Nestled amid the gentle rolling hills of my old stomping ground of Westlake Village sits Blue Microphones, little more than a half hour north of Los Angeles. There’re actually two lakes in the area: beautiful Lake Sherwood, and the grubby, man-made boating pond of Westlake Lake. Neither, to my recollection, has ever had a reported sighting of a monster.
Blue Microphones’s new USB mic is named “Nessie,” which I guess means now the area has at least one lake monster. Only in this case it’s the good, super-friendly kind of monster.
That’s because Nessie is built for the amateur podcaster or musician who might need an easygoing mic with features that correct for common rookie mistakes.
For instance, it comes with a pop-filter to reduce popping plosives, and a shock mount to reduce noise caused by vibration, both internal and built right into the mic (Blue says the pop-filter is even “studio-grade”).
On the digital side, Nessie comes with an adaptive processor that automatically adjusts equalizer settings and levels, and de-esses as the user yells or sings into its custom-tuned condenser capsule microphone.
But Nessie still leaves you with some control in the form of three selective recording modes: one for richer vocals, one for higher detail when recording instruments and a third that simply leaves the raw audio for you to mess with later.
Rounding out the feature set are a head that can be elongated (sort of like its namesake), volume and mute controls, zero-latency headphone output and the ability to record on an iPad (using Apple’s USB camera adapter).
And here’s the kicker: Nessie is only $100. Blue has sound samples here if you want to hear the mic in action.