Podcasting mic issues…

On the Freestyle Podcast, we finally all have good microphones. As I have written before, I have switched to using my Audio-Technica mic, rather than my more complex dynamic mic/preamp/mixer/computer setup.

On the latest episode I ran into an interesting problem. I record in a room in the front of our house. Depending on atmospheric conditions, there can be kind of a low “road drone” noise in that room. The freeway is at least 2 miles away, and you don’t notice it that much just sitting there talking. However, the Audio-Technica is a condenser microphone, and condensers really pic up a lot more ambient sound than the simpler dynamic mics.

So my point is this: on the newest episode the audio from my mic includes this annoying background noise. Sounds like it was recorded in a plane. My voice sounds fine, but that damned noise is there, and my usual trick of using Audacity to remove the noise just didn’t work well. So…I left it in. It isn’t too horrible, but I want the trend to be toward better quality, not worse!

I have procured a few 1′ x 1′ squares of acoustic foam — the stuff they put on the walls of recording studios.  I’m going to line the inside of a box with this foam, and place my microphone inside it, and see if it improves the quality of my audio by screening out ambient noise.

I have also purchased this ART DTI Hum Eliminator, with which I hope to kill the massive buzz from my mic preamps, and use my dynamic microphones again. I may continue to use the USB Audio-Technica mic most of the time if the isolation box works well, but there are situations when I need to use my two Audix OM2 Hypercardioid Dynamic Microphones.

So I’ll be testing the Hum Eliminator this week, and post the results.

On a different but still podcasting-related note, I’ve been checking out a lot of podcasts about podcasting. The best one I’ve found is the Podcaster’s Studio. Really good podcast with very good advice. I recommend it for all podcasters.

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