Every now and again I’m going to post about a product I like. These are unsolicited and unpaid. Today. I’m going to talk about the ATR2100-USB, which I bought from Amazon for about $50. The prices seem to vary frequently, so it is going to be in the $40-$60 range.
I’ve tried recording my voice with other mics in the past with very poor results, but the ATR2100 is fantastic and gives me a very clean recording of my voice without the annoying “mouth noise” that many other mics pickup. It also does a great job of eliminating the plosive pops (when you say consonants like p,k, and t, or, to a lesser extend, g, d, and b). It does so well at this, that I’ve not bothered with a pop-filter.
One hint for the mic, get an articulated arm stand and put the mic very close to your mouth, no more than 2 inches away, but not directly in front of your lips. I find the mic works much better if it is pointing at an angle, and I speak across the face of the mic.
The mic works perfectly with the Mac, and will also work very well with a iOS device via the USB convertor (which is, IIRC, intended for connecting cameras, but it works for the mic).
The mic is small and light enough that it is easy to use as an interview mic, but spend a little bit of time ahead of the interview to get the proper distance from the mic into your muscle memory. You will probably want to hold it too close or too far away. It should be about 1-2″ from your lips, based on my non-scientific tests.
There are better mics available, but they are 4-5 times as expensive. The mic has a micro USB connection, a headphone jack (with volume control) and an XLR connector and comes with a quality XLR cable.
XLR is the analog three pin connector for mics that has been in use for decades, Chances are if you’ve ever worked with audio, you’ve used an XLR mic. If not, just put the XLR cable aside for now, you will not need it with your Mac or iOS device.