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Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone White

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Whether you're recording a guitar at your kitchen table or a complete band in the studio, the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone can capture it with detail unheard of before in a USB mic.

The Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone is a direct plug n' play mic that connects to either a Mac or PC - no additional software is needed. With its dual capsule design and unique three-pattern switch (cardioid, cardioid with -10dB pad and omni), the Snowball can handle everything from soft vocals to the loudest garage band - and it's perfect for podcasting.

What exactly is this Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone all about?

The Snowball is a revolutionary microphone. Leave it to Blue to reinvent the wheel... err, microphone once again! With USB connectivity, it has never been easier to get live audio into your Macintosh or Windows desktop or laptop. Just plug it in, adjust your input level and you're up and running.

Is The Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone a dynamic microphone like the Blue Ball, or a condenser like the Blue 8Ball or Kiwi?

The Snowball is a condenser, which, according to the audio wonks we know, has a smooth open sound with a nice, natural high-end.

I've heard that condenser microphones require something called phantom power. Do I need to concern myself with this? Does The Snowball need batteries?

No. The Snowball derives its operating voltage from something called bus voltage, which is always present on your USB port. As long as the red LED is glowing, you know you've got power. The Snowball does not require batteries.

Is the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone compatible with Windows 7 and Vista?

Snowballs manufactured after July, 2007 (with serial numbers higher than 76-065000) are 7 and Vista compatible. Snowballs with numbers lower than this are not Windows 7 or Vista compatible.

Do I need any special software to use The Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone? Do I need any drivers?

Technically, no. Depending on your application, your OS may have sufficient features to utilize the capabilities of The Snowball. But, to get the most out of your Snowball, you'll want to have some kind of software that allows for digital signal processing and non-linear editing that will accept audio from the USB port. Some examples of these programs are listed below.

Can I use The Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone with a traditional analog audio mixer?

No. The Snowball features digital output only. It must be connected to a USB port in order to function. What sample rate and word length does The Snowball use? The Snowball's digital output is set to 44.1 kHz / 16-bit, just like an audio CD. But this is something that only audio geeks really need to worry about.

How can I select a different sample rate?

Because The Snowball is designed for the greatest ease of operation and setup, sample rate / word length are not user-definable. Sorry, geeks.

Can I use more than one snowball at a time?

Some audio editing software allows for multiple USB connections. Check with your software vendor-- they should have technical support staff who can answer all of your questions about your product.

What does cardioid and omnidirectional mean? Why should I care?

These are the two polar patterns The Snowball is capable of producing. If you think of polar patterns as the shape of the area that a microphone "hears" omnidirectional hears everything at equal volume from all angles (in a 360 degree sphere surrounding the mic), while cardioid only hears what's right in front of it at full volume and other sounds at increasingly diminished volume as the sound source moves further away from the center of the mic (audio techs call this off-axis). You should care because one of the most useful features of a microphone is the ability to control its pickup. We like polar patterns so much, that some of our professional studio microphones have as many as nine different patterns! With The Snowball, we've given you the two most likely to be useful to you.

What is The Snowball used for?

Is it a vocal mic, an instrument mic or both? The Snowball was designed to provide a wide range of applications where a high-quality transducer (a fancy way to say microphone) is needed, but so is ease of use and setup. Though most professional engineers prefer certain microphones for certain applications, we designed The Snowball to be used with a wide variety of sources. Here are some suggested applications we came up with when we were locked in Blue's exclusive anechoic think tank: instrument and voice for music production / pre-production / demos, DV-looping / dialog, podcasting, sound effects, audio sampling, interactive programming, video sweetening / post, internet telephony, internet conferencing, recording lectures, poetry slams, spoken word performances and speeches by your favorite politician-- generally anywhere where you need an easy-to-use microphone and you have access to a computer with a USB port. Happy recording!

Do I need to keep The Snowball in the freezer when I'm not using it?

No. This is one snowball that won't melt!

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Blue Microphones warrants its products to be free from defects for 1 year from the date of purchase.