Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to get?

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.

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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:13 am

That's just microphone hiss and should respond well to gentle noise reduction.

Voice signals from a microphone don't start out loud enough to be useful. They start out molecular-level tiny and boosting that voice signal loud enough to be useful is a really big deal. The closer you get to home quality microphones and systems, the less likely that anybody paid any attention to this and the more likely a microphone is to hiss.

This is from a promotional listing for a good quality sound mixer.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.04.21.png
Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.04.21.png (14.77 KiB) Viewed 701 times

See where it says "Xenyx mic preamps." That's a specially designed microphone volume booster intentionally chosen to have low hiss noise.

Hiss is only half of the battle. You can't whisper the script from ten feet away, either. Overall noise rating is the noise volume compared your voice volume. Mumbling in your beer is not good when you're presenting into a microphone. Your job is to be louder than the noise.

Koz
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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by ericcartman » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:31 am

kozikowski wrote:That's just microphone hiss and should respond well to gentle noise reduction.

Voice signals from a microphone don't start out loud enough to be useful. They start out molecular-level tiny and boosting that voice signal loud enough to be useful is a really big deal. The closer you get to home quality microphones and systems, the less likely that anybody paid any attention to this and the more likely a microphone is to hiss.

This is from a promotional listing for a good quality sound mixer.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.04.21.png

See where it says "Xenyx mic preamps." That's a specially designed microphone volume booster intentionally chosen to have low hiss noise.

Hiss is only half of the battle. You can't whisper the script from ten feet away, either. Overall noise rating is the noise volume compared your voice volume. Mumbling in your beer is not good when you're presenting into a microphone. Your job is to be louder than the noise.

Koz


Thank you ! That least expensive of these Xenyx pre-amps is really cheap in England ( Premium 5 Input 2 Bus Mixer with XENYX Mic Preamp/Compressor/British EQ and USB/Audio Interface by Behringer ) It's half the price of a Focusrite Scarlett; are they interchangeable? If they are, then would one of these and an SM58 be a useful alternative to a USB Mic for audiobook production?

"Mumbling in your beer" is a perfect metaphor for what I have been doing, hahah ! Maybe if I increase the beer, that will decrease the mumbling :)

Overall noise rating is the noise volume compared your voice volume. . Your job is to be louder than the noise.

Thank you so much for this ! I had guessed this but hadn't found it in any book or any website anywhere. I had been in despair because there is not much I can do about my recording space, and while I can do something about my hardware, I would be onto my 3rd mic in a short space of time, a lav then the USB, and then a third, proper one which is a little painful. But if noise rating is proportionate to voice volume, I can easily speak up ! yay
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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:52 am

ericcartman wrote:would one of these and an SM58 be a useful alternative to a USB Mic for audiobook production?

Unless you have problems with excessive sibilance in your voice, I'd suggest using a mic that is a bit brighter with high frequencies. The SM58 is a terrifically robust stage mic, and can cope with massively high sound levels without being damaged, but they are fairly dull compared with most "recording mics". For people that live in Europe (including UK), an alternative to an SM58 is the "t-bone MB85 beta" from Thomann (only the "beta" version, not the cheaper non-beta). They look and perform very much like an SM58, but due to a more modern design, have a slightly brighter sound. They are also very robust, and much cheaper than the Shure. For stage use, their power handling, feedback rejection, low end warmth, and handling noise rejection may not be quite as good as a genuine Shure SM58, but it comes extremely close, and the high frequencies have noticeably better clarity (I own several MB85-betas, and a pair of Shure SM58s).
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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:17 pm

We have to stick to generalities all the way down to hardware recommendations. At that exact instant we need to find someone that owns or has used the hardware and it's much more difficult.

It makes me nervous when I see listings like "Interface by Behringer." Who made the rest of it? Designing the enclosure, interconnect and power supplies is not trivial.

Also, working down from Behringer isn't at all easy. They're already champions of workable hardware at restrained cost.

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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:31 pm

I like my Begringer UM2 MicPre.

These are the recommendations from ACX.

ACX Equipment List
Rode NT1a microphone, MBox Mini-2 (no longer available), Fast Track Solo, and Fast Track Duo.
Microphone stand with boom, microphone shock mount and pop and blast filter. Quiet computer.

I believe that's what this is.

Image

Just to make it even more complicated, I believe the FastTrack requires special software drivers. ACX is not using Audacity nor do they mention it.

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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by ericcartman » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:31 pm

steve wrote:
ericcartman wrote:would one of these and an SM58 be a useful alternative to a USB Mic for audiobook production?

Unless you have problems with excessive sibilance in your voice, I'd suggest using a mic that is a bit brighter with high frequencies. The SM58 is a terrifically robust stage mic, and can cope with massively high sound levels without being damaged, but they are fairly dull compared with most "recording mics". For people that live in Europe (including UK), an alternative to an SM58 is the "t-bone MB85 beta" from Thomann (only the "beta" version, not the cheaper non-beta). They look and perform very much like an SM58, but due to a more modern design, have a slightly brighter sound. They are also very robust, and much cheaper than the Shure. For stage use, their power handling, feedback rejection, low end warmth, and handling noise rejection may not be quite as good as a genuine Shure SM58, but it comes extremely close, and the high frequencies have noticeably better clarity (I own several MB85-betas, and a pair of Shure SM58s).


thank you so much, Steve. That's an incredible price for such a good mic !!! in the UK, it's 1/3 of the price of an SM58. amazing
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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by ericcartman » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:33 pm

kozikowski wrote:We have to stick to generalities all the way down to hardware recommendations. At that exact instant we need to find someone that owns or has used the hardware and it's much more difficult.

It makes me nervous when I see listings like "Interface by Behringer." Who made the rest of it? Designing the enclosure, interconnect and power supplies is not trivial.

Also, working down from Behringer isn't at all easy. They're already champions of workable hardware at restrained cost.

Koz


thank you Koz
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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by ericcartman » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:56 pm

kozikowski wrote:I like my Begringer UM2 MicPre.

These are the recommendations from ACX.

ACX Equipment List
Rode NT1a microphone, MBox Mini-2 (no longer available), Fast Track Solo, and Fast Track Duo.
Microphone stand with boom, microphone shock mount and pop and blast filter. Quiet computer.

I believe that's what this is.

Image

Just to make it even more complicated, I believe the FastTrack requires special software drivers. ACX is not using Audacity nor do they mention it.

Koz

Thank you Koz, do you mean this thing? Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 Computer Audio Interface
Image
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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:33 am

Yes. I own one of those. I largely stopped using my Peavey PV6 analog mixer for quick sound jobs. Anything the slightest more than one microphone complicated and I need to use a real mixer—and USB adapter. The PV6 is not a USB mixer.

I like that it will supply 48v Phantom Power to a microphone that needs it. That means for the most part it will accept all major XLR microphone types. It also means the UM2 is largely immune to common USB problems.

It has zero latency monitoring headphones as well as being able to play sound from the computer. That means it's certified for perfect overdubbing should you desire to sing all three Andrews Sisters one after the other.

There is a way to do better quality. The larger Behringer USB devices have MIDAS preamps not XENYX.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMC204HD

But it's not $30 usd.

There's one other oddity. I don't think the UMC204 can record a mono voice. You can force one, but the voice track as performed will be half volume with the same or slightly louder noise. Or you can record stereo with one channel missing. In both cases you're forced into post production steps missing from the UM2.

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Re: Best size for recording room? And what acoustic foam to

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:17 am

kozikowski wrote:The larger Behringer USB devices have MIDAS preamps not XENYX.

That statement is now quite ambiguous because MIDAS have been bought by Behringer.
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