The Nessie applies what Blue Microphones terms “professional studio processing” and throws in a built-in pop filter and an internal shock mount. It also has an onboard headphone amp for direct monitoring. Obviously, a single piece of equipment will not compete with a competent sound engineer, and Blue Microphones is in no way suggesting that it will, what the Nessie allows people to do is to start with a fairly polished product – which should be sufficient for the vast majority of situations. It offers RAW audio output for situations that require a little more finesse.
From Blue Microphones:
Designed to combat the most common pitfalls of recording, Nessie automatically adapts to whatever you’re recording, applying professional studio processing combined with a built-in pop filter and internal shock?mount, to produce expertly finished sound, without the need for additional mixing or editing. Just as the latest point-and-shoot cameras will reduce redeye and automatically adjust focus and exposure for improved photos, Nessie professionally enhances audio so that you get polished music demos, podcasts, interviews, YouTube broadcasts and more, instantly!
The built-in, studio-grade pop filter and shock mount 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’s three flexible recording modes are optimized for richer vocals, more detailed instruments or an option for raw audio.
The Blue Microphones website provides a couple of recording samples, the first one of which shows the Nessie side-by-side with a regular USB microphone – the difference is night and day. Obviously, the guy who did the recording had a made-for-radio voice, but still – credit should be given where credit is due – it sounded amazing.
They also do a good job of demonstrating the difference that a pop filter and shock mount can make. Both are relatively inexpensive pieces of technology: I picked up a pop filter for a regular microphone for about $5; shock mounts start at about $15; and shock mounts with a built-in pop filter start from about $30. If you are setting up podcast studio in your home, these will all be fine. What the Nessie brings to the table in this regard is portability. It is two less things that you need to carry if you are taking your show on the road.
PC: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP Home Edition or XP Professional
USB 1.1/2.0; 64 MB RAM (minimum)
Macintosh: Mac OSX ( 10.4.11 or higher )
64 MB RAM (minimum)
Though it is not listed above, Blue Microphones spec also mentions 30-pin and Lightning adapters for using the Nessie with an iPad – very useful if you are on the road.
It is hard to give a conclusive verdict on the Nessie without doing a hands-on review, but it is easy to form a few educated opinions from what we have seen and heard.
Obviously, if you are a musician or a vocalist, you will probably still want to do a certain amount of postproduction processing. If you prefer to work with RAW audio, then you probably don’t need to spend the extra money getting that extra functionality. If you do voiceovers, videos or podcasts, however, then this could be a game changer. It effectively eliminates a pretty major step in the production process – and makes producing a polished final result take a lot less time.
Price: As of yet, there is no word on price. Given that the Yeti Pro comes in at around $250 and that the Nessie brings quite a bit more to the table, we know one thing: it isn’t going to be cheap.