Blue Yeti Microphone
The Blue Yeti is a USB multi-direction external microphone compatible with both Windows and Apple operating systems. The Yeti doesn’t require batteries or a power supply. It uses USB voltage from your computer to power it. All you have to do is plug the microphone into your desktop or laptop using the USB cable.
In order to use the Blue Yeti USB microphone effectively you’ll also require sound recording or editing software that allows for quality digital signal processing, such as Audacity, Adobe Audition, Reaper or Sony Sound Forge.
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The Blue Yeti is compatible with most sound editing software including: Audacity, Reaper and Sony Sound Forge.
The Yeti records at a good quality default setting of 16 bit rate and a sample rate of 48 khz. The analog to digital conversion in the Yeti offers excellent performance with audio sampled at 48 kHz with 16-bits of resolution. The frequency response is full range (20Hz – 20kHz) with a maximum SPL (speaker pressure level) of 120 dB.
Polar (Pick-Up) Patterns
The Blue Yeti has four polar pattern, or pick-up settings. You can quickly change between any of Yeti’s four pattern settings by rotating the pattern selector knob at the back of the mic.
1) Cardioid only hears what’s right in front of it at full volume and other sounds at increasingly diminished volume as the sound source moves further away from the centre of the mic. This setting is the most commonly used mode and can be useful in most situations when recording a focused sound source such as an oral history interview. Cardioid will deliver the most direct, rich sound. It is important to arrange the microphone directly in front of your interviewee and if you want your questions recorded speak up!
2) Stereo is only ideal for recording music. It captures a realistic stereo image from a variety of sources.
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Polar (Pick-Up) Patterns
3) Omnidirectional hears everything in a 360º sphere surrounding the mic. This makes it ideal for recording a conversation between multiple parties around a room, a conference call, or any other situations where you want to capture everything in the room. Omnidirectional pick-up will also potentially result in recording more background noise and unwanted hiss.
4) Bidirectional is designed to pick up sound at the front and rear of the microphone, while the sounds to the sides are minimized. The bidirectional setting is very useful in recording an interview.
To set up Hardware for Windows 10:
- Right-click on the Speaker icon in the bottom right of the Windows 10 task bar. A small panel will open. Then click on “Open Sound settings”.
- Under “Sound” you will first see sections “Output” and “Input.” Choose your input device from the available options under “Input.”
- Click on the box beneath “Choose your input device” and select the Blue Yeti from the drop-down list of available audio input devices.
To Set up Hardware for Mac:
- Open Apple menu and select System Preferences. Double-click Sound preference file.
- Click Input tab. Under choose a device for sound input, select “Yeti Stereo Microphone.”
- Set input volume to the appropriate level.
If the microphone doesn’t seem to be working:
- Verify that the Blue Yeti mic is properly connected to the computer with the USB port. The red indicator light should be lit if the Yeti is fully plugged in.
- Ensure that Blue Microphone Yeti is the selected sound source in your computer’s audio settings.
- Confirm that the headphone volume knob is turned up, with the tab pointing up to start. Also confirm that the microphone is not currently muted (indicator light should be solid, not flashing).
The Recording is not loud enough:
Increase the microphone gain by turning the microphone gain knob clockwise or try decreasing the distance between your Yeti and your sound source. For example, if you are recording your own voice, move closer to the microphone.
Feedback and Distortion:
Anytime you use a microphone with live speakers or open back headphones, there is a potential for feedback. To eliminate feedback you can:
- Make sure the speakers are not pointed directly at the microphone.
- Ensure that your speaker/headphone volume isn’t loud enough to be picked up by the microphone.
- Decrease the microphone gain by turning the microphone gain knob counterclockwise or try increasing the distance between your Yeti and your sound source Background noise.
The Blue Yeti is very sensitive. If you do not have a shock mount, make sure the microphone is on a stable, shock-absorbent surface. Record in a controlled environment and be aware of any background noise that the microphone might capture.
Before recording, make sure to turn off the internet and all unnecessary computer programs. Internet pop ups, updates, and notifications can interrupt or stop the recording, or create unwanted audio artifacts on the track. Using multiple programs while you’re recording might also result in the computer freezing.
When you open Audacity the program, you will find the input selection in the toolbar. The program will recognize the Yeti microphone when it is plugged in. Choose “Yeti Stereo Microphone” from the drop-down selections.
The left hand slider lets you control the output level of your sound card (the part of your computer that controls audio input and output). The right hand slider controls the input level of your microphone or recording level setting of the sound card driver.
Record a test track by clicking on the record button. Now have your subject speak into the microphone. Adjust the levels using Audacity’s input level and the gain on the Blue Yeti. Ideally, your source sound should peak reaches between -12 and -6 db.
Once your levels are set, stop the track and close the recording. You are now ready to record.