A Mobile Recording Studio for your iPhone or Computer | The Lewitt DGT 650
The Lewitt DGT 650 could be described as an “enhanced USB mic” due to its additional functions beyond that of a simple plug and play device.
USB mics have traditionally been geared towards the beginners market, with a low barrier to entry in mind.
Cost-wise, most USB mics can be bought for under $100 too.
The DGT 650 certainly wasn't created as a budget option though. At the price of $579 (or £570), it's unlikely Lewitt have designed this model to play in the same pool as USB mics like the Yeti or the Snowball.
So what's the deal with this little device, and is it worth considering adding to your podcast equipment setup? Let's take a look.
What Is The Lewitt DGT 650?
At its most basic level, it's a high-end USB vocal condenser mic.
It can also be used as a mic to record directly into your iPhone or iPad.
One of its USPs is that it has the capability to bring in an additional line of audio. We'll take a look at this in more detail in the Features section.
Look & Feel
My first impression was that the DGT 650 looks a lot like an analogue/XLR condenser (particularly many of the AKG models) in its shape, and build.
With its black metal and mesh covering, the device certainly has a solid and robust feel to compliment its classic design.
On the front there's a control panel, with a jog dial to toggle through and alter the various settings.
On the side, there's a micro USB charging port as an option for charging the internal battery when working with a mobile device.
On the underside of the mic's neck, there's a lockable hi-speed 18 pin data connector port, which is used to link it up to the breakout box.
This additional piece of equipment in the DGT 650's box is used to connect the mic to everything else in your setup.
There's another data connector port which you'll use to either hook the mic up to your Mac/laptop/PC via USB. Or to your iPhone or iPad via lightning connector.
The box has 3 jacks on it, ‘headphone out' for monitoring your recordings, ‘MIDI in' for bringing in audio from a MIDI device, and ‘Line In (1/4″)' for instruments or microphones.
The DGT 650 comes with a quality tripod-style desk stand.
This connects to the mic holder itself, which is used to mount and secure the mic in place.
The holder can also be attached to a traditional mic stand or boom arm though, depending on your recording preference and situation.
The mic's recording features can be accessed on the control panel, or by downloading the Lewitt DGT control panel app on your device.
There are 4 different recording modes available.
- XY Stereo Mode – this can be used to record ambience, soundscapes, or a two-person conversation or interview.
- Cardioid Mode – for solo vocals or monologues where you'd like the mic to reject sounds around it and focus on your speech.
- Singer/Songwriter Mode – this enables you to record your voice (via the mic) on one side of a stereo track, alongside additional audio from an instrument, microphone, or other device being brought in on the other side of the track.
- Stereo Line-In Mode – this enables you to record inputs from both Line-In jacks on the breakout box on either side of a stereo track.
Here's some more information on microphone recording patterns if you're still not too familiar with them.
Using The DGT 650 For Podcast Interviews
As I've mentioned, you can use Stereo Mode to record an interview or conversation. This will provide a stereo recording that can allow you a little flexibility in post-production, tweaking things like volume levels. There will obviously still be a fair bit of bleed from either side, though.
An alternative is to use the 1/4″ Line-In jack to plug in an additional microphone and record in Singer/Songwriter Mode. It's worth noting though that this jack is designed predominantly to handle the loud signals of instruments, and many dynamic mics won't have the juice to register at any workable level.
If you're thinking of going down the latter route, then make sure you have a mic with on-board amplifier or gain control. Lewitt assure me that their MTP 840 DM mic can be used in this manner.
Again, you will get some bleed-over here as you're recording in close proximity, but it'll certainly give you a lot more room to work with in post.
Other Control Panel Features
Monitoring mode allows you to select whether you want to hear the recording playback and your voice (as you record) at the same time.
A built-in High Pass Filter allows you to keep out unwanted low frequencies. This can lessen the impact of things like wind noise, or mic-popping.
There's a Pre-Attenuation option to avoid clipping in your recordings when working with particularly loud signals.
The LED graph displays, and allows you, to alter things like headphone volume and input gain.
And there's a Battery Status indicator which tells you whether or not the device is being powered by the internal battery.
Prices seem to vary depending on distributors, but the Lewitt's RRP is £570 in the UK, and $579 in the US.
With the DGT 650 Control Panel, you can record audio at 16 bit or 32 bit, and at 44100Hz, 48000Hz, or 96000Hz. For more information on sample rates and bit depths, click here.
Here are Lewitt's own sound samples, recorded using a variety of different sources and settings.
I also recorded a quick spoken word monologue here in the office. I haven't applied any post-processing to the recording, aside from normalisation.
The Lewitt DGT 650 is undoubtedly a quality piece of equipment, with some versatile recording options.
It's a costly device, though. If you're just starting out in podcasting, then you don't need to spend this amount of money to get up and running with a good level of sound.
However, the DGT 650 is certainly worthy of consideration to someone who's in the market for a portable recording setup or audio interface.
For podcasting alone, there are many cheaper and more tailored solutions out there. But if you happen to be a musician as well as a podcaster, then the Lewitt DGT 650 could well be a very appealing purchase for you!