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Thread: USB Condenser Microphone that picks less Background nOISe...

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    Question USB Condenser Microphone that picks less Background nOISe...

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    Hello there.

    I'm going to buy a USB condenser for my tutorials. Which of the following eliminates background noise (or picks a little) and picks barre-toned male voice better? Anything else you can suggest below $300.

    1. Blue Yeti/ Yeti Pro
    2. Rode NT-USB
    3. Audio Technica AT2020USB/(+)

    Thanks

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    None of those.

    By definition, condenser mics are very sensitive which is great if you want a detailed, accurate recording but less so if background noise is a problem because you're working in a space without proper acoustic treatment.

    Instead try a RODE PODCASTER--it's a nice largeish diaphragm dynamic mic designed so you can work up close to the mic. Unusual for USB mics, it also has a headphone jack so you can monitor what you're recording without the mess of trying to use your inbuilt sound card for monitoring and a USB device for recording.

    The price should be nicely within your budget from most suppliers...use the spare money to buy a pop filter and a mic stand.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
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    thanks @Bobbsy
    I guess the voice quality suffers a bit with Podcaster as it's frequency range is lower than 20KHz. Alright I will manage the noise issue but I want to stick to Condenser Microphone. Please suggest me the best among those three for voice, a voice like almost real.
    Regarding the noise it's some nature sound at night.

    Thanks again.

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    You're podcasting which means you're distributing a heavily compressed format. Depending on how you do it, I doubt you're feeding out any frequencies about 16kHz...and chances are it's rather less than that. Beyond that, your voice is unlikely to go much about 12kHz with the fundamental frequencies in a far smaller band than that.

    Basically, I think you're worrying about the wrong thing. If background noise is an issue I wouldn't worry about not getting frequencies above 15k or so since you're doing voice recording only. (My advice would be different for music.)

    Of the mics you list, my favourite would be the Rode NT but none of them will be what you want for stand alone voice in an untreated room. If you're that concerned about perfect sound, I wouldn't buy a USB mic at all. I go for an XLR mic and separate interface.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    It's not podcasting in one sense, cause I will join those raw audios with videos and output to HD. Maybe there will be some loss in compression, but my idea was to record as best. I know what information you have provided as per your experience is authentic, I respect that. Maybe there's misconception I received over times, as you know I'm not a audio guy. I read online articles and videos, that tends to think me, condenser mic receives more crystal clear voice than the dynamics( those are for live performance, not sensitive enough to pick all the sound). USB Mic is easy to plug and play and almost like the XLRs, even they have less noise(as there's no interface). And a better mic but cheap interface may hamper the quality a lot. Even when you suggested Podcaster I checked several videos on youtube comparing Rode NT and Podcaster. To my ear the sound of the Rode Podcaster was a bit Radio type. These are experience by surfing the net, maybe I'm wrong.

    Concerning noise I plan to put some DIY things around my window and purchase a sound booth. Again the noise is from cricket (insect) outside.

    Whatever. If XLR condenser mics sounds better then please suggest which models of mic and interface is better for this situation.

    I hope there's a lot to learn from you. Thanks
    Last edited by fuzkabir; 09-06-2015 at 09:14.

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    I have all three. The Blue Yeti picks up background noise as subtle as a distant barking dog. As a result, I almost never use it. As was suggested above, the RODE Podcaster picks up far less noise. Of the 3 you list, the RODE NT-USB sounds best to me. If you pick up the combined shock mount/pop screen, you get much closer and use less gain.

    I would also look at a Shure PG42 with a Shure Popper Stopper filter. The Shure comes with a compact shock mount included.

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    If you want to record "at best" then avoid USB mics. They're convenience tools, and just have design limits. The idea is that novices who know little about recording can buy one, plug in and record. No setting preamp gains, eq's, and working distances. Most buyers plug them in, move in till the meter nearly goes into the red, and that is that. People interested in quality and technique tend to want these features!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzkabir View Post
    thanks @Bobbsy
    I guess the voice quality suffers a bit with Podcaster as it's frequency range is lower than 20KHz. Alright I will manage the noise issue but I want to stick to Condenser Microphone. Please suggest me the best among those three for voice, a voice like almost real.
    Regarding the noise it's some nature sound at night.

    Thanks again.
    Exactly how much 20k do you expect there is in a baritone voice? Sibilance is normally between 5k and 8k. "Air" is about 10k.

    The upper limit to most FM radio transmissions, including television audio is 15k.

    With the giant bump between 8k and 10k on that thing, it's bound to be a bright sounding mic, compared to higher end voiceover mics like the SM7b and the RE20.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Okay. You started off making the ability to reject background noise your main priority but when a USB mic that would actually do this was suggested, you were then worried about frequency response (even though this is for voice recording/podcasting).

    So...my suggestion:

    First off, buy the sE X1 BUNDLE which includes a Reflexion filter which will go along way to curing room noise problems, a shock mount, a pop filter and a mic cable. The X1 has a natural, detailed sound on voice recordings and works very well for the money. The Reflexion filter, by my reckoning, gives you about 80% the quality of a fully treated studio but without the treatment. I once used one to record an audio book for an author who couldn't leave her home due to health issues...her study with the Reflexion filter gave a decent quality recording.

    Then blow your budget and add an ALESIS iO2 USB interface. Despite being cheap this has decent pre amps, direct monitoring and the ability to expand to 2 inputs, etc. when/if you find it necessary.

    Yes, this blows your budget but it'll go much farther into ticking the two rather opposite boxes you've thrown at us!
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    Thanks a lot. I Shall buy what you suggested.
    And again, thanks to everyone here.

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