Words of Rob Gee
Music Yamaha Australia | RRP: $499
The world of home recording has come a long way in the 30+ years that I’ve been involved, and there have been certain key players along the way who have taken new ideas and turned them into innovations that have changed the way we do it. we make. a process.
I think it goes without saying that Yamaha is one of those companies that has made great strides in home recording, not only for the advanced user, but also to make it very easy for beginners to get started. Concepts like adding USB interfaces to their MG series of mixers and including a basic Cubase license with the unit have made it possible for many musicians, creatives and dreamers to get their ideas heard. But of course they are never content to deliver the same product over and over again and are always looking for new innovations. Well, the AG01 is one of those innovations that makes home recording an option for an even wider group of users.
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The USB microphone is definitely a new concept. We’ve seen it in various guises for over 15 years, but it has never offered as much versatility as the AG01. Yamaha has taken its hat off to online streamers and created a microphone that will give you greater flexibility and creativity. But, it’s not just a YouTube mic, this piece of hardware is just as happy in front of a guitar, tracking vocals, recording a piano, or capturing a lecture. It’s a workhorse like no other, one could go so far as to say it’s the Swiss Army Knife of recording microphones, except it’s Japanese.
Available in a satin black or white casing, you can choose the AG01 to work with your décor. Of course this comes into play when used for videos where the mic can be seen, but it becomes a matter of personal preference when used in the home studio. And it certainly has a place in the studio, as the Yamaha AG01 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with built-in AD converters capable of delivering 24-bit/192kHz audio directly to your recording software. And look, it sounds great too. You can use this for vocals, acoustic guitar, hand percussion, piano, woodwinds, and a host of other applications. I was tempted to pull out the cello and see what it sounded like, but no one wants to hear me play the cello. So as a simple USB recording microphone, it ticks all the boxes for sure. But it is in the architecture of the device that the AG01 goes much further.
At the bottom of the microphone there are a large number of connections. Two USB ports are provided, one for five-volt power and the other for connectivity to the host device. A headphone output allows monitoring of playback, a stereo line input is available via a mini jack, and a TRRS mini-in/out combination port allows the AG01 to connect with your smartphone for recording and playback instead of the integrated phone. in microphone and speakers. All of these connections have plenty of room for cables to run out with the built-in desk stand that keeps the desk mic base and capsule close to your mouth height.
With a number of different setups available, you can record YouTube videos through the AG01 and monitor directly from headphones, feed audio for overdubs into videos for vocals or instruments, stream live video across a host of platforms software and even use it as a conventional audio interface to record or capture music. As with so many Yamaha products, Cubase LE, Cubase AI, and Wavelab Cast software packages are included with the AG01. This gives you a huge arsenal of audio recording and editing tools to help you create the sound you want.
But, if you just want enhanced audio capture when streaming or recording to a video platform, you don’t need to launch these programs as well. The Yamaha AG01 has some pretty cool built-in DSP features that make it really easy to enhance the sound of your voice or instrument with just a swipe of your fingertip. By using the AG Controller app on your smartphone or device, you can unlock a variety of features including EQ, compression, and reverb with simple presets available if you just want your sound to look better instantly, without having to fiddle with settings. of the application. . It’s like having a lazy sound engineer in your pocket all the time.
Gone are the days of setting up a microphone, preamp, mixer, effects rack, and audio interface with about 30 cables to tie it all together. It’s all taken care of in this single unit, ready to record to your new software, directly to your video phone, or stream directly to the Internet.
The only decision is whether to invest in a cool-looking articulating microphone stand or go for the included desktop stand. Either way, you’re sure to find quality sound with relative ease and room to grow should your setup require expansion.
If you’re looking for a new microphone, or even your first microphone, then take a look at the Yamaha AG01, it just might have everything you need, and a few extras too.
Head over to Yamaha Music Australia for more information.