Microphone selection

Dave Schleif

55 posts

Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 3:39 PM  

Hi, we're just getting started with Storyline and the creation/sale of e-learning programs, and I have a question concerning microphone selection and background noise. Could anyone provide some their thoughts on better/best microphone stategies related to possible type/models, and what level of sophistication they've gone to related to limiting background noise? I've seen clients utilize noise proof rooms for voice-over work, and I'm looking for what a "normal" elearning provider might be using as a strategy? As always, thanks in advance!!!


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Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 5:30 PM  

I do a lot of audio/video recording.  Sometime I'm in a full studio surrounded by green screens, but often times I'm in my office making less detailed tutorials and recordings.

 

I ended up going with a Blue Yeti mic.  The price is mid-range (around $100) and it plugs in via USB.  Multiple recording modes including cardoid (designed for one person speaking directly in front of the mic).  Combined with Audacity software (open source and free) I am able to make very nice sound recordings with no noticeable background noise (Audacity has noise removal that is very good).  I am not able to tell the difference between those recording and the ones we use an 3rd party studio for.

 

This tutorial helped me a lot with my sound recordings when I first started (basic but effective).  There are some links in the comments so you can skip directly to the sound recording and editing steps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSSsh-kAcQI&feature=related

 

Good luck.


Dave Schleif

55 posts

Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 6:54 PM  

Forrest... thanks so much for your thoughts on this... I did take a look at the linked video, and yes, very helpful... and I also took a look at the Blue Yelti... great looking mike... thanks for the feedback. I've been picking up some stray noise with my current mike, as I turned up it's sensitivity... background noice, popping when it's switched on or off... it even seemd to pick up what seemed like a pulsation from possible the motherboard fan or someting... the pulsing was there on the sound file from Storyline direct, and vanished as soon as I turned the mike off... I did a sound recording directly within Windows, and has the same pulsing, when the gain was high... I was able to reduce background noise by reducing the gain, and then increasing the volume by increasing the wave form... but... I'm thinking new mike, and recording the audio, possibly outside of Storyline... Seems like other take that approach... record audio and bring it into Stoyboard as a file, vice recording it directly, though it's quite easy within Storyboard, though with less cleanup tools... anyway, thanks again for taking the time for your thoughts... All the best... D:


Dave Schleif

55 posts

Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 6:56 PM  

And, I just re-read my post... sorry about the spelling errors... oh, well, late in the day, I guess...

 


Jeff Nauman

109 posts

Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 7:12 PM  

I'm using a Samson C01U hanging in an isolator mounted on a desktop boom that I fabricated from a cheap articulating lamp I found at Staples. Easy to grab when I need it and easy to push out of the way when I don't. I love Audacity and use it for all of my narrations. I think I get studio quality from a home office setup. My 2C.


Dave Schleif

55 posts

Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 7:18 PM  

Very cool idea... I've seen the lamps at Staples/Max/Depot... and yep, I'm hoping to get close, without getting crazy... And, so many of the tutorials/samples have such really good sound... I was visiting a potential client recently and was thinking pretty good about myself, until I heard they had a sound room... ugh...


Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 at 8:10 PM  

Recording outside Storyline is the way to go.  You just have a lot more power with the full fledged audio editor like Audacity.  I will also say the Blue Yeti does pick up some background noise - mainly the A/C that never stops running (Las Vegas heat).  But as long as I record a few seconds at the beginning with no other sound, the noise removal feature in Audacity works brilliantly.


Dave Schleif

55 posts

Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2012 at 5:33 AM  

Gotta love the Vegas heat... and I love the town, as we stop in on the way up to Zion/Bryce... I've been looking at the Yeti, and think it's won me over, and I'll download Audacity this am.... thanks, again...


Brett Rockwood

507 posts

Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2012 at 10:16 AM  

I highly recommend the isolation mount that Jeff suggests. It reduces a lot of noise that can be transmitted via vibrations through the mic stand. Something like this:


User Rank David Anderson

3,235 posts

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 at 11:14 AM  

Microphone selection is always one of the more popular topics. We have an older post where users shared the mics they used along with short audio samples: Microphone demos

 

It's probably worth updating this post to feature newer microphone models.


Kim Lorek

46 posts

Posted Monday, December 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM  

Good timing on this subject.  I did research and found my preference to be the Senheiser recording headset with noise cancellation. We record using Audacity and then import the sound files into Storyline.


User Rank Bruce Graham

7,288 posts

Posted Monday, December 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM  

I recently upgraded from a USB connected Samson rig to this setup recommended by friend and board member Mark Fletcher - and have to say I am delighted.

I was able to lose my Harlan Hogan PortaBooth, and just rely on acoustic foam that is on the wall of my office. Having a boom stand rather than a desk mount allows me to keep my head/neck at normal height, opening up the airwaves more, and sounds are more natural as it is more relaxing. The Pop filter I bought it also pressed metal rather than fabric, so I can view-through to the script on a PC. The cardiod recording area allows me to read completely normally, rather than fighting with scripts at odd angles.

Absolutely delighted with performance.

For recording I use Audacity - at the moment.

Bruce


Adrien Duval

6 posts

Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 1:56 AM  

I would suggest to go for a USB Mic.

Easy and fast to install on any OS (Windows or Mac), including its own drivers, embedded pre-amp and ADC/DAC, it's the eLearning Dev friend.

 

I work with a Shure PG-27 USB for 2 years now. Works like a charm with Audacity and sounds like a "long-time investment".


Jeffrey Dalto

64 posts

Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 8:34 AM  

I read this post or similar posts some time ago, and I am coming back to say the information I got here really helped and to thank everyone.

I had really been struggling to get good audio. Then I read up here, followed the advice and got a Snowball microphone (which only costs $60), and my new audio is much, much better. So thanks, everyone.

In addition to the microphone, I bought a little screen to filter out my popping Ps, hissing Ss, and awkward gasps for air I'm not sure if that was necessary or if the Snowball itself is taking care of it, but things sound great.