Table of Contents
- The Four Polar Patterns of the Blue Yeti Microphone
- How to Speak into the Blue Yeti Mic?
- The Blue Yeti is a Side-Address Microphone
- Don’t Get too Close to the Microphone
- Address any Sources of Background Noise before Recording
- Mic Configuration for the Blue Yeti
- Adjusting the Gain
- Controls on the Blue Yeti Microphone
- Setting Up the Blue Yeti for Different Operating Systems
- Windows 10
- Mac OS
- Consider Downloading the Blue Sherpa Companion App
- Accessories to Buy for Great Audio
- Pop Filter
- Shock Mount
- Boom Arm
- Recording Software
- Wrapping Things Up…
The Blue Yeti is one of the best microphones you can get to record audio narration for your online courses.
That being said, if you don’t know how to properly use it, even a powerful microphone like Blue Yeti can give you poor results.
In this post, we’ll go over the best settings for the Blue Yeti microphone as well as talk about how you’re supposed to set it up and what mode(s) you should use.
The Four Polar Patterns of the Blue Yeti Microphone
The four polar patterns (or modes) offered by the Blue Yeti Microphone are:
Let’s take a look at what each mode does so that you have a better understanding of what the Blue Yeti mic is capable of.
Cardioid mode: When the Blue Yeti is in cardioid mode, it records sounds that are directly in front of it and ignores most sounds that come from other directions. This makes it perfect for someone like you who wants to record audio for online courses.
Stereo mode: Stereo mode uses both right and left channels of the mic to capture a fairly wide spectrum of sounds from all directions. The only sounds that it doesn’t pick up much of are at the back of it. It’s great to record musical instruments where you want both the right and left channels to be engaged.
Omnidirectional mode: This mode picks up sound equally from every direction around the Blue Yeti mic. The omnidirectional mode is usually perfect to capture ambient sounds when you want to record the “feel” of your surroundings and is also perfect for conference calls.
Bidirectional mode: This mode records sound that comes from both the front as well as the rear of the microphone. It’s perfect if want to take an interview with someone to include within your online course.
Now that we’ve looked at what the four modes of the Yeti mic do, it’s fairly clear that the cardioid mode is definitely the one most suitable for you.
How to Speak into the Blue Yeti Mic?
Before we even get to Blue Yeti microphone settings, let’s talk a bit about how you should posture yourself as well as the mic during audio recording.
The Blue Yeti is a Side-Address Microphone
What does that mean? Well, a side-address mic records audio from the sides of its mic grill.
Thus, when you record audio, the top of the mic should not face towards your mouth. Instead, the top of the mic should face towards the ceiling and you should talk into its side.
You can experiment with this yourself. If you record into the top of the Blue Yeti, it results in low-volume audio that sounds muffled and distorted.
Don’t Get too Close to the Microphone
Every mic is different and for some, being as near as possible can result in very clear audio.
However, that’s not the case with the Yeti. If you put your mouth too close to it and record, you will end up with a distorted recording that is borderline unintelligible.
So, what’s the best distance to have?
To ensure the best sound quality, ensure that there’s at least 2 – 5 inches of space between you and your Blue Yeti USB microphone.
You may have to experiment with this to find the right distance. Record yourself a bunch of times with varying distances and hear your recording to find the sweet spot for the best audio.
Address any Sources of Background Noise before Recording
You have to keep in mind that the Blue Yeti stereo microphone is a fairly sensitive mic. Hence, it will pick up even the slightest sources of background noise even if it’s in cardioid mode.
We’ve talked about how to remove background noise with tools like Audacity but you should also try to eliminate these sources before you record as much as you can too.
Turn off any fans that may be running, put your phone on silent mode, and record in a closed room in order to eliminate background sound coming from outside.
Mic Configuration for the Blue Yeti
As mentioned earlier, as far as condenser USB microphones go, the Yeti is among the most sensitive ones out there. If you don’t configure it properly, it will pick up all sorts of sounds coming from your room as well as even in the adjacent room.
Thus, it’s important to understand its settings so you can configure it to your liking.
Let’s start with the Gain:
Adjusting the Gain
Gain is the allowable input level of the sound that the mic will pick up. You can think of it as the “sensitivity” of the microphone.
The knob to control the Gain of the Blue Yeti is present on its backside.
As a test, you should record a small length of sound with the Gain in the center, i.e., the indicator on the rear knob of the Yeti should be in a vertical position.
Playback your audio recording and listen for any static or unwanted noise that may be coming from sound sources in the background of your recording space.
If you hear a lot of unwanted noise, turn the Gain down by a couple of levels. Then, repeat the process of recording and listening to your audio. Keep doing this until you’ve found the perfect Gain for recording within your space.
Alternatively, if your audio sounds muffled and low-volume, you can try to turn the Gain up.
Controls on the Blue Yeti Microphone
When you unbox the mic, you’ll see that it comes with a built-in mic stand to place it upright and a micro USB cable to plug it straight into your computer or laptop.
Once you’ve plugged the USB cable into your computer, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all of its controls before you start to record.
To start off, the Yeti microphone comes with two adjuster knobs on the sides of the mic stand that let you adjust its position to your liking. You can also use them to make it compact for easy storage.
In the front, you’ll see the Blue logo underneath which is the microphone’s mute button.
Underneath the mute button is a knob that controls the volume output of your headphones which you’ll plug into the Blue Yeti mic.
We already talked about the rear knob which controls the Gain.
Along with that, there’s another knob on the backside which determines which polar pattern you record with (Cardioid, Stereo, Omnidirectional or Bidirectional).
Beneath the Blue Yeti stereo microphone is a 3.5mm audio jack to connect your headphones as well as a USB port.
Setting Up the Blue Yeti for Different Operating Systems
Oftentimes, people get new microphones and then are baffled when it doesn’t pick up any audio.
This is usually because they haven’t configured their microphone properly within their operating system.
Let’s look into how you can set up your Blue Yeti mic within different operating systems to achieve the best quality audio.
Setting up the Blue Yeti for Windows 10 may seem confusing if you’ve never set up a microphone on it before.
Luckily, there’s really nothing to it if you just follow these simple steps:
- Connect the microphone to your computer with its USB cable.
- Click the search option in the taskbar.
- Write “Control Panel” and then go to it.
- Within the Control Panel, click on “Hardware and Sound”.
- Click on “Sound”.
- Click on the Playback tab, select the Blue Yeti microphone and then, click on the “Set Default” button.
- Click on the Recording tab, select the Blue Yeti microphone and then, click on the “Set Default” button.
- Click the OK button to close the Sound window.
And that’s it, you’re done. Afterward, record some audio and hear it on your headphones connected to the Blue Yeti to ensure everything’s working properly.
The process for setting up Blue microphones on Mac OS is also fairly simple.
- Start by connecting your microphone to your Mac via the USB cable.
- Click on the Apple menu.
- Click on “System Preference” and then on “Sound”.
- Click on the Output tab and choose Yeti Stereo Microphone.
- Click on the Input tab and choose Yeti Stereo Microphone.
And with that, you’re good to go.
For setting up the Blue microphone in Linux, follow these steps:
- Choose system settings from the top-right corner.
- Click on “Sound setting”.
- In the Output tab, choose the Yeti Stereo Microphone
- Then, in the Input tab, choose the Yeti Stereo Microphone.
- Click on OK to close the window.
And with that, your mic is ready for recording on Linux.
Consider Downloading the Blue Sherpa Companion App
The Blue Sherpa Companion App for the Blue Yeti mic is something you can download if you have either Windows or Mac OS as your operating system.
It can be a good idea to download it since it gives you insights into your audio as you record it.
Furthermore, you don’t have to manually adjust the Gain or polar pattern of your Blue Yeti from its knobs since you can directly change them from the app.
It may not sound that impactful but it actually streamlines your workflow and allows you to record much more efficiently.
Another great thing about the app is that it automatically downloads the latest firmware updates for your Blue Yeti directly.
Thus, you won’t run into any compatibility issues down the line and your mic will stay updated to provide you with clean audio.
Accessories to Buy for Great Audio
While the Blue Yeti already comes with its own mic stand and you don’t really need much else to get started with recording audio, there are still a bunch of accessories you can get.
These will help you further clean up your recordings and ensure that any background noise or any other unwanted rumble or hiss from any sound source is reduced.
So, let’s get straight into it:
Pop filters are placed in the front of the microphone and they prevent your audio from clipping whenever you speak too loudly, especially when you say “P” and “B” sounds. A pop filter also ensures you’re at the right distance from your mic.
A pop filter is a fairly cheap accessory to get and the value it provides to clean up your sound definitely makes it worth it.
You can think of a shock mount as a “cage” that cleans up your audio by ensuring any low-frequency rumbles don’t get picked up by your mic.
Every time you touch your mic or even the desk that the mic sits on, it creates a noise that might be picked up by your microphone.
A shock mount ensures that such noises don’t get picked up so you can record sound without worrying about touching anything.
A boom arm is a long, adjustable stand for your mic that connects to your desk.
It can be a great investment if you have limited desk space since it suspends your microphone in the air and frees up space on your desk.
You can adjust it in any way you want to ensure you’re at the right distance and are speaking into the front of the microphone.
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We’ve talked about a number of audio recording software that you can use to record, listen and clean up your audio.
Whatever recording tool you use, always ensure that the Yeti microphone is selected within its default input as well as output tool.
Important Tip: You may be confused about why the Yeti needs to be the output tool as well when you’re using headphones. This is because your headphones are going to be connected directly to the Blue Yeti.
Thus, the sound will actually be outputted by the Yeti and you can listen to it with your headphones since they’re connected to it.
Wrapping Things Up…
The Blue Yeti is a super-sensitive microphone which is why it can definitely be difficult to configure it properly.
However, with the right understanding of its controls and a little trial-and-error, you can figure out the best settings for it for your particular surroundings in no time.
What settings do you use for the best sound for your Blue Yeti microphone? Let us know in the comments below.