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Nestled amid the gentle rolling hills of my old stomping ground of Westlake Village sits Blue Microphones, bit more than a half hour north of L.a. There’re actually 2 lakes in the location: beautiful Sherwood, and the grubby manufactured boating pond of Westlake Lake. Neither, to my recollection, has ever had a reported sighting of a beast.

Blue Microphones’s new USB mic is called ‘Nessie,’ which I think means now the location has at least one lake monster. Just in this case it’s the good, super-friendly sort of monster.

That’s since Nessie is built for the amateur podcaster or artist who could need an easygoing mic with features that remedy for typical novice errors.

For instance, it’s a pop-filter to minimize popping plosives, and a shock mount to decrease noise caused by vibration, both internal and built right into the mic (Blue states the pop-filter is even ‘studio-grade’).

On the digital side, Nessie features an adaptive processor that immediately adjusts equalizer settings and degrees, and de-esses as the user shouts or sings into its custom-tuned condenser pill microphone.

But Nessie still leaves you with some control through three selective recording modes: one for richer vocals, one for greater detail when tape-recording instruments and a 3rd that merely leaves the raw audio for you to tinker later.

Rounding out the feature set are a head that can be extended (sort of like its namesake), volume and mute controls, zero-latency headset output and the capability to tape on an iPad (utilizing Apple’s USB video camera adapter).

And right here’s the kicker: Nessie is just $100. Blue has sound samples here if you want to hear the mic in action.