costs $249, so is that a deal breaker? Does adding a solid microphone to your mobile recording setup seem like a small price to pay? To find out, keep going past the break.

Hardware

This kit is very well built, as our first impression when we saw it. delighted to find a strong, durable metal housing that didn’t have the plastic frame like with the Jam we reviewed a few months back. Likewise, we have the same three-color LED status indicator on the mic, which lets us know if the tech was connected but not quite ready, if it was ready to go, or if the input was too Other than that, there was nothing else to report, since the peripheral itself is fairly straightforward in its You’ll find the lone on-board control on the right side of the microphone An input level meter, which is available on the guitar tech, is present on the gain dial. In contrast to the left side’s lack of controls, the USB / iOS connection resides on the base and is the only output available.

It is of course the real heart of the matter that lies inside the sturdy metal exterior. With its cardioid condenser design and 24-bit conversion at 44.1 / 48kHz, the MiC is studio-grade and of the cardioid condenser variety. Additionally, it features PureDIGITAL connection technology to lessen the amount of background noise produced when recording vocals or It turned out to be a nice touch, since we didn’t encounter any unwanted sounds in the captured tracks (more on this The device does not come with a battery compartment either. Instead, it can be powered by either your iPad / iPhone or via USB from Yes, we are aware of that. Since iDevices cannot be charged while tracking, marathon recording sessions will not be possible. Although you will have some time to do most things, you are sure to get a solid couple of hours to work on most things. It’s a good feature to have a gain control, but we would have appreciated a mute switch at the same time. It’s true this is a device meant to be as powerful as possible without sacrificing audio quality, but the inclusion of a single small button for such a purpose wouldn’t have thrown the entire design off. I mean, let’s be honest. At some point, as a podcaster, you’re bound to cough during the podcast, This should be the least of your concerns if you’re worried about carrying a microphone in addition to everything else in your bag. This should be the least of your concerns if you’re worried about carrying a microphone in addition to everything else in your bag. Apogee MiC’s edge gets to the tape at about 1.5 x 4.5 inches (38.1 x 114.3mm) and it’s about an inch and a half thick but they pack quite a punch for their size. This is not too bad of a price for a mic capable of recording vocals and acoustic guitar. It can be used with a tripod stand on a desktop / tabletop as well as Apple and USB The package could easily fit inside an acoustic guitar case too — none of these items will take up a significant amount of room in a backpack. However, it was a nice rest in ours. Do you think you may need some additional tools to do the job? As far as the accessories go, they include a MiC Stand Adapter so that you can use any standard stand you might have The third configuration is for those who find the 0.5m cables just a bit short and would like a pair of 3m cables for an additional While testing, we used both the longer cables and the clip, and we found them both useful in some scenarios, such as using a mic stand for recording vocals while on the go. The kit will soon come with a carrying case if you just need to carry the entire piece of kit. Although no exact announcement has been made regarding pricing or availability of the stand adapter or the case, we can speculate about the possibility. Here’s the update As of right now, Apogee tells us that the clip, longer cables, and case will be available in a “Pro Kit” for $249, including the Micro USB cable.

Software

Apogee suggests using GarageBand to record via your iPad or iPhone, just as you would with the Jam. Although we weren’t in a hurry to venture elsewhere, the same sort of plug-and-play (er, record) setup we experienced with the guitar adapter was also the case here. It’s true that a desktop (or laptop) version of GarageBand will work just fine, and that’s what we used during the review. While Apogee has said that Logic Pro, MainStage, Pro Tools (version 9 or higher) or any other Core Audio software will work with the MiC, they have not confirmed it. In the event that you are recording in your studio or office, you may have already invested in one or more of these trusted In this way, you will of course ease the load on your wallet quite a bit.

General use and sound quality

We mentioned before that the setup of this bad boy is super easy. You can immediately begin to capture with the MiC when you unbox it and attach the cable(s) if you already have the required software installed. It is necessary to tweak the application of choice inside the microphone to get those vocal chops or folky guitar licks to sound their best. However, connecting the microphone and getting it set up are both easy tasks. On the audio sample above, the MiC was placed approximately two feet from the Washburn acoustic and the on-board gain dial was also adjusted thoroughly to ensure the correct We only tweaked this one thing, and then what you hear here was recorded with a flat EQ and no editing or tweaking was done afterward.

Our first observation was the clarity of the MiC and that it picked up exactly what we meant it to pick up. The mic picked up a tiny bit of ambient noise that wasn’t coming from our D10SCE guitar, even with the A/C running in the office. In addition to capturing the overall warmth of the instrument, string noise was also captured while remaining as clear as ever . In terms of performance, as long as the level of our input remained at a proper setting, we never really had any problems with muddy sounds. We have a slight problem with the overall range of tones provided in the sound quality. Raw recordings are treated like kings when it comes to highs and mids, but we’d like to hear a bit more bass. Although we have the option of adjusting those things later, for recording instruments while driving down the highway or for moderate podcasting, it would be beneficial to have a bit higher low-end. Although we agree that the sound quality is great, bumping up the low frequencies a few ticks would bring the whole thing to a new level.

During the recording of both vocals, we Here, we are still going with a human voice (no Chris Cornell-style pipes) and the aforementioned axe with a iPad to test the Apogee microphone. Depending on the needs of the project, any recorded track will need to be tweaked through In any case, we thought that we could have gotten great sound quality with the raw recordings — especially with a more mobile-friendly The device is ideal for this purpose, but you should be able to use it in a studio setting if you don’t mind the limitations of the In addition, we used the MiC to podcast with a MacBook Pro and found that it worked quite well for this purpose as well. When you’re traveling and want to pack as few extras as possible, this bag would come in handy. Sometimes, you just wouldn’t want to carry that Yeti Pro around. It is still necessary to point out here that there is no Especially in this type of live situation where you don’t really have a second chance to catch things right, its absence is more noticeable.

competition

Now let’s look at how much the Apogee Micro will cost you in real terms I wonder how much damage it will do to the The price is pretty steep for something that you may only use while traveling. At $249, this is an expensive investment. In addition to the upfront cost, if you don’t have any recording software, you’ll have to spend some extra bucks on that as well — perhaps quite a bit if you don’t think GarageBand is going to be the right software for your needs anyway. Then, we’ll see what other options there are. Here’s the update Apogee told us right after we posted this review that they’ll sell the MiC with the desktop stand and regular cables for $199. The $249 “Pro Kit” includes longer cables, an adapter for mic stands, and a carrying case in addition to the microphone.) Not only the upfront cost, but if you don’t already have recording software, you’ll have to shell out extra cash for it. One of the first names that come to mind when thinking of the USB game We will limit ourselves to the Yeti for the purposes of comparison, despite the fact that there are a variety of sub-$100 USB mics. Snowball (not Yeti Pro), Spark Digital, and the upcoming Yeti Pro. Even though it is much heavier and much larger than the Apogee MiC, this version of Yeti is a great deal cheaper than the Apogee MiC if you are mostly recording on your desktop / in your studio. Because the Yeti only offers USB connectivity, it cannot be connected straight out of the box to your Apple slate, however, it is compatible with both Macs and PCs. The Snowball is iPad compatible, but its $100 price tag might be more appropriate for Skype calls and weekly podcasts. The camera can nevertheless be used to capture your best Jack White imitation, should you so desire. Then there’s Spark Digital, which was just announced. This Blue Mic not only supports both USB and iPad connectivity, but also features a high quality condenser microphone for recording voice and acoustic instruments. The Spark’s exterior also features a gain control similar to the one found on MiC. However, more than that, there are also built-in features like a headphone out, volume control, and instant mute. You’ll spend $199 for this deal, which includes a desk stand with built-in shockmount, all the cable necessities, as well as six months of SoundCloud Pro and Could you please let me know what is going on? This item has not yet been released on shelves and the date of its arrival is unclear. That’s too bad.

Wrap up

A powerful and efficient recording device, the Apogee MiC is no doubt a remarkable piece of hardware. I love the sound quality since it is great for a little tracking peripheral. And I also like the fact that you can connect to your iPad or iPhone or firmly planted desktops. But it can be rather expensive. At times, it may even be too expensive, depending on how much you have to spend and how committed you are to the project. Rather than adding a few built-in options to the exterior of the microphone, we would prefer it if there were several more options on the exterior. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in some kind of software that can be executed as soon as the cables are connected, especially if you have already shelled out over two hundred dollars. In the event that you are not in a rush, you may wish to wait for Even though we are unable to vouch for its sound quality yet, the lower price tag and additional features should make this device more appealing. As for the Apogee MiC — if you don’t mind paying $250 for its mic kit alone — if you’re looking to record while you’re on your new Apple slate during your summer excursion, then it’ll suit you well.