The Best Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Reviewed and Compared [2022]

best microphone podcast youtube

So you are starting your channel and are in the market for the BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube. Starting your own media outlet feels very nice, but not having the best gear can really ruin your day. Follow us further and we will guide you to get the best gear for your needs, without breaking the bank.

Editor’s note: This list is always updated to always reflect the status of the market, so make sure you bookmark it and come back for your future purchases.

You are going to need a couple of things, a good microphone, a great microphone arm, a sound card and a good computer that allows you to also record video on top of your microphone and voice. You should never overlook the basic stuff, like cables, internet connection and software.

The best thing about microphones for podcasts and youtube is that there are a lot of choices for you in the market right now. This niche is no longer narrow and expensive, and there are even some microphones that run on USB so you don’t need a sound card. We picked a winner for best performance and one for best value. Both our winners only have the USB audio option, so if you want a better sounding piece of hardware, be prepared to also pay for a sound card. If you are on a laptop and prefer to be on the move, then get an USB-only microphone as the value is extremely good.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Product Name Main Features Our Rating Price
Editor’s BEST Choice
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
– USB Only
– Excellent build quality
– Versatile microphone
– Small footprint
– Does not need arm
9.4 100$ – 150$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Editor’s VALUE Choice
Blue Snowball USB Microphone
– Does not need arm
– USB only
– Mini stand included
– Choose your own color
8.9 50$ – 100$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Audio Tehnica AT2020
– Accessible studio quality
– Very correct sound reproduction
– XLR/Audio connection only
– Does NOT come with XLR Cable
9.4 150$ – 200$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Shure MV7
– Built in Headphone Output
– May be too expensive for what you need
– Never needs an upgrade
– A lot of software control for it
9.8 Under 300$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Presonus Dynamic Broadcast/Podcast Microphone
– Made for podcasts
– Interesting design
– XLR/Audio connection only
– Good bang for buck
9.0 100$ – 150$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – market overview

Over the last few years or so, we’ve seen the rise of famous YouTubers and it seems that many other people are trying their luck in this field. They, or at least the ones that aspire for greatness should be using good microphones in order to sound great, especially on headphones where a bad quality microphone can simply ruin the viewer’s overall experience. Especially true for podcasts and content where only the voice is heard.

We have rounded up our own little Top 5 of aspiring products for the title of BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube. We have a varied selection, ranging in the 50$ to 300$, and all products can be found on amazon.com. Our overall winner is a flexible, trusted solution that sends audio signal straight to the computer via USB. If you want more sound quality though, you will have to go with an XLR connection and a sound card. But if you are travelling for interviews or just don’t have the space, an USB connection only microphone could be more attractive.

Luckily, we have an article on the BEST Sound card for Podcasts and Youtube here.

#1 BEST USB Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Blue Yeti USB Microphone

After much deliberating, we’ve decided to award the title of BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube to the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. Yes, you will say that it is standard but it is there for a reason. We like the Blue Yeti product because it has USB audio, so you get to cut a lot of the costs associated with your podcast or youtube channel, that is has a very small footprint and that you don’t need a stand for it.

The microphone is extremely easy to use and sounds great because of the three condenser capsules it has. The microphone just sits neatly on your desk and captures your voice in good isolation. But if you also want to capture some background sound for any reason, you can have it do this as-well due to the shape selection switch.

The Blue Yeti USB Microphone has a headphone output and volume control on the front.

This microphone has four mic type patterns, depending on the way you want it to capture sound: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8 and Stereo. Cardioid is recommended for just recording your voice, but if you want to delve deeper or require also ambient sound or effects, you can use it to capture more with ease.

#2 BEST Value USB Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Blue Snowball USB Microphone

This is somewhat of a cheaper product if you don’t feel like investing a lot of capital in great microphone right away, and want to try the waters first and see if you like doing podcasts or Youtube content. The Blue Snowball is the younger, smaller brother of the Yeti microphone as both products are made by same company.

Again, we have an USB-only audio connection. Fitting for simple setups, with limited budgets. Unfortunately, the DAC (the component that translates analog sound vibrating through the air into digital signal for your computer to process) is integrated into this cheap microphone. You don’t have the option to upgrade the DAC like you would a sound card so you are stuck with average sound quality.

The Blue Snowball Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube shines in the value department, you pay a small entry price into the world of content creation and you honestly get a lot for this cost.

Just like the Blue Yeti USB Microphone, the Snowball also has a selection of geometric modes, but sadly the “stere” one is missing. And if lighting is your thing, you can choose from up to six color styles with the brushed aluminium variant. If you don’t want vibrant coloring and are going for a more professional, refrained look, try the “Textured White” or “Gloss Black” finish.

XLR connection vs. USB connection

And now we would like to move to the professional segment. These microphones require a sound card with an XLR socket to function, they also require phantom power (supplied by the sound card). But having these things means actually means that there is more space in the microphone for actual sound components.

XLR connected Microphones for Podcasts and Youtube are always a better choice than USB ones.

This is because instead of having a DAC and a power supply built in (so it can take power and send direct digital messages to USB), they offload this task to the sound card so that they can pack a much better sound quality puch.

The downside is that you also need something to plug them into via XLR connection. This secondary device captures the analog sound signal from the microphone and transforms it into digital data for the computer to read. That is what the sound card does, and this is why you pay for it.

XLR connected Microphones and their soundcards cost way more than the USB option.

Still, these types of content creation microphones are very relevant to those that need sound quality, especially if you also create sound that is not voice based for your content and thus use instruments that you plug into your sound card as-well.

#3 XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Audio Tehnica AT2020

This one is the first XLR product on our list. It represents a mid-range condenser microphone pretty well. We would always recommend this one as an entry level XLR microphone because it will introduce you pretty well to the dynamic nature of voice recordings. You will be able to sound more dramatic or more mellow depending on your content.

For this market segment we decided to award the Audio Tehnica AT2020 the title of BEST Value XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube.

The battle was with another Audio Tehnica product that is a bit more expensive, the AT2035. We have a whole article about the AT2035 vs AT2020 them here. The article also explains the XLR standard to some extent, so you can understand analog sound specifications.

#4 USB+XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Shure MV7

This one marks the entry into the high end market space. If you are here, you know what you want and you can specify it. The Shure MV7 is a mixed connection type microphone, it will take USB or XLR depending on your label.

It is fully advised that you if you can spare the money and don’t have a sound-card yet, get the Shure MV7 and use it on USB until you can afford it.

The specifications of this microphone look very good, and there are also a lot of “handling” features like an integraded headphone output, panel touch controls and the software suite you can use to process the sound on a desktop or laptop further. Imagine that this is three times more expensive that the BEST USB Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube, but believe us, it is worth it. We cannot recommend an upgrade mic to the Shure MV7 that doesn’t cost more than 1000$.

#5 XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Presonus Dynamic Vocal Microphone

And we had to have a Dynamic microphone in our top because sometimes you don’t have the best studio out there and you want something that can just work in any conditions.

The Presonus Dynamic Vocal Microphone for Broadcasting and Podcasts is a budget XLR-only option that can deliver. Sure, it will lack mostly all the features that the 300$ option puts on the table, but at least sound quality is good.

We can recommend this microphone for content creators that already have a sound card for other projects, and want to describe their projects with a microphone. Just pay a small fee for this microphone, plug it into your sound card and start creating.

Final Thoughts on Microphone Choice

As you can see, the microphone market is very mature and options abound in 2022. Still, we stick to our internal way of thought, and would recommend an USB option if you want to start your channel pretty fast and don’t know how to operate audio equipment. We have provided two choices here.

If instead you know how to record audio and have a soundcard, we would recommend the high end or the budget option for XLR Connections.

Still, there is a third way, if you know how to record sound, but don’t have a sound card yet, buy the Shure MV7 since it has both XLR and USB.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

5 BEST Mid-winter 2021 VST Plugin DEALS

Wellcome to our periodic round-up of the BEST DEALS available on music production VST Plugins. Here, we help you spend your hard-earn money on new toys and virtual gear. So without further ado, here is our list of five of the BEST DEALS on VST Plugins and their end date:

  1. Izotope Complete Your Suite Sale – up to 80% off. Yes you heard that right, up to 80% off select Izotope VST Plugins in order for you to have more of the same quality and usability. There are also offers for upgrades here. Deal ends February 16th 2021 and can be found here.
  2. Iceberg Audio – The Sub VST Synth – 33% off introductory price. This one is also on the usability side, and it’s a straightforward sub bass synth. For 33 Eur you get one envelope, glide and drive, so not that much BUT the sound quality is out if this world. It is an instant favourite our ours and the deal can be found here. It is only live until Februray 10.
  3. Native Instruments Komplete 13 – huge discount on bundles. If you’ve been waiting for a great deal to get into Komplete, now is the time. They have heavily discounted their bundles, including Ultimate and Collector’s Edition. They did this also for the starter packs, and you can get them for as low as 199 Eur for the Select bundle. The deal can be found here, and there is no end date specified, so go ahead and try your luck.
  4. W.A. Production has a 68% off sale on preset packs for the most popular synths out there like Serum, Spire, Sylenth and much more. If Techno and House are your things, then this is for you. All major VST Synths are supported on this preset pack, and the deal ends on the 28th of February. Shop here!
  5. 55% Off Eden2 by UJAM and Bassroom by Mastering the Mix. Again, if dance music, especially Techno and House are your things, These two tools are indispensable. I am particularly fond of Bassroom, it is very useful on the master channel to round out and smooth your bassline. UJAM is a very nice drum machine too. This deal ends on 14th of Februray.

So there you have it, enough to get you through the end of Winter. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletters for more deals:

Modular Synth workflow for beginners – Visualise patch cable voltage values

Building and having a modular synth can be a bit of a hassle. And when I say a bit, I mean a lot. Not being able to see any modulation values is one thing. Then, there is the fact that you will never be able to save a general patch due to the flexible nature of the synth. Also, another drawback is that stereo is close to non existent (unless you want to buy two of the same modules), not to mention polyphony (unless you want to buy six of the same modules to get a six voice synth).

But programming, or should we say patching a modular synth is so much fun. And you get a wonderful sense of freedom.

Still this alone does not make modular so attractive, especially if you are new to synths all along. Today, I will show you one product that makes entering this very distinct domain much more easy.

Yes, I am talking about Producertools’ new product, their Patchcables with Bi-color LED built in. This is a long time coming guys, for sure somebody would have done this by now. Now there is basically no excuse for you to not build that eurorack system that you wanted. This a pre-order program for now, delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, shipping is supposed to be in March 2021.

So basically with these patch cables you will be able to see the polarity of the voltage and a rough estimation of its value. The built in LEDs will glow red or green depending if the voltage is plus or minus, so if the envelope or LFO is basically negative sloped or positive sloped. Also, the light the LEDs emit varies in intensity. You can see how it looks in the video below:

There are of course drawbacks for now, but the manufacturer said that there is minimal interference with the Eurorack Control Voltage that passes through. They even had to design their own LEDs for this.

Still, a bit of voltage does get used by the LEDs so will not reach the source.

So don’t use it with signals that require precision, like controling the pitch of oscillators with 1v/Oct signals. Best use is for non random (S&H) LFOs and Envelopes, where you can just offset/increase send voltage in order to compensate for LED consumption.

Get your own set of Patchcables with Bi-color LEDs on the Producertools website here.

Amplitube vs Guitar Rig – a detailed comparison

As any guitar player knows, Guitar Rig and Amplitube are undoubtedly two of the most famous and popular guitar emulators available. They’re the best at what they do, but which one is actually THE BEST?

We have updated our article in light of the recent Amplitube 5 release, available on IK Multimedia’s website. Comparing to Amplitube 4, this one has been upgraded user experience department, being by far much more user friendly. It now suports Retina-displays and the GUI is fully-scalable. Also, in the new department you now have the option to do parallel effects, with the addition of the dry/wet control and a lot more devices to play with.

For those interested in an upgrade path from Amplitube 4 to 5, here is a sheet from IK Multimedia, explaining the differences and also listing the contents of the Amplitube 5 package.

And if you are interested in a music production laptop as well, we have an updated comparison article right here for you.

Today we’re going to talk at length about the differences and similarities between Amplitube and Guitar Rig, their pros and cons, features, specs, and ultimately decide which platform offers bigger and better benefits, so let’s begin with the most recent price, avaialble by clicking these buttons:

To be fair, we will compare Amplitube 5 to the “PRO” version of Guitar Rig – because the free version is in a league of it’s own. Sadly there is no free entry point to Amplitube, so we have to have an apples-to-apples comparison.

Guitar Rig 6 Amps

For the lack of better words, the selection of amps, cabinets, and effects stacked into the Guitar rig is absolutely incredible. Of course, its eclecticism and versatility mainly depends on which package you’ve opted for, but even the factory Guitar Rig 6 Player is better-rounded than the vast majority if boutique guitar emulators.

You’ll be able to choose between some of the iconic amps, such as Hot Plex, Citrus, Tweed Delight, Jazz Amp, Hot Solo+, and many others, although the bulk of these presets are reserved for Guitar Rig 6 Pro users.

The newest additions (in comparison to the Guitar Rig 5 Pro) are the Chicago, Bass Invader, and the Fire Breather amps, all of which bring brand-new and highly unique features to the table.

Overall, Guitar Rig offers surprisingly authentic, great-sounding amps. We have a full review of Guitar Rig 6 available by clicking right here!

Amplitube 5 Amps

Amplitube’s selection of amps is perfect for literally all kinds of music styles and subgenres. The Standard Amplitube 5 package has 34 devices while the MAX version has a whopping 107 items.

You’ll be able to use five British Stack amps, including Brit 8000 and Brit 9000, the Red Pig, Brit Valve, the Brit Silver, two American Tube amps, as well as a solid-state Bass preamp. The standard edition of Amplitube 5

If you want the full list of devices available, IK Multimedia has created this sheet, which also compares Amplitube 5 with the previous version. We have a full and honest review of Amplitube 5, you can read it by clicking here!

These amps work wonders regardless of whether you’re looking for a poppy sound, a fuzzed jazzy tone, or a heavily distorted metal timbre. However, Guitar Rig’s selection of amps is just slightly broader.

Guitar Rig 6 Cabinets

Guitar Rig 6 offers matched cabinets for their amps, which is generally pretty great. Furthermore, you’ll be able to make great use of the Control room cabinets & mics features if you’ve upgraded to Guitar Rig 6 Pro.

However, the downside here is that you won’t be able to mix and match ‘unmatched’ cabinets like you would with Amplitube.

Amplitube Cabinets

As far as cabinets go, Amplitube 5 offers 27 models, while the MAX version comes equipped with a HUGE ARRAY of 101, including six 4 by 12s (matching the amps), one 1 by 12 Open Vintage cab, a 2 by 12 Closed Vintage cab, and a 1 by 15 Bass Vintage cabinet.

While Guitar Rig had the upper hand in terms of the amp selection, Amplitube does a bit better job in the realm of cabinets, offering more than twice as many models and presets.

In a nutshell, this is more than you’ll need to capture the sonic essence of the recognizable sounds of guitar heroes with ease.

Guitar Rig 6 Effects

There are almost more guitar effects aboard the Guitar Rig 6 platform than can be counted, starting with five delays (Twin, Delay Man, Psyche Delay, Quad Delay and Tape Echo), 12 Distortions (Fuzz, MeZone, Sledgehammer, Gain & Treble boosters, Cat, Demon, Skreamer and more), 10 Dynamic effects, 5 EQs, 7 filters, 8 modulation effects, 3 Pitch effects, 9 reverbs, and three ‘Special’ effects (Resochord, Ring Modulator and Grain Delay).

Barely a dozen of these effects are available as factory presets, though, which means that more than half of aforementioned guitar effect models are only available with the Guitar Rig 6 Pro package. We have a full review of Guitar Rig 6 available by clicking right here!

Amplitube Effects

The Amplitube simulator offers 10 different stompbox models, including choruses, flangers, delays, wahs, diode overdrives, volume pedals, graphic equalizers, compressors, tremolos, and acoustic simulators. With the new Amplitube 5 version you can run them in paralel with the dry/wet setting.

All of these effects are taken from actual analogue effect pedals and sound as original and authentic as can be. The same list of items contains an inventory of all the stomp effects contained. We have a full and honest review of Amplitube 5, you can read it by clicking here!

The good and the bad of Guitar Rig 6

Basically, Guitar Rig 6 is free to download, which is a massive benefit in itself. However, the factory presets selection is modest, to say the very least, which means that it’s a pretty basic software with relatively poor versatility if you don’t upgrade to the ‘Pro’ version at some point.

Let’s discuss the positives and negatives of Guitar Rig 6 PRO:

Pros:

  • Decently affordable upgrade to Guitar Rig 6 free
  • Exceptional range of guitar amps
  • Quality analogue bass amp
  • Authentic sounding tools, models and presets
  • Unparalleled selection of effects
  • Decently easy to use, even by beginners

Cons:

  • The basic (free) package is not overly versatile
  • Difficult to mix and match cabinets
  • Almost no effect pedals and stompboxes to speak of in the free package

The good and the bad of Amplitube

Amplitube is decently approachable guitar software that packs a hefty selection of stompboxes, amplifiers, cabinets, speakers, microphones, effects, and rack units. With the new update to Amplitube 5, the user interface is extremely well built, scalable and looks great on Apple devices. We have a full and honest review of Amplitube 5, you can read it by clicking here!

Obviously, it’s more expensive than the (free) Guitar Rig 6, but it is well worth the buck considering how beginner-friendly and eclectic it is. Some of the highlighted advantages and disadvantages of Amplitube are:

Pros:

  • Highly intuitive interface
  • Excellent selection of stompbox effects, amplifiers, cabinets and microphones
  • Several rack effects and speakers
  • Onboard tuners
  • Constantly expanding roster of amps and effects
  • Great for beginners and seasoned veterans alike

Cons:

  • Not available for free, although demo can be downloaded free of charge

Conclusion

The specs, features, and UI were some of the most notable parameters we took into consideration when comparing the performance of Amplitube and Guitar Rig.

Even though these guitar simulator programs are completely different, they actually do have a lot in common. Both programs are laden with a myriad of top-quality amps and effects, and both actually sound extraordinarily great.

Be it as it may, Guitar Rig tends to do a bit better only because there is a free version to which Amplitube cannot compete. Overall, Guitar Rig offers surprisingly authentic, great-sounding amps. We have a full review of Guitar Rig 6 available by clicking right here!

Without cutting Amplitube’s worth short, it’s amazing software that has enormous potential to usurp Guitar Rig’s throne in near future.

Laptop specs for music production

While the versatility and gear of actual studios are appealing, many people simply can’t afford $500/hour sessions and look for alternatives.

The idea of setting up a ‘home’ studio sounds like a lot of work, but actually, all you need is basic gear (instruments and a microphone) and a decent laptop.

Now, you shouldn’t just get any laptop – there are spheres of performance where investing more than a couple of hundreds of dollars is overkill, but then again, you don’t want to go cheap with things such as memory, processor, and such.

We are here today to give you a quick look at what laptop specs for music production should look like, so let’s dive straight to it.

Processor

The CPU is the single most important component of your laptop when we’re talking about music production.

Basically, processors are in charge of all the processing tasks, which include simple ones such as keeping your laptop running, over recognizing your plugins and software, to allowing the process to run smoothly.

It would be completely fair to say that the quality of your laptop’s CPU will determine more than 50% of the outcome of the production process.

Going with slightly cheaper options may result in lags and stutters; going with budget options may even lead to system crashes while opting for ‘stock’ (factory) CPU will simply result in you not even being able to run the spec-starved programs.

In essence, this means that this is the component you’ll want to invest in the most, but contrary to what most people assume, even the best CPUs won’t help much unless they’re compatible with other components.

The first things you’ll need to understand about processors are the cores and frequency they operate on.

Simply put, the higher the number of cores, the easier the CPU can distribute the workload; operating frequency basically translates to ‘how fast your CPU is’.

RAM

Random Access Memory – or shortly ‘RAM’ – governs the ‘working memory’ of your laptop.

This is where your laptop stores external information, such as data acquired and processed through plugins and other relevant programs.

Most music production programs ‘eat-up’ quite a bit of RAM, because otherwise, your laptop will take hours to load all the samples, presets, VSTs, and virtual instruments.

That’s why it’s imperative that you invest in RAM quite a bit, but not as much as in your CPU.

Simply put, RAM is ‘upgradeable’, which means that you can always return to this component later and integrate additional RAM cards in their corresponding slots.

Be it as it may, you still need at the very least 8 gigabytes to start with.

Another thing that you should concern yourself regarding RAM is how many upgrade slots your laptop has. Every manufacturer indicates whether the top limit is 32 or 64 (although certain units might go a bit below or above).

Storage space

Essentially, music production programs, VSTs, and plugins all require a certain amount of storage space, but so do your tracks.

The more you mix them and process them, the ‘heavier’ they get. That’s why you’ll need to be well-prepared with enough room for everything.

The difference in price between different hard disks isn’t that great, so ‘bigger is better’ in this sense.

However, you should also consider the ‘speed’ of your HDD.

‘Faster’ HDDs are the ones that reduce the load times and thus are fairly more expensive.

If you didn’t spend all your money on RAM and CPU so far, you should also consider buying a Solid-state-drive (SSD). SSDs are incomparably faster than HDDs, and to top it all, they reduce the load times for your system and other programs as well.

Operating system

You shouldn’t concern yourself too much about which operating system your laptop is supplied with; you can easily uninstall it and upgrade to the OS of your preference at a later point.

However, it’s certainly convenient to have a pre-installed OS on your laptop, which will enable you to start working right away.

The only thing that’s worth mentioning in this regard is whether you should go with a 32 bit or a 64 bit OS.

Needless to say, the vastly improved, faster, and superior 64-bit variations are always recommended.

Desktop versus Laptop

‘Is desktop PC better suited for music production than a laptop’ is a fair question, but also the one that can’t be answered quite easily.

Basically, a well-equipped laptop is just as great as a well-equipped desktop PC, but there are just a couple of things that set them apart strictly speaking from the standpoint of performance.

First and foremost, laptops are far superior in terms of mobility. Being stuck to your computer chair limits quite a few things, whereas you can always simply take your laptop anywhere you want; this is especially important for tasks that are meant to happen outside of your studio – collaborating with different musicians, recording vocals, and so on.

On another hand, laptops are inferior to desktop PCs in several ways. Primarily, most laptops pack non-upgradeable feature or a limitation of sorts in that regard.

For example, a good bunch of laptops supports up to 64 gigabytes of RAM. Even though this is a satisfactory amount of memory, the fact that you can’t improve it is a bit of a pitfall.

Additionally, certain programs (especially system software) sometimes perform in a very clunky way when installed on laptops, whereas most of the time they’ll run smoothly on a PC.

Last, but not least, if you have a low budget after spending most of your money on quality guitars, basses, percussion, and such, you should note that piecing together a PC is usually cheaper than buying a laptop with similar specs.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you’ll need a decently strong and fairly expensive laptop if you want to start producing music professionally.

Luckily, you won’t need to spend a fortune, but knowing in which segments you need to invest more certainly goes a long way.

We hope that we’ve helped you decide which specs to focus on the most, and which are forgiving if cheap.

Best Android Music Making Apps

A couple of decades back all the gear that music producers had at their disposal was a measly 8-track machine and a bit of good will.

Nowadays it’s easier to record and produce tunes than ever; all you need is a smartphone and a decent quality app.

However, the market is overflowing with dozens and dozens of applications in this field; some are useful, some are not so much.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to compile a list of the best Android Music Making apps, so if you’re looking for one, you’re certainly in a good spot. Without any further ado, let’s dive into it:

Beat Snap

Let’s start off easy with Beat Snap; essentially, this is a free downloadable app that is best suited for beginners.

It includes some of the most basic composing functions, including beatmakers, virtual instruments, and drum pads, all of which are remarkably simple and straightforward.

To top it all, it can store more than 200 virtual instruments (from third party sources) and can hold up to 500 different sounds.

It even features six controllable and customizable effects that you can use to mold the tracks to your liking, as well as a looper sequencer and a metronome.

However, the only downside of this music-making app is that it’s not exactly a Hi-Fi one.

Its versatility leaves a lot of room for improvement, but it’s absolutely essential if you’re new to music production and compositional world.

Fruity Loops Studio Mobile

Thousands and thousands of professionals are using Fruity Loops Studios, but not many people are aware of the fact that it’s gone mobile.

The heavily acclaimed beginner-friendly FL recording software is now available on a mobile platform to all Android users, and we warmly recommend you to check it out.

It rocks an interface that largely resembles the one that the original FL Studio comes outfitted with; the only differences are that it comes supplied with fewer features and that it’s a bit smaller.

Needless to say, it’s packed with virtual instruments, plugins, and both preset and customizable presets, as well as options that will allow you to integrate your own FL banks and files into it.

MixPads

Although this is primarily a DJ application, MixPads offers a unique approach to making beats and loops.

It offers simple and straightforward features that are mostly aimed at producing pre-recorded tracks and MIDI files, so it’s technically not a music-making app, but it does feature over thirty different drum pads that can help you create authentic rhythms and grooves.

One of the things that most people who’ve used MixPads don’t know about is that it actually comes supplied with a voice recording feature too.

You can use this function to layer vocals on top of your drums and beats, which is again phenomenal if you’re a DJ.

SongMemo

Most Android-based phones feature a ‘notebook’ of some kind, but these features do not exactly allow you to memorize audio files.

That’s where SongMemo comes into play; this is free downloadable software that offers basic audio recording features, and more importantly, it even allows you to add multiple instruments to previous projects.

In a nutshell, SongMemo is a very simplistic music-making application that works best for sudden ‘Eureka’ moments, although it does seem a bit limited in the field of actual music creation as the features it comes supplied with are not exactly versatile in nature.

Soundtrap

Soundtrap is one of the few full-fledged music-making applications available on the market that actually features preamps, virtual instruments, and samples that people can use to compose unique music straight off the bat.

It rocks a minimalistic interface that is fairly easy to read, and self-explanatory functions such as ‘save’, ‘add FX’, play, record, and ‘instrument’.

Additionally, it can be integrated with your cloud storage, allowing you to properly secure your files and audio tracks at all times.

Last, but not least, it includes both strung and percussive instrument samples, so you will be able to record most (if not all) instruments with the tips of your fingers.

BandLab

Many people have seen the BandLab recommendation in their Play Store after downloading a couple of music-related games and software; this is only natural because this program is completely free and is readily available for people who are looking for a quality music-creation app.

It packs production-based essentials and offers simple modes of mixing, but the best thing about it is that it also allows you to share your tracks with a huge, well-established community of people who’re using the same app, which in turn provides you with an opportunity to share experiences with like-minded individuals and learn from them.

DrumPad Machine

Even though the DrumPad is not one of the most eclectic music-based apps out there, it’s easily one of the most practical drum beat machines that you can download on an Android-based phone.

It was basically designed to replicate a standard drum machine, offering simple customizable pads and features that optimize its arsenal of percussive instruments.

Dub Step Music Creator

Dubstep is easily one of the most influential music sub-genres of the decade, and many people are wondering how the songs that belong to this particular style are even supposed to be created.

A couple of years ago you would have needed to go into a regular studio and spend weeks with a producer if you wanted to search for authentic effects, but today all you need is an app.

The Dub Step Music Creator features an 8×4 drum pad, a 4-band EQ, and a small virtual mixer that allows you to create top-notch beats, utilize world-class effects, and toy around with numerous soundstage presets.

It’s one of the best choices for people who are looking for creative, yet simple means to record electronic music with their phone.

Conclusion

Although there’s a myriad of music-making apps on the market, there aren’t exactly many that are free, beginner-friendly, and easy to use.

Luckily for you, we’ve managed to dig up a couple after scouring the market; we hope you’ve liked our selection of the best Android music making apps and hope you’ve found what you were looking for.

Best Prime Day 2020 Music Promotion Deals

It’s (kind of) finally here- The shopping season is upon us and as always, retailers are starting off with a bang with amazon’s prime day.

Although pioneered by Amazon, several brands have joined in on the fun and have started offering up to 90% off their products.

And, as always, we’re here to guide you through the best deals and freebies

VST Plugins Prime Day Deals

Waves

As usual, Waves is running a series of crazy discounts. They are marketed as black Friday deals, though we’ll include them here are they are still on time for prime day.

We still consider their subscription to be one of the best deals out there, especially because it includes a free trial period of 1 month– more than enough to produce several award-winning tracks.

Scheps Omni Channel- 74% off (38.99$)

The Scheps Omni Channel gets its name from the brilliant Andrew Scheps- engineer to jay z, Adele, Metallica, and many others.

This channel strip is a staple of any modern producer, and it’s now 74% off!

Vocal Rider- 86% off (35.99$)

Vocal rider is known for its simplicity and effectiveness. It will adjust your vocals automatically with great results.

It’s at 86% off for a limited time.

Waves Tune Real Time- 82% off (35.99$)

If you run a studio or record vocals frequently, this is a must have VST. It allows singers to stay in tune in real time. It’s basically a magic box that makes anybody a great singer.

At this price, this is a great tool to just play around if you ever wondered how your voice would sound if recorded professionally.

There are a bunch more waves plugins heavily discounted at the waves website, these are only the ones that caught our attention, for a full list, click on the link below:

WAVES DEALS

Plugin Boutique

W.A Productions Back to School Bundle- 95% off (9.99$)

For the price of an expensive coffee, you’ll get WA Babylon, instascale and instachord.

It’s a no-brainer.

Soundspot Union & Expansions sale 90% off (16$)

IK Multimedia

Total Studio Max 2- 75% off (249.99$)

17 synths with over 2000 presets, 2 400 instruments, 34 effects, 39 high end audio processors, guitar amps, samples, and much more.

All this for 249.99$ (Down from 999$). What more can we say?

Sample Tank 4- 50% off (149.99$)

Included in Total Studio Max 2.

This is a huge sound library of over 260GB with a beautifully designed interface.

IK Multimedia is running a couple of other promotions, which you can check in the link below:

IK MULTIMEDIA

Musical Instruments

Amazon U.S Prime Day Music Deals

Amazon’s prime music deals are too many to list in one single post.

So feel free to browse headphones, musical instruments, and home audio using the link below:

AMAZON DEALS

How Much are Musicians Making from their Deals? Introducing the Record Deal Simulator

The music production twitter world woke up with a bang, as createsafe‘s latest app took the social media platform by storm.

If you’re not familiar with the app yet, the name should tell you everything you need to know: The record deal simulator allows you to input all the usual terms that go into a record deal (split, deal type, advance amount, etc) and returns total profit for the artist and label given a certain number of streams.

Pretty cool right?

Although record deals are on a downwards trends with more and more artists going independent, this is a pretty cool tool, mostly because there is lots of public information on record deals that can tell us exactly how much an artist and their label is making.

Take for example Kanye West. According to music journalist Cherie Hu, Ye would need to generate 3.2 billion (yes, with a B!) streams to generate 1$ in profit!

If the future of recording deals was already bleak, then surely this tool won’t help it recover.

If you’re considering signing a deal, we highly recommend checking out this tool.

Got any more cool simulations? Share them in the comment box below!

Audiotechnica AT2020 vs AT2035

It’s not uncommon for a world-class brand to release several models in the same series that serve different purposes, and such is the case with AT2020 and AT2035.

That’s exactly the reason why you maybe want to give them both a chance, especially if you’re a sound engineer or a technician that likes to experiment with different toys in the studio.

Essentially, both of these microphones are Cardioids that feature a standard frequency range, a slightly different dynamic range, and pretty decent STR; however, they also have a very recognizable set of hardware that puts its own imprint on the end result.

You’ll find that no matter how similar these microphones are, you’ll get different sounds and tones with them while sticking to the same parameters.

Now, what we’ve set out to do today is compare AT2020 and AT2035 in action; they’re both mid-range microphones that offer tremendous value for the buck, and given the fact that they’re so diverse and eclectic we also wanted to show you when and why you should consider each of them.

Without any further ado, let’s get straight to this versus match:

Audiotechnica AT2020 specs in a nutshell

Basically, the AT2020 is AT2035’s predecessor, and in that regard it can be considered a bit ‘obsolete’ since the fresh, new AT2035 comes supplied with improved features and technologies.

This is a cardioid microphone that sports 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range, 124 dB dynamic range, 100 Ω impedance rating, -37 dB sensitivity rating, and 74 dB STR. It’s also nearly half the price when compared to its successor, but it’s still relatively expensive on its own.

The AT2020 is also a relatively small microphone that can be used in a variety of situations; its lightweight, compact size allows it to be used handheld or mounted pretty much anywhere.

However, the field where it shines the brightest is in a studio room next to cabinets and amps, waiting to be used for recording of acoustic and electric instruments.

Audiotechnica AT2035 specs in a nutshell

Overall, the AT2035 is also a cardioid microphone with the same frequency range as its predecessor, but that’s pretty much where their similarities stop spec-wise.

In terms of size, it’s roughly as ‘small’ as AT2020, and the good folks at Audiotechnica didn’t really touch its design much as far as durability and construction materials are of concern.

There are obvious differences regarding its ergonomics, as it features a brand new stabilization pad that offers a bit more flexibility and reliability.

As far as its general specs are at stake, AT2035 boasts an enhanced dynamic range that spans up to 136 dB; the impedance rating of 120 Ω, superior STR (82 dB), and a slightly chipped sensitivity rating of -33 dB.

It’s as light and portable as AT2020, although it is also much crisper when compared to it; furthermore, its enhanced dynamic range, impedance, and STR also provide a drastic boost to clarity, meaning that it will bring out the most from acoustic instruments.

Design, dimensions and durability

Both of these microphones share the same type of design – they are cardioid microphones.

Essentially, a Cardioid mike’s sensitivity is focused on its front side while its rear side is the least sensitive.

This dictates the game plan for recording in a studio, although other applications allow for more flexible approaches.

The dimensions of AT2020 measure 9.76 inches by 9.6 inches by 2.6 inches, and it weighs approximately 1.32 pounds; obviously, this is a small, very portable microphone that can be either handheld or mounted.

The dimensions of AT2035 measure 9.75 inches by 9.75 inches by 2.75 inches, and it weighs 0.8875 pounds.

That being said, these mikes are roughly the same size, although AT2035 is clearly lighter and a bit easier to use in general.

Even so, both are considered tiny and portable in comparison to similarly sized microphones of the same type.

Performance

Now, even though most studio engineers and technicians use microphones such as AT2035 and AT2020 to record instruments, these two models are also great for podcasting, streaming, and such.

The minimal sensitivity coming from the back and sides reduces the amount of noise that can be picked up from ambient sounds (for example, the humming of the pc, noises in the house, and such), which is why gamers and influencers tend to get the most out of them.

Live performing musicians can also safely rely on these microphones for the exact same reasons.

The noises coming from the audience fall short if these microphones are positioned correctly.

Even so, we must say that AT2020 fares just slightly better in such environments due to its superior minimal sensitivity rating (-37 dB versus -33 dB of the AT2035).

On another hand, AT2035’s STR rating is also a bit better, which means slightly more clarity and substantially less undesired noise.

Knowing this, professional musicians will always pick AT2035 over AT2020, even though the former is a bit pricier.

As a home microphone used in online communication and amateur sound recording, we’d have to recommend AT2020 simply because it’s available at a far more approachable price.

The AT2035 could do the same job (potentially even better), but some of its features are overkill in such a scenario.

Impedance, Frequency and Dynamic range

Now, this is the part where things get a bit more technical, so let’s start from the very top.

Generally speaking, Impedance (in this particular context) refers to the ability of an electrical contraption to utilize, filter, and ultimately ‘accept’ different amounts of electrical current.

High impedance is necessary for power-starved microphones to function properly, so in short – the more, the merrier applies here perfectly.

The impedance rating of AT2020 is 100 Ω while the impedance rating of AT2035 is 120 Ω.

However, the difference of 20 Ω is barely even noticeable when put under a sonic ‘microscope’; both of these microphones are considered as low-impedance mikes.

However, they were engineered in such a way where they don’t actually require more juices in this field.

The Frequency range is basically the coverage of the lowest and highest audible noises; the higher the range is, the louder and chirpier the sounds are that can be picked up on (and vice versa).

Both AT 2020 and AT 2035 have the ‘average’ frequency span of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

Lastly, the dynamic range is a bit more complex; in a nutshell, it refers to the microphone’s ability to convey information while also representing the difference between its noise ‘floor’ & SPL (sound-pressure level).

This is where AT2035 is superior with 136 dB (as opposed to AT2020’s 124 dB); its performance remains consistent and clear of ‘gain’ at higher volume levels.

Price and Value

Price, given the fact that it is the ultimate, most defining factor for pretty much everyone, does not always correlate to the amount of value you will be able to squeeze out of any given product.

Now, when we’re talking about Audiotechnica’s AT2020 and AT2035, this is beyond obvious, as these mikes are staggeringly more valuable than they are expensive.

While the AT2020 belongs to the middle section of the mid-range, the AT2035 hangs around the borders of the upper section of mid-range, leaning towards the boutique price point category.

Although it’s beyond clear that AT2035 is nearly twice as expensive, it does come supplied with vastly improved and largely different features and technologies.

Similarities between AT2020 and AT2035

First and foremost, both of these microphones belong to the same price point category, even though they’re not exactly in the same sections of the same price range.

Furthermore, they’re both Cardioids, and they are made of the same materials.

The last similarity they share between themselves is their frequency range, which spans from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

Aesthetics-wise, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference though.

Differences between AT2020 and AT2035

Everything aside from design and frequency range is different when we’re talking about AT2020 and AT2035.

Starting with dynamic range – AT2020 offers 124 dB while AT2035 offers 136 dB; the impedance rating – AT2020’s level is 100 Ω while AT2035’s level is 120 Ω; the STR – AT2020’s signal to noise ratio is 74 dB while AT2035’s is 82 dB, and so on.

Additionally, the AT2020 doesn’t have the customizable pad, filter controls, or the shock mount while AT2035 has all three of these features.

That being said, AT2035 is clearly much more versatile than its predecessor, and it can be used in a much wider array of fields and scenarios.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, AT2020 and AT2035 are two completely different microphones; unlike their names suggest, they in fact do not share many things in common, although their biggest and most notable similarity is that they are both microphones of tremendous quality.

It’s pretty safe to say that whichever you choose you wouldn’t be wrong; it’s just that they are supposed to be used in different settings and scenarios, which makes them even harder to compare.

What are the Easiest Instruments to Learn?

Learning a new instrument can be an intuitive way to become a better artist, improve muscle memory, and occupy your creative side while you’re trapped at home during the coronavirus quarantine.

For both adults and children, instruments are hallmarks of the learner’s individuality. However, some are easier (and more fun) to learn than others.

Anyone can excel at learning to play a musical instrument, but comparing them more carefully reveals that some are more accessible than others, particularly for certain kinds of people.

Whether you’re an adult worried you’re too far up the creek to learn a new art or the parent of a child worried that they won’t be able to devote the time and energy to learning an entirely new skill, this guide to the easiest instruments to learn should help sort through the pile for you.

In this article, we go over some of the qualities that make instruments harder or easier to learn, as well as some of the resources to keep in mind that can make you or your child’s learning experience smoother.

Simple Expectations – Simple Instruments

The first step to finding the instrument that will be easiest for you to learn is to assess what your expectations are for this musical journey.

Depending on how far you hope to take your craft, you may prefer an instrument with fewer keys and a less complex playing format.

For instance, a harmonica is an ideal instrument for adults that don’t need to become concertos but just want to learn something simple, either to show off at parties, play accompaniment in a band, or just amuse themselves creatively on their off days.

Harmonicas are portable and don’t require any setup. Even toddlers can have fun with them.

Even better, harmonicas are always in key and most people don’t feel pressured to learn the notes down to an exact science.

For those that just want something easy to noodle around on, harmonicas make accessible hobbies and are probably the easiest instrument overall.

Percussion Instruments: Don’t Go Too Simple

This may seem counter-intuitive to the title of this article, but it’s an important point: when managing your expectations for your journey to becoming a musician in your off-time, you need to realize that there is such a thing as too simple.

This is because the absolute easiest instruments to pick up and play are probably maracas, triangles, shakers, bells, tambourines, castanets, and other extremely simple pieces of equipment, most of which can’t change pitch.

Note that any instrument, even the simplest shaker, is difficult to master and all of them have a place in a professional orchestra.

But if you only expect to learn an instrument as a hobby or side gig, you may need something more complex than the simplest shaker.

At the level you want to learn, those likely won’t hold your attention for long or give you a satisfying sense of accomplishment once you’ve mastered … the maraca.

For a similar “pick up and play” concept that offers a more complex and satisfying experience in the long-term, simple drums are a great pick.

Bongos make great alternatives to the full drum kits that not every adult learner wants to buy, store, and learn.

Bongos provide an affordable, amusing instrument for budding little percussionists or adults that want stress relief the simple way.

Another option is a simple xylophone, or glockenspiel, which requires no specific guided education like embouchure training to get started playing.

Playing simple songs on a wooden or metal percussion instrument like these might seem childlike at first.

But they’re not only perfect for children if that’s not what you’re looking for – they also offer the ability to advance and grow.

People play them professionally, after all.

They offer enough complexity for you to keep learning and becoming impressive, achieving that sense of accomplishment that is so essential to the learning experience.

Even though we’re looking for easy instruments, the easiest to learn may not always be the easiest to feel good about.

The String Family

For those that want a little more excitement and complexity, they may have gone into the instrument buying experience with strings already on their mind. Guitars and ukuleles offer probably the biggest reward for your time of all the instruments that are relatively easy to learn.

That’s because it’s easy to set your own pace with them and they’re instantly recognizable by anyone.

People are far more likely to be impressed by a song on a guitar or ukulele than bongos, so if you’re looking for easy instruments to learn to show off a little, you may need to put in the effort.

Playing around a college campus or just at home while you’re working there or relaxing on your day off can give you a boost in confidence and make you feel like you’re learning something.

Thankfully, there are a ton of online resources for teaching guitar and ukulele, including charts, fingering guides, online lessons, and other text and video content to get you started.

If you’re going to go ahead and try guitar, which many readers probably will, you should also make sure you pick up the right guitar for your needs.

Make sure you buy a guitar with nylon strings so it’s easier on your beginner’s fingers. Steel-string, 12-string, and other classical styles are available too but tend to be less forgiving.

Ukuleles are by far the easiest string instruments to learn, with fewer strings and far more forgiving chord arrangements.

For those that want the highest returns on their investment, ukuleles are a great choice. They impress friends and girlfriends, and make great pick up and play hobbies.

Upping Your Game with Wind Instruments

We already mentioned harmonicas and yes – that’s technically a wind instrument.

Typically, however, when you’re buying a new instrument, wind instruments refer to those that require some kind of embouchure, tuning, or other meticulous learning.

Of all the wind instruments that require these things, the easiest for children and adults to learn is the recorder.

Recorders not only make fantastic instruments for older first-time musicians but also provide an ideal stepping stone for a child that you want to encourage to be passionate about music.

A recorder can lead to a flute or clarinet for a young student and provides an easy introduction to the basics in practicing, reading notes, and learning songs.

There are simple online tutorials to get you started on how to play the recorder.

For your efforts in learning something a little more complex in terms of the muscles and coordination you have to use to get your fingers and breath working in sync, recorders have a high ceiling on your potential to learn and grow with them.

They may seem like child’s play but people play them professionally as well.

The Staple: Learning the Piano

The piano used to be the go-to staple for people that wanted to learn an instrument. There are two great things about learning the piano to this day, and a couple of drawbacks that put it lower on this list.

The first great thing about the piano or keyboard is the wealth of resources you have available to learn from.

People have been teaching and composing for piano for centuries and you’ll have no trouble at all finding skills exercises, scales, chords, charts, and songs that suit your needs and your expectations for your new skill.

The second great thing is that the piano can take you as far or as short as you want to go with learning a new instrument.

You can stop at the basic songs or learn up to a professional level if you want, which is a less rewarding ambition on something like the tambourine.

Those that want something easy to pick up but difficult to master may find their new artistic calling on the piano.

The drawback of the piano is that they’re big and expensive. Even keyboards will set you back quite a bit if you want something of decent quality (people make their living on them, remember).

Not everyone has room in their life for a piano, and it’s certainly not the easiest instrument on this list to begin with. You may need lessons to take it to the next level.

But for those that want a challenge, the right keyboard offers a lot of learning opportunities.

How do I choose? A Beginner’s Buying Guide to Instruments

Now that we’ve bombarded you with information about a bunch of instruments, you may be wondering how to choose between them.

We created this 3-step buying guide so that you can figure out, not just which instrument is the easiest to learn for everyone, but which is the easiest way to fulfill your needs as a new learner.

Before you buy an instrument, ask yourself these questions:

1.      Why do I want to learn a new instrument?

This is the single most important question you should ask before you decide the type of instrument that you want to learn.

The instruments in this article that are technically the easiest, like the harmonica and tambourine, can only take you so far. Depending on your expectations, they may be easy without being worth it.

Do you want to learn a new instrument to challenge yourself? To impress someone? To play your favorite songs? You may need to expand your limits a little and choose from the more difficult, but still relatively easy instruments on this list like the ukulele.

Most of you probably aren’t looking for the literal easiest thing to play, especially if you’re motivated to learn a new instrument because of boredom brought on by quarantine or the desire to be creative and improve yourself.

You’re probably looking for the easiest thing to enjoy playing. Knowing what that is, requires knowing your expectations.

2.      Do I have any experience?

Different instruments might be easier to learn based on your experience.

For instance, a trumpet player might be able to take up a trombone more easily than a recorder, even though to the general population, the recorder is an easier instrument.

We know you’re probably not a trumpet player. The point is that this reasoning carries over to other aspects of learning. If you already know how to read music, for instance, you may prefer to pick up a recorder rather than a harmonica. If you just want to play it by ear and never learn academic music, the harmonica might be the better option (different models even have different fixed pitches to make things easier).

Maybe you took piano lessons as a kid or know that you have natural good rhythm. The point is that your experiences could change the answer to the question of which instrument is easiest for you.

3.      Is cost an issue for me?

Not all the options here are cheap – a keyboard is more expensive than a harmonica.

People who go all out and get a professional keyboard may not need to worry about the cost.

For most of us, the instrument that’s easiest and cheapest is preferable.

The Takeaway

Learning a new instrument can be enjoyable or tedious, costly or cost-free (relatively). While everyone’s cooped up inside, it’s only natural to want to take on new hobbies and learn new skills.

A new instrument can be a daunting task, however, and that’s why we made this guide on how to choose one for your needs.

What’s the overall takeaway? The best answer is that everyone’s needs, experiences, and expectations are different.

So the easiest instrument for them to pick up and get the most out of learning may not be the same for everyone. However, there are some basic answers.

For a parent that wants a child to learn basic music and maybe transition to harder things later, a recorder could be ideal.

For any older adult, especially those that don’t want to worry about technique as much, a harmonica is the easiest instrument out there.

Whatever you choose, it’s essential to compare your needs with the instrument first.

Everyone is a little different.

Depending on how much (or how little) you want to devote to this new skill, you may surprise yourself with the instrument you end up choosing.

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