How do you make the Blue Yeti sound better? Stick a coat on him and buy him some singing lessons.
Hang on… you’re actually here for advice on the popular Blue Yeti microphone, aren’t you? Well, I suppose we’ll need to talk about that instead, then, won’t we?
Many beginner podcasters pick up a Blue Yeti when they’re buying their equipment. Some end up sounding great on this mic, whilst others sound terrible. In this guide on how to make the Blue Yeti sound better, we’ll make sure you’re firmly in the former camp.
For a full breakdown of the mics’ look, feel, features, and pricing, head on over to our dedicated Yeti podcast mic review. For now, though, let’s crack on with those tips…
Getting the Best From Your Yeti
It’s simple to take the Blue Yeti out of the box, plug it in, and start recording. The problem here is that you might start using it in a way that’ll make your podcast sound bad. The Yeti may be easy to set up, but it’s also easy to use incorrectly.
Let’s make sure that’s not the case for you. Here are 4 important factors to consider.
Polar Patterns: How to Make the Blue Yeti Sound Better #1
One of the most common reasons the Blue Yeti sounds bad is because it’s on the wrong Polar Pattern.
Polar patterns are settings that determine how the mic picks up all of the sounds around it. The Yeti has 4 different Polar Pattern options.
- Stereo – a music-intended setting, for recording a singer, or a couple of instruments.
- Cardioid – for recording a solo (or online) podcast – one person facing the mic.
- Omnidirectional – for recording a number of people surrounding the mic. It records from all directions. Eg. a roundtable discussion.
- Bidirectional – for recording face-to-face interviews, two people facing each other, either side of the mic.
These settings ostensibly give the Yeti a lot of flexibility, but really, I’d only advise buying the Yeti if you plan to use it on its Cardioid pattern. This means you’d be recording solo eps on your computer, or online/remote interviews and conversations.
If you ever plan to record multiple people in the same room together then the Yeti’s not your guy. Check out our guide to multitrack recording for all the best options on that front.
Talking Into the Mic: How to Make the Blue Yeti Sound Better #2
I blame stock photos for this, but a lot of folks manage to stick the mic on its Cardioid setting, then still use it wrong by talking into the top. It’s actually the front that the mic “hears” from when used this way.
Here’s how close you should be to your Blue Yeti, too.
And these both factor into our next tip…
Monitoring: How to Make the Blue Yeti Sound Better #3
In our Blue Yeti review, I mentioned that there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the mic, so be sure to use it. You can get yourself a pair of nice podcasting headphones, but even a simple pair of earbuds will do.
By plugging them in, you’ll hear exactly what is being recorded, as it’s being recorded. That means that if you did end up talking into the wrong area of the mic, you’d notice right away. This is as opposed to when it came to the editing and production phase. By then, it’s too late to fix and optimise. Instead, you’re on a rescue mission to make terrible audio sound average.
Recording Environment: How to Make the Blue Yeti Sound Better #4
You can buy the best microphone in the world and it’ll sound bad in a sub-par environment. Classic examples of poor recording environments include bathrooms, caves, and the bottom of wells. It’s unlikely you plan to podcast in any of these places, but small boxy rooms with a lot of hard surfaces can still make it sound like you are.
Summary: What Next?
So there are your 4 key factors when it comes to making the Blue Yeti sound better. Remember to check out our full Yeti review, too, if you’re still wondering whether to buy one or not. There are a lot of other great podcast mic options on the market, too.
You’ll need some software to record your mic into, too. Again, we have a podcast software roundup, but here are two quick recs for you that’ll save you from having to shop around.
The first is Audacity, which is a big plus because it’s completely free. The downside is that Audacity looks dated, clunky, and takes a bit of learning and getting used to.
The second is Alitu – a ‘podcast marker’ tool that makes recording, editing, and publishing your podcast as simple as humanly possible. Alitu is a paid monthly subscription, but you get a 7-day free trial so you can test it out and see what you think.
Alitu does stuff like Compression and Noise Reduction for you automatically, and these can go a long way towards making your Blue Yeti sound better – the caveat being that you’ve used the above guidelines to record good clean source material!