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Started by Tinymcsmithy on Jul 10, 2021 5:20:39 AM
External microphones versus built in?

Blah blah,… doing more online work… blah blah, thinking of investing in external microphone… blah blah.

So, for those with experience of this, is there a marked increase in quality in using an external microphone?

Also, is there any increased hassle in having an external mike? E.G. does it need to be treated with kid-gloves to stop desktop vibration for example? What about drivers and other hassles?

I'm using a modern Macbook Pro.

Any thoughts welcome.

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Tinymcsmithy - 10 Jul 2021 05:21:48 (#1 of 34)

For what it's worth I'm considering one of the Blue Yeti USB microphones.

Tinymcsmithy - 10 Jul 2021 05:23:20 (#2 of 34)

Also, how close to the mouth do these mikes need to be?

I'm keen to have the mike not in view of the camera.

Delighted_User - 10 Jul 2021 05:28:13 (#3 of 34)

10 stupid o'clock points! Almost makes up for being up at this time of day. Sorry, no idea of the actual answer, but I'd be interested as well.

Tinymcsmithy - 10 Jul 2021 05:31:54 (#4 of 34)

Hah, am I that predictable?

Tinymcsmithy - 10 Jul 2021 05:36:51 (#5 of 34)

Hmmmmm. Now the interweb is telling me not to get a condeseor Mike like the Yeti and, instead, go for a dynamic mic.

JennyRad - 10 Jul 2021 11:17:59 (#6 of 34)

I've used a couple of external mics and it's been not ideal - and appears, weirdly, to vary with the software. I have one that works OK with Zoom meetings but on Discord people say they can't hear me properly (and yes, those people have turned my volume up on Discord which allows that on a per-person basis). So far the one on a headset works best, but that is frustrating because I really, really, really want not to be covering my ears.

Tomnoddy - 10 Jul 2021 11:21:38 (#7 of 34)

My PC-mounted Logitech webcam has a built in mic, which seems to wok OK. A lot better than the built-in microphone on my laptop, which has pretty shit onboard sound anyway.

thisonehasalittlehat - 10 Jul 2021 11:27:52 (#8 of 34)

Depends what your creative practice is but a proper mic is the easiest way to make everything seem more professional.

CarlosFandango - 10 Jul 2021 11:28:53 (#9 of 34)

I got a CXT USB one from Argos, iirc. Possibly paid £20-30, unlikely to have been more. Comes with little tripod stand with rubber-suspension and a pop filter.

It sits besides/behind my monitor, often completely out of sight and works very well.

It's surprisingly good for music recording also, certainly at the price.

peacalmer - 10 Jul 2021 10:37:53 (#10 of 34)

I use a Jabra headset and that works better than any other combo. Unless you need great fidelity the built-in laptop mike does the job.

carterbrandon - 10 Jul 2021 11:41:51 (#11 of 34)

Work made me get a Sennheiser headset for Teams on the company laptop because apparently when the fan kicks in, it sounds like I'm Hoovering. Nothing to be done about the result of the webcam being at the bottom, not the top of the screen. It makes for a sleek device, but an unflattering image.

thisonehasalittlehat - 10 Jul 2021 11:43:41 (#12 of 34)

Dude: nostril trimmer.

Tinymcsmithy - 10 Jul 2021 11:43:49 (#13 of 34)

Thanks all.

Headsets are out for me, as the mic needs to be off camera.

CarlosFandango - 10 Jul 2021 11:45:39 (#14 of 34)

I'll zoom (or whatever) from a laptop or tablet if I absolutely must, but far prefer a proper monitor with my camera poitioned centre-screen, at eye-height.

If you shift the person speaking to be near the camera then everybody watching thinks you're looking straight at them.

I also use NVidia noise reduction, so nobody hears me typing, or the PC fans.

The rubber cradle for the mic seems to eliminate any desk vibration perfectly well.

thisonehasalittlehat - 10 Jul 2021 11:46:00 (#15 of 34)

Is it for to-camera pieces? To do this properly you'll want a boom and some basic soundproofing. Or just directional mic is easier. Both will be much improved over integrated mic.

carterbrandon - 10 Jul 2021 11:47:52 (#16 of 34)

Not to mention the two LED lights or softboxes. Or a ringlight (if you don't wear glasses).

thisonehasalittlehat - 10 Jul 2021 11:49:17 (#17 of 34)

Retroreflective green screen works best unless you're going to light it properly. But it's a hack.

upgoerfive - 10 Jul 2021 12:22:05 (#18 of 34)

How do we feel about a lavalier mic?

TommyDGNR8 - 10 Jul 2021 12:42:47 (#19 of 34)

I do a lot of video voice-overs for work. I got a Blue Snowball USB mic.

To compare it to the on-board laptop mic is like comparing a recording of a line-in from a source to a condenser mic stuck up against the speaker.

carterbrandon - 10 Jul 2021 12:55:26 (#20 of 34)

#18: MrsB got one of those as an external powered mic for a camcorder to improve the sound, and it anything it was worse.

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