Provides: Digital voice and instrument recording for Mac and iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Minimum Requirements: Mac: Intel processor, OS X v10.6.4, 1GB RAM, USB 2.0, compatible audio software. iOS: iPhone 4/4S, iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, iOS v4.3
The first thing I noticed when setting up Apogee’s MiC is that it’s built the way a microphone should be. I’ve worked with many in my time, be it in bands, shows, plays, etc. I’ve been on both sides of them. And although I by no means consider myself a sound expert, I know that quality mics have a certain feel to them. A certain weight. The MiC has this, which surprised me because it it’s only about half the size of a standard microphone.
It’s also purely digital (or PureDIGITAL, as Apogee calls it), converting your analog source to a digital signal on the mic itself. It connects directly your Mac via USB or to your iDevices via a docking cable, both of which are included in the box.
The MiC is simple to use, too. Nearly all of the input settings will be handled by your software, be it GarageBand, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, etc. The only setting on the MiC itself is gain. An LED light indicates when the MiC is connected (blue), when it’s ready to record (green), and the input level is too high (red). That’s it for functionality, beyond the actual recording, of course.
There, a lot will depend upon what you’re recording and where the MiC is placed. Not having an acoustic guitar (or the ability to play one), I recorded myself playing the Futulele and Ocarina apps for iOS. It actually did a pretty good job here, provided I angled the speakers properly toward the MiC. That won’t be an issue with guitar, which provides a more natural, full sound, of course.
I also recorded some piano with it. And although the placement of my piano isn’t conducive to perfect recording, I was still impressed with the range and richness that the Apogee MiC was able to capture. Certainly good enough for what I need when recording into GarageBand.
I’m more likely to use a microphone for podcasting and interviews, however, and have mixed reactions in this regard. Using a normal speaking voice produced excellent results, but the MiC didn’t seem to be able to come down with me when I lower it for a richer radio tone. It left my voice sounding “colder” than what I’ve been able to capture with other mics.
What the MiC lacks in range, however, it recovers in functionality. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket or backpack, and the included tripod—although a bit awkward at first—does a fine job of positioning the MiC once you’ve got it where you want it. Other accessories are available, but most of you will get everything you need in the box.
The Apogee MiC’s greatest strengths, then, are its portability and simple compatibility with your Mac and dockable iDevices. If you’ve been trying to get by with their built-in mics, just stop. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Apogee MiC for acoustic instrument recording, and because it’s so easy to use and transport, you’ll definitely want to take it with you when podcasting on the road. I’m quite certain it’ll be accompanying me to Macworld | iWorld Expo this January. But its ability to effectively record your voice will depend upon its timbre. James Earl Jones, in other words, should likely look elsewhere.
Buy the MiC by Apogee