When is it time to get a new microphone?

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Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 25th, 2020, 7:14 am

What are some of the symptoms of a microphone needing replacement?

I'm just now finding unexplained clicks and bumps within words. I cannot eliminate them, although I can minimize them.

Any suggestions? Thank you!
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lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » April 25th, 2020, 9:07 am

It's not necessarily the mic. What is the mic - make and type? Can you put up an audio file with the noises and clicks? It may be interference or many other things.

Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 25th, 2020, 9:44 am

lurcherlover wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 9:07 am
It's not necessarily the mic. What is the mic - make and type? Can you put up an audio file with the noises and clicks? It may be interference or many other things.
The mic is a BLUE snowball. I've been using it for 7 happy years. Thank you for your offer to listen to a file. The file I just finished is too long for me to go over again, but I plan to record the next one momentarily and will try to isolate sections with this problem if it keeps up.

I'll need to be reminded how to upload for this kind of purpose. Thank you!
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Post by TriciaG » April 25th, 2020, 9:58 am

I'll need to be reminded how to upload for this kind of purpose. Thank you!
You can upload it to xx-Nonproject or even the Tests folder (both are at the very bottom of the list). They are both cleaned out regularly.
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Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 25th, 2020, 10:32 am

TriciaG wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 9:58 am
I'll need to be reminded how to upload for this kind of purpose. Thank you!
You can upload it to xx-Nonproject or even the Tests folder (both are at the very bottom of the list). They are both cleaned out regularly.
Thank you!
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Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 25th, 2020, 11:56 am

Here is the file I've just now recorded. Although I've begun editing, I've not finished. I'm at the step where I clean up extraneous noises and so forth, but these are unusual, as they are within the word.

The file is: https://librivox.org/uploads/xx-nonproject/commentaryonlukesermons27thru38_05_cyrilofalexandria_128kb_test.mp3

The spots to check are: 0:57.5 and 5:37.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » April 25th, 2020, 2:02 pm

Monaxi,

I can't say I hear much at 57.5s, but at 5:37 there is something. It looks like extra signal got superimposed on to the waveform.

Can it be the microphone? Yes, it can. I have seen (and deal with) those in the past. They do occur occasionally (albeit rarely) in my own recordings, and it can be the interface (my mics are all XLR type), or it can be the recording software (or the drivers).

I don't have the statistics, nor do I have an example to share. My editing usually ends up being cutting it out, if I do hear and recognize such a defect. And here is the kicker: if it's kept in, the listener is not going to mind much. It's really barely noticeable.

Is it a sign that the microphone is on its last leg? I don't think so. Then, again, it's not my microphone, and I do have spares if my work mic kicks the bucket. Keep your eye on those, try to see if they happen more and more often. If so, get a replacement mic. Sometimes, however, especially if it's quiet around, we tend to listen (and hear) more and judge ourselves a bit stricter...

Happy recording!
tovarisch
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Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 25th, 2020, 2:13 pm

tovarisch,

Thank you for listening and offering your advice. I'll hang on to your message and see how things go. Thanks again!
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sjmarky
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Post by sjmarky » April 26th, 2020, 10:15 am

I listened to it it, too, and there is a pop at 0:57 and 5:37. Can't say what it is, but I also don't think it's a bad mic; it's more likely some external noise. I have had mic's die, and my experience is they click constantly, more like static, not twice in 18 minutes. While this may be a red herring, twice over the years I've been plagued by random clicks, and both time it turned out to be dental problems. I've also had a pair of glasses that I found was make little noises when I moved. If you wear headphones, a cable could bump the table. Sounds more like something like that to me. I wouldn't ditch the mic just yet.
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Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 26th, 2020, 10:48 am

sjmarky wrote:
April 26th, 2020, 10:15 am
I listened to it it, too, and there is a pop at 0:57 and 5:37. Can't say what it is, but I also don't think it's a bad mic; it's more likely some external noise. I have had mic's die, and my experience is they click constantly, more like static, not twice in 18 minutes. While this may be a red herring, twice over the years I've been plagued by random clicks, and both time it turned out to be dental problems. I've also had a pair of glasses that I found was make little noises when I moved. If you wear headphones, a cable could bump the table. Sounds more like something like that to me. I wouldn't ditch the mic just yet.
Thank you for your comments! I managed to edit out the second noise completely (copied and pasted the same word from elsewhere), but just reduced the volume for the first one. These seem different than all my usual dental and chair noises. But I'll hang on to the mic! Thanks again!
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Post by Availle » April 26th, 2020, 4:32 pm

I noticed clicks and spikes in my recordings too a while ago and couldn't explain them. I always thought it might be background noise or something.

However, when I started recording in stereo, it turned out that the spikes are only in a single channel, mostly the right one. I found a way of fixing this in post-production, but it is tedious and only works if the end product is mono anyway.
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schrm
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Post by schrm » April 29th, 2020, 4:58 am

i had more clicks when the cable wasn't connected tightly to the mic.

that said, i don't hear a noise at 0:57 and only a very silent disturbance "crack" at 5:37.
just my two cents: even with respecting both, a 5 minute distance between these noises is too long and falsifies being a mic problem.

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Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » April 29th, 2020, 7:14 am

These responses are all very helpful. I'm glad I asked. Thank you!!!
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Algy Pug
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Post by Algy Pug » May 3rd, 2020, 10:39 pm

It could also be that your ears are getting more educated. This happens with most readers who record a lot.

I now hear a lot of flaws in recordings that I made several years ago, and thought, at the time, that they were fine.

The upside is that, in general, listeners whose ears have not been trained so acutely, will probably not notice many of these blips.

As for upgrades of equipment, it is important that the new microphone be significantly better than the old one. There is little sense in upgrading from one mic to one that is just slightly better, as most listeners will not be able to hear the difference. If you wish to make a meaningful upgrade from the Snowball, you would probably have to opt for something like the Audio Technica AT 2020+, the Rode NT-USB or the MXL USB.009, all of which are appreciably more expensive than the Snowball. So, if you are generally happy with your current set up, it would be wise to stick with it.

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