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Reviews

Mikey Digital: Big Audio Recording Power In A Small Package

ImageI am a working studio producer and audio engineering teacher and I always need to record. Whether it be in the studio teaching or quickly composing a song on the go, my life is full of miniature musical mementos that I need to capture.  The Mikey Digital iPhone microphone by Blue Microphones does everything I need and more.

The Mikey Digital is very easy to set up.  As soon as you plug the Mikey Digital into your phone a green LED turns on to let the user know the mic is plugged in and ready for use.  The Mikey Digital requires no software driver and works with both stock video and audio programs as well as more advanced iPhone recording and video apps.  But the setup is beautifully simple, with snap in and record functionality. 

From there the mic is already ready to go, with one switch allowing the user to choose between three different modes.  Loud mode provides the lowest gain for recording loud sources such as a concert or sporting event; auto mode is used to adjust to medium sources like a singer's inside performance, or an event like an inside auction; and quiet mode allows the listener to hone in on quiet sounds like class lectures and unamplified sound sources.

In my experience working with the mic, auto mode was the best choice for all of my needs.  I recently tried the loud mode at a DJ'ing and Freestyle event at a local bar to get some live audio for the event.  While capturing the sound of the event well, the signal was still a bit too dark and distorted due to the extremely high volume of the event (but this is to be expected of a smaller microphone).  At the same time while lecturing to some of my students I had the Mikey Digital running on quiet mode, and felt that the audio was a little too quiet and hard to understand to be practical.  The auto mode though would be the prizewinner.

ImageI spent three days working on a hip-hop album with several female vocal features.  The Mikey Digital was used on auto mode in my studio to capture side-by-side recordings with the mics from the recording sessions.  The Mikey Digital held up, and the auto mode would adjust its gain to compensate for when a singer would get quiet or loud, giving me an almost perfectly even level to use.  The sound fidelity of the mike itself was a bit dark, but with a few eq tweaks I was able to brighten up the vocals to a very high quality level.  It was then that I started using the Mikey Digital for in studio interviews and quick behind the scenes audio during sessions.  As you can see we used the Mikey Digital for the overdubbing vocals in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbShN6TYoKY) comparing the Mikey to some of its Blue Microphone larger counterparts.

The Mikey Digital also comes with the added bonus of a to inch adaptor for the iPhone, making the Mikey Digital usable for direct guitar and bass recordings.  This is great for basic guitar and bass ideas on the go, or to provide a small recording interface wherever you are.  A musician without a ton of gear could record his guitar into his or her phone and then just send the track via email to use on the song, an all in one stop! 

My life is very mobile.  Gone are the days of big budgets, long writing sessions, and slow development. We live in a world where people have to get things done quickly and inexpensively.  When working on a song for an artist or band, I need to be able to write and record reference vocals and arrangements on the go.  The Mikey Digital recorded my melodic ideas and roughs with ease and produced really high quality audio that is comparable to most low-end microphones.  I have worked on projects with tight deadlines where we needed to have hooks and parts recorded sent remotely, and the Mikey Digital is the perfect answer to all of my problems.  At a great price and a perfect size, if you are a mobile music maker, the Mikey Digital by Blue Microphones is for you.