Microphone Disagreement? A Discussion of Microphones with Bandrew Scott of Podcastage

[Music] welcome everybody to a.

   New episode where we’re going to talk microphones .

   I have a special guest with me here today mr.

   ban drew from podcast egde ban drew thanks so much for joining thank you for having me Curtis .

   I am honored that you asked me to be here .

   I do a channel where i review microphones and scream at people while .

   I throw boxes around the room that’s what .

   I do and that’s awesome and that is what’s one of my favorite things to watch and .

   I also my favorite though .

   I think was a couple of videos ago where you threw the box and actually kind of threw yourself out of the chair as well yeah that sometimes happens there are very frequently mishaps luckily the only thing that gets damaged or injured in those instances is my ego but.

   No worries.


   No biggie okay good well thank you again so let’s let’s go ahead and dive in we have a topic here that came up and actually it was Rob cave it brought it up it was a great question .

   I thought and that was Rob follows a couple channels he follows your channel podcast is over on YouTube and .

   I believe he also follows the band ruses podcast and then also he also follows booth junkie so mr.

   Mike delgadio who has the booth junkie channel on YouTube and then he also follows my channel and one of the questions he asked which .

   I thought .

   I thought was a very astute and a great question and that was in regards to a particular microphone here for example .

   I am using the Tech’s own audio stellar x2 vintage microphone this is a microphone that you reviewed mic reviewed .

   I believe.

   Not the vintage model but the other model the original and he asked me what my impressions were and so .

   I actually bought the vintage and the the original and kind of worked with him for a couple of weeks.

   Now and my impression was well the vintage probably works better on my voice than the original the original is probably better for darker voices but we all had slightly different takes on it and he was like well it’s interesting because .

   I trust all of you guys .



   I guys are all great reviewers but you all have different impressions and so .

   I want to talk about that so bandra what are your thoughts on you know why why can’t we all talk about the same microphone .

   I have slight different impressions .

   I was thinking about this a little bit earlier and .

   I think there are in my opinion six different reasons why reviewers have different opinions that would be experience the sound source that you’re recording and most of our cases that’s going to be our voices the hearing meaning how old are you because as you age you lose a little bit of the higher frequencies or different people have different shaped ears so you have different sensitivities to different frequencies the playback system that you’re listening to stuff on that is a huge impact on what you or how you perceive a microphone the application you’re using it for because that means if you’re recording a guitar for a full mix you’re gonna want something very differently then if you’re recording a solo guitar or if you’re recording guitar you’re gonna want something that sounds very different then you would want if you’re recording a.

   Narrative book and then lastly is just preference that’s what each individual reviewer is enjoys the most and as much as we might want to be completely impartial we all do have preferences so that comes into play as well okay so .

   I think you just answer the question or we can go home all right thank you for the question talk to you.

   Next time but .

   I think there’s a lot that we can discuss in each of these two – .

   I agree yeah .

   I absolutely agree and .

   I and .

   I think the first one that you mentioned had to do with was it this which one was the first one sound source experience so how long you have with with recording or analyzing microphones or just recording in general yeah okay so that’s an interesting one let’s talk about that for a bit so there’s this concept that you hear especially if you hear it a lot more in the music mixing world but you talk about Golden .

   Ears it’s like some people almost talk about it like it’s it’s something you’re born with you’re born with these golden gears and you can hear certain things that other mere mortals cannot hear what’s your take on that .

   I .

   I think so there may be some truth to the genetics there you just have the ability to hear frequencies much better and you don’t lose as much of the higher frequencies but .

   I think a lot of it does come down to ear training you you see the same thing when you’re training and learning with music the first time you hear music you don’t know what makes up every single sound this is a perfect example of that .

   I used to listen to music as a kid .

   I didn’t know what a bass guitar was but then as soon as .

   I started learning the bass guitar .

   I started to be able to hear that specific line in the music so .

   I was developing the skills to hear certain frequencies and pick them out and then as .

   I played more and trained more .

   I was able to pick out more intricate bass lines and learn them by ear so .

   I think that is a perfect parallel to listening to microphones and being able to critique certain areas of the frequency response because you are you’re developing more discerning ears so .

   I think there’s some truth to it because some people do just have the amazing ability the gift to be able to hear up to 20 kilohertz until they’re 95 years old .

   I don’t know if that’s a thing but maybe but .

   I think a lot of it does come down to just putting in work and listening a lot it does yeah and .

   I think specific types of things specific types of listening .

   I think your example is really good with a bass guitar in music because you’re right .

   I think a lot of people that don’t know the first thing about bass and.

   Never played bass.

   Never take any lessons and base it for them they’re enjoying the music and they just it’s something it’s almost like something they feel at an intuitive level but they would have a hard time picking out a bass line and being able to say oh did you.

   Notice that funny thing they did in the bass line there you know that that kind of thing just listening specifically for something really kind of start starts over time to tune your ear to those types of things an example .

   I have on my side from the film making world is as the.

   Nerd that .

   I am .

   I’ve taught my wife and daughter about you know what what is fully sound in a movie and.

   Now it’s funny we’re watching something my wife will go Foley you know when when she hears like you know whatever there’s footsteps or you know whatever it is but she’s kind of become attuned to that and she can she can also hear things really if there’s a musician she can hear some things that .

   I don’t know Sara Lee here which is interesting too like when we are recording her violin there are a lot of times when she’s like .

   I know this is.

   Not sounding right we’re getting too much you know something you know and she’ll try to describe it in her words from a musician’s perspective and .

   I’m like .

   I’m trying to do the translation in my brain okay what does that mean but we usually get it figured out eventually but yeah .

   I think there’s definitely something to that experience and and it’s something that .

   I feel like yes .

   I agree there are some people that have really impressive hearing capabilities but .

   I think a lot of it really is training there’s a lot that you can start to be able to pick up even if you’ve started you know .

   I .

   I can’t hear her to be honest .

   I can’t hear a whole lot over 15 kilohertz like .

   I have to really strain at this at my age and there are some other things involved there when .

   I got hit on the head at one point but but yeah .

   I think there definitely some something about that is what actually an another another add on to that point is when you when you’re first starting out you may be super impressed with you you may start on a webcam microphone and then when you upgrade to a $50 .


   USB microphone then you’re blowing away oh my gosh my audio sounds so good but then you start to understand to that microphone so with the experience your understanding the gear that you have and then you start to understand the shortcomings of what you have or the wear the gear that you have excels so.

   Not only is it the hearing but also the knowledge of what you’re using to accomplish what you’re working on interesting yeah yeah .

   I’ve definitely found that over the years with my own experience too or it like what you thought was .

   I’m just melt your ears kind of amazing then you go back here like sounds kind of wooly actually exactly so and .

   I feel a little bit .

   I mean .

   I .

   I like for example the shure sm7b is a mic that i like a lot but and i think i’ve heard you say this as well but i don’t think that’s the right mic for everybody.

   No absolutely.

   Not that there are people with superb .

   AC voices like mic delgadio for example who it it may just be too dark of a microphone but .

   I have a very harsh voice and it’s such a soft sounding microphone that it does so many favors for me by making me sound less piercing and obnoxious so that’s why .

   I love the sm7b but it’s.

   Not right for everybody every streamer does.


   Need an sm7b yeah so that brings us to an interesting point that .

   I .

   I know that .

   I struggle with and .

   I think a lot of people struggle with because because when people watch your videos they watch my videos they might they watch Mike’s videos they’re they’re like they’re trying to find ok which microphone is gonna work for me you know this is what .

   I’m doing .

   I want a mic that’s gonna work for me but it’s really hard and until you have an opportunity to put your voice through a particular mic to know if it’s gonna work or.

   Not you can talk in general terms for example with sm7b if you’ve got a really really kind of a darker voice.

   Not a high a lot of articulation.

   Not and you don’t have any you know.

   Not a lot going on in the sibilance range that may.

   Not be the best mic for you and so the question is what what do you recommend if somebody’s trying to figure that out what what do you recommend so that’s the hard thing .

   I think as you said the best course of action is to put your voice through the microphones but unfortunately that isn’t really feasible once you get above a $10 microphone because with ten dollars yeah pretty much anybody or the majority of people will be able to afford that and put their voice through it see if they like it and if they don’t they can move on but once you get to 400 or 500 dollar microphones like the sm7b and the re 20 .

   I think the best thing you can do is listen to every single audio sample and review you can find do.

   Not rely on a single source for that that is an absolute just route to disappointment listen to everybody and hear how they sound through it and find the people who have similar tone tonality to their voice and that will give you a good baseline it’s.

   Not going to give you an absolute answer.

   Nothing on the internet.

   No reviews.

   No sound samples we’ll give you the absolute answer because you have to get it put your voice through it or put your guitar through it put it in whatever session you’re working in whether it be a an actual song whether it be an audio book whether it be a podcast or a stream and then go from there and see what you like or dislike about it and if you’re willing to make compromises or.

   Not yeah .

   I think that’s great advice and because that’s really for a for example in the music mixing world a lot of a recommendation that comes up over and over again is look you can do these tests of your room you know measure your room and see how your monitors are interacting with your room and so on and so forth and put up bass traps blah blah blah so on and so forth but but one of the things that people recommend over and over again this seems like really good advice to me is use reference audio you use a trap playback a track of music or dialogue or whatever it is that you have heard a whole bunch of times you know generally what it sounds like you’ve heard it in your car you’ve heard it on different playing systems you heard it on different sets of headphones so you really know what to expect to a large extent and you know and play that back and .

   I think if it’s a similar thing with microphones as well .

   I agree.


   Never trust a single review.

   Not because the reviewers are trying to be.

   Necessarily trying to be disingenuous or you know just for whatever the case may be but you.

   Need to hear as many voices as you can through that microphone to get a sense for oh well bandru has a voice that .

   I’ve heard a bunch of times you know through a whole bunch of different microphones like generally know what to expect from his voice Kurtis has a voice with a piercing sibling sound to it so yeah if my voice is like that maybe maybe curtis’s reviews are.

   Not a bad place to look but and then mike has this you know this voice that .

   I think .

   I don’t know .

   I don’t know if .

   I’ve ever heard his voice on a through a microphone that sounded bad really .

   I mean it’s almost like his voice is just so amazing that it’ll sound great through any decent microphone exactly yeah Mike mike has that golden voice but but but for myself and to a lesser extent you with your siblings mine is just piercing it’s yeah it .

   I .

   I’d like to think of my videos as a baseline because .

   I try to keep it as standardized as possible so if somebody has microphone X they can listen to my voice through that and the guitar through that and say okay .

   I know how his voice sounds like through the microphone that .

   I know and understand how does that translate to another microphone so .

   I just view it as a jumping-off point to help folks get a baseline understanding of how these microphones perform or how the interfaces perform before they dive deeper and watch a thousand reviews because .

   I do recommend that.

   Not that anyone has any restrictions on time or anything but good good okay so another thing we talked about was playback systems you know what you’re listening on if you’re listening on your phone that you might recommend against that.

   Not because a lot of people don’t listen to videos on phone or podcasts on phone they do but what would you recommend as far as playback system so .

   I think most headphones will be fine but going back to what you said earlier .

   I think you.

   Need to really understand the playback system you’re listening through so if you have a ten dollar set of headphones that’s fine it may.

   Not be the most accurate representation of what you’re getting but if you know how familiar songs sound like through that and you watch a bunch of videos you understand how things sound like through that that will allow you to get a general understanding of how a microphone will sound but if you are just listening through speakers on your phone they simply don’t have the frequency response to recreate every all the information that you.

   Need to decipher how a certain microphone is sounding so .

   I think headphones even cheap headphones can be really amazing especially compared to phone speakers if you have studio monitors that’s even better or if you have really high-end headphones that are flatter but .

   I think just headphones in general is the way to go when you’re just starting out listening to microphones as long as you understand them and get to know them okay good.

   Now .

   I found with headphones and .

   I think that’s a great point .

   I think using the best quality headphones you can is is a great is a great place to start because you’re gonna hear generally a little more.

   Nuance there it gets tricky you know if you’re some phone speakers you you know it just can’t reproduce a lot of that stuff so my question for you though is if .

   I if .

   I’m at a point.

   Now where .

   I’m getting a little bit more serious about audio recording and potentially mixing as well or even just for headphones for a while .

   I am recording for monitoring is there kind of a threshold where .

   I start to see like versus ten dollar microphones what price point do .

   I have to get to before .

   I start to see like a substantial improvement like .

   I can start to hear things that .

   I couldn’t hear in my ten dollar microphone or or headphones okay sorry so .

   I think maybe seventy to a hundred dollars is the point where you start to hear that you got the 75 oh six is you have the Philips SHP 9500 s’s.

   Not the greatest headphones but pretty usable and very affordable for open backs and then once you go up from there headphones are very subjective but .

   I think $75 and up you’re really gonna start to.

   Notice it different from the $10 or that the free earbuds that come with your iPhone which sound like trash but but but it’s it’s a starting point if you have those use them learn them and then upgrade when you have that the money to do so but 75 bucks .

   I think .

   I agree .

   I agree .

   I think it seems like this this Sony 75060 switch .

   I think that’s what you’re wearing here today yeah okay and then .

   I think soon all makes one that’s similar to that but it has replaceable cables very similar price similar in terms of its performance and it is interesting how you can start to hear things that you couldn’t hear on your tent you know you’re free that the phone earbuds and stuff like that so so definitely good okay let’s talk about one of the other things that you identified was preference what did you mean when you said that so .

   I think it comes it’s kind of an aggregate of all of these other factors so based on the sound source you’re recording whether it be voice or guitar whether it be or also including application what are you using that recording for is it a.

   Narrative book or is it music is it a full song is it just a solo guitar is it just an acapella song and .

   I think all of those things aggregate in to your preference and it also comes into play your your hearing what frequencies are you overly sensitive to .

   I really like mid frequencies but .

   I find a lot of the treble and air frequencies to be somewhat unpleasant kind of fatiguing so .

   I tend to lean towards darker microphones just because they’re more pleasing for me to listen to because it’s.

   Not fatiguing it doesn’t hurt my ears and .

   I don’t know how to really elaborate on preference it’s it’s what you as you gain your experience as you try more stuff you really begin to pick out what characteristics of the microphones that you like are with the sm7b .

   I love that microphone why do .

   I like it because it’s a very smooth top-end and it is a relatively dark microphone and it tames the obnoxious frequencies in my voice but .

   I find it to be it’s .

   I know some people say it’s like kind of like speaking through a blanket but .

   I like that .

   I like this softness it’s so warm and cuddly to me yeah how would you describe preference.

   No .

   I think you’re absolutely right it is it is all of those factors and in in terms of preference .

   I think for me it’s a similar thing it’s .

   I have a funny story from my brother my brother is a musician and he some time ago worked at a Guitar Center and he’s done a bunch of recording you know music studio recording and his voice is.

   Not too dissimilar from mine so he’s like you they’re.

   Not enough to esther’s in the world to address my you know to address my issues but one time he said a guy came and he said man what what is the best mic .

   I should buy .

   I’m making a.

   New album and .

   I wanted to be crisp crispy like super crispy and my brothers like and and .

   I think that really comes down to a preference thing like some people and .

   I think this particular guy was working on a hip-hop album and in that case hip hop .

   I think really relies on this really rich base and these really.

   Nice kind of high frequency you know especially like that like a lot of the percussion stuff in hip-hop has this very kind of high frequency emphasis to it yeah and and .

   I think that works in that and that genre that is a that is a great sound and so .

   I think that’s part of it too is that there’s this there’s this preference for the overall sound .

   I think that what’s interesting to .

   I find for example some of the German microphones if we’re starting to talk about the higher-end microphones a lot of them are voiced with that with a lot of presence boost to them yes yeah and that and again to me on my voice bad fit because it just becomes grating after a while least to my own ears and and maybe that’s.

   Not the case with everybody some people seem to really really like that in fact it’s always funny when you when you post a video and you you know you’re doing a microphone review and you compare maybe several microphones right.

   Next to each other and you know everybody has a different opinion about which one is best on your particular voice yeah so that’s preference .

   I think one of the outliers of the German microphones that .

   I have found is the u-87 it it does have a lot of high-end but it is one of the smoothest high ends and softest high ends in a condenser microphone that .

   I have heard especially when you compare it to some .

   AKG stuff like the C for one fours or right.

   Now .

   I’m using the Telefunken TF 47 and this one rolls off a lot of the air frequencies but it is still incredibly incredibly crisp and .

   I think the u-87 is just a kind of hiding out it’s the redheaded stepchild that everybody actually likes it’s the the popular redheaded stepchild bandra .

   I wish you had.

   Not said that cuz.

   Now you’re gonna make me want to get one of those and those costs how much of those costs 32 to 36 hundred dollars depending on it doesn’t think that doesn’t include the shockmount or anything right thirty-six hundred dollar price tag does that includes a shock mount which i think is a 300 dollar shock mount it’s ridiculous it’s too expensive yeah yeah but you use that mic right .

   I mean .

   I think that’s one that you often use on your on your boundary says podcast yeah so.

   Normally when .

   I get a microphone .

   I will use it for a month on my show but that is a microphone that .

   I put on the stand and after four weeks .

   I just could.

   Not bring myself to take it off and .

   I think it’s sat on there for three or four months and .

   I finally went back to the sm7b and then .

   I .

   I just wanted to go back to the u-87 it’s one of the two instances that’s at that that has happened the other time was with the universal audio arrow interface and .

   I went to take it off because .

   I was done testing it and .

   I said .

   I can’t take this off it.

   Needs to stay there and.

   Now just kept buying you a stuff and.

   Newman’s stuff.

   Now yeah yeah but you’re.

   Not broke though you’re.

   Not buying any of this on credit right you know.

   Not a single piece of debt thank goodness good yeah good that that’s another thing we want to underscore here is it there is.

   No reason in the world to go into debt for audio recording gear well maybe that’s a little extreme but don’t do it don’t do it unless you yeah don’t do it just don’t is so especially given how affordable it is.

   Now there you can get a $50 microphone a $60 microphone the q2u the .

   ATR 2100 .


   USB there are .

   I can’t think of any $50 condense from the behringer c1u .

   I think that’s a .


   USB microphone around there you can buy that save up for two months buy it don’t go into debt and you will enjoy it and appreciate it so much more because you won’t be cursing yourself when that credit card bill comes due and you and end up paying 20% interest so please avoid going into debt it’s.

   Not worth it save up you’ll appreciate it so much more that’s right and that’s coming from a finance guy yeah so there so take that and somebody who did.

   Not take his own advice when he started .

   I do as .

   I say.

   Not as .

   I do once .

   I got out from that .


   Never going back it’s a dark path and it’s.

   Not worth it it’s.

   Not worth it agreed it’s definitely agreed all right are there any other any other factors do you think kind of play into this whole thing of different people seeing different the same microphone different ways what what else did we miss .

   I mean .

   I think we’ve in a roundabout way we’ve covered the application we’ve covered playback source we’ve covered hearing and sound source and experience .

   I think we’ve covered all of the points that .

   I think lead to these reviewers having different opinions and if anything .

   I just want to reiterate.

   None of us are right we have our preferences and that’s why .

   I love the fact that there’s this community that includes the sound samples of the gear that they’re reviewing because that allows you as a viewer who is looking to research and purchase a microphone to say this person is an idiot .

   I disagree completely because we’re letting you hear exactly what we hear to make the decision so that’s what .

   I really appreciate about what’s going on on YouTube right.

   Now and just get as many opinions and listen to as many audio samples as you can with the time that you have that you think to the point where you think you’re starting to lose value and it’s becoming a waste of time and that’s that’s a fine line .

   I imagine yeah for sure okay well bandru thank you so much .

   I think that was hopefully really helpful for everyone that was able to view the episode here today get out there and make some great sound we’re hopeful bandra and .

   I both are hopeful to bring Mike on Mike delgadio from booth junky on one of our future episodes hopefully we all get together and talk Mike’s absolutely and we will talk to you all again soon thanks a lot for having me Curtis talk to you later you bet

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