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18 February 2015

REVIEW: Blue Yeti Studio

Not at all abominable.

Be it a podcast or YouTube voice-over, many of us need to be able to record our voices in high quality these days. If you're wanting to explore the world of audio self-publishing you might soon discover that the built-in microphone on your laptop just isn't going to cut it - you need one of the big boys with decent software to boot. For that all-in-one sound recording package we tested the Blue Yeti Studio.

First up (and this is quite an important thing to highlight) the actual hardware in the Blue Yeti Studio pack, the Yeti mic itself, is identical to the one we reviewed last year. In fact if you really are considering buying the Yet Studio go straight to our review here and read it before continuing, as there's no point repeating ourselves. That would be a waste of internet, which we all know is in short supply.


Right, you back? Read the Yeti review? Good. Nice mic, eh? So, as we were saying, the Blue Yeti Studio is basically a Yeti mic packaged slightly differently, with included serial codes to download two separate pieces of software. It is this software that really makes this a different product, and turns an excellent USB microphone into a professional bit of kit.


First we downloaded Studio One, a professional studio-quality recording and editing suite from PreSonus. In layout this resembles the free-to-download programme Audacity that many people might have encountered, but includes so many more features. Despite the professional grade output this programme can create, it is decidedly easy to use and reminded us a lot of Garage Band for Mac. As this is an edition of Studio One that has been especially designed for Blue, it discovered the USB Yeti mic immediately and allowed us to start recording with one press of a button. After that, cropping, cutting and tweaking the audio was very simple and any help and pointers you might need are easy to find.


Next up is iZotope Nectar Elements, a piece of software designed to edit and alter the sound of the human voice. This is a pretty incredible little package that singers wanting to record their voice really must check out. Essentially Nectar Elements has a series of pre-programmed presets which can be applied to a vocal recording, matching the sound to whatever musical style or genre you want. It will also edit the pitch of your voice - a little like auto-tuning, but far more subtle - controlling harsh sounds that tend to make mics and recording software spike (such as 'ess', apparently). It will also work out what is actual singing (or talking, podcasters) and what is background room noise, reducing the latter to focus on the human element - handy if you're just laying down some tracks in your bedroom.


Depending on where you buy, the Yeti Studio is available for just £30-40 more than the stand-alone Yeti mic, so is it worth it? If you are going whole-hog professional, be it with your singing, podcasting or audio book recording, then Hell yes it is. There aren't many other packages out there right now that include everything you need, from initial recording to editing, right in one box. Trust us when we say that free programmes such as the aforementioned Audacity just can't hold a candle to the something like Studio One, especially when it has been tailored to the mic you're using.

If you're serious about home recording, we've found the product for you.

Around £150

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