The Spoken Word

I’ve been doing very poorly in posting to this side of my creative blogging efforts but I haven’t been inactive… well, not that inactive. In order to solve both of those issues I’ve now taken to talking about something that’s been on my mind for awhile now that I’ve finally decided to make happen. Including audio. The final goal is to include readings of some of my own fiction, I have one very short story in mind already which will probably be appearing soon.

To that end I’ve lined-up what equipment I think will work best for this. I had already purchased a Blue Snowball iCE microphone in aid of the YouTube tutorials I’ve been posting lately, and it is fantastic for that purpose, but the allure of the Blue Yeti USB microphone and it’s added versatility seems better suited to my “audio book” ambitions.

Blue Yeti USB microphone

Blue Yeti USB microphone

Brilliantly, both microphones work without issue under GNU/Linux (at least under Elementary OS, my current distro). So I definitely recommend them to the Linux crowd.

Currently my intention is to leave the Snowball connected to one of the laptops (the one I use mainly for writing) and the Yeti on the desktop. I’ll be testing each in the coming weeks to see how they fair in different circumstances with the superior output (I’m thinking the Yeti) being used for readings.

Blue Snowball iCE USB microphone

Blue Snowball iCE USB microphone

So how is the sound? Let’s compare!

For the test I’m reading the first two parts of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner which is in the public domain.

Part one will be read with the Blue Yeti. Part two will be recorded with the Blue Snowball iCE. Audio for both will be recorded using the open-source and cross-platform audio tool Audacity.

Or directly download Part 1 & Part 2

Both had equalization applied in Audacity. Audio from the Snowball iCE required amplifying but less noise reduction. The Yeti produced a richer sound, in my opinion, but that also meant more noise due to it’s higher sensitivity. There’s a definite trade-off. Hopefully, as my skill and familiarity with the process continues I can streamline the process.

Will be posting some of my own content shortly.

Update: Something seemed “off” with the Yeti’s recording and sure enough after checking it was set to omnidirectional rather than cardioid. Another test will be in order.

So here is the third part of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, recorded with the Yeti properly set to cardioid. HUGE difference. The Yeti really shines in this instance.

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