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If you are looking at higher quality microphones for creating more professional voice-overs or vocals you will most likely want to break away from using USB microphones which plug directly into your computer otherwise you will be faced with quite a limited choice.

 

If you get a decent USB audio interface you will be able to connect virtually any phono or XLR microphone into your computer and open up the range of microphones you can use. And remember with USB microphones you tend to pay quite a bit extra for the USB electronics they contain.

 

Yamaha Audiogram6The Yamaha Audiogram6 is a really useful and affordable USB audio interface and like its name suggests it can provide you with up to 6 audio inputs into your computer via its USB connection. It is extremely versatile, being able to accept 2 XLR microphones (3 pin) even if they need phantom power (phantom powered microphones need a power source which is provided through the microphone’s XLR cable).

 

In addition you can even plug in an instrument like an electric guitar as it has a button you can press to adjust sensitivity.

 

It provides an array of controls including compression for the main 2 inputs, plus gain and volume controls for all individual inputs and the master output. In addition it also allows you to adjust the DAW level too. This all allows you to mix the different inputs as well as monitoring the output on headphones or you can play it through the line out to your music system if you really want to annoy the neighbours.

 

Yamaha Audiogram6 rear viewBeing USB powered it doesn’t need a transformer or power cable with plug... so it is really convenient if there are no spare power sockets around.

 

I have experimented with it for quite a while now and it provides nice clear sound without any sign of the electronic hum sometimes associated with USB input devices. Yamaha also bundle it with the well respected Steinberg Cubase AI5 DAW recording software which they advise is equally at home with music production and voice-over work.

 

Yamaha Audiogram6 controlsBecause the Audiogram6 controls are analogue and can be easily seen on the top of the device, very quick adjustments can be made to get the settings just right and it is very intuitive in use (you don’t really need to refer to the instructions apart from setting up and using the recording software).

 

Yamaha advise users to download the latest drivers from their site as they have reduced latency when monitoring your recordings through your DAW software. I have used it with other recording software too and it works fine.

 

Yamaha have a slightly cheaper product called the Audiogram3, but for the added versatility and compression adjustment, I prefer the Audiogram6, as I’m sure I’ll need more flexibility as time goes on.

 

So if you are looking for something that is well made, versatile and will allow you the flexibility to experiment with all sorts of different microphone and other audio inputs have a look at the Yamaha Audiogram6.

Yamaha Audiogram6 USB audio interface review

(Scroll down to see video)

Yamaha Audiogram6 typically retails for around £130 including VAT

 

The Audiogram6 is available from numerous suppliers. To find out more from the manufacturer go to the Yamaha website using this link

 

The above price was correct as at 5th December 2011 (please check price before purchasing).

 

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