Friday, 14 September 2018

Best USB Microphone for Rapping



Wouldn’t it be great if you could get the best USB microphone for rapping?

Be honest, it definitely would!

Many people have wondered if USB microphones are good for recording music or if they're not better off with a USB audio interface and good mics like the Neumann TLM 102 MT condenser microphone and Mojave audio MA-50 .

Now, if you have too, we can clear your doubts with our selected devices.

But imagine this for a moment:

You own a portable rap microphone for computer and it can be moved around with ease.

This mic has a Plug and Play mode of operation which allows you to just insert it into the USB port of a Windows PC, Mac, Tablet, or Android smartphone without any drivers or software installation required.

And you know what?

It can record sound with zero latency delay, has a high recording resolution, and produces high fidelity audio in your final recording.

If that's a good thought which you'll like to bring into actualization, then meet the best USB condenser mics for rap vocals which can give excellent audio quality.

Unlike all round USB mics for gaming, podcasting, interviews, and a wide range of other uses which we reviewed in our list of the best USB microphone under 100 dollars, these ones have been specially designed for musicians and as such, if you're a rapper, you need to own one of these.

Oddly enough,

You will no longer have to deal with conventional mics for your quality home studio recordings since they do not require drivers or software to run and can operate automatically.

Before we go any further, here's what we've got to offer in our guide to the best affordable alternatives to XLR microphones:

  • What is a USB Mic?
  • How Does a USB Mic Work?
  • Differences Between USB and Conventional Mics
  • Types of USB Mics
  • Polar Patterns of Microphones
  • Review of the Best USB Microphones for Rapping
  • How Were These Mics Selected

Let's fire away!


What is a USB Mic?


A Universal Serial Bus Microphone is an electronic device that amplifies sound in recordings.

This device consists of a capsule, diaphragm, built-in preamps, and an internal analog to digital converters.

It is connected to a computer, Tablet, or smartphone using its USB cable and on connection, it begins to function automatically using the computer's software and driver.

A USB Mic can be used for rapping, creating Youtube videos, Podcasting, Voice over, Interviews, Skype, Twitch, Facebook etc.


How Does a USB Mic Work?


The mode of operation of a USB mic is quite simple.

First of all,

A USB mic has two additional circuits which are not found in traditional microphones.

These are the built-in preamps and internal analog to digital converters (DAC) that enable the audio signal to pass through stages before it is sent as input to the computer.

Now, the preamp amplifies the low voltage sound produced by the mic hence, the mic will no longer need an external preamp or a mixer.

Next,

The DAC converts the analog signal to an electric current right from the mic itself and as such, what is sent into the computer is sound that has already been processed.

With USB mics, you can plug into your computer without installing a driver and they'll start working immediately.

This is because they make use of generic drivers on the computer and in this case, MME drivers on a PC and Core Audio on a Mac OS system.

Like everything else,

These obtain phantom power from the USB cable and as such, they do not require batteries or another power source to become functional.

You'll also find some two-way USB mics featuring a headphone output with no lag which will enable you to monitor the sound in real time.

Since there are no audible or noticeable lags, you can determine the sound quality in your audio immediately you speak or sing into the mic.


Differences Between USB and Conventional Mics


Admittedly, these Mics all look the same and serve the same purpose of amplifying sound in your recordings.

But then, their mode of operation differs.

Now,

The major difference between a USB microphone and a conventional mic, is that a USB mic comes with its own preamp and a DAC that enables it to convert audio signals to sound right from the mic.

It also makes use of the computer internal sound card to play back sound.

On the other hand,

A conventional mic will require that you buy an external audio interface or sound card and then plug it to the mic using an XLR cable in order to play back the sound.

That being the case, this type of mic will require other accessories for its full functionality.


Types of USB Mics


A microphone's type is determined by its internal build or transducer thus, whether it is a regular mic or USB mic, they are basically of two types and these are the:

  • Dynamic Microphone
  • Condenser Microphone

best usb microphone for rapping

A condenser microphone uses a capacitor to convert analog signals to electric current, while a Dynamic microphone uses a magnet and an induction coil to achieve this.

Let's break each element down:

1. Dynamic Microphones:


Dynamic mics are inexpensive audio devices that have a simple, yet rugged build which makes them able to handle high sound levels or instruments.

You can drop them from certain heights and not be worried that it'll break down easily given this rugged design.

Also,

They are unaffected by extreme temperatures and humidity but are not very sensitive to sound because of the weight of magnets and coil in the mic.

As a result,

They are suitable for use in noisy places since they will not pick up background sound.

In addition, they have a smaller frequency response and can serve as a handheld mic for general sound reinforcement.


2. Condenser Microphones:


Condenser microphones are more expensive than dynamic ones due to their high-quality build but they are easily affected by extreme temperatures and humidity.

These mics have a  sound-sensitive capacitor and in consequence, they can easily pick background noise as well.

Thus, they are best suited for vocals and being used in a quiet place such as a studio.

Condenser mics have higher sensitivity, enhanced frequency response and can provide a smoother and more natural sound, especially at high frequencies.

They are of two types which are the Large Diaphragm(LDM) Condenser mics which have a deep audio response, natural and clear sound and are suitable for bass.

There's also the small diaphragm(SDM) with a wide frequency response and brighter sound which makes it suitable for vocals and instruments.

Accordingly, you'll find the best USB condenser mic for rap vocals on our list.


Polar Patterns of Microphones


A microphone's polar pattern describes the way it picks up a sound.

USB microphones also have polar patterns which show their directionality or pick up pattern.

Therefore, the two major types, are the unidirectional or cardioid polar pattern and the omnidirectional polar pattern.

Now, each of these patterns can be used to design a condenser or dynamic microphone.

That being the case, you'll find a condenser omnidirectional USB mic, condenser cardioid mic, dynamic cardioid mic and so on.

Now, let's take a closer look at each of these patterns.


best usb microphone for rapping


1. Cardioid Polar pattern:


A cardioid USB microphone for rapping is highly sensitive to sound coming directly in front of the mic's capsule (0º) but slightly sensitive to sound from the sides (90º/270º), and insensitive to sound coming from the back (180º).

This helps to only amplify and record the sound of the speaker, thereby preventing unwanted sound from the background from tampering with the sound quality.

This makes this type of mic suitable for use by a rapper or singer but not really for a group of people since its sensitivity to sound is not equal in all directions.


2. Omnidirectional polar pattern:


An omnidirectional USB microphone may also be suitable for vocals and studio recordings when we're dealing with a group of musicians.

Moreover, if you want a natural and open sound, a mic with this type of polar pattern will be able to deliver it.

This is because it is highly sensitive to sound coming from all directions (360º).

As a result, irrespective of where the mic points to or the direction the sound comes from, it can still be picked.

You'll find out that these Mics that are highly recommended when it comes to lavalier microphones for film.

Now that you know what a USB microphone is, how it works, and the various types you'll encounter, let's show you why a USB microphone is right for you.


Advantages of Using A USB Microphone for Rapping


Listen:

Regular mics with support for sound cards or audio interfaces can do a great job at giving your recordings the best sound levels especially when it comes to rapping that the beats and lyrics need to be heard.

In the same vein, there are also several advantages of using a USB microphone for your rap game.

They include the following:

  • Portability
  • Ease of Usage
  • Inexpensive price

1. Portability:


You can place a USB studio microphone for rapping on a stand on your desk given their compact size.

These are non-obstructive mics that can sit on one corner of your desk while you rap away in front of your PC, Mac, or smartphone.

Also, their small size and light weight make them very easy to store and carry about in the case or backpack.


2. Ease of Usage:


USB microphones for rap vocals, podcast, Youtube, etc. do not require that you buy a sound card before you can use them.

Installing a software or drivers is not necessary since on plugging into a computer's standard USB port and setting up the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), they can start working immediately.

In that case, these are easy to use Plug and Play microphones that do not require any great expertise for their usage.


3. Inexpensive price:


Additional audio equipment like the XLR cable, preamp, audio interfaces, and other microphone-related gears are not needed, hence you don't have to spend the extra cash after buying a USB mic.

Therefore,

Whether it is a cheap USB microphone for rap vocals you settle with or one with a moderate price tag, you can be assured knowing that's the end of your expenses.


Best USB Microphones for Rapping Review 


If you've finally decided to choose a USB mic for recording rap vocals, then you'll certainly need one of the best in different price ranges.

Whether its a USB mic for rap under $100, $300, $500, $600 and even one under $700, we have got a device with an excellent level of performance to offer.

You can trust them to capture the details in your rap jam and give your songs good clarity.

So, in our best USB microphones for rapping review, the following devices which will be your best buys Amazon are:

  • Blue Yeti USB Microphone
  • Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
  • Rode NT-USB USB
  • Blue Snowball 
  • Samson Meteor Mic


1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone:


best usb microphone for rapping

One of the best cheap microphones for rapping and professional-quality recording under 100 dollars, is the Blue Yeti USB Microphone.

For just about $69, you can walk away with this well-built audio device that promises excellent sound quality.

More about that later.

The Blue Yeti microphone is designed and manufactured by Blue Microphones, an audio company based in the US that specializes in the production of headphones, signal processors, microphones, and music accessories.

For those who have been asking, "are Blue Yetis good for rapping?"

Here are its admirable specs that'll answer that.



Design:

The Blue Yeti USB Microphone has a unique design and one that it is durable.

It's available in Midnight blue, Aztec copper, Platinum, Satin Red, Slate, Teal, Space Gray, Silver, and several other colors.

It has a metal grille and shiny frame which gives it its premium design, thus, this can be another fashionable accessory to your computer.

This is an adjustable USB mic that can be adjusted to align with the sound source and then locked in place with a pair of tightening screws.

Thus, with the mic well positioned, you can get an enhanced the audio quality in your recordings.

In terms of portability, you can detach it from the base and even fold it easily.

Thus, you can take it on the go wherever and whenever.



Features:

The Yeti USB Microphone features three condenser capsules which makes it suitable for studio recordings.

It will tend to be highly sensitive to sound irrespective of the direction or environment because it has four pattern selection settings which are cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo.

This will allow you to record vocals, interviews, podcast, musical instruments, voiceovers, field recordings, conference calls etc. and for this reason, you don't individual microphones for each of these.

In line with that,

When it comes to vocals, podcasts, or game streaming, you can switch to the cardioid pattern while recording especially when you are in a noisy place because it will only tend to pick up sound coming directly in front of the mic.

Alternatively, if you want to capture the background sound as well in the case of a football game or band performance, you can opt for the omnidirectional pattern.

The bi-directional pattern will capture sound coming from the front or back of the capsule, while the stereo mode will let you record from the left and right side of the capsules.

Thus, you don't have to rely on only one polar pattern in different physical settings.

But there's more!

You also get controls for instant mute and microphone gain which will allow you to create quality audio recordings. 

There is a  zero-latency headphone output on this professional USB microphone as well as volume control buttons on the front of the microphone that will enable you to manage the sound levels of your headphones.

Consequently,

Connect an open back headphone to this 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and you'll be able to monitor the sound in real time.

The Blue Yeti Plug 'n play USB microphone is compatible with PC's running on either Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP Home Edition or XP Professional (USB 1.1/2.0).

The same is the case for Mac systems running on Mac OSX (10.4.11 or higher).

On each computer, the minimum RAM required to run this mic is 64GB.

You can also opt for the Blue Yeti USB Microphone with a pop filter but that'll cost you some extra bucks ($30).

Other features include:

  • Bit Rate: 16bit
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

The given below, is the video review Blue Yeti:






2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone:


best usb microphone for rapping

We've seen the Audio Technica make the list of our best wireless TV headphones,  as well as the best DJ headphones with bass.

And now also, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone has gotten our attention.

Like the AT4040 for rap vocals, this mic also has an impressive performance.

Still not convinced? You'll soon find out why.

The Audio-Technica  AT2020USB+ is designed and manufactured by the Japanese company, Audio Tecnica, who since 1962 has specialized in the manufacturing of headphones, phonographs, microphones, and other audio equipment.

Here's what this budget-friendly microphone offers:



Design:

The AT2020USB+ is available in only black color, but it has a premium design.

Its solid metal housing and compact size should give you something to look forward to.

At a weight of 2.6 pounds and dimension of 9.6 x 9.6 x 2.6 inches, you can move this mic around with ease.

Likewise, you get a tripod desk stand to support this mic on your desk while you work.

Other accessories you'll find packaged with this mic include threaded adapter, soft protective pouch;  and  USB cable.



Features:


The  AT2020USB+ is a condenser microphone that features a cardioid pickup pattern for digital recording.

Its build type and polar pattern make it highly sensitive to sound coming from the front.

Since it will tend to block out background sound due to the nature of its capsule, it is a USB mic for singer/songwriters, voice-over artists, podcasters, and home studio recorders.

It also has an Analog to digital converter with a 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate that ensures the processed sound delivered to the computer is of a decent quality.

This is a USB microphone with a built-in headphone jack that will enable you to monitor the sound and with no noticeable delays.

There is also a Mix Control which will allow you to combine blend your microphone signal and the pre-recorded audio.

This USB mic is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and the Mac OS X.

Other features include:

  • 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 threaded adapter
  • A frequency response of 20Hz-16,000Hz
  • Pivoting stand mount for 5/8"-27 threaded stands

An impressive video of the Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Unboxing and Setup is given below:






3. Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone:


best usb microphone for rapping

Looking for the best USB mic for rap vocals under 200 dollars?

Then try the Rode NT-USB USB as an alternative to the Rode NT1A vocal condenser microphone.

We've had a reputable product from this brand in the wireless lavalier microphone, and now here's their Condenser microphone boasting of an acceptable level of performance.

The Rode NT-USB mic is manufactured by Rode RodeLink, an Australian owned audio company that now has centers in Sydney, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and London, .

Let's show you what this mic offers.



Design:

Asides having a classy design, this is a well-built mic that will not wear and tear easily.

It comes with a stand mount with industry standard 3/8 inch thread as well as a desktop tripod stand that allows you to place the mic on a desk.

You'll also find a pouch packaged with this mic to enable you to keep it from harm's way and also carry it about easily.

At a dimension of 184 x 62 x 50 mm (H x W x D) and weight of 520gm, this is a device with a small size which you can stow and move around with ease.



Features:

The Rode NT-USB as with other USB mics for rapping on our list is a condenser microphone.

Remember that while this type of mics are more sensitive to sound and may even pick up background noise when coupled with a cardioid pattern, this may be well managed.

Consequently,

You a get a mic suitable for studio recording and more suitable for use by a single person due to nature of its pattern.

It is also important to point out the fact that this is a  side-address microphone that will require that you focus the sound on the sides for better audio quality rather than directly in front of the mic.

Moreso, this is a USB mic for Apple iPad, Mac, and PC given that it is compatible with the aforelisted devices.

To directly monitor your sound in real time using a headphone, this device comes with a 3.5-millimeter zero-latency stereo headphone jack.

To further enhance sound levels, there is a pop filter packaged with this mic and it can be fixed on the base of the mic.

This is to ensure that your records are not affected by harsh sounds or plosives that are usually created during rapping.

Other features include:

  • 6m (20’) USB cable
  • On-mic mix control
  • A/D converter 16bit 48kHz
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz - 20kHz





4. Blue Snowball USB Microphone:


best usb microphone for rapping

Here's another microphone from Blue microphones, and it's the Blue Snowball USB microphone.

It is an affordable USB mic for rap vocals given its price of about $69.

On this note, you can opt for this model instead of the Blue Yeti if you want to save a few bucks but still get a device that can provide decent audio quality.

If you're wondering, "is the snowball mic good for rapping?"

Here's what you should know:



Design:


The Blue snowball as an eyecatching design of metal grille and brushed-aluminum frame that makes it another great looking accessory to pair up next to your computer.

It has a small and compact size given its dimension of 4.88 x 7.88 x 10 in and weight of 2.2 pounds.

To support this mic on the desk, you can take advantage of its adjustable tripod stand.

Now,

When the mic is powered on, the LED indicator signifies this status with a red glowing light.



Features:

This is a dual-capsule USB Microphone that has three pattern settings to allow you to choose a setting based on your physical environment and the situations you want to use the mic.

Here, you can choose either a cardioid, Cardioid with -10 dB PAD, or an omnidirectional polar pattern to pick up sound which will then be transmitted to your recording device.

For the cardioid mode, it will tend to block out background sound and capture sound that is coming directly in front of the mic and as such, whether it's in a quiet or noisy place you'll use it, you can still expect good audio quality.

Switching to the Cardioid mode with -10 dB PAD will allow the mic to capture louder sounds and minimize distortion even though the recording pattern will still be unidirectional.

For the omnidirectional mode, you can allow the capsule capture sound in all directions especially if you're on a rap contest with your buddy.

According to its manufacturer,

The Blue Snowball produces crisp, clean recordings that are free of feedback and distortion
As is usually the case with most USB mics, this one does not also require an additional software before it can work when connected to a PC or Mac.

Thus, here's another hassle-free USB mic.

Use it on a PC with 64GB RAM running on either  Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional) and you're good to go.

The same goes for a connection established between the mic and a 64GB RAM Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher) system.

Other features include:

  • Plug and play design
  • Dual-capsule and circuit design
  • A frequency response of 40Hz -18,000Hz




5. Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone: 


best usb microphone for rapping

The Samson Meteor Mic is one more cheap USB mic for rapping on Amazon.

Being inexpensive at about $56 does not translate into an inferior device when you consider the high ratings and positive reviews it has gotten from verified buyers.

The Samson Meteor Mic is manufactured by the US based company, Samson Technologies which has been a  pioneer in wireless microphone technology since 1980.

Here's what this mic can do.



Design:

The Samson Meteor Mic has a chrome-plated body which gives it an admirable design.

For portability, its legs can be folded to enable you to stow it away and carry about with ease.

In line with that,

Its dimension of 5 x 3 x 6 in and weight of 1.06 pounds translate into a lightweight USB microphone.



Features:

The Meteor Mic can be used for rapping, video conferencing, Skype, iChat, podcast, voice recognition software etc, due to the fact that it is a condenser mic with a cardioid pattern.

But that's not all!

It comes with a headphone output on the mic's front which allows you to connect your headset to it in a bid to monitor the sound levels and quality as you record.

You can use this mic with most computer-based digital audio workstations and that includes PC, Mac, and even an iPad using the Apple's USB connector.

Its CD quality, 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz high resolution makes for a clean and clear sound.

Unsurprisingly,

You don't also need drivers before you can use this mic since it takes advantage of the generic drivers on your computer.

Use this close-mic as a guitar amplifier or to narrate a PowerPoint presentation and you wouldn't go wrong.

Other features include:

  • Large (25mm) diaphragm
  • A frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz




Tips for recording rap vocals


Now that you know the best USB microphones for rapping which you can purchase on Amazon in the US, UK, Australia or any other country, here are some tips for recording rap vocals.

They'll ensure that you get the best audio quality whether it's a regular mic or USB mic you settle for.

  • Select the right rap microphone that flatters your voice and that has been made easy with our buying guide to some of the best out there.
  • Set a distance between you and the mic and this distance should be determined by what provides the best audio quality for your records.
  • Cover some part of your recording space with acoustic foam or blankets in order to prevent sound from reflecting off the walls. This is a method of treating your room to prevent echo in your recordings.


How Were These USB Mics For Rap Vocals Selected?


Unarguably, USB microphones are very cheap devices.

But their inexpensive nature does not mean you should not get good value for your money and even more.

Thus, we had to consider some major factors that will allow us to choose the best 5 USB microphones for rap vocals in 2018.

Some of these factors were:

  • Price
  • Portability
  • Frequency response
  • Headphone output
  • Polar Pattern
  • User reviews and recommendations


1. Price:


In our selection process, we had those looking for the cheapest USB mics for rap out there in mind as well as those who wanted to step up the price a bit.

As a result, these are all budget friendly mics under $100 and $200.


2. Portability:


Since you may tend not to leave the mic in one corner on your desk as a rapper, our selections had to have a lightweight in order to enable you to move them around easily.

Consequently,

Each of these mics can be stowed away in your backpack as you go over to your friend's house to do some rap jam together.


3. Headphone Output:


As a rapper, it is ideal to monitor the sound levels in your record with one ear and that can only be made possible if the USB mic comes with a stereo headphone jack.

Now, you'll find that this is the case with all our mics which promises zero lag.


4. Polar Pattern:


If you're going ro use it for rap vocals, then you need a mic that can minimize background sounds as much as possible.

And that can only be made possible by a good cardioid mic.

Alternatively,

You can opt for an omnidirectional mic and without having to buy multiple mics given that some of our selected devices like the Blue Yeti and Blue Snowball come with four and three patterns respectively.


5. User reviews and recommendations:


Hundreds of users of a particular product who have returned to leave a positive or negative review on Amazon can go a long way in helping you tp determine the quality of a product.

Thus,

We have also employed the reviews of buyers for each of these mics to ascertain their real-life operation.

Therefore,

These are devices that can offer excellent audio quality in your recordings.


Conclusion:


The best USB microphone for rapping is an audio device that can produce good audio quality in your recordings.

It must also come with additional features such as a headphone jack to enable you to monitor in real time, the audio levels.

Accessories like a pop filter, carry case, and tripod stands which will all enable you to make the most of the device are a part.

That being so,

Our guide will help you to choose the best USB mic for vocals in 2018 which has an affordable price, durable build, and can provide a crisp and clear sound in your recordings.

Now it's your turn to make that a reality by purchasing one of these from Amazon which will effectively reproduce the lyrics of your rap song.