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I wanted to introduce review videos to the Gadgetwhore website and purchased a few software programs that could handle screen recording and uploading to YouTube. The mac software to capture your screen, webcam and audio was available and sold under the names Screenflow(paid), Camtasia 2(paid) and even Quicktime(free). The raw screen captures came out flawless, but i noticed that I didn’t have any sound in my captures besides the system sounds. I had to work around the problem and record the audio on $30 low cost handheld audio recorder. The video below was a test video created with the audio from the portable recorder. It is very bad, but i will include the video below to demonstrate the audio issues i was having.

The video above was NOT recorded with the Blue Snowball Microphone and it has major audio issues.

Due to a blown out hard drive, i had to crack open the mac to change it and I must have not connected the mic back properly. I wasn’t about to open that baby up again and I figured that It would just make more sense to get a mic that could handle sound better than the system mic could. I looked up a few options and found the Blue Snowball microphone to be the most affordable and best rated. It is now selling at between 50 and 65% of the original retail price of $99.

I’ve been testing it out for a few days and it is very nice for a beginner like myself.  I would say that it is good for someone just getting into the screencasting or podcasting game, but maybe not great for pure voice over people.  It is plug and play, so you don’t need to install any special drivers for the mac.  If you have an iPad with the camera connection kit, you can use that and the Blue Snowball will work with that too.  I have a 3rd party budget adapter, so I had a difficult time not having it fall out. I’m not sure if all Blue Snowball models can be attached to an ipad. I believe I read somewhere that only Blue Snowball mics built after a certain date can be used. The sound using the Wave Record app was simply amazing.  It was able to cut out nearly all of the background noise.

To get the mic running on a mac computer:

  • Click on your system preferences
  • In the Hardware section, click on Sound
  • Click on the Input tab
  • Select the Blue Snowball mic

Here is a sample recording using the Blue Snowball microphone and WavePad Editor

To have more control of how you edit your sound captured, I would suggest you use a program with a Waveform editor.   Here are a few free options that i found.  I don’t know if these are the best ones to use, but they did the trick for me.

  • Audacity:  Audacity® is a free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.
  • Wave Pad Audio Editor:  Wave Pad Audio is free(from what i can tell) for the basic version. This is a great program, but it almost seems too good to be true.  It does remind you that they have a Pro version available to purchase with more features.
  • Wave Pad Audio Editor For iPad: Wave Pad Audio for iPad is free.

Other Options If the Blue Snowball Isn’t Your Thing:

  • Samson Meteor:  Meteor Mic is the universal solution for recording music on your computer. Perfect for your home studio, Meteor Mic is also ideal for Skype, iChat or voice recognition software. With Meteor Mic, you can make incredible recordings that are out of this world.
  • C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone: The C-1 is a cardioid condenser microphone designed to capture your sounds with incredible realism, sensitivity and accuracy. This condenser mic is an excellent choice for live and studio applications, and it’s available at a price that will leave you with enough cash left over to secure other recording essentials.