Need help finding a good microphone for political commentators who do interviews/discussions over Zoom.

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Don't be silly. he doesn't understand, they'll know he doesn't understand, they usually have zero time. They BBC for instant can get people on air in less than 30 seconds - there is no time for this. Anyway - surely the problem is not at their end? He needs to provide the best audio he can so he just needs simplicity. They simply say to contributors "Have you got Zoom? Have you got headphones that are discrete? Can you turn off anything that might make a noise?" That's it. These people will not faff around reading or watching videos - it's just ridiculous. They might be shoestring or broadcast at their end. They may or may not have EQ - such a basic feature. Any noise tweaking will be presets not real adjustment. He needs to be self-contained. Most contributors in the UK who get sought repeatedly for opinions have their own little dedicated setups and learn how to use them. You made the assumption they were using software, we assumed, wrongly, you knew this for certain and knew what it was. You seem to have just guessed? Zoom has features that help reduce feedback in multi-contributor circumstances - the options are very limited. Just sort his audio at source and send them something clean. Forget trying to get the old guy to explain technical concepts, because if he tries, and they are technical, he'll be even more confused. never advise people without the skills and understanding to know what you are actually suggesting means - people soon sus blagging.
 
OK, what if he just told future interviewers this: "Audio-quality for the interviews that I do ranges from fantastic to terrible. Since I never change my hardware, software-issues must be responsible for the huge variation in audio-quality. Hopefully we can avoid noise-cancellation software or any software-things that might be the culprits. Thanks."

Would that be reasonable?
 

bouldersoundguy

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Noise-cancellation software is there for a reason. You have to be sure the hardware is set up to make it unnecessary.
 
What explains why some videos some great and others terrible? Noam's hardware is always the same. My assumption is that sometimes they have noise-cancellation software on that messes things up, and other times they don't, and that explains the variation in quality.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The trouble with these things to my mind is simply that the internet is a time unlocked system - the system's ability to change routes seamlessly plays havoc with systems that need to use can collation techniques, and maybe his issue is simply his voice, being low doesn't respond well to time alignment slides in real time. Maybe cutting the lowe frequencies would help, or maybe it wouldn't - you need to feed the system with audio least likely to be impacted. The reality is you cannot expect the system to be able to cope with a voice that repeatedly fails to get through. The people using his stream could be really skilled, with somebody really capable running them, or not - in which case the best they have are the zoom tools and the built in noise reduction systems they have. I really thought we had a proper application running and that was what you were talking about.

Realistically, if he becomes know for wanting special treatment, he just won't get it, and many users simply won't care if his audio is bad. especially if it makes him look foolish - they might not mind that at all. Can you at a distance replicate the problem if you use the system too talk to him? That's what I'd be trying.
 

bouldersoundguy

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What explains why some videos some great and others terrible? Noam's hardware is always the same. My assumption is that sometimes they have noise-cancellation software on that messes things up, and other times they don't, and that explains the variation in quality.
The mic placement may vary. The settings in his computer may vary.
 
"maybe his issue is simply his voice, being low doesn't respond well to time alignment slides in real time"

The quality varies from good to terrible despite his voice being always the same voice.

"The people using his stream could be really skilled, with somebody really capable running them, or not - in which case the best they have are the zoom tools and the built in noise reduction systems they have"

This could be true. Maybe for some interviewers there are highly competent people running things.

My hope is that it's just a simple matter of not applying harmful noise-reduction software, since that would be easily remedied.
 
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