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I’ve got a “pro” unidirectional microphone and the two tiny microphones built into my laptop monitor.
My monitor ones pick up very well, but the hand help one, which my father and I used to DJ with several years ago, barely picks up my voice when it’s right next to my face. This mic worked great years ago, but not now.
Any idea what may be the problem, or what setting I need to change? I’m using Audacity.
If, on the other hand, you know of a cheap but good microphone that would work better then these, please let me know.
The Blue Snowball microphone is a high quality mic you can usually find around 100 bucks or less on ebay. I used to use it for Recording YouTube videos and Voice Acting, here is an example of it’s quality:
Link to Blue’s site: http://bluemic.com/snowball/
Also I recommend using a freeware program called Kristal Audio Engine for recording any audio. It crashes allot less than audacity and saves the recording to a file whenever you tell it to stop recording or if it does end up crashing:
Kristal isn’t that great for editing audio though so I like to keep audacity around for that.
You may want to check the “Input Volume” on Audacity if you haven’t already. Also your microphone might be close to the end if you’ve had it for years. Is there anything else you can plug it into to see if it’s just the connection to your computer/program or the microphone itself?
Sorry for the long overdue delay; I’ve been quite busy!
I’d be using it for audio only and video recording in a small “studio” space. (IE: Where I do everything else. )
I’m even considering building my own, if I could figure out what all is needed to make one that works well (or even better- help cancel out background noises.)
I’ve had my bouts with background noise and microphones. For the most part it is lack of a well sound proofed recording area. Closets and small bathrooms have always been DIY go-tos, especially for vocals. Also, other household appliances can cause interference with electronic equipment, don’t record to close to your computer or when a washer/dryer is running. Try to section off a place in a room, hag blankets, and pillows. I’ve even seen people recycle egg cartons as sound proofing.
I figure building a mic would be fairly simple. Just need a highly sensitive diaphragm.
A quick google serach got me this:
Thanks T.F.U. Lucas Usagi, I’ll look into building one when I have actual “spare” time… which is highly limited lately. :P
For now I’m looking into buying a prebuild mic. although I’ll be using it on a PC, I’m looking at buying a Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone along with an XLR Female to Balanced 1/4 inch Male Adapter. This way I can just plug it into my PCs mic input without having to worry about USB confusion issues I read about. (Or simply one that already has an audio jack built in.)
I might make a new base for it though. ;p
Guys: I got 3 dynamic cardioid microphones. I got the 3 prong cable for it and an adaptor to plug it into my pc… and I’m still getting an audio volume 1/3 to 1/2 the volume of my PC microphones, and I’ve no idea why.
The only way it comes near the same volume if if I jack up the Levels (eternal mic option AND Mic boost to +20dB) and i’m afraid I’m messing up the quality doing this.
It sounds like you need a microphone pre-amp. The three pronged microphone cables are XLR connectors, they are capable of supplying phantom power to a microphone boosting its ability to capture sound. You’ll plug your microphone to the preamp with the XLR cable then plug the out from the preamp to your computer. You’ll need an adapter of sorts because the size of most pre-amp out jacks are 1/4″ and the input on a computer soundcard are 1/8″ size (Headphones, etc, etc).
Here is a simple, decently priced microphone pre-amp.
As I am connecting this to a PC and will be editing my audio in it I am not ~too~ worried about being able to adjust it before hand, though I do undestand now that just about any pro mic plugged into a pc will need phantom power.
So I got a choice– go with the:
Blue Microphones Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp
Nady SMPS-1X 1-Channel 48V Phantom Power Supply
GLS Audio 6-Feet Cable 1/8-Inch TRS Stereo to XLR Female
ART Tube MP Studio Mic Preamp
GLS Audio 6-Feet Cable 1/8-Inch TRS Stereo to XLR Female
One will cost $40, the second $33 and third $43.
Anyone have experience with these?
The first one seems pretty cool. It reminds me, in style, of M-Audio’s MIDI products. But since it will be connecting via USB you’d have to install an ASIO driver (ASIO4ALL is free), that is of course if you don’t already have one installed. Its so the USB signal can reach your soundcard. I’ve had problems using ASIO with my Mustang II amp and also with connecting FLStudio to Albleton Live. I’m probably doing something wrong or it could be my Windows 7 OS.
The second one looks like a beast! Looks durable for sure. It lacks a VU meter but you can monitor that with Audacity. The description states there are “Balanced XLR mic inputs and outputs to connect in-line with your mic and mixer”. It doesn’t say anything about 1/4″ outs. So that GLS Audio 1/8′ adapter you linked would work perfectly.
The third one is the one I linked in my previous reply. It has more flexibility with extra gain functions but some of that can be taken care of in post production in Audacity and it would work with the GLS adapter as well.
I’d say go for the first option as its the simplest (less wires) if you can be bothered to figured out your ASIO driver situation. If you don’t want to risk software driver problems then go for the Nady and GLS adapter as that will definitely work. And! its $10 cheaper than the ART Tube + adapter.
Waa! Curse you Knowledge and disgust of imperfections!
While looking around I was *this close* to going ahead and getting the Blue Snowball microphone when I heard someone using one, and the big issue of them is you have to be right in front of it with it a few inches from your mouth.
What I need however is to be a bout a foot plus away- I don’t like the idea of “eating the mic”. Plus I want to be able to do interviews which wouldn’t work requiring such close ranges. (I like items that can multi-task, to save on costs.)
I started looking at getting a shotgun microphone instead. Good ones range around $200, cheap ones that are battery powered cost about $30 (not bad, but they all have so-so reviews.)
After looking around, I’ll be getting a battery powered shotgun mic ($27) and Nady Phantom Power Supply.
Since the Shotgun mic includes a XLR to headset cable it saves me $6 bucks there, making it so I don’t have to buy a separate cord to run from the Nady PS if I use the regular mics I already purchased. This sort of makes the shotgun mic only cost $20!
I just hope it all works as expected; I hate having to spend more money on this setup.
Oh- another reason I’m getting the shotgun mic is so I can use it for interviews.
Now just need to find a decent camera to use it with. :)
Shotguns are FAR more directional than anything blue makes. Whatever your problem is, it’s not the mic because youve tested multiple mics already.. Something, either software or hardware, has gain turned down.
Another thing you need to check is to see if any/all of your mics require phantom power supply. What you describe sounds like a classic lack of phantom power situation.
Good news: The shotgun mic works great- both as a normal mic and tele mode, along with both being wired to the phantom power AND on battery!
The bad news however… is that even with power the 3 mic set doesn’t work unless your lips are about an inch away from them, which is way too close range requirement for general use.
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