Apogee Electronics' HypeMiC is a small and portable studio-quality USB condenser microphone that's great for podcasting, Facebook Live or just general purpose recording of vocals and instruments into Logic Pro or GarageBand in your Mac or into an app in your iPad or iPhone. It uses Apogee's PureDIGITAL connection for pristine sound quality with up to 24-bit/96kHz sample rates.
The upgraded accessory pack includes cables for connecting it to Mac and PC computers. I like that this microphone's biggest upgrade from previous Apogee USB Mics is the built-in analog compressor to produce big, upfront professional-sounding recordings--there is less "fixing up" and additional processing to do after recording.
I quickly setup HypeMiC to try recording a voice-over and found the zippered travel case is exactly the right size to hold a well-made desktop tripod stand, the cutest little pop/wind screen ever, and all the required cables. I plugged in a set of headphones into a jack in the bottom of the mic and also connected an included mini USB-to-Lighting cable to my iPhone X. As a side note, the (analog) headphone jack can also be used as a recording path!
Setting record levels could not be easier using a multi-colored LED status/level indicator right on the front of the mic. The Gain knob sets input mic gain and pushing it in activates and sets one of four different compression or Hype modes: Shape, Squeeze, Smash or off. The other button toggles the amount of Blend or mix. It sets the level of audio (i.e. backing track) coming from your App relative to your live, HypeMiC audio. This works perfectly--the best I've seen in recording apps.
To give HypeMiC a test I had a friend come over who does a weekly podcast playing acoustic guitar and singing. To keep it out of frame, I set HypeMiC about three feet in front of him and aimed its cardioid pattern at his 12-string guitar--halfway between him and the guitar--essentially letting his vocal and guitar mix in the air. I used the Shape compression mode but the Squeeze and Smash modes are tempting to use here. They do tend to accentuate the room's acoustics. Shape seemed to work the best for a natural sound and I found Squeeze mode great for my voice-over to impart a more authoritative sound.
With premium accessories kit including tripod, pop filter and carrying case and no driver to install or configuration required, just plug in Apogee's HypeMiC and record with any audio app. Apogee HypeMiC is plug-n-play and works with iOS, Mac and as a USB mic for PCs. It sells for $349 MSRP.
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com