11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Remarkably Rich Dynamic Digital Vocal Sound - but nasty Latency issues,
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This review is from: Audio Technica Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone (Electronics)What can I say - the Audio quality is absolutely top notch for narration and vocals.
I purchased this to to use as a mic to sing on and it doesn't disappoint regarding quality as long as you ensure you buy a good stand and shock-mount/pop filter it's up there with studio quality microphones of a much higher price.
What is unbelievable is the latency between what you sing or say and when you hear it.
When i sing i need to be able to hear myself in pretty much real time - and this usb version has problems delivering a good live feed of what's going into it via it's only USB output.
I downloaded "ASIO for all v 2.10" and noted minor improvements - I also changed my sound-card for a top level model,but sadly still at least a 250-300 ms delay exists with this usb version on live monitoring.
If anyone has found a fix for this please let me know!
It's this delay that can make you sing at the wrong time,hearing what you are doing at the wrong time when trying to stay in time and key is impossible to focus and so irritating!
If there are ever updates to reduce this latency issue this would be my new best friend,and if you are recording sources that do not require live monitoring it likely will be
So for now I remain disappointed because I cannot use this microphone as a studio microphone is required to be used.
Extremely low noise very good frequency response -the AT2020USB is better suited for someone who might want to record narration without monitoring.
I wish Audio Technica had published the details of the latency issue as i would have purchased a microphone with a live output.
Im going to have to go down the route of XLR and phantom powered microphones now to get What i bought this microphone to do,so not good considering the financial outlay.
Five stars for the audio quality - minus two stars for the latency.
Tracked by 2 customers
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jul 2011 21:30:52 BDT
Poledouris 4K says:
Helpful review, thank you. Could you recommend a USB mic with little to no latency issues? as I'm in need one to practice vocals with.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2011 07:19:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jul 2011 06:39:53 BDT
Mr C Bird says:
Hi ,Actually this is very difficult problem for a vocalist or musician ,i tested the Blue Yetti Usb because it has a headphone socket on its underside in addition to its usb output so you always hear the live cardioid output before it goes through the digitalisation process then into your pcs USB port - so that way you hear yourself absolutely live - but then consider this ,you do not hear the mix on your pc!
The blue yetti does not sound as good in my opinion as the audio technica at2020usb,but it is less frustrating because it allows you to monitor it-you can probably understand why i felt had no option but to go for a phantom powered mic, (I chose the AT2030) i had a minimum standard for sound quality and i'd heard that in the AT2020usb -so i was hooked on that richness of tone.
I was surprised to find all usb microphones have some latency and it takes setting your recording software (such as audacity) a value in milliseconds of the best guess of that latency to make it become synchronized with all your other tracks - this seems fine until the question of hearing yourself in sync live from within audacity using your pc sound-card arrises! you basically put your first vocal down and find yourself unable to sing along to it because there's a delay on your next live usb monitored feed- yet audacity is in fact getting the signal without delay because it has the latency fix - but this is is committed to ram and then disk but never heard until playback.
Soooo > *Theoretical work round*
The only fix if usb is a must for you (that i can think of) is to buy a usb microphone like the blue yetti (or similar)with a live analog output and feed that into a mixer along with your computers sound-card output - then wear headphones to monitor your singing with the other tracks. Because the latency is corrected by audacity with a good guesstimate in milliseconds stored in its settings- on playback it will be fine - but mix the pcs output with the live output from the yetti (or similar mic) for you monitoring purposes - that way you will get a synchronized recording and wont go off key and out of time.
I made some recordings with the AT2020USB and they did sound synchronised - but it was a chore as i had to put my headphones on my left or right ear and literally listen to my voice live in the room constantly guessing what the microphone might be getting by viewing the sound level meters in audacity on screen.(I also HAD to mute the usb feed of every new vocal and sing "blind")
Because i was concentrating on the technical aspects of recording - my performances was not as natural and relaxed as i find with the AT2030 and phantom power.
I use the AT 2020USB for podcasts and narration - it's a fantastic mic and such a shame this issue isn't more widely discussed,and that it doesn't have a headphone socket.
I do think if you can hold on usb 3 might have some solutions in store for you and i in the future and usb microphones may become virtually latency free with the increased data speed of usb3 - these obviously will be different models though.
Should you wish to hear it i can supply a test recording file for you
Best of luck
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2011 20:45:45 BDT
There are so many problems with "latency" on computers... treat yourself to a good portastudio... you'll then be able to concentrate on being more creative rather than wasting time on nonsensical latency issues... we're leaving all the best technology behind...
Posted on 2 Apr 2013 21:00:21 BDT
All USB microphones will have a latency when trying to listen to them in real time. You can not mark it down for that because all USB mics have the same problem. Otherwise helpful review.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2013 21:01:13 BDT
I don't think you'll find a USB mic with no latency unless you buy one with it's own headphone output.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2013 22:50:36 BDT
Mr C Bird says:
Hi Eddie, I'm aware of that now, I had to eventually buy a non usb mic, the reason I marked this down is it's double the price of the non usb. And no where was latency specified .There were no other usb mics like it on amazon uk at the time(two years ago) so i stand by my review .The owners manual that came with the mic has no latency figure listed in specs .However it still records narration fine as i mention in the review as long as you don't mind guessing what it is picking up when you are working with it. As a live monitored unit I'd be very surprised if many people can sing in tune or not fluff thier lines from a script if on monitoring - For £150 people deserve advance warning and clear specs when a product is new. It is incredibly sensitive so it's very easy to record a podcast and then find out two hours later it is picking up sound from another room that you cannot hear with the human ear- even on a shockmount. Also the frequency response is not as good as the AT2020 non usb
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