Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

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AF 707
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Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by AF 707 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:03 am

HI folks,

I have used Audacity for years to record LPs to FLAC, and I was active on this forum around 2017-2018 when I was getting started with this endless (but fun!) project. However, right now I could not remember my login info, so I re-registered. In any case, this forum was greatly helpful to me in the past, so I'm back with a new set of questions/interests.

I am a university professor (biology), and even before the pandemic I was teaching in-person as well as fully asynchronous (fully web-based, no set class meeting times) classes. When we went completely online last March, I was pretty well prepared, but underestimated the amount of time it would take me to manage three online classes instead of just one. Most of this time burden is due to the time I find necessary to edit my screencast lecture recordings.

In any case, back in 2018, when I taught my first fully online class, our Instructional Technology office recommended that I buy a Yeti-Blue condenser USB mic for my screencast lectures (Powerpoint with voiceover). I am happy with the sound quality, however, I spend a TON of time editing the audio in Camtasia (a buggy disaster of a program--Looking for something else!). This mic is very sensitive, and even though I am using an Auray pop filter, the Yeti picks up every inhalation, exhalation, lip-smacking, and other non-speech noise that issues forth from my body as I'm speaking. (It is also really good at picking up the sound of crickets outside my window). I spend a LOT of time editing out all of this audio detritus because I'm a perfectionist with these lectures, and I re-use many of them semester after semester.

In talking to a few recording-savvy people, I am advised by all of them that a condenser mic like the Yeti is the WRONG choice for recording voice in a home office with imperfect acoustics. I want a dynamic mic, I am told, something like a Rode NT-USB.

I already own the Yeti as I mentioned, and I use the cardioid pattern with a pop filter (~18" from my mouth), but my question is this: Will buying a Rode instead minimize the intensity of non-speech noises that make it into my audio? If not, what would you suggest that I can do to minimize the intensity of these sounds? What microphone would you recommend? I am not willing to spend much more than about 150$ (it's the department's money actually, but still...) and I want USB and simple setup.

Should I get the Rode or some other dynamic mic? Any other advice on cutting down on the time needed for editing out non-speech noises would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

kozikowski
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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:41 am

I find necessary to edit my screencast lecture recordings.
Editing, as a fuzzy rule, takes five times the length of the show—and that's if everything goes well. This is why people who need to dash off show after show are desperate to avoid editing. I have a favorite YouTube channel I'm about to abandon because they started to post unedited trash.

The audiobook publishers call this "distraction."

What's a good microphone? That should be pretty simple [cough, cough].

The microphone types in your post are famous for picking up every single nuance and delicate sound. It's not unusual for a presenter to want to filter most of the nuances out before the final show. See: DeClicker, DeEsser, and DeSibilator, Punch and Go editing.

Most of those sounds go straight in front of your face. So don't put the microphone there. Oblique placement (B) has two advantages.

Image

It allows you to get louder which many home microphones need, and it's much less likely to receive P-Popping and other mouth noises.

But that's not how I did it.

I shot my fake podcast with a head-mounted microphone similar to this.

Image

DenisePodcastVer5.mp3
(1.17 MiB) Downloaded 21 times

This was a first-pass engineering test and not to be considered a final in any way. Most of the technical challenges worked out. Denise and I are four time zones apart and she sounds like she's sitting on the sofa beside me.

Fair warning "gamer headsets" are usually terrible. I have an "affordable" gamer headset I used once and put it in a box in the garage.

Most people want to write a check for a microphone and and go home, but without question the best thing you can do is throw soundproofing around. Nothing says kid recording a podcast faster than echoes of recording in a bathroom or kitchen.

Also see: good at picking up the sound of crickets

If you never actually appear on camera, you might make good use of a Kitchen Table Sound Studio.

viewtopic.php?p=369938#p369938

If you're not handy at all, several people make good pre-baked studios. The one I made is a copy of this.

https://voiceoveressentials.com/product ... booth-plus

And there was another recent posting I think I wrote down........somewhere.

I do have an actual microphone recommendation. The Shure SM7b is a terrific microphone and paired with a Cloud Lifter volume booster appears on many podcasts. It's an analog microphone so you need a small sound mixer and digitizer.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ifter-cl-1

That's it in front of Joe Rogan.

https://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/pix ... ureSM7.png

He is not the poster child for good microphone hygiene. He likes to swallow the microphone and the sound people have all they can do to deal with his mouth noises. But you can see those poking up in podcasts and Youtube postings.

If you do settle on something, run it by us before you write a check and we'll tell you all about the problems.

I personally think you can do with what you have with revised microphone placement and a few furniture moving pads.

Koz

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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by steve » Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:53 am

In my personal opinion (others may disagree), the Rode NT USB is a better mic than the Yeti, but ...
AF 707 wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:03 am
he Yeti picks up every inhalation, exhalation, lip-smacking, and other non-speech noise that issues forth from my body as I'm speaking. (It is also really good at picking up the sound of crickets outside my window)
The Rode NT USB will also do that. It is a condenser mic, and will pick up a lot of detail, including mouth smacks etc.

Good quality "dynamic" USB mics do exist, but they are rare. One that comes to mind is the Samson Q9U USB (I've never used one so I don't know what they are like).

Condenser mics tend to be a lot more popular because the condenser mics tend to have greater clarity and detail. The downside of that "clarity and detail" is that they also pick up every lip-smack and breath. It could be likened to the difference between a low resolution photograph and a high resolution photograph.



Re. background noise.
There will always be some background noise. The "trick" is to make the voice level much higher than the background noise level, so that the background noise is insignificant.

The first, and most important step in reducing background noise, is to chose a recording location that is a quiet as possible, and substantially free of echoes. Echoes can be reduced by soft furnishings, heavy rugs on walls, heavy curtains, carpets ...
If you don't have a quiet room, then you need to avoid being too fussy because compromise is unavoidable.

The second aspect is to maximize the level of the voice. Get close to the mic - I'd suggest no more than 20cm away from the mic, with the pop shield about 5 cm from the mic.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

kozikowski
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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:06 pm

A word on terminology.

"Condenser microphones" work by making your voice vibrate two very delicate pieces of metal foil, a "condenser." This is also why you should never, ever blow into a microphone. That's a good way to make microphone-shaped trash.

Dynamic microphones make your voice vibrate a teensy coil of wire next to a powerful magnet. That's it. I guess it's "dynamic" in the sense that this microphone type is almost impossible to overload or break. That's why they appear in front of rock bands.

RockBandMicrophneAndTattoo.png
RockBandMicrophneAndTattoo.png (97.29 KiB) Viewed 1496 times

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:15 pm


jademan
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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by jademan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:09 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:41 am
But that's not how I did it.

I shot my fake podcast with a head-mounted microphone similar to this.
Koz, I am looking for "a head-mounted microphone" similar to this. I have a wireless unit, but I am looking to also get a wired mic. May I ask which one do you use ?

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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by DVDdoug » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:09 pm

I don't have a recommendation but here are some "professional headset mics". (They tend to be expensive.)

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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by jademan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:19 pm

DVDdoug wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:09 pm
I don't have a recommendation but here are some "professional headset mics". (They tend to be expensive.)
Thanks. Now you see my dilemma. All but one or two of those mics have proprietary connectors and/or are intended for wireless operation. Perhaps I'll check out the Pro8HEx. I'd still like to hear what koz is using.... :D

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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by jademan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:00 pm

jademan wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:19 pm
Perhaps I'll check out the Pro8HEx.
Oops... Amazon reviews suggest the Pro8HEx is not good for singing. :(

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Re: Microhpone advice needed: Blue/Yeti vs Rode NT-USB

Post by steve » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:01 pm

If money was unimportant, and I needed a new headset mic, I'd go for a DPA mic. I've used them on musical stage productions, and they're the best headset mics I've ever used (but rather expensive).

Even with a really good headset mic, there are problems:
Mic positioning is quite critical.
Movement of the cable against clothing can be picked up by the mic.
For "sound reinforcement" jobs, feedback rejection is much lower than close mic'ing with a traditional hand held dynamic mic.
Not possible to "work the mic".
They may move during a performance without the artist noticing.
A lot of performers hate them.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

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