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Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

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Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby Ellen20 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:39 am

This website and forum are far more sophisticated than what I need, but I'm hoping that someone can help me with the following problem as I'm struggling to find an answer by researching it on the internet.

I'm trying to record maths tutorials using a Wacom pen display connected to my computer, and Camtasia. I need to acquire a microphone to use for this, and I'm not sure what to go for.

I don't need the sound quality to be great, just adequate. I will be recording speech only. I will be working at home, so in an ordinary room. It is fairly small and it contains a lot of filled bookcases which I hope will dampen echoes.

I need to be writing on the screen as I speak, so the microphone needs to be out of my way. I was hoping that something like a headset mic or a lavalier mic would do. The microphone needs to connect to my computer for use with Camtasia.

When I've done these tutorials in the past (with microphones supplied by others) I've usually had the problem that the tapping of the pen on the screen is clearly audible in the recording, and rather annoying. I'm hoping that there will be a suitable mic that will do a better job of not picking that up.

Finally I don't want to spend too much money!

Can anyone suggest anything suitable?
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:53 pm

Presumably you need to hear your students at the same time as you're teaching, in which case a USB headset mic is probably the easiest solution that would give the best results.

Keeping the mic as close as possible to the wanted sound source (your mouth) and away from the unwanted sound (your wacom tablet) will maximise the signal-to-noise ratio.

That said, keyboard and tablet pen clicks are surprisingly loud and percussive and so there will always be some 'leakage' of those sounds through the mic -- you'll never get it completely silent if you're talking and penning at the same time.

Experiment with the mic position to get the best sound quality. I'd suggest placing the mic just off the side of your mouth, on the cheek is probably best. If it's directly in front of your mouth you'll probably get a lot of wind-blasts and pops on plosives.

I'd suggest looking at one of the Sennheiser USB mics and they generally give reasonable quality sound at affordable prices.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:06 pm

It's worth checking that any mic you look for is a 'cardiod pattern' rather than an 'omni' as well. Most headsets are so if it doesn't state it directly it probably will be, but there are occasional omni headset mics out there.
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby Kwackman » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:12 pm

I don't suppose there is a softer pen you could use?
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:34 pm

I had a similar problem when studying, recording a lecturer while tapping notes on the on-screen keyboard. It's far more annoying than ai thought it would be.

Do you need to monitor your recording in real time? You might want to consider something like the Rode sc6:

https://m.thomann.de/gb/rode_sc6.htm

...and hook it up with either the Rode lavalier and your choice of headphones or another, cheaper mic option.

I ended up with the Rode mic and adaptor that I found cheap which worked well.
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby resistorman » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:59 pm

There are noise canceling headset mics for call centers etc. A quick search for “noise canceling headset mic” brought up a lot of them such as:

https://www.amazon.com/Headphone-Microp ... NrPXRydWU=
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby Ellen20 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:43 pm

Thank you all very much for these suggestions. In fact no students will be involved; I shouldn't have said 'tutorials' – a better word would have been 'screencasts'. I will be recording these screencasts for students to watch later, and the plan is for them to be available for several years, for future students, so I want them to be of reasonable quality.

So I do just need a microphone, rather than headphones as well. If anyone has any alternative suggestions or recommendations now that I've clarified that, I'd be grateful for them.

I'll also try buying some Wacom 'hard felt nibs' to use instead of the normal nibs to see if that reduces the pen noise at all. There don't seem to be any softer nibs available.

It's useful to know that I can't hope to exclude the noise completely. But reducing it would be good.
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:09 pm

blinddrew wrote:It's worth checking that any mic you look for is a 'cardiod pattern' rather than an 'omni' as well. Most headsets are so if it doesn't state it directly it probably will be, but there are occasional omni headset mics out there.

@OP

Just to clarify Drew's point, a cardioid mic is directional and can be pointed at the intended source as opposed to an omni mic which picks up from all directions.

With the cardioid you can point the "deaf " part of the mic towards the unwanted pen noise.
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:09 pm

Headset all the way. I use one when I Skype my son and he can barely hear my hi fi turned up quite loud but get every word dad says.

The one I use was £9.99 from Sainsburys and terminates in two 3.5mm stereo jack plugs (although I use it with a TECKNET USB adapter)

I also very recently bought a USB headset for around £30 and the microphone on that was excellent as well but the headphones were too 'dull' for me and made speech hard to understand.

Headsets also get rid of most of the room sound and of course 'stay with you'. You can of course get sets with just a microphone but for some reason these are two to ten times more expensive!

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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby Ellen20 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:39 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies -- and apologies that I posted this in the wrong forum, which I've only just realised.
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Re: Microphone recommendation: to cut down pen on screen noise

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:13 am

Just moved it into the right forum now - I think quite a few of us use the View New Posts or Recent Posts feature so sometimes don't realise that posts are in the wrong place.
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