For the longest time, it felt like when you bought a USB microphone, that you had only a handful of solid options and a vast sea of cheap knock-offs to choose from.
Time has marched on, and now it seems that the market is filling up with USB microphones with pro features that let you plug in, play, and then record. Today, we’re looking at the $180 PreSonus Revelator today, which combines a condenser mic with some pro-level features.
We’ve been impressed with this offering from PreSonus and if you’re in the market for a new microphone for streaming or work Zoom calls, check out our full review below.
So, what’s it all about?
Okay, so hardware-wise, the Revelator is a USB condenser microphone. To compete in this category, you need a hefty feature set, and the Revelator comes stuffed with some tricks not usually seen without going to a full audio interface. It’s got a 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response, samples up to 96 kHz/24-bit, and comes with a ton of software.
The capsule has multiple polar pickup patterns, so you can tweak it to the situation you want to capture. Doing an interview for your podcast? Throw it into Figure 8 (Bi-directional), and cleanly capture your voice and the person sitting across from you.
Recording some voiceover for your gameplay? Throw it into Cardioid and then dive into the software to remove your keyboard’s clacking from your recording. It’s also got an Omnidirectional mode if you want to pick up everything in the room.
The mic is a more classic tube styling, and it looks great on your desk. Thanks to the hefty stand, it’s heavy too, which isn’t a bad thing.
It’s got a USB-C connector that connects it to your PC, Mac, or mobile device and a 3.5mm headphone jack for monitoring your mix without latency. Two rubber buttons on the mic are used for cycling through presets, and for enabling monitoring, and there’s a volume knob that can mute the mic and control gain.
You can also take it off the stand and mount it on a microphone arm if you wish, and PreSonus includes an adapter in the box for this.
The real power in the Revelator isn’t in the hardware, though. It’s in the software. Once you install PreSonus’ Universal Control app, you’ll get a digital mixer for all your audio tweaking needs.
It’s got one stereo Playback channel and two stereo software loopback channels. These features let you use the mic for livestreaming, bringing in your game audio, and your communication software of choice, mixing them all to the proper levels for your broadcast.
PreSonus also stuffed their “Fat Channel” tech into the Revelator, which gives you complete control over the mic, as if you’re using an XLR mic and a mic channel strip.
That includes a High Pass Filter, perfect for removing low-frequency noise like PC case fans or A/C rumbles, and a Noise Gate to reduce anything in the background. There’s also a Limiter if you’re a screamer during hectic gameplay and Compression to make your voice more consistent.
Finally, there’s an EQ to get the mic’s output to suit your voice. Oh, and some fun Voice tweaks, like Cher’s favorite, the Vocoder.
You can even save all these tweaks to the microphone. Even if the software isn’t installed – like if you’re using it to record on a mobile device – the mic will remember. Handy.
So, should I buy it?
At the usual $180 MSRP (we’ve also seen it for $150 in places), the PreSonus Revelator USB is a steal, giving you a solid USB mic that gives you tons of control over your sound.
The microphone is well-built, and operating it is a breeze. You can also tweak almost everything. This means your voice recordings will be suited to your voice, your preferences, and the characteristics of the room you’re recording in.
With over $1,000 of software, plugins, and other bonuses included, it gives you everything you need to create – so go do just that!
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Quality USB Mic which uses USB-C
Two stereo software loop-backs for channel mixing
Solid software package included
Included cable is very short