Product Review (March 2010)
Blue Microphone - Yeti USB Microphone
THX® Certified

By Kevin Nakano and Ricardo Hambra


Blue Microphone YetiBlue Microphone's new Yeti is a product built upon the proven technologies established with their award-winning Snowball USB microphone. The Yeti is the first THX® Certified microphone with some unique features not found in any other product. THX certification affirms the Yeti is capable of providing the ultimate in recording and playback fidelity with low distortion, high fidelity, and balanced frequency response after extensive and rigorous lab testing. The Yeti is the latest addition to Blue's new consumer line and offers studio quality performance and features, with a zero latency on the amplified headphone monitor. The Yeti also has a microphone mute button and hardware-based gain adjustments for superior audio performance.


Blue YetiTriple Capsule Array
The Yeti is the first USB microphone to offer Blue's premium condenser capsules in a proprietary Triple Capsule Array for the highest quality and most versatile audio recording capability. The three condenser capsules have an innovative configuration to create great recordings in a variety of situations. Two of the condenser capsules are stacked and angled from each other. The third capsule is placed at a different angle from the other two giving the Yeti amazing flexibility. By combining the audio signals from each of the three independant capsules, the Yeti can offer users several different recording patterns. The four pickup patterns (Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional) offer incredible versatility and superior results in any situation. Quickly changing between any of Yeti’s four pattern settings is as simple as rotating the pattern selector knob. This pattern selector switch has a solid feel with detents for each pattern position.

The analog to digital conversion in the Yeti offers excellent performance with audio sampled at 48 kHz with 16-bits of resolution. The frequency response is full range (20Hz - 20kHz) with a maximum SPL (speaker pressure level) of 120 dB.


Blue Yeti in StereoStereo Mode
The Stereo mode is a great way to capture a realistic stereo image from a variety of sources. The microphone needs to be pointed at the sound source (the “front” is the side of the microphone with the Blue Microphones Logo) for proper imaging. Centering the microphone will produce equal amounts of sound pressure on both the left and right channels producing a good stereo image. Depending on the source of the sound (instrument) the user will need to adjust the distance for optimal sound quality. Even with the two capsules in close proximity of each other, the Yeti does a great job recording a stereo image. If you want to acheive the sound in the right or left channel only, you should try using the cardioid, bidirectional or the omnidirectional settings with software to hard-pan the sound to the left or the right.

Blue Yeti in Cardioid ModeCardioid Mode
The Cardioid is the most commonly used mode and can be useful in most situations when recording a focused sound source. If you are recording vocals, a podcast, or a voiceover, cardioid is probably the best choice. When recording in cardioid, sound directly in front of the microphone is picked up while the sound at the rear and sides of the microphone is minimized. Therefore, it is important to arrange the source directly in front of the microphone. Cardioid will deliver the most direct, rich sound, but will not offer as much airiness or presence as the other recording modes. For this reson, it works extremely well for vocals.

Blue Microphone Omnidirectional ModeOmnidirectional Mode
The Omnidirectional setting picks up sound equally from all directions making it ideal for recording a group of musicians all playing at the same time, recording a conversation between multiple parties around a room, a conference call, or any other situations where you want to capture the ambience of ‘being there.’ Because sound is picked up from all directions in this mode, the orientation of the microphone isn’t crucial. However, it is a good idea to start by orienting the front of the microphone at the primary sound source.

Blue Microphone Bidirectional ModeBidirectional Mode
The Bidirectional is designed to pick up sound at the front and rear of the microphone, while the sounds to the sides are “rejected”, or minimized. The bidirectional setting is very useful in achieving a nuanced, pleasant sound when recording musical instruments, and is perfect for recording an interview with two or more guests. By placing the microphone between two or more subjects (front of microphone facing one source, rear of microphone facing another), you can achieve a natural sound without the complexity of using multiple microphones.


Ricardo HambraPerformance
Ricardo Hambra, a professional musician with golden ears, performed much of the evaluation and testing over the last few weeks. His experience with live music and diverse instruments makes him a perfect musician to test and evaluate the capabilities of the Yeti design.

The Yeti is a remarkable USB microphone that offers many ways to record digitally. It provides excellent response in all the four pattern settings (Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional and Bidirectional). Ricardo tested the Yeti with both Garage Band and Logic Studio 9 music recording software on a MacBook laptop and the level of fidelity and clarity of the recordings is simply stunning. Recordings were made with Vocals and Percussion set, Sitar, Guitars, Keyboards and Sax. The Stereo pattern was used for lead and background vocals; The Cardioid pattern for guitars and Sax; The Omnidirectional mode for a live percussion session and the Bidirectional pattern for the Indian Sitar and Tabla set. In all these recordings the response was clear at all frequencies, far ahead of other USB microphones used in the past, and much better than regular microphones with a standard mixer.

When the Yeti is connected to the laptop, it automatically appears in the sound options setting like any other USB accessory. Frequency response on this microphone is excellent with just a hint of harshness (something one can get used to) at times in the digital recordings. Users must be careful when setting the recording level on the microphone not to clip the internal analog-to-digital converter, which will cause distortion. The Yeti is an incredible tool with consistent performance, making it ideal for almost any kind of recording session. It also has a standard 1/8” (3.5mm), zero-latency headphone jack for monitoring and playback with excellent audio response. There are easy to use knobs for volume, gain and pattern selection. The mute button comes in handy when in between recordings. The Yeti is a must for any performance where digital audio recording is needed.


Conclusion
The Yeti offers recording artists a high performance and easy to use USB microphone for live and studio recording sessions. The four pickup patterns available on the Yeti microphone make it extremely versatile in different environments. Close attention to the design of the electronics inside of the Yeti contributes to this microphone's excellent sound. The THX certification ensures the fidelity of the recordings on this microphone always remains accurate. The Yeti retails for $150, but can be found for less than $130, which is a steal.





OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Laptop: Apple MacBook


Review - At a Glance


Blue Microphone - Yeti USB Microphone


Yeti Technical Specifications

Microphone and Performance

  • Power Required/Consumption: 5V 150mA
  • Sample Rate: 48 kHz
  • Bit Rate: 16-bit
  • Capsules: 3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 4.5mV/Pa (1 kHz)
  • Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz) 

 

Headphone Amplifier

  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Power Output (RMS): 130 mW
  • THD: 0.009%
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz – 22kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise: 100dB 

 

Specifications

  • Dimensions (extended in stand): 4.72" x 4.92" x 11.61"
  • Weight (microphone): 1.2 lbs (.55 kg)
  • Weight (stand):2.2 lbs (1 kg)

 

System Requirements

  • PC: Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP Home Edition or XP Professional
    • USB 1.1/2.0
    • 64 MB RAM (minimum)
  • Mac: Mac OSX ( 10.4.11 or higher )
    • USB 1.1/2.0
    • 64 MB RAM (minimum)

 

Yeti Manual

Company Information
Blue Microphones
5706 Corsa Avenue, #102
Westlake Village, CA
91362-4057

Phone: 818-879-5200
Fax: 818-879-7258

Hours: 9am - 5pm PST
Monday through Friday

Source: Manufacture supplied
MSRP: $149.99

URL: http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/


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