My Recording Setup: Improvements?

Greetings to all!

I am new to this forum so here is some introductory information:

My username stands for Malcolm Wilson Multimedia. For a full blurb go to the MWM website hosted by

To go beyond the somewhat grandiose wording on the site; MWM is currently staffed with myself (Malcolm Wilson, if that was not obvious :laughing: ) and my brother Graham. I also receive help form other members of my immediate family.

Recently (since May 31, 2013), we released a pilot episode of project: Space Rover. Details here:

As stated on the website this was recorded with a Sennheiser e 825-S Dynamic microphone connected to a M Audio USB Duo Preamp And USB Audio Interface (via XLR cable). The preamp was then connected to a Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop running Fedora 18 (via USB cable).

From there Audacity would record using it’s default quality settings (44100 Hz sample rate, 32-bit float format).

So finally we come to my question:
Is this the best way for me to record audio with my current equipment?

I am specifically curious about the sample rate. I read somewhere that 44100 Hz covers the frequencies that can be heard by the human ear. I also read the higher rates may be justified for other frequencies that can be felt. However, I will mostly be recording human speech so that may not be necessary. As well the microphone I am using may not be able to respond to these frequencies.

I do know from my other experiences in multimedia that one should capture in the highest quality permitted by the equipment. This is because it is always possible to step down the quality for export, but it is not possible to step up without losing quality. An example of this in digital photography is in megapixel resolution, wherein one should use the highest resolution that the camera can provide.

I welcome your thoughts!

While you’re deciding how to proceed, you should never do production in MP3. The file sizes are attractive, but the quality loss in multiple edits is not.

It’s fairly common for producers to obsess about audio tones that only dogs shorter than 18" (45cm) can hear, but the most bang for the buck is usually achieved by adding a blast filter, shock mounting the microphone, padding the table and soundproofing the room:

Yes, that is foam packing material and those are furniture moving pads. That’s a moving pad on the conference room table to get rid of microphone proximity “slap.” Those are official United States Postal Service rubber bands.

No matter how many times I post the April Fool, fake “Professional Audio Filter,” people still post trying to filter themselves into being an Announcer/Presenter. Not so far. There is a forum posting last seen getting to a size suitable for a New York Times book listing by people trying to get rid of odd mouth noises by writing custom filtering software.

I have shot a passable voice clip with a laptop microphone in a quiet room. I can tell you the clip specification was 48000, 16-bit, Stereo because it was intended for a video edit. It was stereo even though the microphone is mono because I know the show was stereo and that’s what they are expecting.

There was a quip by Ira Glass from “This American Life.” He and his crew regularly shoot excellent interviews by combining a shotgun microphone, good portable sound recorder and dos huevos. He was asked about that when they interviewed him, and he said there was certainly a development process and that combination worked well. There was a much higher-end shooter that did the same job marginally better with a back-pack of equipment and significant setup and tear down time. “Now,” said Ira, “Do that four times a day.”


Thanks for the reply.

I agree that a production should never be done in MP3. Actually, I never EVER use the MP3 codec because it is proprietary and the owners are patent trolls.
I also only export when I have to, and then I do it with the Free Lossless Audio Codec.
When exporting the final product I use both FLAC and Ogg Vorbis open formats (FLAC for highest quality, Ogg for easy download).

Anyway, I am aware of the importance of audio environment in quality. I believe professional studios spend more on audio isolation of the recording room, then microphones.

I am doing what I can for that. For example, I employ the old trick of using a nylon stocking as a pop filter.

To any extent; do you recommend recording with a 48000 Hz sample rate?

I was also wondering if anyone on this forum could interpret the technical specifications of my microphones (I now have two identical ones, in case I need to record in stereo) and preamp, to determine the absolute limit of software quality possible with them.

Here are the specifications:


Preamp (Go to page 26):