Is this a decent mic?

Post your questions & get help from friendly LibriVoxers
Post Reply
Marya999
Posts: 42
Joined: October 28th, 2020, 3:28 pm

Post by Marya999 » November 17th, 2020, 11:46 pm

I have a JLab condenser, but I am wondering if these are known for picking up background noise - computer fan noise. (Yes I do noise reduction - to me it sounds truly dreadful, and quite discouraging to have the recording sound like people are slicing it with swords.... literally!)

Would this mic be an upgrade?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08662LX1S/ref=sspa_mw_detail_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Or, can you recommend an alternative starter mic?

Thank you very much!

JamesJenkins
Posts: 54
Joined: October 14th, 2020, 9:25 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA United States

Post by JamesJenkins » November 18th, 2020, 5:22 am

I just started as well. I purchased the Tonor TC-777, I saw some one else new that had used it and their recording sounded good.

https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-TONOR-Podcasting-Compatible-TC-777/dp/B07WLWN2ZT/

I have been happy, with it so far. Only issues is once in the first couple of days the microphone volume got set to super low, some how. I found the manual on line and reset it to high. (there are no external controls)
This post uses 100% recycled electrons

audiomike
Posts: 23
Joined: May 27th, 2016, 10:26 am
Location: Mid-Michigan

Post by audiomike » November 18th, 2020, 7:01 am

The rule of microphones is simple. Cost is inversely proportional to noise. The cheaper the mic, the noisier the electronics are. Your best bet is to go with something that's at least $100 from an established maker. Just about anything from Audio Technica, Blue, Rode, or Samson will do. My personal preference is the Rode NT USB Mini. I have one and it's pretty good for $99. The noise level of the mic itself is acceptable for Librivox without having to use noise reduction provided you have a quiet recording space with no background noise.
If you must go with less cost, people have had varying degrees of success with the likes of Fifine, Neewer, and Tonor mics. I have not tried any of them so I can't give an opinion. Just be careful of those tempting bundles that include arms, cables, pop filters, etc... with the mic. You're usually getting a pretty low grade mic.
Hope this helps.

TriciaG
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 48217
Joined: June 15th, 2008, 10:30 pm
Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)

Post by TriciaG » November 18th, 2020, 7:14 am

I did a very quick listen of two of your recently submitted files. While the sound isn't professional quality, it's perfectly acceptable for LibriVox.

I didn't hear a chopping of words, but it did sound like there was some sort of distortion on the louder sounds, like the mic you're using can't handle the higher pressure. ;) So yes, if you choose, get a new mic - but don't think that you need to stop recording in the meantime. :)
Elizabethan Poetry: The Psalmes of David
Boring works 30-70 minutes long: Insomnia Collection 5
Short essays: Elia, and The Last Essays of Elia
Bulwer-Lytton novel: The Caxtons

Marya999
Posts: 42
Joined: October 28th, 2020, 3:28 pm

Post by Marya999 » November 19th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Thanks for the responses!

James, thanks for the recommendation! I listened to your one minute test and it sounds good.

Mike, Thank for the recommendation! I did try to follow LV's standards but the page only showed used mics as starter mics. Then it stated that spending $50 for a condenser mic would be an upgrade. So that's what I did. Maybe it should be updated so people know this is insufficient?

Tricia, Thank you! I've been tooling around with different settings ad nauseum. I'm not sure it's my mic- it could be the computer or ambient noise. SO thank you for taking the time to listen. I really appreciate your feedback, because I was ready to stop :)

Marya

mightyfelix
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 6737
Joined: August 7th, 2016, 6:39 pm

Post by mightyfelix » November 19th, 2020, 1:25 pm

Marya999 wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 12:20 pm
Mike, Thank for the recommendation! I did try to follow LV's standards but the page only showed used mics as starter mics. Then it stated that spending $50 for a condenser mic would be an upgrade. So that's what I did. Maybe it should be updated so people know this is insufficient?
No, it is still sufficient for LV's standards. If you want a higher standard for yourself, then I think Mike's advice is great. But we'd never want anyone to think that they are required to lay out $100, or even $50, just to get started here.

For the record, my own mic (Samson Meteor Mic) was about $50 USD, and it has worked well for me for about four years. I use the noise reduction tool that comes built in to Audacity and have never had a complaint.

Marya999
Posts: 42
Joined: October 28th, 2020, 3:28 pm

Post by Marya999 » November 19th, 2020, 1:44 pm

Gotcha :) Thanks Devorah, and thanks for the equipment recommendation as well! It's so helpful to know what others are using.

loon
Posts: 896
Joined: December 31st, 2016, 9:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Post by loon » November 19th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Marya999 wrote:
November 17th, 2020, 11:46 pm
I have a JLab condenser, but I am wondering if these are known for picking up background noise - computer fan noise. (Yes I do noise reduction - to me it sounds truly dreadful, and quite discouraging to have the recording sound like people are slicing it with swords.... literally!)

Would this mic be an upgrade?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08662LX1S/ref=sspa_mw_detail_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Or, can you recommend an alternative starter mic?

Thank you very much!
I'm not sure which JLab mic you have, but the one I found specs for online has two features the Amazon one you list doesn't:
1) cardioid pickup pattern - the side pointing at you picks up sound better than the side pointing to your computer fan.
2) a headphone jack on the mic - lets you hear yourself while recording with no delay. (If I listen to myself through Audacity there is a slight delay - tiny, yes, but enough to be slightly distracting.) If you can monitor yourself as you record you can safely work closer to the mic and still know you're not breathing into the mic or working so close you're getting proximity effect.

I'd encourage you to hang onto what you have. Maybe put a folded up bath towel under the mic stand to soak up a bit of the stray sound in your room.

The settings on noise reduction can go to ridiculous extremes - if you hear the noise reduction attacking your voice it's time to go to gentler settings, even if more noise remains.

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the cheaper the mic the more electronic noise it's likely to have.
Rich Brown
FullLoon.com

zachh
Posts: 33
Joined: November 1st, 2020, 5:02 am
Location: Orwell, NY

Post by zachh » November 20th, 2020, 5:53 am

I bought a Samson Go Mic for $50 a few weeks ago when I wanted to get started reading, it was mentioned down lower on the page where mics were recommended. I had the same experience you did, that all the main recommended mics are NLA. After getting helpful feedback from experienced Librivox people on my 1 minute test I decided to try hanging a blanket over a rod above my chair, so it hangs down like a tent. I found that it flatlined the background noise in my Audacity recordings, and got rid of the room echo I had at first. Since I'm reading from the computer screen the relative darkness inside the blanket doesn't matter, though I suppose I would look funny if anyone was there to see me.

Post Reply