Need Microphone Advice

Hello, everyone! I started producing an internet show where I have various competitive gamers talk about what they do, answer questions etc… All I record is the audio of the conversations onto my computer. The only problem is that I will often be having groups of people in the room (3-6 people) for each episode and I don’t have a microphone that will catch everyone’s voices and sound good. So, does anybody have any suggestions of what to go for or what to avoid? Or any other advice for recording this type of thing? Thanks a million in advance!

I have lots of experience in this.

In order to get a good sound in doing all of this, you will need to pay a little cash and learn a little bit of a program.

I highly recommend Adobe Audition as the program simply because it has great presets and is easy to work with once you get it going.
Use limiters and compressors. It’s under dynamics. You want to add a limiter/compressor to each track and then add one big compressor to the final mix so that all the volumes are as close as possible together.
Of course you can use other programs, I’m only suggesting this because it is very simple.

Mixer with USB connectivity. This is the one I have and is straight forward…

Mics ! The industry standard is Shure SM57, but you can always go for cheaper things. Here is a suggestion…

Also, don’t forget mic stands, and decent headphones… you’ll want to hear all of the stuff you recorded through your headphones and edit and mix through them.

How to do it

Basically you connect all the mics into the mixer, connect the mixer into the computer through USB and you assign a track to each seperate microphone. That way everyone can have their own microphone and it will record to seperate tracks so you can adjust the volumes or adjust the settings.

You’ll def. want to practice a lot and work with and learn the program and learn where to place the mics and what settings to use etc. etc., but once you got it, you got it !

If you can afford it the best for that would be a PZM mic I use them at work all the time but when I just looked them up there really expensive but they get sound from every direction unlike the sm57 although in a small enough room it might not be that bad and if you decide to use and need an sm57 I can get a really good deal at least half off on one.

never go cheap on your mic. it always leads to bad things.

also a thing about audition. the older versions of the software were always easier to use in my eyes than the 2.0+ versions. i upgrades then downgraded back to 1.8 after a week of using 2.0.

Thanks a lot for the advice everyone! The hardware looks relatively inexpensive even though I’m kind of tight on cash right now. As for the software, any suggestions on where to get it? I’m not digging the $350 for the latest version. If the old version works just fine and are a lot cheaper I will definitely go for it.

I think you can get Cool Edit Pro for free now… Adobe Audition is basically Cool Edit Pro but enchanced 20 times.

I’ve only ever used verson 1.5 and it’s great.

Don’t use too many limiters and compressors. It makes mixes sound like shit when used wrong and used too much. Especially on voices. Obviously they’re really useful though, but if you want everything on a similar volume, just adjust the volume. Compressors aren’t for getting everything even.

Headphones are great for small things like this, though a good combination of headphones, monitors, and various speaker setups is obviously much better for any audio mix.

And don’t ever let your shit clip. I think this has become a huge trend lately, audio clipping. Its like every recording you hear these days has clipped, been applied compression from that point then sent out. Its annoying…

As GStick said, don’t use too many limiters and compressors. All you need is a single limiter or compressor on each track and then a compressor over the whole thing for the final mix down, as I said. Don’t use anything too strong, a -3db or -5db is good enough. Theres a preset of that in Audition.

Also, a handy tool in Adobe Audition is the noise filter. If you can hear any type of background noise or a slight ringing underneath the track, apply a small noise filter to each individual track to get rid of that and have all the voices sound clean and clear.

Once again, thanks for the advice. I don’t fully understand some of the stuff you are saying yet, but I have the just of it. I’m sure when I get everything and play around with it I will figure it all out. I am working on some other things right now to bring up my funding so I’ll have to wait to make the purchases. Anything else you can think of, please post!

If the noise filter has any option for using the clipboard to remove noise, make full use of it. It can help to pin point a small portion of noise you don’t want, then copy that and use noise removal and tweak the settings to get a clearer noise removal.

Hope you do well finding a good mic, I need to get me a good one as well, though I’ve been really hesitant about it since about all I ever need to actually record are keyboards and in/out + noise removal is your friend with those.