Recording Equipment Help

Hi Folks,

Newbie here so please excuse any daft questions!

I purchased a Neewer 8000 USB mic a couple of years ago and havent really used it much until recently. I notice that using it on its own the audio levels are really low, after a bit of research I discovered Equalizer Pro and Peace to boost the levels, this leaves me with a nasty hiss that I am using Audacity to remove using the noise reduction filters.

My question to everyone here, is, is there an alternative form my setup as I am getting complaints to the audio levels and background noise, should I look at a hard ware pre-amp or other software?? Is there a way to boost levels for a USB condensor mic?

Thanks in advance


This is a “difficult” problem…

It’s all about signal-to-noise ratio. If you have a good-loud signal hitting the mic, your microphone MAY be acceptable. Otherwise when you amplify, the signal and noise gets amplified together and the noise becomes more noticeable.
Hiss (pure white noise) is normally from the preamp, which in your case is built-into the mic. All active analog electronics generate SOME noise and it tends to be a bigger problem with mic preamps because they are high gain and the noise gets amplified along with the signal.

High-pitch whine is usually noise from the computer’s USB power getting into the analog electronics. This can happen with USB mics and with USB-powered interfaces. Some computers have more noise on their power supplies than others, and some mics/interfaces are more immune to power supply noise than others so it’s hard to know which one to blame.

A “weak” digital output is normal for USB mics that don’t have a recording volume control. The idea is that you don’t want to overload and clip (distort) the built-in analog-to-digital converter.

should I look at a hard ware pre-amp

USB mics don’t work with analog pre-amps. :wink:

A better USB mic MIGHT help. I can’t make a recommendation but the Rode NT-USB seems to have good reputation and the Blue Yeti seems to have a reputation of “whine”, but the Yeti’s bad reputation may come from the fact that they are super-popular and more of them means more complaints. (And as I said the whine actually coming from the computer.)

Of you can get a regular analog “studio condenser” microphone and a USB interface (with a built-in mic preamp). Note that stage/studio mics have a balanced connection with an XLR connector, and studio condensers require 48V phantom power (from the preamp or interface) and they are NOT interchangeable with analog “computer mics”.

But… Acoustic room noise can be an issue when you don’t have a soundproof studio and if you are trying to record quiet sounds electrical and acoustic noise can be a problem, even for professionals with professional equipment.

Be aware that these mics are very cheaply made (often sold for not much more than a good quality mic lead). For the price, you can’t really expect much. Nevertheless, many people find them adequate for making YouTube videos and similar, but you need to get close to them (around 10 cm from mouth to mic) and you need a “pop shield” between your mouth and the mic.

Also note that it looks like a “side address” mic (where you speak into the side of the mic head rather than the end of the mic). However, it may not be. You may need to experiment to discover which way the mic capsule is pointing. When the capsule is pointing towards your mouth, it will pick up your voice substantially louder than if it is pointing away from you.

NW-8000-USB is currently $18.79 + shipping from Amazon, (includes scissor-arm & pop-screen).
At that price I’m surprised it works at all.

Allegedly only ~20% of the ~1K Amazon reviews for it are fake …

A better microphone is the way forward, rather than trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.