As USB microphones increase in fidelity, M-Audio adds the Uber Mic into the mix. Andy Jones mics up to see if it could find a happy home in the studio…
Uber Mic key features:
- 3-capsule USB condenser microphone
- Switchable polar patterns between cardioid, omni, figure of 8 and stereo
- Signal to noise: 110dB
- Sensitivity: -45dB
- Max SPL: 120dB
- Frequency response: 30Hz to 20kHz
- USB direct mixing and mic volume controls
- Headphone out
- Mac and PC compatible
- Weight kg: mic 1.0, stand 0.7
The quality of USB microphones is increasing all the time, with more being released that are good enough to go into the studio. M-Audio’s Uber Mic promises a hell of a lot for its £99, including four switchable polar patters, an internal headphone amplifier, a USB mic mixer rotary, zero latency monitoring and a mini LCD-type display.
There’s nothing difficult about using it either. Once we’d plugged the microphone in, Logic picked it up straight away, although it booted out our previous output device interface, so we had to force it back in to hear the results.
Around the front you have the mic input level rotary and pattern selector while headphone gain and USB mic mixer are on the other side. The display shows the headphone and mic input levels plus a graphic of the pattern selected.
For these latter two the display is actually on the opposite side, which means reaching around to make adjustments if you want to see the screen. Not ideal but, when you think about it, do you really absolutely need a display on a microphone?
The quality is good given the price. Vocal recordings with the cardioid pattern were clear and noise free. We then tried the microphone to record a piano. This time we had the stereo polar pattern selected to try and capture both low and high notes and the resulting spread was immersive, if lacking a little low-end.
Uber Mic is well built and comes with an impressive stand and it sits very solidly on your desktop with flexible movement. If you are on a limited budget and need a mic for a variety of tasks then it’s a solid choice and handles decently in a variety of situations, although it does face tough competition from Blue’s mic range that we looked at last year.