Snowball Mic - Getting rid of unwanted noise?

Hi I just bought this mic and its picking up my mouse clicking, keyboard, and the fans humming from my PC. I’ve tried all of the three settings on the mic and placing it several feet away but nothing seems to work. Looking around at youtube videos and other reviews of the mic…it doesn’t seem that everyone is having these issues.

Are you in fact recording your Snowball? Our Snowball has relatively low sensitivity and you have to be right on top of it to get level. I don’t see it picking up background noises at all. I was about to accuse you of recording your laptop built-in microphone instead of the Snowball. That’s your symptoms. What kind of computer do you have? Koz

It’s a custom built PC from Cyberpower. And yes, the Snowball is set as the default device in recording settings (Im on Win7)

From memory: Click one is cardioid, click 2 is cardioid 10dB quieter and click 3 is omnidirectional. Does it get quieter between clicks one and two? 10dB isn’t a lot, but it is noticeable.

Have you ever had any other experiences recording sound? Many people are horrified how noisy their environment is the first time they record sound. “I can hear the refrigerator turning on!” I wouldn’t dream of trying to record high quality sound show in the same room with a working keyboard.

Last time but one that I had to do a voice capture, I built up a sound booth out of furniture moving quilts.

The last time I did this, I had access to our Executive Conference Room which is heavily carpeted and dead quiet.


This is the guy with the guitar. He’s playing this cold and he normally plays an electric. He stopped playing at the end to give you the sound of the room.


I’ve recorded no background sound with cheap microphones from Walmart. I have had some microphones that pick up a lot of noise (a Logitech comes to mind), but most of them don’t.

And yes it does get quieter between clicks on setting 2, but they are still quite noticeable.

Here’s what setting one sounds like on the mic.

mouse clicks, creaking furniture and TV on in the background.

a noise gate will remove these unwanted sounds from the parts of the recording when you are not speaking,


but it won’t remove them from the parts where you are speaking.

It’s actually my PC fan and not a television, but that’s besides the point. I did realize I could edit the noises out while I wasn’t talking yes, but with the noises still going off while I was talking was still the major issue.

In addition to the fan and the creaking I can hear what sounds like a TV in a different room (next door ?).

A possible solution is a headset microphone with some sort of improvised shield attached to reduce the sound from the keyboard/mouse. With a mic very close to your mouth you will have to turn the sensitivity way down which makes the ambient noise comparatively quieter.

If your neighbours are as noisy as mine you might need a lip microphone :slight_smile:
(as used by sports commentators to reduce the sound of the crowd).

If you don’t fancy wearing a headset what about shock mounting a cheapo microphone inside a section of postal tube pointed at your mouth to create a very directional mic ?, ( I’ve never tried that though ). Lining the tube with spongy foam seems a good idea.

The quality of the microphone and the directionality can be independent, although to maintain quality and directionality at once does tend to increase the cost. Microphones are rated on how well they reject sounds based on direction. Classic Radio microphones were ribbons and they would accept sound from the front and back perfectly well, but almost totally reject sound from either side. That was the Figure of 8 pattern.

Other types of microphones would accept sound from all over. Those were the omni-directional types.

The most popular were the directional ones. The list of those is really long. Cardioid, super cardioid, hyper cardioid, and shotgun were designed to accept sound only from the front. The amount of rejection on the sides and back goes up from left to right – as does the cost. The Snowball is a cardioid. Sound is OK from front and some from the sides, but it rejects straight back. How well it does it is an opinion.

This is a diagram from the instruction book. The circular pattern to the right tells you how much sound is rejected. The microphone is in the middle and you are at “0”. The green pattern is the important one. That’s where your voice lives. Sound goes down as you walk around the microphone. Sounds from the sides are only suppressed 3dB to 4dB. That’s barely noticeable. Sounds from the rear are only suppressed 20dB which is just OK, but they’re not gone. 20dB is slightly better than half-loudness to your ears.

So if you’re looking for complete rejection of your room noise with high quality, this microphone may not be the one for you. One of the other suggestions in the thread is indicated. Or get rid of the room noise. Or go back to Wal-Mart.

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The microphone still seems to pick up noise regardless of the direction. I’ve turned its back to my mouse/keyboard and it still picks them up. And I did check to make sure it was on the cardoid setting. Or put things over it like a box or a blanket. I recently moved my PC setup and that didn’t seem to make a bit of diffrence, either. I picked up this mic because alot of people seemed to think it was one of the better USB mics.

And yes I have been considering returning it and just getting a whole new mic.

It’s unfair to blame the mic, it’s very good : sensitive and low self-noise. Your noisy environment is the problem.

The only other technique we haven’t convered is noise cancellation :
two mics, one close to the mouth the other a few meters away recording the ambient room noise,
then digitally subtracting the room noise from the speech with something like Kn0ck0ut.