With the ‘fixed mount cradle’ for the Blue Yeti microphone having its limitations such as being bulky and often requiring to be propped up to get the positioning right (well mostly) I have been on the lookout for a decent shock mount for the Blue Yeti, but it has been a long time come and after many months finally a decent (£25) and affordable shock mount for the Blue Yeti found at http://amzn.eu/6bd69jp .
Many issues exist for a decent shockmount purchase:
- Blue’s own offering is costly (and reportedly fraught with issues if loose clamps – especially for the price)
- The Yeti does have a standard fixing, so there are not many offerings (some bespoke offerings that have been flash in the pan’s)
- The Yeti is one heavy beast and there are numerous reports of any point that require tightening not holding out (see point 1)
- There are a reported batch of Blue Yeti’s that do have the 3/8″thread overcut by a 1/16″ (causing poor fitting to any mount, and not any issue with mounts themselves)
Now I purchased my Blue Yeti for a very handsome price of approx. £65 and there was no way I was ever going to purchase a mount in excess of that so point 1 is out of the question. I toyed with the idea of creating my own (point 2) and even drew up plans but never got round to it! Something specific needed for the yeti due to its non-standard fitting and needing to carry it’s weight (point 3) was also a concern for any attached boom (see later). The only solutions for an overcut fixing was either and new Yeti or as I have read on the web to use plumbing tape (PTFE) to ‘take up the slack’ and not have the Yeti drop off, thankfully I did not need this solutions.
The Auphonix offering was getting great reviews (a cheaper plastic and a reasonable priced aluminium offering were available) but I hesitated and lucked out on the silver aluminium @ £30, then a rather elegant black version showed up for £5 less! a result – and most Booms are black anyway. So now an accompanying boom was required to be purchased – I was conscious of the weight of the Yeti but on Amazon was the recommendation for under £12 the Tencro Professional Microphone Boom for Blue Yeti ( http://amzn.eu/g4CTVSO ), specifically having the key point of being heavy duty designed for supporting almost all microphones up to 4.4 pounds / 2KG.
Both are now fitted and I found that mounting my Yeti above the mount, rather than below, suited my rig better as I will be swinging my mic up and out the way often – kids can be too inquisitive! The difference between the original fixed stand against the dampening properties of the boom & shock-mount are excellent and given my setup prior to this purchase noticeably picked-up ‘shocks & knocks’ and caused me to be extra careful when recording to minimise disruption the cost @ less than £40 is a great solution and one that I cannot recommend myself if you want the best from your original audio recording with your Blue Yeti.
At last “Microsoft Producer” is reborn! A long loved add-on that was dropped some year ago (last developed for PowerPoint 2010) that was dropped all-so-quietly about 3 years ago, not that it was marketed all that loud! What Producer allowed you to do was to either record alongside a PowerPoint presentation, or upload a pre-recorded video, and it would synchronise the timings of the video with the presentation. Meaning that it would play the necessary video portion relation to, say, slide 2. It would then pause, and continue only as you progressed to the next slide. It also allowed a small range of “templates”. I missed this and thought that it was great free plugin that wo0uld benefit so many resources, especially in light of FELTAG and online learning, certainly it would have reduced the complaints of re-inventing the wheel!
But oh so quietly (have you heard of it?) they have re-imagined it. Gone are the templates (not such a bad thing given how dated they did look) but the functionality that it offers in return are great:
- Recording of video (and closed captioning!!!!! [ see here ])
- Video controls for play and pause
- In-built volume control
- HD video
- Audio (you don’t have to have video!)
- line thickness
- line colour
- entire annotation delete [restart?]
- Screen capture – selectable area
- desktop video
- desktop screen capture
- Interactivity through apps
- open question
- multiple choice
- Insert pre-existing video/audio
- Video (no interactivity)
- SCORM package for
- Upload to MS MIX Server
Now although this seems great there are a few wrinkles…
- You cannot wipe out individual annotations (although you can manually wipe them out if you have a plain background to your slide in one of the annotation colours!)
- You cannot have a video on the same slide as an interactive quiz or a screen captured video
- SCORM is not fully functioning, certainly it is not working with Moodle, although MS are now working with Moodle on a Plugin! [ see here ]
- It does not seem to like it when you try to annotate using just audio & inking or just inking – seems unstable. Fine when using video throughout
- The inking lends itself more to touchscreen than mouse
Now when I say fully functioning as a SCORM if your not using the interactive quiz functions its fine as you can just upload as a presentation anyway. But if you are then you are going to want to upload to the MS MIX server… as you get analytics! oh and a discussion board, oh you can also open to the public and class a distributable and editable under creative commons!
So want to see my first effort? be kind! [ find it here ]
So you want it for yourself? [ go here ] or if you work for the same organisation as I do (if your reading this on DAVE then you do) then you can find it from the….. (it is easier than it looks)
- START BUTTON > ALL PROGRAMS > MICROSOFT SYSTEM CENTRE 2012 R2 > CONFIGURATION MANAGER > SOFTWARE CENTER.
- Select “find additional applications from the applications catalog”, located top right under the search bar
- Select “learning technologies” from the webpage on the right-hand-side
- Select “office mix” from the list
- select Install at the bottom on the right
Are you brave enough to let me see you first attempt?
An upcoming post is likely on “things I have learnt when videoing myself” including “holiday stubble!” 🙂
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
- Mute button – so useful!
- On the rear
- Adjustable gain
- 4 pattern setting
- Stereo – main pick up from front and sides, vocals and instruments
- Cardioid – main pick up from front, singular speaker for podcasts
- Omnidirectional – all around, focus groups
- Bidirectional – front and rear, interviews across the table
- 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?
Last week was one of those of coincidence. I came across the following instructional video on YouTube http://youtu.be/WcB3s8KOk4w last Wednesday and the use of a embroidery/punch needle/cross-stitch hoop – I have never seen one of this these anywhere. On Thursday I found myself travelling from Essex to Barnsley for an elearning meeting and lo-and-behold next to me was a young lady with one of the same hoops. Mind Blown!