Audio & Video Software forum

General discussion

Mic output too dull

by xin / November 10, 2006 8:45 PM PST

Which recording hardware do live radio stations use to achieve crisp HI-FI voice broadcast?
Which matching Mic/headset, soundcard, mixer, or whatever, is required to achieve very clear crisp Hi-FI voice output close to live radio or tv broadcast?
Why do i have to shove microphone into my mouth before i get high audio output and undesirable airwaves from my lungs?

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A couple of thoughts.
by Kiddpeat / November 11, 2006 1:21 AM PST
In reply to: Mic output too dull

The hardware used in radio and TV costs thousands of dollars. It's not unusual to find custom made mics built for a specific performer. Does your budget cover that kind of equipment?

I've never been in a station, but I'll bet I would find things like mixers and/or mic preamps which the engineers use to boost the sound coming from a mic to optimum levels. You would probably also find condensor mics which utilize XLR cables to connect to the sound equipment, and which are supplied by same with phantom power. The people using the mics are also in sound proof rooms.

You need good quality amplification, and a quiet place. Then add lots of controls like delays, reverb, etc. and you will start hearing a better sound.

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Something to Check
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 11, 2006 3:11 AM PST
In reply to: Mic output too dull

Some (but not all) sound-card drivers have a microphone boost option.

Click: Start/All programs/Accessories/Entertainment/Volume Controls

That brings up the Playback controls.

Do you see a Microphone control?
If No....skip to STEP 2 below.....

If Options
If Advance Controls has a check Options
If Advance Controls does not have a check mark, click Advanced Controls
If Advance Controls is greyed out....your sound card driver does not have any options.

If you clicked Advance Controls or Options, you will return to the Playback Controls.
Look for an Advanced button at the bottom of the Microphone control.
Click that button and see what options you have.

If no...Click Options
click Properties
Then put a check mark in the box next to Microphone.
Click OK
Go back to STEP 1

Note: Not all sound card drivers have "Advanced Controls"


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i guessed in your direction
by xin / November 11, 2006 6:00 AM PST
In reply to: Mic output too dull

Thanks kiddpeat for your tips.
You mentioned pre-amps, condenser mic, mixer, and amplification, which i also had in mind as a means of improving Mic output quality.
I made attempts in that direction by powering pro hi-ball mic through Yamaha studio Mixer used by musicians which i connected to 100w home theater. That setup produced lots of juice but obviously too much to plug into Mic/IN of soundcard.
So I plugged Line/OUT of home theater to Line/IN of soundcard as if the audio was from from CD. You'd expect such setup to give me CD quality voice out but I was disappointed with the results as it still sounded murky with lots of airwaves pushing on the mic when i breathe.
The voice level is very high though but the quality is crap ? it has distortion no matter the distance i adjust Mic from my mouth.
I tried covering the Mic with foam to muffle airwaves but that only lowered voice level without improving a damn anything!
I?m so frustrated that the only setup i haven?t tried is PA System used in churches, auditoriums, and sports stadiums. But I doubt if that would make any difference since i still have to connect the PA system OUTPUT to soundcard Line/IN or Aux/IN which i already did with the home theater setup.
That leaves the burden squarely on the shoulders of soundacard!
Many internet radio stations broadcast crisp CD quality voice
Which soundcard or recording hardware do they use?
I?ve tried all sorts of high-powered Mics from Staples Depot, RadioShack, Tigerdirect, and other computer stores without success.
Why am I getting crap no matter which Mic i use?
There must be a way online radio stations do it to get crisp cd quality voice out. But what is it?

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Your problem is probably stemming from your equipment and
by Kiddpeat / November 11, 2006 9:12 AM PST


You simply don't find good audio gear at 'Staples Depot, RadioShack, Tigerdirect, and other computer stores'. Several times now, I have traced an audio problem to cables or connectors obtained from Radio Shack. I simply don't buy stuff there any more, and they are the ones on your list who are MOST LIKELY to have decent gear.

These days, my preamp/mixer is a Tapco unit made by Mackie. I got it from Sam Ashe which I have found to be a good local source. My sound card is an Audigy 2 ZS which has a good mix of capabilities. If I had it to do again, I would get the sound card from M-Audio. When I'm serious about sound quality, I use an MXL DRK made by Marshall Electronics. I mount a pop filter on it to keep my breath, and the moisture in it, off the mic. The mic can use a 9 volt battery as a source for phantom power. Thus, it can connect to either the mixer (which goes to line in), or directly to the mic input connection on the Audigy card. The Audigy card has its own volume control for the mic, so I can turn it up or down as needed.

Obviously, you can't sit near the computer to record. All of its sounds will be picked up by a good mic. Home remedies, like foam, are also not likely to help.

I record these days with an M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 recorder. If the computer must be used for voice recording, I use either Sony Vegas or Sound Forge. Both have level meters that are needed to insure that the sound being recorded is not clipped. You don't need a lot of volume going in. Volume levels are set and adjusted after the sound is captured by the computer.

Once the sound is captured by the computer, things like breathing sounds can be removed. In addition, a variety of tools including equalization, reverb, and compression are used to improve the sound.

Sound complicated? It is. Audio, at the local college, is a two semester course. For equipment, other than Sam Ashe (a chain), I look at places like B&H Photo and Video.

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i'll try it
by xin / November 11, 2006 11:50 AM PST

thanx very much, kiddpeat, for your time and great tips
oh yeah, that should surely do the trick.
i have faith all your suggestions will do it. i'll give a shot at it.

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