I’m using a USB Blue Yeti (don’t judge), with very low gain so as to minimise background noise as much as possible for the recording of vocal, voice over audio.
The Blue Yeti is routed through Voice Meeter, with the VoiceMeeter Ouput (VB-Audio) as the audio source in Audacity.
The input recording volume is set to the maximum level of 1, whilst the dB of input audio is kitting around -21 (which I appreciate is a little low).
What I’m finding is that when recording, after a couple of seconds of not talking, the background noise reduces to silence.
As part of this issue, I’m finding that in numerous (but not all) instances when I start talking or stop talking, these sections of audio are fading in and out - either missing the first/last word or two, or reducing the volume as though fading the audio in/out.
Is there any way to overcome this issue within the settings of Audacity whereby audio is consistently recorded regardless of silences - this would also mean that I could create a better noise profile for noise reduction, given any silence (and general background noise) last 2-3 seconds before being faded out).
I’ve attached a sample piece of audio - no editing or effects have been applied, no fade out has been manually added, the audio comes from the Voice Meeter input and as you can hear, when I’ve finished speaking that background noise can be heard but then fades out.
It’s good to know where the front of your microphone is and until recently, Blue didn’t tell you, or only did it in the back of the instruction book. I’ve seen many performers using it wrong. It’s a side-fire microphone. Talk into the side grill just up from the company name.
Thanks Koz, fully aware of the positioning of the microphone (seen so many people speaking into the wrong/top of the mic rather than the side), whilst I also have a pop filter and have it on a boom arm with spider mount to reduce vibration noises and the like of my computer. Ultimately there isn’t that much background noise and the Yeti is known for picking up plenty of background noise (due to the type of microphone it is) hence why I’m debating a dynamic microphone such as the Shure SM7B (with a Fethead or Cloudlifter as a preamp to boost the dB threshold) given the audio recordings I do via microphone are entire vocal based.
I’ve tried with Skype turned off completely, gain set is low as possible on the Yeti and still had the same issue however, I then opted to take the VoiceMeeter out of the equation and this seemingly fixed the issue so it’s seemingly some setting, issue or threshold within Voice Meeter (which is used as the input source within Audacity) that is causing the issue, the annoying fade in/outs etc.
Still got the issue but one step closer to a solution now… time to dive into Voice Meeter trouble shooting.
Ultimately there isn’t that much background noise and the Yeti is known for picking up plenty of background noise (due to the type of microphone it is) hence why I’m debating a dynamic microphone such as the Shure SM7B (with a Fethead or Cloudlifter as a preamp to boost the dB threshold) given the audio recordings I do via microphone are entire vocal based.
That won’t help.
Microphones (and amplifiers) are linear. If you reduce the sensitivity of the microphone or turn-down the amplifier by -6dB, the signal (your voice) and the noise both go down by 6dB without changing the signal-to-noise ratio. Somewhere during the process you’ll end-up boosting both the signal and noise again, or the listener will turn-up the volume and get the same result.
Preamps also generate some noise and a less-sensitive mic means you need more gain which boosts the preamp noise and that can make the signal-to-noise ratio worse! (The Cloudlifter is an especially low-noise amplifier so that should minimize or eliminate that issue).
A directional mic helps because noise comes from all-around so the Yet should be in cardioid mode. And of course speaking with a strong voice close to the mic also helps to get a stronger signal.
I assume you know that with an analog mic and the Cloudlifter you’ll also need a USB audio interface.
Also, I don’t know if this is obviously posted anywhere, the Lifter needs phantom power to run. So whatever you plug the Lifter into has to supply 48 volts.
The Lifter uses it up. That’s important.
Whatever you plug into the lifter (It doesn’t have to be a Shure SM7b) has to not need phantom power. So dynamic (moving coil) and ribbon microphones are fine. Condenser microphones (such as the Rode NT1a) are not.
If you have a Cloud Lifter in your tool kit, it’s good to know the rules.