Kinda sorted for a mic now, any tips on sound editing?...

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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Kinda sorted for a mic now, any tips on sound editing?...

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:38 am

This is a really basic question.

I have almost zero tech knowledge when it comes to setting up mics but I'm forced into a situation where I need to think about enhancing the sound quality of audio broadcasts & recordings - live & pre-recorded yoga classes.

I'll be in a large room that has a lot of natural reverb & I've a feeling the computers internal mic will struggle with me being 3 metres away.

I'm thinking about using the microphone I have left over from when I was in a band but I don't have a midi interface. All I have is an XLR mic that I gather needs phantom power, several long cables, an adapter (XLR to 1/2" jack) and an old gizmo I used to plug my electric guitar directly into my laptop (when I was trying out GarageBand).

Here it is...

Image

I doubt it'll work but it's worth a try.
Last edited by PorkyPrimeCut on Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by fuzzking » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:29 am

you sure it needs phantom power? looks like a cheapo samson dynamic, so your contraption might work. just plug it in, open up grarage band and make a test recording. just talk into the mic from close distance to see if it works.

but... even if it works, i'm 90% sure it will sound like shite from 3 ms a way in a reflective room. these mics are really meant for close range. do you have a set of decent headphones around? make a few test recordings and try to find the best position for the mic: have it dangle from the ceiling, just out of frame. that will be the closest you can get to the frame (if you don't chose to point the camera at the ceiling). might be worth to prep the room with blankets, just out of frame.

if you have some spare money, grab a used rode videomic, like this one. they're cheap and it it will do the job better than the samson. the rode has more of a shotgun pickup pattern, is a condenser (more sensitive), runs on batteries and will definitely work with the mic input of the laptop. all being said, what I mentioned about reducing the reflections with blankets, getting as close to the shot as possible (from above) and making some test recordings is still valid.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:40 am

I'll be able to sit the mic (yes, sit, I don't even have a stand) less than a metre away from me, just out of shot. I don't think I have a cable long enough to suspend it from the very high ceiling.

I actually have a friend who's sourced a Rode VideoMic Pro+ but it's now a problem getting hold of it due to the first day of lockdown.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:00 am

Ah well, it doesn't work......So, I'm stuck with a webcam that's worse than older Macbook Pro models (I think it's 480p) and an internal mic.

I've worked out a way of rigging up my iPhone to act as a plug-in mic so that gets about a metre closer to where I'll be talking. Still, pretty basic stuff. There's a "Use ambient noise reduction" checkbox (whoopie-fucking-doo!!) that I'll try out but I'm expecting a very echoey, hard to hear clearly, live stream.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by fuzzking » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:14 am

a phone would have been my second suggestion... hope it works out somehow. still, pointing from above will always work best (as long as there's some carpet on the floor). in the long run, I'd still suggest aforementioned procedures (did this kind of stuff for a living). I guess that using a bluetooth headset won't really work for yoga classes... anyway, hope you won't have to scream to be heard, that would be kind of... detrimental. let us know how it goes! good luck!
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:25 am

fuzzking wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:14 am
a phone would have been my second suggestion... hope it works out somehow. still, pointing from above will always work best (as long as there's some carpet on the floor). in the long run, I'd still suggest aforementioned procedures (did this kind of stuff for a living). I guess that using a bluetooth headset won't really work for yoga classes... anyway, hope you won't have to scream to be heard, that would be kind of... detrimental. let us know how it goes! good luck!
Yeah, yesterday I ran a test, videoing through a 20mp Sony DLSR. I sat my iPhone down next to me & recorded the sound through VoiceMemo.
Unfortunately the camera switched itself off after 20 minutes of a 90 minute video. I'm guessing the sensor started to overheat. Still, I had 20 minutes of video that I synced up with the phone audio recording & it was pretty good.

The trouble is, I don't have the gear to link the camera to my computer so, for live streaming, I have to go straight into my laptop & iPhone.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by fuzzking » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:29 am

uhh what a hassle. but wait, I don't quite understand the part where you say you can't hook the cam up to the computer... you're streaming, no? meaning that the cam is connected to the computer in some way (USB cable?)... can't you just record 15 min sessions and piece them together? but anyhow, that streaming stuff is way over my head. maybe a youngster can give a tip regarding that. :mellow:
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by somanytoys » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:52 am

I’m not younger or a guru, but it seems that your mic, with its adapters, should work into the same contraption that you used successfully for GarageBand.

I don’t think that the mic you’re trying to use requires phantom power, either, but I’m not a mic expert. If it doesn’t need power, you should do fine plugging it up the same way as you did with GarageBand, then going into the settings of the app/program (or maybe the computer’s settings, if necessary), to make the computer or the app recognize the mic input, and then adjust the levels, if necessary. I think I had to change the computer’s settings for my interfaces to work correctly with Logic. Try both.

Then you should have synced sound & video. It also shouldn’t limit you on time, unless you have the computer’s “sleep” mode turned on to save power. That can be turned off or the sleep time extended in the computer’s settings as well.

It may seem like a hassle, but if it works, it should work perfectly (or better), and be less of a hassle overall than the workaround and splicing.

Also, as stated above, anything you could do to absorb some of the sound around you will help. Hell, depending on the mic’s pattern, maybe even just something around/on each side of the mic itself, to stifle the sounds getting in from the sides of the mic.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:57 pm

I checked yesterday & the mic is a Samson Q1 and does require phantom power.

Bummer.
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by fuzzking » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:52 am

Mark, does your cam have a mini trs/jack audio input?
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Re: Phantom power mic straight into a laptop...kinda?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:06 am

It's easy for a computer to deliver phantom power via USB, so look into some mic to USB converters and make sure they supply phantom power if needed.

Although for what you are doing, you might be better served for something dedicated to conferencing. We use those quite a lot and they work well, that particular one is wireless so you would be able to place it by yourself as you did the yoga instructions and it will be your microphone and speaker.
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Phantom power mic into a laptop...NOPE...alternatives?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:08 am

fuzzking wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:52 am
Mark, does your cam have a mini trs/jack audio input?
Unfortunately not.
Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:06 am
It's easy for a computer to deliver phantom power via USB, so look into some mic to USB converters and make sure they supply phantom power if needed.

Although for what you are doing, you might be better served for something dedicated to conferencing...
I'm actually thinking about buying a small directional microphone & webcam.

The reason for the webcam is simple. I discovered only the other day that Apple, in their infinite wisdom, gave the 2018 Macbook Pro a shitty camera - 480p image quality. It turns out the laptops from 3 years before had much better cams, they just chose to downgrade, no doubt upgrading other aspects of the computer. Fuck knows.

This whole new "online teaching" world is quite challenging but a necessity until this lockdown blows over & that could be months, even a year or two. So, a simple set-up that allows me to plug directly into the 1/4" jack or Thunderbolt 3 inputs is what I'll probably look for.

Any suggestions?

Also, a webcam that performed well in poor light would be a bonus. I don't have any specialist lighting at hand.
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Re: Phantom power mic into a laptop...NOPE...alternatives?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:39 am

We bought a ton of these webcams to hand out to the faculty and staff, they work well for what they are:

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/c930e-webcam

They have microphones in them, a pretty sharp image that is fairly wide. Should do you just fine.

I would recommend some kind of stand with it.
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Re: Phantom power mic into a laptop...NOPE...alternatives?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:41 am

And I guess if you don't have a USB type A port- fucking Apple- then you would need an adapter.
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Re: Phantom power mic into a laptop...NOPE...alternatives?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:22 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:39 am
We bought a ton of these webcams to hand out to the faculty and staff, they work well for what they are:

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/c930e-webcam

They have microphones in them, a pretty sharp image that is fairly wide. Should do you just fine.

I would recommend some kind of stand with it.
Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:41 am
And I guess if you don't have a USB type A port- fucking Apple- then you would need an adapter.
I've just been taking a look at that, and its predecessor (c922). Looks pretty decent.

I'm inclined to buy a separate mic because the rooms I teach in vary in size. The big rooms are pretty echoey so experimenting with mic placement would be useful.

Yeah, Apple are dicks but I have a load of adapters so it shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks.
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