PDA

View Full Version : Best sounding Webcam??



olgoat52
09-08-2010, 12:27 PM
Way behind the times but really don't feel up to building a new PC right now. Anyone out there have an opinion on the best sounding webcam for a desktop PC?

Thanks

the_ominator
09-08-2010, 01:18 PM
uhm, a webcam is for video, not sound. what exactly do you want do/know ?

olgoat52
09-08-2010, 01:39 PM
uhm, a webcam is for video, not sound. what exactly do you want do/know ?

Most webcams I have seen have a built in Mic. I would suspect that the mic is better quality in some than other. If used for mini jams or uke lessons or recordings, it would be nice to have decent sound quality. Hooking up a standalone mic is a PITA and lots more clutter on an already cluttered desk area.

Nuprin
09-08-2010, 04:33 PM
I have not used this webcam (http://www.bluemic.com/consumeraudio/webcams.html) but Blue is quite well known in the audio world as a quality microphone company so I would imagine the built-in mic would sound good. I've used some of their higher priced microphones...their Blueberry is one of my favorites and, in my opinion, competes with many mics 2-3 times the price.

Nuprin
09-08-2010, 04:52 PM
In regards to my suggestion of the Blue webcam...just watched some comparisons on YouTube and I'm not very impressed by either the video or audio. My built-in webcam on my MacBook looks better to me.

olgoat52
09-08-2010, 06:05 PM
In regards to my suggestion of the Blue webcam...just watched some comparisons on YouTube and I'm not very impressed by either the video or audio. My built-in webcam on my MacBook looks better to me.

Thanks for the update. I was just ready to go down the research rabbit hole to check it out.

spots
09-09-2010, 05:44 AM
Consider the Logitech Webcam Pro line.

One of the issues with Webcam audio is that it is geared towards voice, and specifically spoken voice. There will always be some limitations in terms of the frequency range, etc. compared to a stage mic.

You also have to look at the program the final audio/video will be playing through. For example, Flash doesn't have the world's best quality audio. It's good and it does the job, but it has limitations in what it can accurately reproduce from an audio standpoint. Mic quality can make a difference in Flash, but there is a point of diminishing returns in terms of cost versus final quality.

Youtube compresses video and audio. We've all heard Youtube audio that is horrible. If you don't start with great source material, then you won't have a great final product.

An external mic may be more involved. But if you really want to capture the range that music audio requires, an external mic is still probably the best route.

olgoat52
09-09-2010, 06:19 AM
Consider the Logitech Webcam Pro line.

One of the issues with Webcam audio is that it is geared towards voice, and specifically spoken voice. There will always be some limitations in terms of the frequency range, etc. compared to a stage mic.

You also have to look at the program the final audio/video will be playing through. For example, Flash doesn't have the world's best quality audio. It's good and it does the job, but it has limitations in what it can accurately reproduce from an audio standpoint. Mic quality can make a difference in Flash, but there is a point of diminishing returns in terms of cost versus final quality.

Youtube compresses video and audio. We've all heard Youtube audio that is horrible. If you don't start with great source material, then you won't have a great final product.

An external mic may be more involved. But if you really want to capture the range that music audio requires, an external mic is still probably the best route.

Not sure I have the balls to do a youtube ;-) Do most UU users that post performances on youtube use an external mic? I figure they were all using webcams from looking at them. Good points on quality though. I have been looking at logitech.

Although it would be pretty cool to have a Neumann setup in the office next to the PC. Yeah and some room isolation and a sound booth and whoooa slow down there bucky. Gettin out of hand

spots
09-09-2010, 06:51 AM
I think much of this depends on what you are after as a final product. I always enjoy hearing good audio.

I have a Logitech C500 webcam, and also a dynamic mic (run through a small preamp to my sound card) on my desk.

Audio through the webcam sounds thin and tinny to me. The dynamic mic has much more depth and presence.

Even though my room isn't a recording studio, the difference is noticeable. The other nice thing about the dynamic mic is that it is a cardioid pattern. So it doesn't pick up sound behind the mic. Because of how I have it positioned it does not pick up sound from computer fans, outside sounds through windows, etc. The webcam can pick up a lot of that sound.

I have also found the dynamic mic to have better volume than the webcam mic when using it with Audacity, etc. to record audio only. The pre-amp (while it is an extra box) does give more ability to fine tune volumes.

When I have used the webcam mic in video conferences, I have had to turn the mic volume up more than when I use the dynamic mic setup.

The dynamic mic setup (mic + preamp) cost me as much as the top of the line Logitech Webcam, but it has much better audio.

The webcam I found on sale for a really good price. It has a glass lens and good video quality.

Each one serves a different purpose.

olgoat52
09-09-2010, 06:56 AM
I think much of this depends on what you are after as a final product. I always enjoy hearing good audio.

I have a Logitech C500 webcam, and also a dynamic mic (run through a small preamp to my sound card) on my desk.

Audio through the webcam sounds thin and tinny to me. The dynamic mic has much more depth and presence.

Even though my room isn't a recording studio, the difference is noticeable. The other nice thing about the dynamic mic is that it is a cardioid pattern. So it doesn't pick up sound behind the mic. Because of how I have it positioned it does not pick up sound from computer fans, outside sounds through windows, etc. The webcam can pick up a lot of that sound.

I have also found the dynamic mic to have better volume than the webcam mic when using it with Audacity, etc. to record audio only. The pre-amp (while it is an extra box) does give more ability to fine tune volumes.

When I have used the webcam mic in video conferences, I have had to turn the mic volume up more than when I use the dynamic mic setup.

The dynamic mic setup (mic + preamp) cost me as much as the top of the line Logitech Webcam, but it has much better audio.

The webcam I found on sale for a really good price. It has a glass lens and good video quality.

Each one serves a different purpose.

What did you use for a pre-amp? I have a couple of Shure SM-57s in the arcenal from long ago. So those are an option, but they are Lo-z. Most pre-amps with low-z are massive and expensive. I probably still have some step up transformers downstairs someplace.

spots
09-09-2010, 07:23 AM
I'm using an ART Project Series Tube MP USB (also has a USB audio out built into it). It is a single channel preamp. Units without USB out are less expensive.

The preamp has an input impedence button to switch the input from High (default) of 5.7k Ohms to Low of 600 Ohms.

The preamp is not terribly expensive or high end, but it does the job in this case. I'm using it with a low Z Behringer XM8500 (3 pin XLR). Your SM-57 will have better sensitivity than the XM8500.

The pre-amp has both XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs. You get more gain going XLR to XLR. So I have the mic plugged in using an XLR cable. The output is an XLR to 1/8" mini into the "Line In" on the sound card.

The USB ports on my motherboard aren't shielded that well and they can pick up electrical line noise if a neighboring USB port is in use. This can bleed into the recording if you use the preamp's USB connection.

I find going into the Line In gives me a very clean recording if I mute all other inputs on the sound card. Most of the white noise in my recordings comes from the air vent in the ceiling above my desk.

CoLmes
09-09-2010, 08:28 AM
Just get a crappy webcam and a blue snowball mic. I have a mac and it distorts when I play on the jams, but the microphone makes the audio come through clear.

lozarkman
09-09-2010, 08:37 AM
From what I have read on other threads, it seems that maybe the Zoom Q3 is top of the line in sound/record quality and a little shy on the video side, and as I understand it it has omni-directional record sound ability. You also might want to email Ken Middleton who has a zillion UTube videos of excellent quality (particularly on sound) and he is very friendly and I am sure he will respond with what he does. Just some thoughts Lozark

Nuprin
09-09-2010, 08:41 AM
Depending on how lazy I'm feeling, I'll use one of four different options. I've linked some videos to give you an idea as to the sound quality of each.

1. Condenser mic (AKG 451) going into my Digidesign Digi003 interface. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UoFPki1HDY)

2. Zoom Q3. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClHFqyhPrpk)

3. Audio Technica AT2020 USB condenser mic. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=491c9ClIbLg)

4. Built-in MacBook webcam. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIN8RkN-AE)

In all cases except for the Zoom Q3, the video is done with my built-in webcam.

olgoat52
09-09-2010, 08:55 AM
Depending on how lazy I'm feeling, I'll use one of four different options. I've linked some videos to give you an idea as to the sound quality of each.

1. Condenser mic (AKG 451) going into my Digidesign Digi003 interface. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UoFPki1HDY)

2. Zoom Q3. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClHFqyhPrpk)



3. Audio Technica AT2020 USB condenser mic. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=491c9ClIbLg)

4. Built-in MacBook webcam. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIN8RkN-AE)

In all cases except for the Zoom Q3, the video is done with my built-in webcam.

Well that's a pretty good testament to the idea of using a standalone mic step. 1 and 3 were way better. The video was better on 1 and 3 as well (beyond the post production work ;)
Thanks for the links. Blue shadows was great. Think of Martin Short every time. My favorite movie cowboy song is probably the one Tom Hanks did in Joe Vs. The Volcano.

SweetWaterBlue
09-09-2010, 10:40 AM
I have a Logitech Pro 9000, which has great video (at least by a few years ago standards). It sounds great on Skype, but leaves something to be desired for recording music. There is too much bass and a sort of booming resonance using it for some reason. When I really want to record a uke video, I usually use my son's Zoom H4 for sound, and the Logitech for the video. If I were buying one today, I would be very tempted by the Zoom Q3, or a good web cam with an H2.

uke5417
09-09-2010, 11:16 AM
The mic isn't much on the logitechs, but their software does make it easy to chose an alternate mic. I use my zoom h4n as an audio interface/mic.

Ukulele JJ
09-21-2010, 05:10 AM
FWIW, the Blue Eyeball 2.0 is on sale for $20 today only on Sellout.Woot (http://sellout.woot.com/)

JJ

ptl161
09-30-2010, 08:42 AM
Depending on how lazy I'm feeling, I'll use one of four different options. I've linked some videos to give you an idea as to the sound quality of each.

1. Condenser mic (AKG 451) going into my Digidesign Digi003 interface. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UoFPki1HDY)

2. Zoom Q3. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClHFqyhPrpk)

3. Audio Technica AT2020 USB condenser mic. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=491c9ClIbLg)

4. Built-in MacBook webcam. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIN8RkN-AE)

In all cases except for the Zoom Q3, the video is done with my built-in webcam.

thank for the link !

trailrider
10-12-2010, 05:57 PM
Try the Zoom Q 3 which has fantastic audio and darned good video. Then spend 5 minutes or less uploading to computer or directly to youtube.