4 Replies
Rachel Barnum

How much are you looking to spend on a Mic? That can really change answers I think that http://podcastanswerman.com/equipment/ has some great options but they are expensive. Another highly recommended mic that's less expensive is the Snowball Mic but you'll want to make sure that you know how to cancel out background noise. Fortunately, it's pretty easy with audacity (free): http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Noise_Removal

Bob S

Hi Rachel,

Most of the "noice-cancelling" microphones (not headphones) I know about are geared towards use in an automobile or industrial setting. They use an active (electronic) approach to reducing noise that offers a series of compromises that can include:

  • reduced dynamice range
  • clipped off syllables/words
  • lower fidelity overall
  • and... oddly enough... not always great supression of the unwanted noises!  (they work best with constant noise in a narrow band such as automobile road rumble)

In short, there is a reason that voiceover pros, studios, tv/radio stations, even amatuer wedding videographers do not use them.

Instead, most folks will advise you to try and address the noise either at time of recording via methods such as finding a quieter place, "porta booth" type bags, etc.  Or if an electronic bandaid is still needed, do it in the editing phase where more advanced software and computing power on your PC can do a better job of it than a noise-cancelling mic might (eg Audicity's noise reduction).

What that in mind, the two folks above have reccommended two best bang-for-the-buck USB mics out there... I would add the Samson CO1U  which can be had in a kit for short money.

The other choice would be a more tradtional (analogue) microphone with some means to convert / capture that signal to digital; a d/a convertor or portable digital recorder.

Maybe not exactly what you asked for, but hopefully you will find some of the info useful. In any case, good luck and have fun recording narration for your e-learning... it's a blast.