These days, I am doing a lot of video conferencing and shooting instructional videos with my Dell laptop. The internal mic wasn’t cutting it and the cheap lapel mic I bought wasn’t much better. I started searching for a USB condenser mic, but because so many people are working from home now and doing what I am doing, all of the usual suspects, such as the Blue Yeti and the Blue Yeti Pro and the various Samson mics, were all backordered. I was interested in the AKG Lyra, but my laptop doesn’t handle USB C. I found that Sweetwater had stock coming in of the Rode NT-USB, so I ordered one.
USB mics have built in preamps and Analog to Digital converters. The Rode has a headphone out and two controls: a headphone level control and a mix control to dial between the mic output and the computer audio. In a Zoom meeting, for example, you can control how much you hear the other participants and how much you hear your own voice. This works very well.
It also comes with a tripod desk stand, a carrying pouch, a very long USB cable, and a sturdy pop screen. The connector to the tripod stand is standard, so the mic can also be used with a regular mic stand.
Win 10 recognized the mic instantly. It was entirely plug and play.
I have already used it for several Zoom meetings. The sound is crisp and clear. I was curious about how it would work for music recording, so I did a quick version of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” suitable for my 11-month old grandson. This is my old D-18 fromthe 1960’s.
I read somewhere that “pop” is slang for “pawn” and that a “weasel” is a tool for shoemaking. Knowing that, this song starts to make sense.