I will be starting a youtube channel and I will be using audacity to tune my voiceovers. I’m looking for a microphone that can be the best value for this endeavor. I’ve shortlisted this list [Advertising is not permitted] . Are these any good enough? thanks
There are very many microphones available for recording, and a vast price range. When choosing a microphone, “budget” is one of the main considerations. It’s pointless recommending a $2000 microphone to someone that has a $50 budget. Conversely, if a person has a $2000 budget, they can afford a microphone that is better than any $50 microphone.
I’ve not personally found any microphone that I would consider to be a reasonable voice recording mic for under about $100, though I have used many “stage microphone” that cost considerably more than $100 that I would not recommend for voice recording.
I have removed the link to your website as:
- This forum has a strict policy of not allowing advertising
- There are literally thousands of web pages offering a list of “best recording microphones”. If we allow one such link, then to be fair we would have to allow them all.
I don’t own an appropriate mic so I won’t recommend one…
Once you have a decent microphone your “recording studio” becomes the limiting factor. Ideally, you’d like a soundproof studio with sound-absorbing interior surfaces. It’s the noise (mostly acoustic noise) that separates professional recordings from amateur recordings.
No matter what microphone you choose, I’d recommend getting a [u]pop filter[/u].
I’ve not personally found any microphone that I would consider to be a reasonable voice recording mic for under about $100
I agree… “Good microphones” generally start at around $100 USD. Iif you go over about $300 I’d start looking for “features” like a pad (level reducer), a low-frequency roll-off switch, variable pick-up patterns, etc. (You don’t always get “features” with a higher-end mic but most of us want to get the most for our money and the most flexibility.)
The most popular type of microphone for “home studio recording” of audiobooks, voice-over and podcast is a [u]“Studio Style” USB microphone[/u] (AKA “Podcast Microphone”). They are super-handy and economical. (You can get very good quality for $100 - $200.) Koz (one of our experienced forum members) recently praised the Samson G-Track. The Rode NT-USB also has a good reputation. The Blue Yeti is very popular, but it seems to have a reputation of being noisy. But, there may have been lots of complaints simply because they’ve sold millions of them.
…USB power tends to be noisy and USB microphones as well as USB powered audio interfaces can be susceptible to that noise and it can very depending on the particular computer.
If you choose a USB mic, I’d recommend one with an analog recording level knob and a headphone jack for direct-hardware, zero-latency monitoring. There is always a delay (latency) when the sound goes through the computer and it’s sometimes tricky getting that delay down to the point where you’re not hearing an echo in your headphones.
Besides potential noise problems, the other limitations are that you can only use one USB mic at a time and you can’t use a USB mic live with a PA system or mixer. (There are a couple of USB mics that also have optional-analog connections.)
The standard type of microphone for vocals, voice over, and almost everything in pro studios is a [u]directional large diaphragm condenser[/u]. A directional mic helps with niose because noise comes from all-around and the signal (the good sound you want to record) usually comes from one direction. (Most good “podcast mics” are also directional.) There are a couple of very popular dynamic microphones used in radio (In the $400 range).
Stage & studio are low-impedance balanced (3-wire) and studio condensers require 48V phantom power. They are incompatible with regular soundcards & laptops unbalanced (2-wire) and 5V. So with any good non-USB microphone, you’ll need an [u]audio interface[/u]. Dynamic microphones don’t need power but you still need a balanced XLR connection. If you buy an interface, again I’d look for one with direct-hardware, zero-latency monitoring.
IMO - A “perfect setup” would be a studio condenser mic and a USB interface with it’s own separate (non-USB) power supply. But, that’s more stuff to wire-up and mess with and you have to buy a microphone plus an interface.
If you’re going to appear on camera, it’s not the worst idea to use the same microphone for both and just change to a soundproof and echo-free room for the voiceovers. That changes the establishing background sound without making you sound like a different person (or worse, trying to record in the kitchen).
If you have a nice camera, using it for voiceovers also neatly works around computer fan noises and bad data capture problems that USB microphones can have. A LOT of forum postings involve digging performers out of computer microphone problems—and the latest versions of Mac and Windows made these problems much worse.
It’s also cheaper, important when you’re starting out.
Next up is a chest or lavalier microphone so your on-camera work is cleaner and clearer and by extension, the voiceover will sound better, too.
Then when you get going and time becomes a restriction, you set up your voiceover studio with a separate microphone or stand-alone recorder. Also with experience comes the ability to tune and adjust your sound.
It also gives you an alternate plan B when your regular separate system fails.
One of the producers at work regularly turned in good quality voice work and I asked how he did it. He said he put the video camera in the back of his car, drove somewhere quiet and recorded everything in the car.
We’re going off in all directions because we don’t know what the show is.
What is it?
“Blue” are famous / infamous for hyping their products, which can make it difficult to find objective reviews.
A review article on a reputable website offered this conclusion to their review:
Is it worth buying Blue Nessie? Apparently no. There is not a single reason to buy this microphone, because you can get better results with other mics at this price point, without having to worry about the durability. However, if you’ve already bought it – don’t worry, it will still probably sound better than any $50 USB mic out there. It’s not bad at all! Just wait until it snaps and then you can consider upgrading to something better. If you think I have missed on any of its advantages or the reasons why it is worth buying, do share your experience by leaving a comment. We will highly appreciate that!
Personally I would never use a microphone for important recording work that offers “instantly enhanced sound”. For important work I would want a microphone that faithfully reproduces the sound going into it. I would not want to risk having to re-record because the mic “enhanced” the sound to an unusable state.
Home style USB microphones seem to be a good choice for the beginner. Relatively inexpensive, good sounding, versatile, and easy to set up.
That is if everything goes well. They can have their shortcomings.
– You can’t have a noisy computer because you can’t get more than one USB cable away from the computer—about 6 feet (2M). If you can tell your computer is on just by listening, this won’t go well.
– Sometimes, a USB microphone can hate your computer and give you USB screaming noises in the background.
The most reliable fix for that is change the computer. There is a post-production software fix, but you have to apply it each and every time you announce.
– USB microphones are prone to “essing.” Boosting sibilance or harsh SS and FF sounds in your voice. Again, you can fix that in software—every time you present.
– USB microphones are Lone Wolves. There is no easy way to record two or more. There is no three USB microphone podcast—at least not without three computers and that can have its own problems.
All that from forum complaints. USB microphones are popular.
Did you find enough to go on?
You can make a number of different microphones work for you, but you can do a world of good by having a quiet, echo-free room. A bad room can put in sound problems we can’t take out in post production processing.
Please do not plagiarise.
How do you know that wasn’t David Ciccarelli ?
I’m not surprised that the CEO of a voice talent company takes time out of his busy schedule to write an article for Forbes, but rather unlikely that he would do so to recycle a year old article on this forum.
I’d be delighted to be wrong. I’m sure David Ciccarelli could make valuable contributions to this forum.