Having done hundreds of voice overs over the last few years, I’ve certainly used my fair share of microphones. Some I like, some not so much. My latest addition is the Bluebird from Blue Microphones. After using it for the last few months, here are my thoughts.
The Bluebird from Blue
The Bluebird is one of Blue’s studio mics, which is part of their essential series. This mic offers a cardioid pattern, which is great for voice overs or musical performances, as long as you’re positioned infront of the mic. For ’roundtable’ recordings, you’ll want a mic with an omni-directional pattern setting.
Unlike the Yeti, which I used to use, this is an XLR mic, which requires an audio interface or the Icicle (Amazon/B&H Photo) in order to connect to your computer. I purchased the Icicle along with the mic, which allows me to easily hook up the Bluebird to my Mac, and start recording immediately.
When you purchase the Bluebird, it comes in a beautiful wooden box, padded to ensure the mic doesn’t take any damage during transport. You also get a custom fitted pop filter, and a shock mount, which is crucial if you want to avoid any vibrations during recordings.
The set up process was super simple! After removing the Bluebird from it’s gorgeous box, I screwed it into the provided shock mount, attached it to the microphone arm (not included) that I had from a previous setup, clicked in the Icicle, and plugged it in to my Mac. My Mac was able to detect the new mic right away, which shows up as Blue Icicle, instead of Bluebird. This is probably because the Icicle is feeding the signal to the computer, and not the Bluebird.
There really isn’t any other setup required. Just about all of your applications that use a microphone will be able to pick up the new mic immediately. If you’re using GarageBand, you may need to choose the Icicle manually in the GarageBand Preferences.
There’s not much I can say about the mic’s build quality. It’s fantastic! Even though it sits on my mic arm 99% of the time, I’m not worried about it falling or coming loose. The metal build not only keeps your investment safe, but it also looks quite sexy!
The Icicle, on the other hand, isn’t so tough. It’s plastic design looks cheap, and I’ve found that it’s quite loose while it’s connected to the Bluebird. I guess you get what you pay for. At only $40 through Amazon, it does the job!
As with all the Blue mics I’ve used, the sound quality is fantastic! As I’m not an audiophile, I don’t notice a huge difference between the Bluebird and my previous Yeti, but as you can probably tell from my YouTube videos, the sound is sharp, and very little background noise is picked up. There have been times where construction has been going on outside, and the Bluebird did a great job at ignoring that noise completely!
Sample: Audio Recorded using the Bluebird[video_embed maxwidth="1280"][/video_embed]
There have been times where viewers have noticed a very faint high pitched ‘hum’ while listening to my audio using headphones, but I believe that’s due to the ‘gain’ being increased on the Icicle. The more the gain knob is increased, the higher chance you will hear audio ‘artifacts’ such as humming.
The Bluebird is currently being sold for $299 over at Amazon and B&H Photo. If you only record on occasion, this may be a stretch for your wallet. However, if you’re looking for a high quality, solid sounding mic, this will be worth every penny. Remember, it also comes with the shock mount, and pop filter!
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