Microphone selection

Dec 04, 2012

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!!!

13 Replies
Forrest Sobieszczyk

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.


Good luck.

Dave Schleif

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:

Jeff Nauman

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

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...

Forrest Sobieszczyk

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.

Bruce Graham

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.


Jeffrey Dalto

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. 

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