If you want your vocal recordings to be clear and high-quality, you need to use a good microphone. One mic brand for recording vocals is Blue Snowball, but is it worth buying?
A Blue Snowball is suitable for recording close-up vocals as it delivers clear and high-quality recordings. It also allows you to choose between two usable tonalities. However, you need to have a pad setting in place when recording loud sounds to prevent distortion.
In the rest of this article, I’ll further discuss why it’s worth using a Blue Snowball mic to record professional-grade vocals. I’ll also briefly touch on how to set it up for recording and talk about some of its downsides.
Table of Contents
- Is the Blue Snowball Good for Recording Vocals
- Cons of Using a Blue Snowball
- Thoughts on Blue Snowball USB Microphone Sound Quality
Is the Blue Snowball Good for Recording Vocals
Let’s explore the reasons why the Blue Snowball USB mic is good for vocal sound quality and recording music.
Clear Quality Sound from a Condenser Microphone
The Snowball USB mic ensures that you get high-quality sound quality recordings for songs, podcasts, YouTube, and voice-overs.
The custom condenser capsule that powers it makes it superior to the built-in computer microphone on your computer or other condenser microphones within a similar price range.
Also, because the sound quality is great across different frequencies, you don’t have to stay so close to the mic to record. Even if you position yourself about 3-7 inches (8-18 cm) from the device, it can still provide decent sound quality.
As I’ll explain later, however, recording from a considerable distance can still impact your final recording.
Great Features of the Custom Cardioid Condenser Capsule
The Snowball has a sliding switch in the back, which is used for changing between its three polar patterns.
These patterns determine how well the microphone picks up sound from all directions. The switch system has numbers 1-3 to allow you to change patterns accordingly.
The first one, which is the most popular, is called cardioid. Its cardioid polar pattern allows you to record sound directly in front of the condenser mic, making it great for recording vocals along with solo instruments. This setting is also useful for podcasts and voice-overs.
The second number represents the cardioid mode with a -10dB pad. This enables you to quickly record loud sounds without distortion.
The third pattern is omnidirectional, and it helps you to record music and sound from different directions at the same speed. It’s best for recording several musical instruments and making Skype and conference calls.
With this kind of versatility, you can make the most of your recording sessions.
Value for Money
Considering this microphone has more features and a lower price, the Blue Snowball is worth buying.
Under the right acoustic treatment, it can work just as well as most high-end USB microphones. This microphone can be a lifesaver if you want to get decent vocal recordings on a budget.
Easy To Set Up and Use
Since the Snowball comes with a USB cable that connects to a powered computer and a table-top tripod, you can quickly set it up and use it anywhere.
All you have to do is set up the cable and tripod, and you’re practically ready to start recording audio.
Here’s a general guide on how to set up a Blue Snowball mic:
- Place the tripod on a flat surface with the mic on top before plugging the cable into the correct port.
- After you’ve connected the mic and a red light appears on the device to show that it’s active, select the appropriate polar pattern mode. In this case, it’ll be the cardioid one, and you can start recording since there’s no need to download any drivers.
- To create the best-sounding audio, move the tripod a bit closer to you so the mic can fully capture your voice and the instruments you’re playing (if any).
For more on how to set up the Blue Snowball and record, watch this YouTube video from Tech Talk:
Cons of Using a Blue Snowball
As great as these USB microphones are for recording music and vocals, they also have some drawbacks you need to know while using them.
Can Pick Up Background Noise
This usually happens when you use the mic in an omnidirectional polar pattern and when you fail to set it up properly.
Background noise can interfere with your recording and mess it up, forcing you to re-record to have cleaner audio. The extra effort of having to edit out the unwanted sounds in post-production can waste your time and set back your schedule.
Gives Little Flexibility
The Snowball has fewer controls compared to other USB mics, which can kill the flexibility of the recording process.
Without enough power, the chances of messing up and disruptions are higher. As with the unwanted noise, you’ll have to spend more time editing the recording as a result.
For example, the Snowball lacks a pop filter, an on/off switch, and a pause button. The lack of the last feature can prevent you from taking breaks between recordings.
If you don’t have enough time to make a recording in one sitting, you may be forced to reschedule to a more convenient time — and even then, there’s no guarantee you won’t experience unwanted interruptions.
Has Unstable Tripods
The Snowball’s tripods can topple if anything brushes against them, since their center of gravity is spread out in all directions.
To prevent the tripod from falling over, you’ll have to take extra care not to brush against it — which is easier said than done in small recording spaces.
As you can imagine, those extra precautions aren’t always practical. You may be forced to hold the microphone close as you record or bend down low since its legs are short. This can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, especially if you have to record for hours at a time.
Thoughts on Blue Snowball USB Microphone Sound Quality
The Blue Snowball provides an easy and convenient way to record a high-quality vocal recording without going to a high-end recording studio.
Its recordings may not be as spectacular as those done by professionals, but their build quality should be good enough for your purposes.
However, to get the best out of this microphone, you need to ensure the cable is fully plugged into it, the appropriate polar pattern is set, and you’re close enough to the mic for it to capture your voice clearly.
These are good microphones.
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