Apogee MiC evaluate

Apogee MiC review
It is no secret that a couple of of us right here at Engadget HQ have an affinity for cellular recording tech. Maybe you possibly can blame a few of our fledgling newbie music careers, however at any fee, we like to get our arms on tech that permits us to put down tracks on-the-go. It is also no shock that Apogee would supply up one other product that may look to do exactly that. As a complement to the outfit’s Jam guitar adapter, the Apogee MiC is the newest foray into cellular recording. Very similar to its guitar particular counterpart, the MiC is each iDevice and Mac suitable and its compact stature will not take up valuable actual property in your journey pack. However, as you could anticipate, staying cellular comes at a premium. So, is the $249 price ticket a deal breaker for the MiC? Is it a small worth to pay for including a strong microphone to your cellular recording setup? Journey on previous the break to seek out out.

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Apogee MiC evaluation

Apogee

Apogee MiC

Execs

  • Compact, however strong development
  • iOS and Mac suitable
  • Tremendous clear sound high quality

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No constructed-in mute change
  • No bundled recording software program

Abstract

Whereas the Apogee MiC is a nicely-constructed piece of recording package, it’s a bit on the costly aspect. Ease of use coupled with iOS and Mac compatibility maintain it a contender although.

Hardware

Apogee MiC review
The very first thing we observed concerning the MiC is how properly constructed this piece of package is. We have been pleasantly stunned to discover a sturdy, all-metallic housing as an alternative of a plastic body like we encountered a number of months again with the Jam. The identical three-shade LED standing indicator makes its house on the face of the mic, telling us when the tech was related however not fairly prepared, go-to-go or that the enter degree was too darn excessive. Apart from that, there weren’t another discoveries, because the peripheral is fairly simple when it comes to design. On the microphone’s proper aspect, lies the lone on-board management: a achieve dial for monitoring enter ranges and a function additionally current on the guitar tech. Whereas the left aspect is naked of any added controls, the USB / iOS connector finds its residence on the bottom and is the only output.
Apogee MiC review
Naturally, contained in the sturdy metallic exterior is the actual coronary heart of the matter. The MiC is of the studio-grade, cardioid condenser type and options 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion at forty four.1 / 48kHz. It additionally makes use of a PureDIGITAL connection tech to chop down on undesirable noise when capturing both vocals or acoustic devices. This ended up being a pleasant contact, as we by no means encountered any undesirable sounds within the captured tracks (extra on that later). You will not discover a battery compartment both, because the system is powered by both your iPad / iPhone or by way of the USB of your pc. Yeah, we all know. Marathon recording periods will not occur with iDevices, since charging-whereas-monitoring is not an choice. Nevertheless, you are positive to get a strong couple of hours by which might be ample time for many duties.
Apogee MiC review
Whereas the achieve management is certainly a helpful function, we might have beloved to see a constructed-in mute change as nicely. Positive, we’re conscious that this can be a system meant to be as lean as attainable with out sacrificing audio high quality, however the inclusion of a small button for such stated function would not have utterly thrown a wrench in issues. Let’s be trustworthy, the inevitable coughing match mid-podcast is sure to occur sooner or later, proper? Should you’re fearful about toting round a microphone on prime of all the things else in your bag, that must be the least of your considerations right here.

In case you’re frightened about toting round a microphone on prime of the whole lot else in your bag, that must be the least of your considerations right here. The Apogee MiC hits the tape at about 1.5 x four.5 inches (38.1 x 114.3mm) and it is solely about an inch and a half thick however nonetheless packs fairly a punch. Not too shabby for a properly-constructed mic able to monitoring vocals and your acoustic axe. Included within the field is a small tripod stand for desktop / tabletop use and each iOS and USB suitable cables. None of these things will take up an excessive amount of area within the ol’ backpack both — truthfully, the complete package deal might match inside an acoustic guitar case. It rested properly in ours, anyway.

Apogee MiC review
Assume you could want some additional instruments to get the job achieved? Properly, the outfit additionally has a MiC Stand Adapter to be used with any stand that you could have mendacity round. If the zero.5m cables are simply too brief on your consolation, a duo of 3m cables can be found for buy as nicely for an additional $20. We made use of each the longer cables and the clip throughout our checks and located them fairly helpful in some situations — like utilizing a mic stand to document vocals whereas standing. And in case you simply need to have a devoted carrying case for all the package, one will quickly be obtainable. No actual arrival date or pricing has been introduced for the case or the stand adapter as of but, although. (Replace: Apogee has simply advised us that the clip, longer cables and case shall be out there as a part of a “Professional Package” for $249, MiC included).

Software program

As with the Jam, Apogee recommends that you simply use GarageBand when recording in your iPad or iPhone. We weren’t in an excessive amount of of a rush to enterprise elsewhere, because the plug-and-play (er, report) sort setup that we encountered with the guitar adapter was the expertise right here as properly. Positive, GarageBand will work simply superb on the desktop (or laptop computer for that matter) aspect and that is what we used for evaluate functions. Nevertheless, Apogee guarantees that Logic Professional, MainStage, Professional Instruments (model 9 or larger) or another Core Audio software program will play good with the MiC. Likelihood is, for those who’re recording in your studio or workplace, you might have already got invested in a number of of those trusty purposes. This can in fact make the preliminary funding a bit simpler in your piggy financial institution.

Common use and sound high quality

Apogee MiC review

Recorded utilizing GarageBand on OS X 10.6.eight, with no modifying or publish-processing.

Like we talked about earlier than, setup for this dangerous boy is a breeze. When you have the requisite software program already put in, the MiC is able to seize as quickly as you’ll be able to unbox it and join the required cables. In fact, you will need to do some wonderful-tuning inside the appliance of selection. Nevertheless, connecting the microphone and getting it able to seize these vocal chops or folky guitar licks could be achieved in just some moments. For the audio pattern above, we positioned the MiC about two ft away from our Washburn acoustic and punctiliously adjusted the on-board achieve dial to insure correct enter ranges. This was the one adjustment we made, although, and what you hear was tracked with a flat EQ and no modifying or tweaks made publish-recording.

Instantly, we observed the readability of the MiC and choosing up precisely what we meant it to. Although the A/C was operating within the workplace we recorded in, the microphone solely picked up a smidge of ambient noise that wasn’t coming from our D10SCE guitar. The general heat of the instrument was captured properly and string noise was welcomed whereas remaining tremendous clear. Talking of readability, we by no means actually had a problem with muddy sounds as long as our enter degree remained at a correct setting. Our solely actually gripe with the sound high quality is the general vary of tones. Whereas treating highs and mids like kings, we want to hear a tad bit extra bass within the uncooked recordings. Positive, we will regulate these issues afterward, however for recording devices whereas touring down the freeway or minimal podcast setting, we would like a bit extra low finish. Do not get us incorrect, although, the sound high quality right here is nice however bumping up the lows a number of ticks can be icing on the cake.

Apogee MiC review
We captured each vocals (learn: somebody speaking, no Chris Cornell-esque pipes right here) and the aforementioned axe with each an iPad to check the Apogee microphone out. As with all recorded monitor, the tunes will have to be tweaked a bit submit-manufacturing. However once more, we thought that the sound high quality was nice of the uncooked recordings — particularly for a extra cellular-worthy package. In fact, that is our excellent use for the system however it’s nicely-fitted to studio use as properly, for those who do not thoughts the connection choices. We additionally used the MiC for some mild podcasting duties with a MacBook Professional and located it to work fairly nicely there too. Its small measurement would make it helpful when touring and also you’re trying to pack as few extras as attainable. You realize, whenever you’d relatively not pack that Yeti Professional. Nevertheless, we’ve got to say right here once more the shortage of a mute change. Its absence is most noticeable on this kind of reside state of affairs the place you do not actually have the posh of a second take.

The competitors

Apogee MiC review

This is the place we’ll talk about the actual value of buying the Apogee MiC: how onerous it’s going to hit the ol’ pockets. Priced at $249, this can be a fairly steep funding for one thing that you simply might solely use whereas on the street. Not solely the upfront value, however should you’re at present rolling with none cellular recording software program, you will need to drop some additional coin for that as nicely — maybe an honest quantity in case you discover that GarageBand does not fit your wants. So let’s check out another choices. (Replace: Simply after we posted this evaluate, Apogee informed us that they’ll promote the MiC for $199 with the desktop stand and common cables. A $249 “Professional Package” will include longer cables, a mic stand adapter and carrying case along with the microphone.) Not solely the upfront value, however in case you’re at present rolling with none cellular recording software program, you will should drop some additional coin for that as nicely.

Within the USB recreation, the primary identify that involves thoughts is Blue Microphones. Although sub-$one hundred USB mics abound, for the sake of comparability right here, we will restrict ourselves to the Yeti (notice: not the Yeti Professional), Snowball and the upcoming Spark Digital. Should you’re principally desktop / in-studio recording or podcasting, you would go for the common Yeti for $149, saving you about $one hundred over the Apogee MiC — although it’s a lot bigger and some stones heavier. The Yeti solely options USB connectivity, so connecting to your Apple slate proper out of the field is not an choice right here, however it’s each Mac and PC suitable. Whereas the Snowball is iPad suitable, the $one hundred providing is certainly extra suited in your weekly podcast or Skype calls; nevertheless, it can be used to seize your greatest Jack White impersonation do you have to so select.

After which there’s the lately introduced Spark Digital. Sporting each USB and iPad compatibility, this Blue Mic additionally gives a studio caliber condenser for each voice and acoustic instrument recording. You will discover a MiC-esque achieve management on the Spark’s exterior as properly. However, greater than that, a constructed-in headphone out for monitoring, quantity management and on the spot mute come commonplace too. This feature will set you again $199 and features a desk stand with constructed-in shockmount, all of the requisite cables and a six month trial of SoundCloud Professional paired with Gobbler entry. What is the maintain up right here? It isn’t on cabinets but and there is no particular arrival date. Bummer.

Wrap-up

Apogee MiC review

There is no doubt that the Apogee MiC is a greater than succesful piece of recording gear. Its sound high quality is nice for such a compact monitoring peripheral and the power to hook up with an iPad / iPhone or firmly planted desktops are each nice options. Nevertheless, it’s costly. A bit too costly? That basically depends upon the dimensions of your recording price range and your degree of dedication. As for us, we might like a couple of extra constructed-in choices on the microphone’s exterior to make the convenience of use that a lot better. And, it would not harm to throw in some sort of software program that may be fired up as quickly because the cables are related, particularly after shelling out over 2 hundred bones. Should you’re not in any hurry, you could think about ready on the Spark Digital. Whereas we will not converse on its sound high quality but, the lower cost tag and extra on-board options ought to draw some consideration. Nevertheless, when you’re trying to report when you’re on that tour this summer time by way of your shiny new Apple slate, the Apogee MiC will serve you properly — should you do not thoughts parting with $250 for the mic package alone.

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