Sound recording?

Hi there, for my blender project I wanted to have crystal clear narration over the top of it. I’ve tried a reasonable microphone and my PC’s mic socket, but the quality was not good and there were thumps when anyone breathed on the microphone. I then went out and bought a very expensive digital dictaphone that prmoised good sound quality and it was AWFUL!
Has anyone got any ideas on how I could record voice narration to my PC in very clear, high quality? :frowning: Anyone’s help would be greatly appriciated.
My thanks in advance.

You can use Audacity to clean up the recording after you are done by selecting the track and then adding an effect, like compression to even out the sound level. You can also select the areas of noise that are from breathing and use the trim controls to eliminate them from the track, but keep the rest of the voice in time to the original recording. Just hooking up a microphone won’t guarantee a good recording - sound usually needs to be edited and tweaked just like any video or photography.

There are probably other softwares out there, but I mention Audacity because it is free.
Good luck!

Hi there, thanks, I’m using audacity, I love free software! I’ve had a reasonable amount of success cleaning up the recordings, but the problem is that anything I don manage to end up with is very ‘tinny’ and sounds like it’s being narrated from inside a small mammal or a tin can.

For recording, Id recommend a cheap condenser mic(maybe 70$), and some sort of mic recording interface(I use a 99$ M-Audio fast track) . A good thing to think about: if your mic ends in a 1/4 in. tip, then its probably pretty cheap, if it ends in XLR, then it should work well.

The thumps are because you’re way to close to the mic(and you dont have a pop filter, between 10 and 50$) so your breathing is blowign all over teh mic. P’s, B’s and W’s will be the worst. This can be fixed by taking your mouth off the mic :slight_smile: If your vocals then sound to quiet(after checking your line input levels, and normalizing them in audacity, which can sometimes produce a lot of noise), then your mic is cheap, end of story. It has a pick-up area of about zero, and its basicly useless. You can try a different placement of the mic, e.g. hanging above your nose to try and rectify this, but it doesnt always work.

Basicly, either invest in some good equipment, or mess with the mic placement. Those are about all your options.

Good luck bro.

Thanks a lot, I’m off to look these things up.

or you could improvise.

this is an easy way to stop the thumping:

take your mic and fold a peice of really soft foam over it (im being dead serious here)

dont fold it over too thick or you wont hear your voice, too thin and you will get some thumping. use foam like the one that lines this case.

hey you could even use kleenex if you can fold it right.

trust me this works great and its inexpensive, in fact alot of times it makes your voice seem,… more real. dont knock it till you try it;)

How does the Samson CO1U look? Any opinions?

Honestly, Id head over to to look for a mic. You have to wait for shipping, but its so cheap, its crazy.

@NJROTC: Improvising is all good and fine, but with that kind of thing, you tend to lose a lot of the range of sound, which makes for a cruddy result. Placement is probably the best option.

For a pop filter, I read an idea somewhere about making one out of a bent coat hanger and an old pair of nylons.

placing a mic beside your mouth instead of in front of it helps on S’s and T’s.

NJROTC = best. This is the first thing i do with every mic i buy. The best thing i have found for this is to goto a fabric store and use some really light felt. Felt is freaking awesome for this.

Turn off all your fans and stuff, and get as far from your PC as possible. Getting the most silence as possible can be hard. Try recording in your closet or, if you have a portable recorder, do it in your car. You’d be amazed how little sound you will have in the background if you record in your car… especially if you drive out to the middle of nowhere first.

I do all my audio in my closet with the door open and a blanket over the opening. The hanging clothes will muffle reverb, along with the open door and the blanket will block fan noise and stuff. It’s like a recording booth for broke people. Just make sure you don’t have a bunch of empty hangers clacking around :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you all very much - I now have a recording ‘studio’ set up with a sock, an elastic band and a cheap microphone and I now have great quality! Thank you!

It’s just wallpaper knife.

I’d go to a music store – is there, say, a Keyboard City in your town? And buy a pop-filter disk. This and a quasi-decent microphone on a stand is worth the slight expense. Plus an interface box – preferably gently-used – to isolate your computer. Amazon is your friend. (So is a pawn shop, if the proprietor knows what he’s doing.) If you can’t do that, make a tent of paper and put it over the microphone. Anything to block the “plosives” from striking the microphone. Stand away from the mic and speak normally.

I’ve gotten decent recordings out of my MacBook Pro, sitting in a noiseless wooden chair while holding a washcloth about a foot away from my face, in-between my mouth and the computer. Puffs of air are caught by the cloth. No one’s looking, so I don’t care how ridiculous I look. :slight_smile: I record in a library room having three wall-to-wall shelves filled with sound-absorbing books.

Then, plan on doing some post-processing using Audiacity. A noise-gate filter can cut off the quiet rumbling, air-conditioner vent noise and so on. Compression can bring the loud and quiet portions closer together in volume. A tiny amount of reverb can make the track sound bigger. EQ can level-out the various frequencies in the voice, emphasizing what carries the message and attenuating what does not. But: “less is more.”

Audacity will provide you with all the sound-manipulation power you could need for this project.

Be sure to check the waveform display, and record 24-bit. (You can compress it or bounce-it-down later.) Make sure that the waveform isn’t “crashing into” the top of the track display, where it can literally get a buzz haircut (destroying it). The sound is being recorded as a file-of-numbers but those numbers can be only so big (loud).

If you “flub” a line, simply pause, back up a few words and resume talking, while the tape continues to roll. You can edit-out the mistakes later. If you need to pace your delivery, put a click-track in your monitor headphones.