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Microphone for voiceover

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:00 pm

OK; so did you set WavePad so that it is definitely using your mic for it's input? And have you adjusted the recording level via the WavePad controls?

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby wireman » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:10 pm

dvdrom wrote:Thanks for the video. That option, to increase / decrease volume is exactly the one that I was trying to use, but the volume was still the same, even at 0% or 100%. That´s why do I think that it doesn´t have any impact on my microphone as long as it doesn´t have the "gain" option. Is that correct?

Just to be clear, did you change that setting, do a new recording and play it back?

I would presume that a microphone of this type will have a fixed input into USB and all that control in windows is doing is to digitally amplify or attenuate it for any application that uses it.
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:38 pm

dvdrom wrote:Recommendation that I got for making voiceover pretty much included USB microphone so I think it can work with it. Also on youtube, many guys making test videos just pluged USB into PC and the audio (mean volume) was just good. I do not know why is this not the case of my current microphone, but I still think looking for some with higher quality overall could solve it.

What I would like you to confirm is that the microphone level in Windows Sounds is indeed set to 100%.

As for other recordings, it has been my experience that USB sound devices are almost always set to 100% in Windows by default. Yours may not be.

Going for higher "quality" is commendable but not likely to get you greater sensitivity.

Just a thought? You can get USB headsets, boom mic and headphones that give remarkably good speech quality for around £25. Now that we have SO many 'talking heads' in grotty rooms yodelling at their laptops I wish more people would get them!

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby dvdrom » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:00 pm

Yes, Wavepad is indeed using my microphone. And there is no separate option in Wavepad to increase the recording level, it only opens my Windows settings, where it is indeed on 100%.

On youtube, when I was watching some tests and reviews of microphones that have "gain" option, in Windows 10 settings they always had one more option - something like boost. I do only have the Microphone level (they also had this option), but not the second one. Might that be what am I looking for?
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:28 pm

dvdrom wrote:Yes, Wavepad is indeed using my microphone. And there is no separate option in Wavepad to increase the recording level, it only opens my Windows settings, where it is indeed on 100%.

On youtube, when I was watching some tests and reviews of microphones that have "gain" option, in Windows 10 settings they always had one more option - something like boost. I do only have the Microphone level (they also had this option), but not the second one. Might that be what am I looking for?

No, I do not now think you have a wrong setting, more likely a faulty mic. I am not sure re reading the thread which USB mic you have? There is a glut of very cheap capacitor mics and although they can work quite well there have been a lot reported with faults such as low sensitivity, noise and outright not working.

The USB mic I mentioned at the top of this thread is easily sensitive enough. My son records classical guitar with his and has it over a mtr away and still gets 35-20dB fs with peaks to -8. Even for a 16bit device the result still has a low noise floor.

So, for speech at say 30cms, any USB mic should be easily sensitive enough.

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:31 am

dvdrom wrote:Yes, Wavepad is indeed using my microphone. And there is no separate option in Wavepad to increase the recording level, it only opens my Windows settings, where it is indeed on 100%.


So are you seeing a different menu screen in WavePad to the one in the image above? If you are seeing the same screen as shown above:
Image
Have you tried adjusting the Input 'Master Volume' using the Volume (green) slider immediately below? (The 'Master Volume' is a 'pull-down' on the 'Input' setting.)

My confusion - and persistence! :lol: - is because, irrespective of whether/not the mic is faulty, these adjustments are software related and nothing to do with the mic itself. I'd be particularly interested to know if reducing the Master Volume on this menu option does affect the recorded input volume/gain.
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby ef37a » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:56 am

Morning Mike,
Irrespective of Wavepad, faulty mic or nay, there is a crude meter in the Windows Sounds menu. If OP's mic is not blipping half way up that for 'Mary had...' at a foot he has a duff'un.

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:44 pm

ef37a wrote:Morning Mike,
Irrespective of Wavepad, faulty mic or nay, there is a crude meter in the Windows Sounds menu. If OP's mic is not blipping half way up that for 'Mary had...' at a foot he has a duff'un.

Dave.

I've just read back through the thread and checked that the O/P is getting some sort of level from the mic. He is; his issue is that level is very low and when he boosts it it sounds pretty grotty.

Now it could well be the mic, but I'm concerned that he may be about to replace it when there might be something else in play. I'm just trying to be sure that it really is a duff mic. :)

One of my regular 'submitters' in these troubled times is using a USB mic (purchased for less than £30 in Argos) to record .m4a files on a Mac. The files I receive from him are peaking at -32dB. A swift pass through a normalizer brings everything up to sensible levels. But I then need to do very little other corrective work. He's working the mic at the distance I recommended to him in a 'dead' and quiet acoustic.

Others here have already pointed out the importance of a good acoustic and working the mic at the correct distance. I'm trying to eliminate as much as possible before 'sentencing' the mic as not fit for purpose. Otherwise there's a risk that the O/P will spend a significant sum and be back in a few weeks time saying that he's still having problems...

Which leads me to a further thought for the O/P... could you post a link (Soundcloud or Googledrive) to one of the files you're unhappy with? Please post an 'as recorded' file with no subsequent level-boosting or any other processing. It only needs to be a 10-second or so extract... Thanks
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby dvdrom » Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:51 pm

Well, I´m open to buying a new one. I think the price of my current microphone is around 15€, so it´s very low so I do really think any problem I have is indeed connected to it (as I have already tried a bunch of steps in terms of settings and so on).

You were right, in Wavepad, I wasn´t using Master Volume setting for the Input, so I tried it with that, then selected Volume to 12dB (what is the possible max) and the difference was like if you added travelling to san francisco from los angeles after coming from new york...

It´s simply very cheap microphone, I honestly do not think there is many ways to improve it, so I´m really looking into some more expensive and a better one. So far, after watching many videos on youtube I´m quite fine with Neewer nw 8000 USB microphone, but want to be sure that this one does indeed offer nice volume of the recording (thanks to it´s boost gain option in win 10 settings (shown in videos that I watched)) without neccessity of any other hardware (so really nothing else than just taking the USB cable and connecting it directly to my notebook).
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby ef37a » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:37 pm

dvdrom wrote:Well, I´m open to buying a new one. I think the price of my current microphone is around 15€, so it´s very low so I do really think any problem I have is indeed connected to it (as I have already tried a bunch of steps in terms of settings and so on).

You were right, in Wavepad, I wasn´t using Master Volume setting for the Input, so I tried it with that, then selected Volume to 12dB (what is the possible max) and the difference was like if you added travelling to san francisco from los angeles after coming from new york...

It´s simply very cheap microphone, I honestly do not think there is many ways to improve it, so I´m really looking into some more expensive and a better one. So far, after watching many videos on youtube I´m quite fine with Neewer nw 8000 USB microphone, but want to be sure that this one does indeed offer nice volume of the recording (thanks to it´s boost gain option in win 10 settings (shown in videos that I watched)) without neccessity of any other hardware (so really nothing else than just taking the USB cable and connecting it directly to my notebook).

Actually that looks very similar to my Citronics, same mic I would not be at all surprised.
The good thing is, Amazon are very fair about returns and so you are pretty fireproof but I very much doubt you will have a problem.

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:45 am

I've never done an analysis of USB microphones specs. I should do that. If you have an interface why not avoid the USB, tacky. That's my take on it.
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby ef37a » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:17 am

Argiletonne wrote:I've never done an analysis of USB microphones specs. I should do that. If you have an interface why not avoid the USB, tacky. That's my take on it.

No, they are not "tacky". Like all audio equipment there is a spectrum of quality in terms of performance and build quality.

The very lowest cost capacitor mics such as the BM-800/ Neewer types, some less than £20, are nonetheless remarkably well made, not AKGs of course but very good for the money.

I would describe the technical performance as "adequate". They will get a signal into your laptop either directly via the 3.5mm jack, a very handy function for some folks, or through an AI via an XLR cable. Nylon stung gits at five feet they will not do but voice at one foot, fine.

The Citronics my son and I have is stepup in build and sound quality. They WILL do acoustic guitar at a decent distance and we think the sound quality is very good, better than the BM he says.

Do not despise these cheap to affordable microphones. The USB types in particular are an easy way for the beginner to get really very good sound quality into their PC.

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:30 am

Good call Dave! :clap:

The situation is far more nuanced than USB-Mic: bad; capacitor mic and interface: good.

I know people who have bought USB mics from the likes of Rode and they are getting very good results.

That said, I'd be wary of the bargain-basement Neewers and their clones... mainly because of manufacturing inconsistency. But that's not just their province... a cracking stereo capacitor mic which is widely acclaimed for its performance has been bedevilled by QC issues.

As I've said, I have a regular contributor using a USB mic he bought in Argos for c.£30 which is giving cracking results on spoken voice.
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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby ef37a » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:44 pm

Thanks Mike,
With the huge rise in homeworking etc I strongly suggest people at least get a USB mic and sit it just to the side or their laptop. My son in France does this and the results are very clear, even when he dives into his kitchen. Mind you, his flat is almost always very quiet. All up a vast improvement on the laptop's mic.

Even better is a USB headset. I have tried two (sort of) an actual USB set for about £25, clear speech reported but FOR ME, very dull cans sound. I suspect made for kids that want bass boost!
The other set is a ten quid Sainsbury's modelwhich terminates in 3.5mm jack plugs but I have a TECKNET USB dongle that takes the plugs and gives frankly brilliant performance.

You do hear some AWFUL linkups these days, even on the BBC!

I am considering a Bluetooth headset for us both but wonder about latency?

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Re: Microphone for voiceover

Postby John Willett » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:05 pm

dvdrom wrote:Hey there,

I'm looking for a USB microphone for making a voiceover, after some time spent browsing amazon and bunch of other websites, I found these 3 pieces listed below.

Just before that I want to mention that the problem with my current microphone I have is that once I record my voice, and then put that file into my video software, the volume of that audio is very low. And when I try to increase it (by some software like Wavepad), it not only decreases quality of my voice, but also increases the noise background so much, that it's possible to hear.
So what I want to try to avoid by buying a new microphone looking for one with an option of increasing the recording volume. I have seen that some microphones have some option called "Gain" - is that what am I looking for?

My list of microphones that I'm interested in so far:

Blue yeti
Fifine USB Microphone
Neewer USB microphone

The price should be around these numbers. I know that the second one and the third one already have something like built-in amplifier (that I want for solving my problem mentioned above), but I'm not sure about the first one (Blue Yeti). Would you have any suggestion for me?

Thanks.

Personally I would never buy a USB microphone - I would buy a USB interface and then choose the best mic. for the job :thumbup:
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