What is the best budget mic for voice-over?

4 replies
I am seeking a good mic that cancels background noise, particularly cars going by. I am using a Blue Yeti, but it records very quiet sometimes and when it feels like it, it has hiss and hum.

I see a fairly new kid on the block:

Samson C01U Pro USB Condenser

Here is a review I saw of this



I have no self-interest in this thing, has anyone used it and is it OK?

Or suggest another about 100 bucks max?

Jim
#budget #mic #voiceover
  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Originally Posted by Action Man View Post

    I am seeking a good mic that cancels background noise, particularly cars going by. I am using a Blue Yeti, but it records very quiet sometimes and when it feels like it, it has hiss and hum.
    Jim
    Hi Jim,

    Have you tried on the Yeti turning down your gain and getting closer to the mic?

    The Yeti is a great mic and if you are not getting results with it another mic won't help. You would be better off experimenting with the positioning of your microphone.

    If you do want to look at background noise reduction that works well when coupled with a Yeti you can checkout something like the Porta-booth Pro on Amazon. not cheap but might give you a few ideas.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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    • Profile picture of the author Action Man
      Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

      Hi Jim,

      Have you tried on the Yeti turning down your gain and getting closer to the mic?

      The Yeti is a great mic and if you are not getting results with it another mic won't help. You would be better off experimenting with the positioning of your microphone.

      If you do want to look at background noise reduction that works well when coupled with a Yeti you can checkout something like the Porta-booth Pro on Amazon. not cheap but might give you a few ideas.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
      Hi Ozi,

      I had went ahead and purchased the Samson C01U Pro, and you are right, not a lot of difference, although it is a good mic. I have done some research and tweeks, hopefully this post is not too long, but I thought I would share the results for anyone that is interested.

      I missed the gain and volume control nobs on the Yeti for live monitoring, so I am back to the Yeti. I am now getting no hiss. I went to Windows settings, playback devices and the "levels" tab and muted the microphone slider, my mic was picking the Yeti speaker sounds. I also found a sweeter spot between low gain and volume which reduces ambience, thanks for your suggestion.

      I think the nature of these mics is yes you have to be up close and personal with the gain down to reduce ambient noise. When I record with Audacity though the volume comes in very low with the gain down, and I have to do normalising and further processing, which reduces the natural voice quality.

      I managed to address this by using the "Reaper" Daw after hours of searching on YouTube. Reaper is able to live monitor the sound virtually as you apply FX effects, this is something Audacity does not have. If I also use a VB-Audio Virtual cable I can output the live sound virtually to Audacity, and while applying a noise gate and EQ ect, I can record into Audacity with a cleaner higher volume signal. Reaper comes with the licensed Asio4all drivers, which I find a big advantage. In fact I don't use Audacity much now.

      I know I could record in a clothes cuboard or something, but I prefer to sit by my computer as I have two monitors etc. I do sotware training videos, I just find it easier just now. I am happy to say that my Yeti is now fantastic, with no car noises, thanks to all you guys for your help.

      I don't like noise gates, but this Reaper one can be set to put back the natural ambient sound without any dramatic changes. Most effects in Reaper are set to be non-destructive depending on how they are applied.

      I found this Reaper tutorial by a pro-voice actor invaluable.


      best regards

      Jim
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      "Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache" (Mae West)

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  • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
    I'd take a look at using a dynamic mic rather than a condenser mic like the Blue Yeti. I find the Yeti a little overrated in general for most Internet marketing users. I have one and it's a good mic, but for most voice applications I'd recommend making the switch if you want to eliminate a lot of the ambient noise.

    Dynamic mics are generally an end address rather than a side address. Use a simple foam pop filter since you will have to get close to these mics for best response.

    The best budget deal, I think, is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone. It can be found from $50 - $80. Makes a great all purpose mic which is suitable for vocals and has the option of USB or XLR connection.

    Check where your USB cable is hooked into the computer as well. Sometimes the hiss you're hearing can be attributed to connecting to one of the front panel USB ports rather than the more directly connected rear ports. As mentioned this can also be a matter of too much gain as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    Hello. i want to share with you my experience of using Condenser Mic for recording. I have used Samson for a very long time and it's actually great when it comes to sound quality, but it also has a sensitive pick up when it comes to recording sounds.
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