When it comes to the microphone usage, even without much of the audio knowledge, the first thing comes to your head would be making the sounds as clear and detailed as possible. So that the rich information contained can be conveyed accurately. But if we couldn’t use the microphone correctly and as efficiently, the audio quality may be far below our expectations. Your creativity is waiting to break through the limitations of your currently-processed microphone technique. And with the following tricks, you won’t have to resort to the heavy post-production to improve the audio quality.
[Finding the best mic can be difficult, but you can always choose the one that fits better]
To pick up different voices, in the ideal cases, you’ve better to use different microphones - "Opposites Attract" can be used in this regard. Sensitive condenser mics are good at actively seeking for any sound in its polar pattern sphere, it could be utilized to record soft or deep voices for better retain the details of the original sound source. But it is inevitable to capture more background. When the environment is too noisy and there is a budget crunch on setting up the acoustic room, the alternative dynamic microphone can be a must-have.
[Comprehend your microphone, especially the pick-up direction]
The polar pattern determines which directions the mic will pick up the most sound from, such as well-known cardioid focuses on front-facing sound pickup, bi-directional mic incorporates sound from both the front and the back, and omnidirectional and stereo patterns never ignore the sound from all directions.
The most common one on the market is the cardioid microphone, when speak to the front of the capsule, the microphone will actively respond and pick up your voice, and any sound from its side and back may be decreased in volume. But which direction is the rigging front of your mic’s capsule? If possible, a polarity diagram about the specific mics you have can give you an idea of where you need to feed sound into your mics.
Usually the "top" is the "front" of a dynamic mic capsule and it’s also most sensitive direction of the AmpliGame AM8, you can take advantage of it and speak to its top to gain High-quality recording. But if it’s the front of the mic body facing towards the sound source when using AM8 just like the positioning of a condenser mic, you may hear it protesting at a very low volume from the headphone.
[Trust your ears, take some time to find the best recording distance]
As the rule of thumb, the closer the sound source is to the mic, the less background noise will be picked up. However, there’re more to it than just eating into the mic. The more powerful plosives will hit the capsule, the negative result of the proximity effect and strong analog signal will start to show as you’re talking closer to it. Thus, you have to find the sweet spot by sound testing and playback before recording. You may swing your body while gaming, but don’t forget to make sure that the microphone is in a suitable position when you’re back in normal form.
For FIFINE's latest dynamic microphone AmpliGame AM8, 5 inches is the ideal distance. Talking in a palm-length will neither drown out the mic with the overwhelming sound source nor feed it with too much background. Being a sensitive dynamic mic, 45° off-axis usage still render a good level clarity from the AM8. The airflow output from the mouth will not severely friction the pop filter and vertical impact the capsule, so the P, T and other pops will be weakened and less vibration will be brought to the ears. But a sense of space and the enjoyment of comfortable listening will be preserved by the deviation angle.
If the AM8 with a low-profile desktop stand doesn’t provide much help in microphone positioning, a boom arm is something that you can’t miss, which is good at stretching convenience. There’s also a solution when the budget is, don’t throw away the packaging box but put it underneath the mic to shorten the talking distance. That’s the easily pull-off coup for the sound clarity.
[A relatively bold attempt - take off the pop filters]
The pop filters is quite useful to reduce plosives, you definitely want it to be with your mic all the time. But if none of the above methods work, taking off the anti-pops cotton can improve the high-frequency sound quality and increase the sense of air. So that you will not sound like the "voice in a box" but will be clearer at the hearing aspect. Note, however, this unconventional advice only applies to some dynamic microphones.
[Speaking out loud and adjust the volume or gain to an appropriate level ]
If the pre-amp is not adjusted properly, you may have to boost the signal through the rear end device, in this way, the self-noise levels all add up in your recording, or the VU meter keeps peaking.
Because of different structures, the self-noise of analog device is relatively higher. If obstinately increase the gain of the XLR microphone connected to the sound card or some USB mics with preamps to 100%, the self noise of the microphone will be amplified, the audio will become oversaturated until it distorts. Take the example of AmpliGame AM8 that can output analog signals through XLR and digital signals through USB, properly adjust the input gain on a connected interface to 80% to pick up a loud but still pleasant voice, the reproduced audio will be clear and clean. Since the self-noise of digital devices is lower, you can adjust the input volume to even 100% in the computer sound settings, but still add much less noise to the audio than the analog devices do.
After decide the use position and distance of AM8 and set the ideal gain and volume, don’t forget to run a sound test to see whether the full scale meter peaks only at the appropriate -12dB through the the software. With the very last step done, you are ready for a recording or streaming in a pleasant volume level.