I am still hoping I can get my Snowball working the way I want, but let's consider for a moment the worst-case scenario: assume I'll never be able to get good audio out of my BLUE Snowball, so I shouldn't put another dime or another minute into struggling with it, and instead I should try to figure out something else to use.
I've got some A/D converters and channel strips on my wish list, but how about the microphone?
There are certainly a lot of more expensive microphones, but I am interested in trying out this one:
Kel HM-1 microphone
That's "Kel," not "Heil."
It is billed as having a smooth sound which helps with thin sound sources, and the audio clips on the Kel audio site bear out that claim. It also has a noticeable proximity effect, which I actually might want for vocals. My voice is a little nasal (at least, that's the way it sounds to me on playback) and it seems like giving it a little bit of bass emphasis, without having to apply EQ, would be a good thing, and a mic which doesn't over-emphasize "spit sounds" or sililants and comes with a foam pop filter would also be a good thing.
And it is only 99 bucks (or lower), which would leave me as much money as possible for preamp, A/D, and/or processing.
As all the experts advise, finding a good mic means finding a mic that sounds good with _your_ voice, and that is very often not the one that is most expensive.
And if it doesn't work out, they have a return policy...
Other mics in the "I'd love to try them out" category include the Rode Broadcaster ($400), The Sennheiser MD-441 U ($750), the Neumann BCM 705 ($630), the Heil PR-40 ($270) or the really cool-looking Heil Heritage ($135), and the EV RE-20 ($400).
It would be interesting to do a shoot-out. Of course, at the moment I have nothing to plug a standard XLR microphone cable _into_...