About the Blue Yeti microphone
If you haven’t already, watch the Gadgetry Episode about the Yeti, then come back here to get all the details.
Okay, so the Yeti is definitely something to drool over, but we won’t waste our time. Let’s orient ourselves with how to use the darn thing!
Right off the bat, if you haven’t already, you should get Audacity. It’s free and amazing.
Install it, plug in your Yeti, and open the program. Chances are, Audacity hasn’t selected the Yeti as the primary mic. Easy enough to fix.
As shown, select the Yeti in the drop-down list that’s right next to the microphone icon. The Yeti is now selected, and you can start recording.
But what should you record? That’s entirely up to you, really. Remember, the Yeti has four pattern settings and each one is unique in its own right. Whatever you record, however, may turn out a bit quieter than you would’ve liked. This is easy to fix, but it requires a smidge of know how and finesse. Here are some basic tips:
1. For any kind of recording, whether it be vocals or instrumental, it is always best to keep the gain slightly low, which is to say keep your recordings relatively quiet. In any recording program, including Audacity, there is a thing called a ‘ceiling’.
See how the blue spikes are reaching up to the top (and bottom) of the track? Yeah, that’s not too good. If it reaches the ceiling, it will clip. There’s no way to avoid clipping if the audio reaches the ceiling, and clipping is something you probably don’t want. Clipping gives your audio a miserable popping and crackling sound.
That’s why you want to keep your initial recordings at a humble volume so you can preserve some headroom to work in. Of course, you don’t want to keep the initial recording too quiet, because you’ll end up recording unwanted static. Usually, you shouldn’t have to worry about static with the Yeti, but if the room you’re recording in isn’t dead silent, chances are, it’ll pick up on it. It takes a lot of practice and fiddling around with volumes — don’t be afraid to experiment.
2. Well, you got some recording done, but you want the tracks to be louder, naturally. Well then, select any part of your track that you want boosted, go up to ‘Effect’ and in the drop down list, select ‘Leveller’. This baby will raise the lows and hush the highs. That way, things sound a bit more even and comfortable. But, you need to be careful. If you level the audio too much, you’ll start getting some distortion. It’s best to use the ‘Moderate’ option at first, and maybe use it again if needed. Going with ‘Heavy’ or ‘Heaviest’ may work for vocal recordings, but could massacre instrumentals. Again, it’s all about experimenting. You can always revert a mistake by hitting ‘ctrl+Z’.
3. When recording something with many layers, there’s something very important you should keep in mind. You know how a gathering of talking people can sound like a herd of war cries? The same thing applies with recording. Even if your tracks are moderately quiet, when many, they get loud.
If you look near the top left of the program, you’ll see a nifty little monitor for your audio.
It’s important to keep your eye on this. Consider this the ‘Master Ceiling’. Even if all your tracks aren’t bashing their heads against the ceiling, the Master Ceiling can still clip. See how it’s red at the right end? You want to avoid that if possible. It’s not absolutely necessary, but your finalized rendering might have that ugly popping and crackling.
Anyway, those are the basics. With them, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting yourself oriented with all the other features of Audacity. Remember, experiment.
Posted 1 year ago With 1 note