Microphones Snowball mic recording tips please?


Wellington, New Zealand
I've been experimenting with my Blue Ice Snowball mic and Garageband on the iPad to try to capture a good clip. There seem to be lots of variables - for the mic: distance and position from sax, 1-2-3 setting on the back, and for GarageBand: input level, noise gate, echo, reverb, other effects, etc.

Can anyone help with any tips to getting a good sound recording? Most of mine tend to sound 'stuffy' or a bit far away.
Hmmmm....I don't know that I can help much, but I have the same set up.

I put the mic about 2 feet from the bell of my sax, in a direct line with my body and the sax and at the same height as the open end of the bell.
And I set the mic level to about 3/4 on the slider as this usually gives me something approaching deviation into the red about 30% of the time.

What did you mean by 1-2-3 setting on the back?? My Snowball has no settings, just plug and go.

Other than that, I don't do anything.

I'm not really an audio recording officianado, so I like what I hear, which is enough for me.
The only thing to do is to experiment to find the sweet spot. If it was simple and easy we'd all have hit records.
just a thought, but I read this in the manual on the BLUE website -
"My Snowball iCE sounds like it’s really far away from me. I’m hearing lots of room noise.
• This sounds like your onboard mic is in use. Check both System and Software Preferences to ensure
that Snowball is the Default input device."

I've made this mistake myself and ended up recording from the internal mic on my laptop, rather than the mic I've plugged into it, so it might be worth checking if you've not already done so...

Spoken Word/Music: GarageBand
• Go to Preferences->Audio and select the Blue mic as the input device
(it will only show up when the Snowball iCE is plugged in).
• Create a vocal track and select the Blue mic as the input device for that track.
• Adjust the Snowball iCE’s input level in the control panel if you experience any distortion (crackling).
I think on iPad, that as soon as you plug the mic into the 30 pin socket (via the camera adapter) it becomes the default mic.
On GarageBand on iPad, you can't get the input level slider until you've plugged in an external mic.

I've just noticed that there is also a "noise gate" I've never had mine switched on, and I don't know what it would do anyway!

There are not that many adjustable variables on the iPad version of GarageBand.
If it was simple and easy we'd all have hit records.

I'd be the exception to that rule, trust me.

I've got a Blue Snowball iCE. I can't recall a 1-2-3 setting on the back either.

I definitely get very mixed results, sometimes sounding pretty satisfying, others really rather nasal. Sadly I don't have the formula nailed down yet.
I think you'll struggle to get a good position with a desk mounted mic. The best place is somewhere over the bell, just infront of the toneholes.
I've just noticed that there is also a "noise gate" I've never had mine switched on, and I don't know what it would do anyway!

A noise gate shuts off the signal when the volume drops below a set threshold. If you have noise present in your recording in places when you're not playing (i.e. silent passages aren't silent, but contain hissing or static), then you can set the threshold of the noise gate so that the hissing is cut off, but when you start playing, the volume is louder and your playing comes through.

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