JayBird Tiger Eyes and Endorphin Rush Earphones

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The Jaybird Tiger Eye Earphones.

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Laura is an earphone expert. She listens to music, talk radio and even computer games while wearing them.

I’m more of a headphone guy. The more mass around my head, the better. It just feels more manly in the studio. However – to this day, my most trusted traveling earphones ride with me on long trips. At almost 6 miles in the air, it’s the only way to go.

I can tell you first hand that a GOOD pair of earphones are easy to find, but put quite a dent in the budget. It’s sad, but the sub-$100 earphones I’ve tried (until now) just don’t cut it. They either fall apart, color the sound terribly or both.

When the Jaybirds arrived at Studio1A, Laura had them out of their attractive boxes before I could even check them out.

These phones are created with the athlete in mind – great for jogging and working out. Being quite the athlete myself (most broadcast and IT engineers are), I swabbed the Endorphin Rush models with alcohol and gave them a try. Excellent sound. Keep in mind that these are sub-$100 models; both of them! Laura and I agree that the Endorphin Rush model is our favorite. The Endorphin has superior noise canceling, a larger driver (10mm) but no microphone.

Microphone? Yes – the Tiger Eyes are designed with the iPhone* in mind, but it’s compatible with most 3.5mm phone jacks. Push a micro-switch on the earphone cable and you’re talking. Another click and you’re back to music or podcasts. We don’t own an iPhone, but love the iPod Touch*! The Tiger Eyes have a slightly smaller (8mm) driver and just a little less bass response. The design also lets the outside world into your ears, just a bit. I suspect this was part of the design since you always want a little auditory input when jogging.

With a price difference of just $10 between the Tiger Eyes and Endorphin Rush, the answer for me was clear. However, I’m not an iPhone user and like to shut out the world when I’m reclining …ah, I mean working out. Both models sound amazing for this price point. They won’t replace my in-ear monitors, but they’re also 1/7th the price! For under $100, you get exceptional sound, titanium protection for the sensitive driver and a cable/connector that appear to be every bit as good as pro models.

Ok, the inevitable gross part. Ear wax. Needless to say, keep these clean. I use rubbing alcohol on a swab every time. I hope that doesn’t hurt them, but so far they are clean and clear. Oh, speaking of gross – there is also a LIFETIME “sweat warranty” too. I’ll just let you read about that.

Really – if you’re looking for a pair of good sounding earphones that won’t break the bank, try these.

Price at record time – Tiger Eyes $89, Endorphin Rush $99

*iPhone, iPod and iPod Touch are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.

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Best,
MarkJensen
Sig

Electro-Voice RE-20 & RE-27 On-Camera

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The radio station standard – RE-20.

I’m definitely on a roll with microphones. After recording an audio show on these 2 broadcast legends, I thought that, in order to do them both justice, a video was in order.

Warm up the video panel of your choice to look and listen in on both of these radio classics – the Electro-Voice RE-20 and it’s newer mate, the RE-27ND.

Thanks for tuning in!

RE-20 street price at record time – $429

RE-27 Street price at record time – $479

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mark at newmediagear dot com

Best,
MarkJensen
Sig

MXL R-77

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The classic oval shape of the MXL R-77 hint at the ribbon technology inside.

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When is less really more? A ribbon microphone of course.

At the dawn of radio, the ribbon was there with its delicately thin aluminum skin at the core of the capsule. Announcers and performers alike would unknowingly marvel at this “new” technology that just slightly disrupted a magnetic field between 2 magnets by vibrating that thin layer.

Today – the dark sound of ribbons are back in a big way. MXL offers the beautiful R-77 that re-creates the sound that only a ribbon, or velocity microphone can.

The ribbon is not for everyone. Compared to the more general sounding dynamics and condensers of today, the ribbon doesn’t offer sparkle. That is exactly what draws people back to this technology is its unique sound.

Keep in mind that the ribbon can work magic with certain instruments as well, purposely toning down the high end and allowing only the smooth, silky sounds to pass like velvet.

Certainly a niche microphone, but an amazing piece to have at your disposal.

With a rich cherry toned velvet lined box and a classic desk stand, the polished gold & silver toned MXL R-77 is like taking a trip back in time.

Join us, and listen in…

Street price at record time – $399

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mark at newmediagear dot com

Best,
MarkJensen
Sig

Podcast Recording, Editing Software on a Budget – PC Edition

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Audacity is an open source recorder and editor with pro-features.

Software.

Amongst a World of tangible hardware that populates our studio, we would be hard-pressed to find a working studio, broadcast or other, that doesn’t employ software to record, edit, manipulate or archive in some fashion. Even in the world of hardware, we are finding more software-defined and embedded code hidden behind traditional pots and meters.

While in studio, a good ole’ PC (or Mac) is hard to beat as a recorder and editor. With a robust display and capabilities that weren’t even thought of a decade ago, it’s easier than ever to turn that old desktop or laptop into a powerhouse audio recorder, editor or even composer.

My favorite recording and editing software is, admittedly, on the pricey side. Like many people, I have been using my favorites for years. Few people like change and my ‘go-to’ software just ‘fits’. I also use my editors and recorders on a daily basis, so it’s easier to justify their higher cost.

In todays economy, we have to stretch our budgets. I talk to a lot of people entering New Media that simply don’t have the budget to purchase expensive software, for business or personal use. There are a several alternatives.

A great deal is to get 2-for-1. By that, I mean to find a piece of (hardware) gear that you need anyway and be sure it comes with a working audio editor. I’m amazed at the number of products that ship with Cubase LE, which is an excellent multi-track editor. Bundles are becoming more popular all the time. I just received an amazing audio interface with all the software you would need for intense production.

If you already have the hardware and need a simple recorder, check out the legend in free, open-source, multi-platform recording and editing – Audacity. I’ve watched Audacity from the early days and I’m amazed at how far this project has come. Audacity offers many professional features along with an easy to navigate transport. If you find yourself using Audacity and it’s great feature set, they do accept donations through the link above.

As a long-time user of Acoustica products, their MixCraft multi-track recording studio is hard to beat. It is inexpensive, easy on your systems resources and always gets the job done. A true multi-track value at $64.95*.

A core 2-track recorder in Studio1A is Sony Sound Forge. The full-blown version will set you back a fair amount, but it’s worth every penny. If you want to tap into the power of Sound Forge on a budget, take a look at Sound Forge Audio Studio. This is a slightly trimmed down version of the full Sound Forge package. However, you still get that rock-solid Sound Forge performance and no-nonsense interface. At $54.95*, you get a lot of audio power.

As I looked around for the latest, there are many more options out there. I kept this list very short because these are the tools I’ve used, and frankly the ones that I like most …at least today.

As usual, this is an opinion driven editorial. I’d be interested to know what you use for casual recording and multi-track editing?

*Prices listed were at publish time. These are always subject to change.

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…or, drop me a line with comments, thoughts and suggestions:
mark at newmediagear dot com

Best,
MarkJensen
Sig