Rode NT-USB Low Gain


I recently purchased a Rode NT-USB mic. I am planning on using it for recording meditations. However, when I try to record my voice speaking the meditations the wave is very small. The only way I can get a decent looking wave is if I set the gain up to 98%. However, doing this causes a hiss to be heard under the recording and decreases the quality of sound in my opinion.

When I contacted the store I bought the mic from they remoted into my computer to check my settings. They confirmed that the wave looked very small when I recorded. However, they could not find anything wrong so they sent me a replacement mic, assuming that it was a mic issue. However, the new mic is doing the same thing.

I did check that I am speaking into the front of the mic. I am about 6 inches from the mic when speaking. I am using a normal conversational voice when speaking.

I checked my volume settings by going to: Settings - system - sound - (under input) device properties - volume. This volume changes the gain in audacity.

There are two attachments that I included. One is with the gain set at 50% and the other at 98%. I took a screen shot of audacity for this.

I am using audacity on windows 10. The audacity version I am using is 2.3.3

I would like to mention that I am new to recording. I appreciate any help that you can offer.

Thank you.
Small Wave.jpg
Normal Wave.jpg

The strange thing is, Rode has a very good reputation.

Hiss usually comes from the preamp inside the mic and there is always some noise from any active electronics. Plus, you can get hiss-like acoustic noise (pink or white noise) from heating & air conditioning, etc.

If you get a high-pitch whine, that’s power supply noise getting onto the analog electronics through the USB power. The power in some computers is noisier than others and some microphones are more immune to power supply noise than others.

You can also try the Noise Reduction effect after recording. But if the noise is bad, the cure can be worse than the disease, and since the noise is bad enough for you to complain about that might not be a good solution.

I am using a normal conversational voice when speaking.

You shouldn’t be shouting but it will help if you speak with a “strong confident voice” like you are speaking to a group of people in a room. You can’t do much about the noise without changing your equipment so the only way to improve the signal-to-noise ratio is to increase the signal.

You can also fudge a little.

Instead of speaking directly into the microphone, push it to one side and get closer This is “oblique” positioning.

“B” can easily double your voice volume without increasing P-Popping and mouth noises. Keep facing straight ahead. This will also make the script easier to see.

Is it gentle shshshshsh rain in the trees sound? Or are you listening to the computer fan noise.



It is not the computer fan. The computer is away from the mic (it is a desktop).

I tried your B position with the mic and it did not make a huge difference.

Thank you both for your ideas.