Be a Supporter!

Wiki - Microphone Clarification

  • 2,136 Views
  • 38 Replies
New Topic Respond to this Topic
TomFulp
TomFulp
  • Member since: Dec. 15, 1999
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Staff
Level 14
Game Developer
Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:19 AM Reply

I adapted FatKidWithAJetPack's voice acting tutorial to the Wiki:

http://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/developer -resources/voice-recording

I want to confirm that I'm representing the microphones properly, namely the USB standalone microphones are listed apart from microphones that require preamps.

So the questions are:

Do all the microphones on my "Non-USB" list indeed require preamps, and is that all they require? Is the preamp I link to suitable for all of those microphones? I don't want anyone to buy the wrong stuff.

Is there a need to recommend some microphones for SINGING vs voice acting, or is a single list of good microphones fine?

Are there any microphones that simply don't need to be on that list, or any that SHOULD be there. I would like to provide options for various price ranges and personal preferences but we don't need to go overboard.

Let me know if you have other suggestions for improving that page. I'm working on finding out which microphones are used by the popular guys here on NG, so people can pick based on their favorites. If you're a well known voice actor you can respond to this thread with that info as well.


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

BBS Signature
joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:25 AM Reply

Definitely put the Nady SP-1 mic on there as the cheapest decent no-nonsense dynamic mic you can get for the money, most NG'ers are pretty broke I would assume. All the other mics are great are accurately represented, you may want to delineate the difference between the dynamics (the Heil and the Shure) and the condensers (the other non-usb mics) which require the addition of a phantom power supply, which not all interfaces have.

A newgrounds wiki is an awesome awesome idea, maybe it could include a miniaturized plugin database to divert attention from all the noob thread starters about it?

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:31 AM Reply

There are a couple other really good entry level preamps/interfaces out there as well worth including:

Lexicon Omega $179
EMU 0404 USB $179
Focusrite Saffire 6 USB $199

all those are excellent choices (especially the focusrite!) for the price and have stereo xlr mic ins with phantom power and all the bells and whistles...

jarrydn
jarrydn
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 10
Artist
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:34 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 12:25 AM, joshhunsaker wrote: Definitely put the Nady SP-1 mic on there as the cheapest decent no-nonsense dynamic mic you can get for the money, most NG'ers are pretty broke I would assume. All the other mics are great are accurately represented, you may want to delineate the difference between the dynamics (the Heil and the Shure) and the condensers (the other non-usb mics) which require the addition of a phantom power supply, which not all interfaces have.

Yeah, this! Other than that, the list seems pretty comprehensive to me :). Luckily I imagine most NGers will just go for the interface which you suggested, which does indeed have phantom power.

Maybe you could put up one of the portable field recorders, such as the Zoom H4, for people who want to capture sound fx and the like.

Breed
Breed
  • Member since: Mar. 23, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 11
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:36 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 12:19 AM, TomFulp wrote: Do all the microphones on my "Non-USB" list indeed require preamps, and is that all they require? Is the preamp I link to suitable for all of those microphones? I don't want anyone to buy the wrong stuff.

Make sure to include that if you are using a condenser microphone you need a pre-amp with phantom power, and if you are using a dynamic microphone, you should NOT be using phantom power because that can blow up your mic....especially ribbon mics.

Breed
Breed
  • Member since: Mar. 23, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 11
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:37 AM Reply

*sigh*

Ok someone already talked about phantom power....I need better post scanning skillz

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:46 AM Reply

Thought of one other thing...

Pop filters, you definitely need one of these with any voice work - over-accentuated plosives just screams cheesy internet video like nothing else.

Nady MPF-6

Can't go wrong there, a pop filter cannot be overstated in importance for voice recording of any kind. Only other thing to have would be a link to a decent vst de-esser like this guy:

Fish Fillet Package w/Spitfish vst De-Esser (free)

ForNoReason
ForNoReason
  • Member since: Jun. 1, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 31
Voice Actor
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 08:34 AM Reply

I use the CO1U USB Studio Condenser Mic. If I am well known enough.... I don't know.


II II lI

BBS Signature
loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 08:42 AM Reply

The "How to get high quality" section is flat-out wrong.

Any file you're sending a flash author/collaborator should be a .wav unless otherwise specifically requested.

It might be prudent, for the sake of precision, referring to what you're calling 'preamps' as 'interfaces.'

A preamp is a general piece of hardware that comes in forms outside of USB/firewire interfaces.

Sialys
Sialys
  • Member since: Aug. 24, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Blank Slate
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 09:21 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 08:42 AM, loansindi wrote: The "How to get high quality" section is flat-out wrong.

Any file you're sending a flash author/collaborator should be a .wav unless otherwise specifically requested.

Definitely true.

.wav is a lossless format so basically, anything you record and export as a .wav is pretty much pure. It doesn't take any shortcuts, it exports every little, tiny detail.

I'm sure someone else could go in to better detail about it since that's all I really know.


Gran Turismo 5.
That is all.

TomFulp
TomFulp
  • Member since: Dec. 15, 1999
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Staff
Level 14
Game Developer
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 09:52 AM Reply

After reading up on Condenser vs Dynamic microphones, I decided to remove the two dynamic microphones from the list. My impression is dynamic is more rugged and moisture resistant for stage performances, but not as recommended for the sort of voice recording people on NG are doing. They also don't require a phantom power supply, which creates another layer of explanation that might confuse people.

The updated list has three USB recommendations and four Non-USB recommendations, as well as three recommendations for phantom power supplies.

For a moment I included a link for a microphone adapter cable, but the phantom power supplies work as adapters so I don't THINK it's necessary.

I also added two microphone stand recommendations and removed the stuff about saving as MP3.

My biggest question is, IS ANYTHING HERE WRONG... Or do you feel like you could follow the advise of this page and buy what you need?


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

BBS Signature
loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 10:00 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 09:52 AM, TomFulp wrote: After reading up on Condenser vs Dynamic microphones, I decided to remove the two dynamic microphones from the list. My impression is dynamic is more rugged and moisture resistant for stage performances, but not as recommended for the sort of voice recording people on NG are doing. They also don't require a phantom power supply, which creates another layer of explanation that might confuse people.

In this price range, I actually generally prefer a dynamic microphone to a condenser. It's more than possible to achieve entirely acceptable results with a dynamic. A lot of people flip out over how 'airy' a condenser can be, but for a hundred bucks, I refuse to believe the advantages are that great.

The only reason to recommend the condenser over the dynamic, in my eyes, is the fact that decent-quality USB condenser systems are very readily available.

The updated list has three USB recommendations and four Non-USB recommendations, as well as three recommendations for phantom power supplies.

Honestly, if you're pushing towards making the list accessible and easy to understand, I would avoid listing non-usb options.

For a moment I included a link for a microphone adapter cable, but the phantom power supplies work as adapters so I don't THINK it's necessary.

I don't know what you mean by 'adapter cable.'

An audio interface handles connecting the microphone to a computer. You don't want to use an 'adapter' to connect a microphone to the mic jack on a standard sound card, there's a significant quality issue there.

My biggest question is, IS ANYTHING HERE WRONG... Or do you feel like you could follow the advise of this page and buy what you need?

It's -really- hard to create basic level audio tutorials/guides. I've tried to teach people to use audio equipment before, and if they don't have a basic grounding in the concepts it gets really tough to move forward.

If I was writing the guide, I'd streamline it as much as possible, with the assumption that the people who need guidance on equipment will want the simplest solution possible. In that interest, I'd limit the list exclusively to all-in-one solutions like USB condensers.

I'd also remove the generalizations about condenser versus dynamic microphone usage. The idea that people don't use dynamic microphones in studios is incorrect.

TomFulp
TomFulp
  • Member since: Dec. 15, 1999
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Staff
Level 14
Game Developer
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 10:05 AM Reply

I removed the generalization but I'm not going to rush to remove the non-USB microphones just yet, as they appear to be the ones that are popular amongst popular voice actors on NG. Not that it means they are any better, but I think people like to know which microphones their favorite voice actors are using.

If Dyanamic microphones don't require a phantom power supply, what do you need to connect them to before interfacing with your computer?


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

BBS Signature
loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 10:09 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 10:05 AM, TomFulp wrote: I removed the generalization but I'm not going to rush to remove the non-USB microphones just yet, as they appear to be the ones that are popular amongst popular voice actors on NG. Not that it means they are any better, but I think people like to know which microphones their favorite voice actors are using.

A lot of budget USB microphones are exactly the same as the non-usb versions made by the same company, with the addition of an audio interface/power supply in the mic body.

If Dyanamic microphones don't require a phantom power supply, what do you need to connect them to before interfacing with your computer?

Well, you still need an audio interface, just like with the condenser microphone. Most audio interfaces provide phantom power. Something like this is a popular choice.

You need something like that to connect any 'standard' microphone to your computer without sacrificing quality. Phantom power is ancillary to that function.

sorohanro
sorohanro
  • Member since: Jul. 9, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 28
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 10:31 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 10:05 AM, TomFulp wrote: If Dyanamic microphones don't require a phantom power supply, what do you need to connect them to before interfacing with your computer?

Basically, just a cable.
Depending on microphone, a XLR to small jack plug. With a soldering iron you can make it yourself.

I'm for Dynamic microphones also. I achieved very nice results using a Shure C607 (20~30$ new) for voice and istruments, so for a typical NG user (short on money) this would be by far a better choice than a 100$ condenser that require phantom power (preamp, mixer or USB) and also special treatment (no blowing in it, pop filter, no humidity, no shocks, no big temperature changes, no direct sunlight...).

For 100$ you can have a Shure SM57 or SM58 which are studio classic dynamic mics (SM stand for Studio Microphone not for Sado-Masochism).

loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 10:41 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 10:31 AM, sorohanro wrote: Depending on microphone, a XLR to small jack plug. With a soldering iron you can make it yourself.

While you -can- do this, a lot of times this will result in unfortunate quality. The mic preamp in your average built-in audio hardware is really not that great.

TomFulp
TomFulp
  • Member since: Dec. 15, 1999
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Staff
Level 14
Game Developer
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 10:55 AM Reply

For plugging a dynamic microphone into a computer, would this be a proper recommendation?

http://www.amazon.com/LightSnake-STUSBXL R10-USB-Microphone-cable/dp/B000H7O9ZI/r ef=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1268 409027&sr=1-2

Would some people prefer an XLR to 1/8" jack adapter, or should we only recommend an XLR to USB?


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

BBS Signature
loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 11:02 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 10:55 AM, TomFulp wrote: For plugging a dynamic microphone into a computer, would this be a proper recommendation?

Well, something like that. It's a cost-effective solution, but you lose any on-board levels control. I can't vouch for the quality of that item, but it'll likely get the job done.

Would some people prefer an XLR to 1/8" jack adapter, or should we only recommend an XLR to USB?

An adapter to 3.5mm will be significantly cheaper, with potential quality issues.

jarrydn
jarrydn
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 10
Artist
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 11:16 AM Reply

Considering that most people will be viewing the flash on a computer with sub-reference monitoring, I wouldn't bother exchanging .wavs. Seems like overkill to me. 160kbps is perfectly serviceable for voice acting. If you're super paranoid, export it at 256kbps.

loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 11:18 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 11:16 AM, jarrydn wrote: Considering that most people will be viewing the flash on a computer with sub-reference monitoring, I wouldn't bother exchanging .wavs. Seems like overkill to me. 160kbps is perfectly serviceable for voice acting. If you're super paranoid, export it at 256kbps.

This is true, but bandwidth is cheap.

If the flash author is going to be adding the voice track to an existing sound design, then it's going to result in multiple compressions. No sense in not avoiding potential artifacting, at the cost of a few extra minutes upload/download time. It's a good habit to be in.

TomFulp
TomFulp
  • Member since: Dec. 15, 1999
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Staff
Level 14
Game Developer
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 11:21 AM Reply

Another thing that I've had problems with in the past is getting my computer to recognize my input device. I imagine we should include some tips for setting your input devise... Does anyone know of a good general reference already available for that?


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

BBS Signature
Mich
Mich
  • Member since: Jan. 12, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 42
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 11:23 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 11:21 AM, TomFulp wrote: Another thing that I've had problems with in the past is getting my computer to recognize my input device. I imagine we should include some tips for setting your input devise... Does anyone know of a good general reference already available for that?

The thing is that is all very dependant on the operating system you're running. But we could write some guides per operating system, and those could be linked to the wiki, they would require some screenshots to help out.

I'm probably going to set up a little section on my website to have some articles on.

loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 11:36 AM Reply

At 3/12/10 11:21 AM, TomFulp wrote: Another thing that I've had problems with in the past is getting my computer to recognize my input device. I imagine we should include some tips for setting your input devise... Does anyone know of a good general reference already available for that?

Well, like mich said, this is something that's pretty difficult to generalize.

Different software handles different types of hardware very differently.

What could be done is to establish a few rough guidelines for various common software packages.

BigRed
BigRed
  • Member since: Jul. 6, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 08
Blank Slate
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:23 PM Reply

My set up for vocal record:

Shure SM57 Condenser
Zoom S2T USB Audio Interface

The mic plugs into the interface, which goes into the computer via USB.


BBS Signature
sorohanro
sorohanro
  • Member since: Jul. 9, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 28
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:50 PM Reply

As an answer to loansindi and TomFulp regarding quality of XLR to mini jack plug:
Trumpet and voice recorded with a dynamic quite cheap microphone plugged directly into a Creative Live soundcard.
Now, is this bad quality ?

If I would tell you that voice is with a tube condenser you would believe :))) but it's actually a Shure C607 (ideal for Karaoke) under 30$.

At 3/12/10 12:23 PM, tingtonger wrote: Shure SM57 Condenser
Zoom S2T USB Audio Interface

Errrr... SM57 is a dynamic, Beta57 is a condenser.

loansindi
loansindi
  • Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:52 PM Reply

At 3/12/10 12:50 PM, sorohanro wrote: As an answer to loansindi and TomFulp regarding quality of XLR to mini jack plug:
Trumpet and voice recorded with a dynamic quite cheap microphone plugged directly into a Creative Live soundcard.
Now, is this bad quality ?

I don't want to suggest that it CAN'T be done, but merely that in some situations, using the mic-in on 'standard' sound hardware can result in less than optimal quality.

Errrr... SM57 is a dynamic, Beta57 is a condenser.

the beta57/58 isn't a condenser.

sorohanro
sorohanro
  • Member since: Jul. 9, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 28
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 12:55 PM Reply

At 3/12/10 12:52 PM, loansindi wrote: the beta57/58 isn't a condenser.

Ups... you're right.

BigRed
BigRed
  • Member since: Jul. 6, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 08
Blank Slate
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 01:18 PM Reply

At 3/12/10 12:50 PM, sorohanro wrote: Errrr... SM57 is a dynamic, Beta57 is a condenser.

Ups... you're right.


BBS Signature
ForNoReason
ForNoReason
  • Member since: Jun. 1, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 31
Voice Actor
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 01:18 PM Reply

Might I suggest adding this tutorial on how to make your own pop screen? I've used it before and the quality I received from it was actually better than the one I purchased.

If you didn't want to link to an outside site, I would be happy to create my own tutorial and turn it into a flash, video, news post or whatever. My pop screen was broken during a move and I need to make another one anyway.


II II lI

BBS Signature
Breed
Breed
  • Member since: Mar. 23, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 11
Musician
Response to Wiki - Microphone Clarification Mar. 12th, 2010 @ 01:21 PM Reply

At 3/12/10 01:18 PM, ForNoReason wrote: Might I suggest adding this tutorial on how to make your own pop screen? I've used it before and the quality I received from it was actually better than the one I purchased.

If you didn't want to link to an outside site, I would be happy to create my own tutorial and turn it into a flash, video, news post or whatever. My pop screen was broken during a move and I need to make another one anyway.

Pop filters cost 20 dollars versus this costing 10 dollars and a bunch of effort...there's not really a point.

However if there isn't already, a pop filter is a good idea to help people who know less about recording not get all those breath sounds and P's and stuff in their recording.