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Advice for recording spoken word

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stan welks
Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 27, 2010 at 2:44:57 am

I want to do some screen recorded tutorials and talk over them. I want to plug a mic directly into my Mac to do this without going through a mixer, and it will not be in a sound proof room. It will be in a bedroom. The videos will be streamed on the web.

1.) Will the quality of my audio really suffer for doing this for this type of project? Is this something that only audiophiles would realistically criticize?

2.) Would using a beyerdynamic M58N(C) or EV RE50N/D-B work better for this projecT?

Thanks.



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John Fishback
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 27, 2010 at 2:59:40 pm

As I haven't used both those mics I'll let others comment on a comparison. Both companies make excellent products. You won't go wrong with either. I've seen adapters that accept a mic input and then connect to the Mac via USB. That might work better than plugging directly to the Mac.

As for recording in your room, that's ok. Just do some test records before you record the whole thing. Record with the mic relatively close to your mouth. The closer it is the louder your voice is compared to external noises. As you move the mic closer your voice gets louder, and as you lower the mic gain you also lower any external sounds. Just beware of P-pops or other plosives with close-micing. I know the RE50 has excellent pop rejection. Again, test and listen. Check out how obtrusive external noises are and listen for boominess or a hollow sound to your voice or the room. If you hear that, try different mic positions in the room. Maybe a closet with lots of clothes that would absorb ceratin frequencies and reduce the hollow sound. Or you could close draperies and/or hang some blankets to dampen reflections off the walls. BTW, if you record a take and it's interrupted by an external noise, or you flub, you can always go for take 2.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.1, Motion 4.0.1, Comp 3.5.1, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.1)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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stan welks
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 27, 2010 at 9:55:20 pm

Hi John,

1.) I was planning to use an XLR cable to plug the mic into my Mac, the XLR cable has a mic connection on the end of it so it could plug directly into the Mac's mic port. Why did you suggest an adapter?

2.) I do have access to sound blankets. What is the ideal way for me to use these blankets? Instead of draping them all over the room, what if I just put one over myself while speaking into the mic? Would that result in good quality?

3.) The mics have wind screens (I believe that is what they are called) the fuzzy things you put over them to block wind. Is it better to use those or not to use those with what I am trying to do?

Thanks!!!



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John Fishback
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 28, 2010 at 9:03:29 pm

Don't drape yourself with the blankets. Drape them in front of walls. The width of parallel walls determine the frequency at which you hear a sonic "hump" that causes the "hollowness." It's what happens while singing in the shower. At certain frequencies your voice suddenly resonates. It might sound great in the shower, but usually is a problem while recording. The blankets act to reduce wall reflections that cause the problem.

If you look into recording studio acoustics a bit and examine floor plans you'll see no parallel surfaces. The rooms are usually trapezoidal in shape and the ceiling tilts in relation to the floor. Of course, that's just the beginning of how studio acoustics are designed. But, as the mic will be very close to your mouth, and any reflections consequently lower in gain, the room acoustics will be less of a problem. Just listen after recording some tests. Let your ears be your guide.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.1, Motion 4.0.1, Comp 3.5.1, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.1)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Ty Ford
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 28, 2010 at 3:39:47 am

Hello Stan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

I think I'd get a Countryman E6 and a Centrance Mic Port Pro...go in USB.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS Whether or not you'll like it depends on how nasty your bedroom sounds, but John's suggestion to hang some blankets is a good one.


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Richard Crowley
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 28, 2010 at 4:06:28 pm

I concur with Mr. Ford's advice. A lightweight headset mic would be much better for an application as you describe. The microphones you mentioned in your original question aren't really designed for the kind of application you are asking about. If you are doing a hand-held, stand-up interview or news reporting (etc), then those mics would be great.

The reason an external sound port (such as the Centrance Mic Port Pro suggested by Mr. Ford) is that the built-in mic preamps found in computers are quite low-quality and not up to the task of quality audio recording.

OTOH, at the risk of alienating all the audio people here, I might suggest that if you are only doing a casual narration for a web video, "quality audio recording" is not really worth spending 100s of dollars on. I would personally try a cheap $5 computer headset (which DOES plug directly into your computer). See if that does what you need without all the overhead of mic stands, adapters, etc. etc.

Something like this...
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SP-IM942&cat=SPK
These kinds of things are a dime a dozen and available most anywhere. They are made with jellybean electret mic capsules which have better than expected performance as long as you stay within a moderate dynamic range.


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stan welks
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 28, 2010 at 7:43:42 pm

As it turns out, I have access to a Countryman E6/B6.

1. It has different caps, a very crisp response one, a flat response one, and a crisp response one. Which is best to use for what I will be doing? OR is this going to be a trial-and-error type of thing?

2. I also have access to a Mackie Onyx 1220. It is quite intimidating with all the switches and dials for someone like me. Are there any general guidelines or instructions anyone can give me for just what I will be doing, recording narration for screen recorded video?

Thanks everyone!





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Ty Ford
Re: Advice for recording spoken word
on Feb 28, 2010 at 8:10:45 pm

Stan,

Please do some of your own homework. Countryman makes an E6 and a B6. They are different. Look 'em up! I'd want to hang the e6 on my ear and go. That's what you said you wanted to do, right?

If the Onyx scares the bejeebers out of you, don't use it.

The Mic Port Pro will work fine.

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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