The world of music has changed. Decades ago, if you were a musician and you wanted to record an album you had to constantly play your music in clubs and bars every night. You would hope that some big-shot producer would be at that specific time in the bar for you to get even get a chance at recording an album.
A microphone works by converting acoustical sound into electrical signal. You can change the final sound quality by modifying the signal through amplification or mixing.
A USB mic is a microphone that is designed to easily connect to computers, and paired with a recording software, enables you to record your voice or any other sounds you might want to add to your music track.
One of the best USB microphones on the market is Snowball from Blue. Snowball features the industry-leading Blue condenser capture technology that delivers natural sound directly to you desktop or laptop running Windows 10.
In order for you to match Snowball to your own personality, it comes in a variety of colour – textured white, gloss black, electric blue, orange and chrome.
You can find a manual for using Blue Snowball here .
To use Snowball for recording purposes, you will need software installed on your operating system. In this article, we will explore the best options to use in order to pair your Snowball mic to Windows 10 and produce professional recordings easily.
Wavepad Audio by NCH
This audio editing software is a full-featured professional audio and music editor for Windows 10 that works perfectly with the Snowball microphone.
Wavepad Audio from NCH is free for non-commercial use and allows you to easily edit audio files – cut, copy and paste parts of recordings, add effects, amplification and noise reduction.
It works as a wav or mp3 editor but also supports a wide range of file formats including vox, gsm, wma, real audio, au, aif, flac, ogg, and more.
The master’s edition of this program has other additional effects and features that offer serious mixing and post-processing features at a sound engineer level.
Best Wavepad Audio features:
- Easy to use interface
- Sound editing tools – auto-trim, compression, pitch shifting, etc.
- DirectX and Virtual Studio Technology DLL plugins
- Ability to reduce vocals from a music track
- Can record voiceovers for multimedia projects
- Batch processing
- Scrub, search and bookmark audio for precise editing
- Advanced tools – spectral analysis (FFT), speech synthesis (text-to-speech)
- Supports sample rates from 6 to 192kHz
- Works directly with MixPad Multi-Track Audio Mixer
Audacity is another very good option to use with your Snowball microphone. It’s one of the most popular sound editing applications. It offers a wide array of features and it’s free and open-source.
Audacity key features:
- Four user-selectable themes
- Four user-selectable colorways for waveform display in audio tracks
- Timer Record – enables you to schedule when a recording begins and ends to make an unattended recording
- MIDI playback
- Punch and Roll recording – for editing on-the-fly
- A large array of digital effects and plug-ins – Built-in LADSPA, VST(32-bit) and Nyquist plug-in support
- Multitrack mixing
- Audio spectrum analysis using the Fourier transform algorithm
- Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in other microphone models, check out our wide collection of guides.
Ableton Live is another powerful tool you want to have in your ‘tool belt’ that works perfectly with the Snowball microphone from Blue.
It is very popular among musicians, sound designers, and artists from across the world.
Ableton Live bolsters a wide range of virtual devices that give you the posibility of creating professional sounding music from scratch, or mix and edit existing songs.
Some of the new virtual devices presented in Ableton Live are :
- Wavetable – A new synthesizer built into Ableton that can shape, stretch and morph sounds using wavetables derived from analong synths.
- Echo – combines the sound of classic analog and digital hardware in a single device
- Drum Buss – This is a workstation for drums and other instruments, capable of adding warmth and distortion, control dynamics with compression and transient shaping and control bass decay with the dedicated low end section
- Pedal – This feature allows you to separately control models of overdrive, distortion and fuzz guitar pedals and is also capable ot driving synth sounds and drums
Ableton live has a lot of prefessional features including :
- Ability to capture MIDI
- You can edit multiple MIDI clips at the same time
- Oferrs the ‘Arrangement View’ that can be optimized to quick editing and more efficient song creation
- Browser collections – allows you to create color-coded collections of plug-ins, samples and devices for easy access
- Note chasing
- Input/ Output renaming
If you need a guide to help you get started using Ableton Live you can find it here .
Voicemeeter is an application endowed with Virtual Audio I/O and can be used as a main audio device by your system. It works very well with the Snowball microphone offering professional audio recording.
It supports all audio interfaces – MME, DirectX, KS, WaveRT, WASAPI and ASIO to connect DAW audio or musical instruments.
The Virtual Audio mixer enclosed in VoiceMeeter is able to mix different audio sources coming from audio devices and applications. Voicemeeter also alows you to mix sounds coming from the Snowball microphone and other inputs such as music, movies, Skype calls, etc. It can mix 3 inputs to 3 outputs through 2 buses.
By including various DSP algorithms from VB-Audio, Voicemeeter lets you control the sound as you want, without any limitations whatsoever. It’s powerful features can be user by VOIP users, broadcasters, podcasters, video gamers, musicians, DJ’s, etc.
Voicemeeter is free to use for casual users offering you the posibility to pay what you want.
Garageband [Bonus: How to run it on Windows 10]
Garageband is a popular music app created for iOS operating systems that works extremely well with the Snowball microphone.
This app is perfect for music professionals and is loaded with a plethora of innovative features that allow you to create the best music. It is easy to use and is considered to be one of the best app developed by Apple.
In this article we will show you a way to make it work on any Windows 10 PC with just a few steps.
Key features include:
- The option to use virtual keyboard or an external keyboard
- You can record, play, capture and share music easily
- Offers multi-touch features as well as trigger options
- Wide range of DJ style effects – filters, repeaters, vynil scratching
- Option to select from nice electronic or acoustic drummers
- You can create over a million realistic grooves
- Simple user-interface
- Perfect for music professionals
In order to make Garageband work on Windows 10 PC’s you will need to use iPadian Emulator. This emulator simulates the interface of an iPad on your Windows desktop.
You can easily set everything up by taking these steps :
- Download iPadian on your Windows PC
- Once you have downloaded the file, install it on your Windows PC to run the iPadian Emulator
- Once it has been installed, open the iPadian emulator and go to ‘App Store’
- Search for GarageBand in the search bar and click on enter
- Click on the GarageBand option and start downloading it
Once you have downloaded the software, you can use GarageBand on Windows using the iPadian emulator.
In this article, we explored the best software options to use in Windows 10 to professionally record sound using Blue Snowball.
Whether you need software with an easy to understand user-interface, or want tools with professional recording capabilities and effects, this article covers it all. We presented the best features of each software option and even gave you a solution to run iPad software on your Windows 10 PC.
Let us know what you think about the options presented here in the comment section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.