I have just started using Audacity and I have a new microphone, Blue Snowball Ice. After getting recording levels correct I find that the recorded tone of my instrument, trombone, is significantly altered from the original. My question is which microphone would give a good recording of my playing. I originally wanted a Blue Yeti but it is back ordered for three weeks at least. Is it a significantly better mic? Is there another mic I should consider? Thanks.
The main advantage to the Yeti is the built-in recording volume control.
I don’t know what the difference in sound is, but the biggest difference in sound quality or sound character between mics is frequency response. And, you can adjust-for that with equalization. That assumes you haven’t overloaded/distorted the mic. There can also be polar pattern differences but you should generally be using cardioid so there shouldn’t be much difference. (And you don’t need stereo for a single instrument.)
With USB mics there can also be noise differences, but you didn’t complain about noise. Noise sometimes gets-into the microphone’s analog electronics through the USB power. Some mics are more immune to this than others, and some computer’s power supplies are noisier than others.
I find that the recorded tone of my instrument, trombone, is significantly altered from the original.
Recorded instruments rarely sound like the live original unless you have very good monitors/speakers. You’re probably not used to hearing your trombone recorded. The same thing happens (to a greater extent) when people hear their voice recorded… “Do I really sound like that?”
Loudness makes a difference too. You probably aren’t listening as loud as the live sound. Your ear’s “frequency response” changes with loudness [u]Equal Loudness Curves[/u]. i.e. When you turn-down the volume it sounds like you’ve turned-down the bass even more. And, there are details that you can’t hear at lower volumes. You may not want to listen at “realistic” levels even if your speakers are capable of it. Sometimes I like loud music but I rarely want the realistic sound of a trombone or trumpet or drums & cymbals in my living room!
Any effects from room acoustics will be multiplied because you get the effects when you play/record and again when you play-back.
You’re used to hearing the instrument from behind, not in front of the horn the way the audience hears it.
Thanks for the input. I do need to play the recording from better speakers. That might improve the sound enough that I won’t be concerned about differences in mics. I will keep working to make sure I am getting the most out of the Blue Snowball before I draw a conclusion. I hope a listener in front of my horn hears sounds better than what I have gotten so far.