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Thread: Microphone for Gaming/Live Podcasting

  1. #1
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    Question Microphone for Gaming/Live Podcasting

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    Hi Everyone

    I've been contemplating making a thread for a while but have been put of by the vast options available and my lack of knowledge

    I am looking to purchase a microphone to carry out the following tasks:
    - Adding voice commentaries to Youtube gaming videos
    - Using voice during live gaming in programmes like Discord, Youtube or In game VOIP
    - Live Podcasting

    My requirements are:
    - 200-250 max budget
    - The sound characteristics of the microphone must have a warm signature. Kind of like what a sports presenter, radio jockey would use.
    - I do not like bright, airy, tinny clinical microphones.
    - Good warranty & Quality (No cheap plastic please)
    - Good form factor i.e not bulky that it covers my face.

    Additional Info:
    - I am not bothered by brands just as long as it meets my desired sound characteristic.
    - I will speak from a maximum distance of 20cm and do not mind microphones that need to be closer to my mouth like cardioids, as long as it does not block my peripheral vision whilst looking at the screen. Therefore good form factor / design is required.
    - Super cardioids from what I can gather need you to be right up close to the microphone and due to the nature of gaming will they be suitable as I may move my head around away from the mic?
    - How I interpret sound signature is: Dark refers to a prominent bass with recessed treble. Warm refers to a prominent bass with usually neutral treble


    I have done some research if you can call it that and saw that these microphones are popular but am not sure which one will meet my requirements list, there is just simply too many. (Warm sounding takes precedence):

    -Rode Podcaster
    - Rode NT1
    - Audio Technica AT2020
    - Shure PG42
    - Rode NT1A Anniversary
    - Blue Yeti pro
    - SE Electronics X1
    - Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone
    - Blue Microphones Spark
    - (Is there anything else within my requirements?)

    Furthermore from reading posts I discovered Ribbon microphones.

    Some people don't recommend a ribbon mic for podcasting, as a condenser will give better articulation and lower noise, but if I need the warm, rich low end of a ribbon a condenser is of course not going to cut it. An "expert" in audio engineering told me:

    If I were to go by everything I was taught I would actually say that a ribbon mic is the opposite of what you want for a deeper sound characteristic. im pretty sure condensors have more body and are also good for podcasting as they are more 'compressed'.
    Does XLR give better clarity/warmness/depth compared to USB?

    Other Mics
    - Warbler MK IV or V
    - NOHYPE AUDIO LRM-1 or LRM-2
    - MXL V67G
    - Pronomic RM-1 Ribbon Microphone
    - The t.bone RM 700
    - HEIL PR40
    - ELECTROVOICE RE20
    - CAD GXL2200
    - Cascade Fat Head II
    - Golden Age Project R1 MK2/ MK3
    - (Is there anything else within my requirements?)

    Additional Kit which is considered essential when using the above
    - Fethead standard and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
    OR
    - Shure X2U

    Youtube videos can make a microphone sound just what I'm looking for and then another for the same product will not sound different leaving me back at square one. Take this video for example:



    How does he do that "editing" to make it sound so good whilst live broadcasting (Noise removal, EQ, Compression)?

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    Moved to the Podcast forum

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    I have a few of the mics you have listed. While a dynamic mic might be best if you have any room noise, I don't recommend the USB Rode Podcaster. The sound doesn't measure up to other dynamic mics. If you want to get a USB mic, the Shure PG42 comes with a shock mount and has a very nice sound. The Heil PR40 is really a winner among dynamic mics, but you'll have to get a USB interface and perhaps a Cloud Lifter. Without a Cloud Lifter, the USB interface is pretty much at maximum gain. I don't recommend a ribbon mic. The figure 8 pattern picks up room noise. The AT2020 USB + is a nice mic, perhaps a notch below the Shure PG42. The Blue Yeti Pro I bought was defective...the USB interface would work, but the XLR would not.

    The Heil PR40 and EV RE20 sometimes show up in a bundle with shock mounts, pop screens, and booms. I'm not sure that we can name stores here, and they are in the USA. :-( The EV RE20 is everybody's favorite broadcast mic, but the mic + shock mount are gigantic. The Heil PR40 sounds better to me, and it is much smaller overall.

    One that you haven't listed is the Rode NTUSB. It has a very nice, warm vibe for my voice.

    My short list would be:
    USB mics:

    Rode NTUSB
    AT2020 USB+
    Shure PG42

    Non-USB dynamic mics:
    Heil PR40

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    Left a few details out of my response. Oops.

    The dynamic mics are generally end-address, so they are not as in-your-face. Again, the Heil PR40 is very nice. Audio Technica has a new dynamic mic (BP40) that I actually like better than the EV RE20. Also end-address. It sounds more like a condenser mic, and has very little noise picked up from my office.

    The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or Shure X2U are both fine. The Shure is probably more convenient if you are dealing with just one mic. Once you get the mic gain, headphone volume, and balance dialed in, you don't have to worry about adjusting them.

    I would avoid the less expensive but wildly popular Shure dynamic mics made for live performance. They are great for live performance, but will be less impressive under your conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JefferySmith View Post
    I have a few of the mics you have listed. While a dynamic mic might be best if you have any room noise, I don't recommend the USB Rode Podcaster. The sound doesn't measure up to other dynamic mics. If you want to get a USB mic, the Shure PG42 comes with a shock mount and has a very nice sound. The Heil PR40 is really a winner among dynamic mics, but you'll have to get a USB interface and perhaps a Cloud Lifter. Without a Cloud Lifter, the USB interface is pretty much at maximum gain. I don't recommend a ribbon mic. The figure 8 pattern picks up room noise. The AT2020 USB + is a nice mic, perhaps a notch below the Shure PG42. The Blue Yeti Pro I bought was defective...the USB interface would work, but the XLR would not.

    The Heil PR40 and EV RE20 sometimes show up in a bundle with shock mounts, pop screens, and booms. I'm not sure that we can name stores here, and they are in the USA. :-( The EV RE20 is everybody's favorite broadcast mic, but the mic + shock mount are gigantic. The Heil PR40 sounds better to me, and it is much smaller overall.

    One that you haven't listed is the Rode NTUSB. It has a very nice, warm vibe for my voice.

    My short list would be:
    USB mics:

    Rode NTUSB
    AT2020 USB+
    Shure PG42

    Non-USB dynamic mics:
    Heil PR40
    Thank You for your reply. I've been doing extensive research myself and have drawn the same conclusion. I am also creating a Google Sheets document listing all my findings using Youtube videos, Reviews & Forum references. This way I can disregard certain mics and look at this objectively.

    Regarding the Figure 8 Polar pickup pattern prevalent with Ribbon's is it very sensitive picking up ambient noise? I am also looking into cardioid Ribbons in the hope that they exist and meet my warm sound type.

    In addition to this, in the video I listed at around 5:50 the caster mentions he added various stuff how did he do all that, is it with software? If so which one(s) please? I actually liked the sound of the podcaster when those special settings were applied. The Rode procaster (xlr) version is also on my shortlist too.

    The HEIL PR40 paired with Fethead standard, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and DBX 286S Mic Preamp/Compressor appears to be the ideal setup although buying new would be very expensive so maybe I need to consider second hand. I'm not entirely sure if I need all those things but that's where your expertise helps.

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    I feel kinda stupid now there is a pool of knowledge in this section (Thanks to whoever moved the thread) and my question has been asked so many times before so I will find what I am looking for. I've listened to the tracks in those links doing the blind test and the one I like which probably would suit my untreated room environment is the beyerdynamic M 99 and also it remained consistent in it's sound colour at various distances. Only problem is that it is over my budget.

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  9. #7
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    ok gents I'm narrowing my choice down and from research I've completely disregarded Ribbon mics now as their figure 8 pattern will not be suitable for acoustically untreated room environments. I have to admit researching into this all is fascinating stuff.

    I am leaning towards condenser and dynamic mics. I have come across terms like FET, LDC, Tube. Valve and I guess they are types of circuitry used in dynamic or condensers. I need to research this more.

    Going back to a mic selection I have read how different mics respond to everyone's tones differently so it's a case of different strokes for different folks.

    However is there a way that I can determine which mic would be suitable for my voice bearing in mind I want to achieve a nice radio presenter smooth style?

    Additionally, as I previously mentioned I will use live chat when playing with my mates so the max distance will be around 10 inches. I have listened to the tests provided above and see how distance effects tones and for me the Beyer M99 was great in being consistent whilst being smooth. Are there any other mics that do that as it is a 300 mic?

    Finally as a gamer we use equipment (mechanical clicky keyboards Cherry MXBlue and mice) and what annoys me more than anything is when I can hear people's equipment being picked up whilst they are talking therefore, what do I look for in a mic that will prevent this from happening? I guess I need a cardioid or hypercardioid and adjust gain accordingly but then I am not sure if this will lose quality or how it affects voice quality.

    Thank You

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcaxis View Post
    Will an EV RE-320 fit your budget where you are?
    Over budget once I take into consideration arm stand, amp, stabilizer. I did see that video through my journey and I prefered the RE20. The RE320 appeared brighter and didn't have that broadcaster quality warmth compared to the RE20.

    The Sure SM7B is also in my shortlist which makes me think that Dynamic is the way to go however as you are probably aware is over my budget.

    I did look at the Audio Technica range, like AT2020 and AT2035 but imo suited a female tone so I ruled them out.

    This kind of leads me to conclude that the Rode Procaster with Preamp will probably be the best route to go unless I can find a good deal of second hand items in the UK. I also need to look at the NT1 and compare it against the Procaster. The NT1A I didn't like as much as it sounded tinny.

    Edit - I've also been recently searching and following people who in my mind sound good and I have been surprised by USB mics.

    Twitch

    This chap uses a Samson C01U USB Condenser Mic and it doesn't sound too bad at all
    Last edited by Twirly; 02-12-2016 at 11:26.

  11. #9
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    Right then chaps. I've listed the most commonly mentioned microphones into a spreadsheet. Please bear in mind that this is not an extensive list and that your regions will have more to offer and prices will vary.

    I decided against a rating column for now as I have no idea which is best for me/you but I have maintained that I wanted a smooth, broadcast quality/radio presenter sounding mic. I have listened to dozens of youtube videos and setups, mic positions, the tone of your voice all influence the sound characteristic of mics suitable for our use. Therefore what I will do within the next couple of hours is list the microphones into tables by Interface Type & Price Range.

    Additionally higher price does not necessarily equal better quality broadcasting mic. I have listened to voice samples on some of the cheaper microphones and they have been pretty good. Furthermore I have decided to include condenser microphones in my list but be aware that they have some draw backs if your room is not treated; Intend to use desk stand; Have loud keyboard/mice; Talk further away from the mic. Condensor mics also require Phantom power source which is built into most XLR to USB interfaces anyway.

    As a gamer I use VOIP/Create Content and Stream so my requirements are probably the same as yours but when it comes to practical use a compromise needs to be made if I want a one mic fits all solution within my budget.

    List to be followed in piecemeal. If I have made any mistakes please let me know. If you think that there is another microphone that should be considered just reply to the thread and I shall update the list. If a rating system column is requested then we can figure out how each mic should be qualified.

    Podcast Microphone Choice (USB) Upto 100
    Name Acoustic principle Polar Pickup Pattern Price Rating out of 5
    Samson C01U Condenser Hypercardioid 48.50-55
    Audio Technica AT2005 Dynamic Cardioid 70
    Samson GM 1 U G-Track Condenser Super-cardioid 72
    Blue Yeti Condenser Multi Pattern 99
    Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Condenser Cardioid 100-113
    Podcast Microphone Choice (USB) Upto 150
    Rode NT-USB Condenser Cardioid 112
    Rode NT-USB Condenser Cardioid 112
    Audio Technica ATR2100-USB Dynamic Cardioid 129
    SE Electronics X1 usb Condenser Cardioid 130
    Shure PG42 Condenser Cardioid 135
    MXL 990 USB Condenser Cardioid 150
    Podcast Microphone Choice (USB) Upto 200
    SE Electronics USB2200a Condenser Cardioid 176
    Studio Projects LSM Condenser Cardioid 178.12
    Blue Yeti pro Condenser Multi Pattern 180
    SL600 MK2 Condenser Cardioid 190
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) Upto 100
    Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Cardioid 15
    AKG D5 Dynamic Super-cardioid 48
    Behringer C-3 Condenser Multidirectional 49
    MXL990 Condenser Cardioid 55-70
    CAD GXL2200 Condenser Cardioid 64
    Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Cardioid 72-80
    Red5 Audio RV6 Condenser Cardioid 80
    Shure SM58 Dynamic Cardioid 80
    Audix i5 Dynamic Cardioid 85
    Red5 Audio RV8 Condenser Cardioid 97
    SE Electronics X1 Condenser Cardioid 100
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) Upto 150
    Audio-Technica AT2035 Condenser Cardioid 114-130
    Rode Procaster Dynamic Cardioid 117.95
    Blue Microphones Spark Condenser Cardioid 121
    Blue Microphones Spark Condenser Cardioid 121
    MXL V67G Condenser Cardioid 125
    Shure Beta 58A Dynamicr Supercardioid 127
    Rode NT1A Anniversary Condenser Cardioid 130
    Rode NT1 Condenser Cardioid 150
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) Upto 200
    Oktava MK 319 Condenser Cardioid 159
    Sennheiser MD 421-II Dynamic Cardioid 170-268
    SE Electronics SE 2200A MKII C Condenser Cardioid Multipattern 177
    ELECTROVOICE RE320 Dynamic Cardioid 189
    Warbler MK IV Condenser Cardioid Multipattern 190 + Customs
    Electro-Voice 635A Dynamic Omnidirectional 200
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) Upto 250
    MXL Harlan Hogan VO: 1-A Microphone Condenser Cardioid 206+customs
    NEAT King Bee Condenser Cardioid 209
    Beyerdynamic M99 Dynamic Hypercardioid 240
    ADK Vienna MK8 Cardioid Cardioid 250
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) Upto 300
    Audio Technica AT4040 Condenser Cardioid 269
    Audio Technica AT4033 Condenser Cardioid 275
    HEIL PR40 Dynamic Cardioid 285
    Shure SM7B Dynamic Cardioid 285
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) Upto 300+
    TELEFUNKEN M82 Dynamic Cardioid 319
    ELECTROVOICE RE20 Dynamic Cardioid 342
    Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone Valve/Tube Cardioid 379
    Neumann BCM 705 Dynamic Hypercardioid 450
    Podcast Microphone Choice (XLR) EOL
    Beyerdynamic M380. Dynamic Figure-of-8 End Of Life
    CAD E100S Microphone Condenser Super Cardioid End Of Life

    List of interfaces:
    Best Budget Audio Interfaces for SM7B | recording hacks

    I took the blind test and chose Interface 7 which sounded much warmer, however I cannot find the M-Audio Fast Track C400 anywhere. It seems it has been discontinued so what product has replaced it please?
    Last edited by Twirly; 03-01-2016 at 13:08. Reason: List Completed

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    Just to update I went into a store which had a limited rage of mics. I tried out the Sure Beta 58A, ev 767a, Sennheiser e 945, E845. From all of those the EV was the warmest but then it was missing that "studio" quality.

    I have just ordered the Rode Procaster, Rode SM6 shock mount with integrated pop shield, Stagg XLR cable and a generic desktop boom stand that has 327 positive reviews on Amazon. A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 will power all of this.

    If I had an unlimited budget then the ELECTROVOICE RE20 would have been my choice.

    edit - decided not to get the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, found a good deal on the zoom UAC-2 usb 3.0 so got that instead.
    Last edited by Twirly; 02-17-2016 at 06:47.

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