Hands-on with Blue Mics' Nessie: a USB mic that masks your flaws (video)

Blue Microphones is known for its top notch USB microphones. Heck, the Yeti is a staple around the Engadget compound for recording podcasts and voiceovers. The company's latest, Nessie, continues the audio maven's fascination with cryptozoology while delivering some interesting new features along with another fantastic retro design. At the top is the mic itself, which looks quite a bit like the Snowball. It sits at the end of a long arm with some slight articulation. The small extension allows you to either focus Nessie up for tall casters or down for recording the occasional acoustic guitar track. At the opposite end is the round, surprisingly heavy base that is home to the headphone volume knob as well as a few other controls.

Around back is the 3.5mm jack itself, right above the three postion mode switch. The first position is raw audio, which applies no effects at all. Second is vocals, which boosts mids and applies a slightly agressive compressor and limiter to beef up recordings of people speaking or singing. Last is music mode, which pulls back on the compression and boosts the highs to add a bit more brightness. The knob on the prototype was quite stiff -- in fact it was alost impossible to turn with one hand -- but the company says the final version wont suffer such issues. Lastly, at the bottom of the neck is a red capacitive button that mutes the mic. Simply brush you finger across it and the blue LED in the base gently pulses to let you know it's muted.

Inside the housing is some specialized circuitry that helps mask the most basic common mistakes you make while recording. The processor dynamically alters the EQ and levels, while also applying a de-esser to keep your latest bedroom podcast crisp and clean. The pop filter and shock mount also helps keep noise from shaking and plosives to a minimum. Most importantly, Nessie also keeps Blue Mic's history of affordability with a price of $99. Head on after the break for a video tour of the hardware along with an audio sample.

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Blue Microphones Announces Effortless Recording with Nessie, Adaptive USB Microphone

Nessie takes the guesswork out of great recording by applying fundamental recording techniques in real time for instantly polished results

(CES 2013, Las Vegas, NV – January 7, 2013) - Blue Microphones, a leading innovator in microphone technology and design, announces Nessie (, the solution for fearless recording that instantly delivers studio-enhanced sound for desktop recording of vocals, instruments, voiceovers and more. Nessie adapts in real time, applying professional studio processing, combined with a built-in pop filter and internal shockmount to produce expertly finished sound, without the need for additional mixing or editing.

Nessie's key features and internal processing are specifically designed to combat the most common pitfalls of recording. The built-in, studio-grade pop filter and shockmount reduce harsh plosives and disruptive rumbling and vibrations, while the adaptive processing, including EQ, de-esser and level control, automatically smoothes and refines your audio in real time. Nessie takes the audio guesswork out of great recording.

"With Nessie, we are excited to introduce fearless recording with a brand new category of digital microphones. In professional recording, there are common practices and fundamental processing used to edit and improve sound quality, but we understand that not everyone has the tools, time or engineering know-how to get the best results. So we built adaptive studio processing into Nessie," said John Maier, CEO of Blue Microphones. "Nessie was designed to expertly apply the most common techniques instantly, allowing you to concentrate on your performance, not how to record it."

Nessie employs a single custom-tuned condenser capsule with a cardioid pattern. Nessie's three flexible recording modes are optimized for richer vocals, more detailed instruments or an option for raw audio for manual post-production editing. Nessie features a zero-latency headphone output for direct monitoring, which is critical for eliminating distracting delay, while headphone volume and instant mute are located
directly on the microphone. For optimal positioning, Nessie's head adjusts with serpentine flexibility. Nessie is plug-and-play compatible via USB with both PC and Mac with driverless installation. For mobile recording, connect to iPad using Apple's camera adapters (30-pin to USB or Lighting to USB), sold separately.

For more information about Nessie, MSRP $99.99, visit