Omaker – 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable (3.3ft x 2, 6.6ft x 1)

Omaker Audio Cables

Needing replacement audio cable for my car stereo and my headphones I decided to give the Omaker 3 cable bundle a go and have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. Super slim connectors with a real high quality feel to the overall propuct. I cannot see where you vcould get such a quality cable for less than £8 especially for a 3 pack! I found them on Amazon here http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018VVTMGW

Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter (for podcasting)

Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter

Although Apple have had a Camera Connection Kit in the past they have not had one included pass-though power that allows for more power hungry devices to work. In the past devices have either not worked or have required all equipment to be all but plugged together with the final connection being the lightning connector to the iPad, often still displaying a warning message.

The USB speed is only supported on the bigger brother iPad Pro and the adapter does not allow pass-through syncing but not only can you use connected cameras to import photos and videos but you can use it with the iPhone 6 as well, allowing you to plug in…

  • USB microphones, such as the Blue Yeti and the Samson Go Mic
  • Midi Interface
  • USB Ethernet adapter
  • Memory Sticks

For me this adapter is great, I can now throw my Samson Go Mic, stand and pop filter in a bag along with a powerpack (Anker are my choice) and I can pretty much record anywhere with my iPhone 6 Plus!

 

Mini Pop Filter

mini pop filter

 

However good the Samson Go Mic is it still picks up ‘aspirated plosives’ such as the ‘P’ when you say ‘pop’. However due to the microphones size it does not need a large pop filter, such as a standard 13.5cm internal diameter pop filter, instead a smaller 8.cm internal diameter pop filter can be used. I elected to purchase a fixed stem rather than a flexible goose neck which again minimises the overall size of the filter. My only frustration is that the first silver piece connected to the black clamp is via a countersunk threaded bolt that has a cross-head rather than a knurled or wing nut, this reduced the flexibility of adjusting the filter on-the-go but is fine if you are only ever clamping it to the same base or point.

Note: Pop filters are not to be confused with windshields that reduce hiss from being captured and that are mainly for when you are outdoors.

 

Andoer MS-12 Mini Foldable Mic Desk Stand

Andoer MS-12 Mini Foldable Mic Desk Stand

Having bought the Samson Go Mic I realised that I had nowhere to position in on my desk, especially with the monitors being wider than the in-built clamp, soolution found was rthe Andoer MS-12 Mini Foldable Mic Desk Stand. There is not a lot to say about it other than it does what it is supposed to do, comes in at under £6 with Amazon ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013U48ZZ4 ) although you can find it a little cheaper elsewhere (and I got mine with a Mic Clip as well still for less) and if nothing else makes a great fixing for a pop filter!

  • Foldable design for ease of carrying and storing.
  • Tripod design to give it exceptional strength.
  • Non-slip rubber feet to protect your desk from scratches.
  • Equipped with a 5/8″ male to 3/8″ female metal threaded screw, fits for most standard mic clip.(Mic clip is not included.)
  • With a clutch to help you lock the stand, more stable.
  • Made of high quality iron, durable and sturdy. Suitable for meetings, lectures, speaking and ect.

 

Samson Go Mic

The Samson Go Mic is an amazing bit of kit, you would be forgiven for thinking that its cost (you can find it sub £40) would indicate that it would be a low end bit of kit, not the case, and whilst I would still favour the quality of the Blue Yeti Microphone (see earlier posts) this tiny microphone has a lot going for it and especially for its price and feature set.

  • Portable USB condenser microphone
  • Mac and PC compatible, no drivers required
  • Custom, compact design that clips to a laptop or sits on a desk
  • Perfect for recording music, podcasting and field recording, voice recognition software, iChat, VoIP and web casting
  • Switchable cardiod or omnidirectional pickup patterns
  • 16-bit, 44.1kHz resolution
  • Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz–18kHz
  • Stereo 1/8″ headphone output for no latency monitoring
  • Includes USB cable, cable clip and carry case
  • Samson Sound Deck Noise Cancellation Software (Mac OS X/Windows) available for purchase
  •  Mic Stand Mount – A standard Euro-mount mic stand mounting hole and included adapters allow you to attach the Go Mic to a standard microphone stand
  • Weight 0.23 lbs. (.105 kg)
  • Dimensions 70.5 mm x 43.5mm x 23mm

What I particularly love about this mic beyond it’s obvious portability (and coping equally well on a stand with a pop filter) is the quality of not only build but the richness, I would even go as far to say that if portability is a key factor this mic is the all-round choice. The inclusion of a greed ‘powered up’ LED that turns red when the audio is going to be clipped by the mic is a great touch (and independent of any hardware it is connected to). It definitely puts high quality audio in the affordable bracket and other than trying to cram in a gain and volume control into an already small form factor its a firm favourite on my travels.

Note: Incidentally Blue have released a new updated ‘Radius II’ shock mount for the Yeti that has firmer fixing.

Opinion Podcast Recorder & Editor iOS App

www.opinionpodcasting.com

I love this app, mentioned a few weeks ago, and recently used it in my latest podcast. I needed to record three Learning Technologists at three different locations across two days and did not want to carry around with me a lot of equipment. There is a great article outlying its use here 

Opinion came in really handy, allowing me to record on-the-fly, edit fast and save off for my next interview. Admittedly I did my bigger editing on my desktop but I certainly will  not hesitate to use Opinion again on-the-go. What did come up on my wish list for Opinion was:

  1. I found it a bit awkward to have the mic facing my interviewee and also be able to control the app, thankfully the latest update on the 8th March 2015 allows you to rotate the app 180°, allowing you to record a third party with the mic aimed at them but giving you full control still.
  2. Save and retrieve recordings (including splits?), the work around for this currently is to save to cloud services such as Dropbox or Box and retrieve but these are as whole recordings, meaning you lose any splits
  3. Although targeted at the podcasting market there is no way to layer audio clips. Something that the reasonably proficient podcaster would have for their intro, outro and bumper audio clips or even bed music
  4. And there is also no volume or fade in/out facility, although if you could layer the audio clips you could always have permanent fade in and out built into the intro, outro and bumper clips (I adjust these based upon the rest of my content normally)

Give me point 3 and I would happily give it a go of editing an entire episode on the app.

 

Andy

Alternatives to iTunes Podcasting Directory

Recently I looked to expand beyond iTunes to potential expand my podcasts audience. Surprisingly there are few alternatives to iTunes for podcasting subscriptions and compared to iTunes traffic it if often reported as less than 5% and it certainly is muddy waters.

  • WindowsPhone 7/8 (Formally Zune Marketplace) – A growing market that can only grow on the success of Windows based phones. Certainly going through some changes currently at time of post.
  • Stitcher – a popular directory but one that streams the podcasts, potentially using up the user bandwidth when not on free wifi connectivity (there exists some commentary of them using advertising to pay for the service – potentially coming into conflict with an advertising within the podcasts themselves?)
  • TuneIn Radio – another streaming option but one that is more widely spread to the tablet users
  • The Podcast Source – LybSyns directory/app for Windows 8 and Windows phone 8 (already on this one! as I am hosted upon LybSyn)  – app here
  • Miro – open source and growing, allowing for downloads and one that allows Android users an iTunesesque [sic] experience.
  • Blackberry Podcasts – now defunct

Online Directories

  • directory.libsyn.com – LybSyns own web based directory (already on this one!)
  • Podcastdirectory.com – a web based searchable directory (also in this field is
  • podcast411.com – rough around the edges but well though of! at time of the post it was being overrun by spammers and search/submit options suspended!

There are other systems that pull from other directories such as Overcast: podcast player  (for iOS) that pulls from iTunes. But for me I think that Miro  is the one that is worthy of interest particulaly as it will open up the android market for the podcast (and even windows platforms) followed by the podcastdirectory.com

 

Update:

  • Windows – looks like you have to go through BING and add an XML feed to your podcasts – did not pursue this one!
  • Miro – You will not be able to access the ‘Submit Show’ option from the sub-navigation bar (from your username on the right hand side in chrome) show is now submitted
  • Stitcher takes you through an approval process. It took a few day, required a link to stitcher on the website before approval.
  • Tunein approval took a full week

 

Andy

Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Headphones

2

The headphones are great, mind you I’m not an audio expert, but they sound excellent, they are certainly comfy and won’t break the bank when you can pick certain designs up for around £30 (RRP £50). I was surprised that they come with a detachable cable that includes an in-line mic/controller, whilst this is great from my iPhone it can play a little havoc with some systems such as my PC or Blue Yeti whereby I have to just retract the plug ever so slightly to hear the audio fully.

Certainly a worthy investment for the podcasts.

 

Andy

Blue Yeti Microphone

I am loving the Blue Yeti. Not only a great sounding Mic but one that has far more features than anything in the same price range and below. Hear a quick comparison between the Samson C01U and the Blue Yeti here – http://vocaroo.com – it does not do the microphone justice, I certainly don’t regret the purchase.

So what features does it come with? Well a good length of USB cable and one hell of a funky stand with rubberised base to support what is one chunky mic! (and great to attach a pop filter to)

  • On the front
    • Volume
    • Mute button – so useful!
  • On the rear
    • Adjustable gain
    • 4 pattern setting
      1. Stereo – main pick up from front and sides, vocals and instruments
      2. Cardioid – main pick up from front, singular speaker for podcasts
      3. Omnidirectional – all around, focus groups
      4. Bidirectional – front and rear, interviews across the table
  • Underneath
    • micro USB connection (no drivers required!)
    • headphone 3.5mm jack – zero latency audio monitoring
    • 5/8 inch threaded hole for microphone stand

What don’t I like? well not a lot to be honest…

  • Its a bit of a beast – it appeals to me but don’t think it will be a joy to carry around
  • The microphone has a tendency to either damage its own paintwork or that of the stand – if you look at second hand ones they mostly mention slight “mic vs stand” knocks (mine does but it on the stand.
  • Volume and gain controls feel a little loose
  • No ideal shock mount – Blue’s own Radius shock mount is expensive (at £44) and does not support its own mic (Search YouTube) and there is little alternatives out there due to the unusual base layout. (see unavailable custom mount at Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HL5WWHQ )

Full specs can be found here http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/#specs

I think maybe a project for the summer would be to make a shock mount and publish the designs as a blog?

Andy