Tech Review: There’s a Yeti Sitting on my Desk!

Recently my wife brought home a Yeti. If you’re thinking the Yeti I’m referring to is just like the main character from Harry and the Hendersons, one of my favourite movies that my father took me to theaters to see when I was a kid, you are not even close.

The Yeti I’m referring to is actually a Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver for professional recording. It is made by a company called Blue Microphones, based in California.

The Yeti

The Pod-caster, the musician, even the dictator (as in dictating words, not the other kind!) in you will love the Yeti’s THX certified sound quality, integrated gain control, and four recording modes:

Stereo Mode: Uses both the left and right audio channels for wide and realistic sound – ideal for recording acoustic guitar sessions or choirs.

Cardioid Mode: Ideal for pod-casts, vocal performers, voice overs, and instruments. This mode records sound right in front of the mic, producing rich sounding results.

Omnidirectional Mode: Picks up all the sounds that are around the mic, equally, giving listeners a live, being-there ambiance.

Bidirectional Mode: Records from both the front and the rear of the mic. Ideal for duets or two-person interviews.

We plan on using the Cardioid mode often, for our upcoming pod-casts and YouTube videos. Using this mic compared to the much cheaper U.S.B. microphones out there ($7 – $27 for the common ones) would be a wise choice if you want your recordings to noticeably sound better for your listening audience. It’s not like buying a Mechanical Keyboard where your audience won’t appreciate how much better you typed your words. It is worth the extra money. Yetis range in cost between $120 and $160. You get what you pay for, though.

It weighs 3.5 lbs.! A lot for a mic of its kind. You could use it as a paper weight for those days you like having the windows of your den, office, basement, walk-in closet (which is where my computer is) open. Or maybe you sneeze a lot. Violently. That paper on your desk will be secure. (I’m not at all implying that the Yeti is useless, or broken, or is only good for a paper weight). The only thing I don’t like about this device is the cheap feeling Gain, Pattern, and Volume knobs.

They are made of plastic and have a wigglyness to them, stark in contrast to the rest of the mic’s heavy metal shell and sturdy base.

I can look past those knobs as long as they hold up over the years. (Luckily, the Yeti comes with a two year warranty). It is compatible with Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), Windows 8, including 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP (both Home and Professional) and requires a minimum of 64MB of RAM.

It is very easy to set up. Just plug and play! How about colors? The Yeti is available in silver, blackout and platinum (we have the silver one). There’s also two more models to choose from.

The next model up, called the Yeti Studio, comes bundled with all in one professional recording software (if you want more options than what Garage Band software provides, you may like this). And finally, the top model, called the Yeti Pro (which only comes in black, and has higher minimum system specs required to use it, such as: Mac OS X 10.6.4 or higher, 256MB of RAM and USB 2.0 High Speed ), comes with an additional stereo analog XLR Output, ideal for hi-resolution recording. It also has a higher recording sample rate. (24bit/192kHz compared to the other two’s 16bit/48kHz).

You’d want the top model if you actually wanted to take it out into the world with you say, for use with your band’s live performance, a tech conference, or maybe you want to stream live from E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo – where many of the big video game publishers show off their upcoming games – somewhere I hope to attend someday). I’ll settle with our “base model” Yeti for now. It’s better than all the cheap alternative U.S.B. microphones out there. I just wish the Yeti microphone was available in more colors or even textures! (I’d pay a premium for one that was clad in 100% authentic sasquatch fur. As long as the fur was harvested in a humane way.) That would go well with the Yeti theme.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go watch my Harry and the Hendersons Blu-ray and feel like a kid again.

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