Is this simple device all you need to connect your mic to your computer and record great vocals?
Item: Blue Microphones Icicle, USB Microphone Interface
Price: US $59, UK £40
At A Glance: Blue Microphone’s Icicle is a small USB interface that enables a microphone to be connected to a computer for recording. It has an XLR input for plugging in a microphone and a dedicated gain control for getting the right level into your computer. It works on both PCs and Macs – and with any DAW software that records audio, allowing you to capture your vocal performance or record acoustic instruments into your computer without the need for any external mixing device or preamplifier.
High Notes: The Icicle has phantom power so that it can be used with most studio condenser microphones, however it can also be used with a dynamic mic, such as one you would use on stage. The device is lightweight so to minimise strain on your XLR cable’s connectors and it can easily fit in a laptop bag. In use, the Icicle is very quick and easy to setup and its sound quality is perfectly suited to producing great sounding demo recordings or YouTube videos.
Off Pitch: Some people may require an interface with more input options such as having a guitar connection or one that allows stereo recording for connecting a keyboard or mp3 player.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Blue’s Icicle an elegant solution to connecting a microphone to a computer and provides good sound quality, with low levels of noise from the preamp. It is great for singers working with software like garage band who want a simple way of connecting their microhpone to their computer, however without a line-in for connecting electric guitar or bass some may find it too limiting. If you need more inputs then you will need to look elesewhere, however for singers wanting to record their voice at home on a budget, the Icicle comes highly recommended.
For alternatives you might also want to consider the MXL MicMate, Shure X2U, or, for more inputs at a similar price, Behringer’s 302 USB Mixer.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.bluemic.com/icicle/
Review 2 (PDF)