Get a good microphone – the audio quality matters!

June 17, 2020 0 By admin

Audio equipment – why bother with external microphones?

Get a Good Microphone because the audio quality is really important.  Even if your computer comes with a microphone, and your mobile records a decent quality, it might not be the best one to use. Audio quality is the most important element of any multimedia content. 

A producer friend told me that when shooting video, audio quality is the most important and that even if the video quality is great, but the audio is bad, it ruins the whole thing. The same applies to any content developed for learning. 

Just put yourself in the shoes of learners and imagine listening for hours to scratchy, noisy audio. It is tiring and distracting. Good-quality sound doesn’t distract from the content, it welcomes learners and allows to enjoy listening and learning. Therefore, I recommend putting some effort into preparing your recording station and also buying a high-quality microphone.

I have a separate post about preparing your home recording station. In this post, I will tell you about the equipment that will give you better sound – affordable external microphones.

I was looking for a budget solution for my home studio and for any on the fly recording sessions. I shopped around and asked some friends from sound and music industry for suggestions. Below is the list of decent, but affordable microphones – a combination of my own findings and suggestions from experts.

EXTERNAL MICROPHONES:

I always advise going for the best quality microphones that you can afford. If yu have a choice, choose the best one – your best guide is reviews are the best guide. 

Depending on what you will be recording, where and how you are going to use the audio set up, I suggest 4 main options that you could choose from. 

I included links to the Amazon, but below, you can find a list of suppliers.

1.A Headset with microphone

It is going to work if you will be mostly delivering ‘live’.  A good headset mic is the best option because it ensures you do not go off-mic during the lecture. 

I don’t use headphones, so I don't have any recommendations for good headset mics. Let me know what works for you! 

2. An external desktop microphone – USB

An external desktop mic will most likely be better quality if you plan to do a lot of prerecorded materials. It is recommended if you plan to record podcasts or voice-over for videos or animations. 

The best two :

3. A handheld recorder with inbuilt microphones

If you plan to record independent audio, provide audio feedback etc. then a handheld recorder may suit you.

The ZOOM H1 is a decent, basic handheld recorder.

4. Wireless or wearable microphones

I used this RODE Wireless go RODE Lavalier GO microphone and it works quite well.

5. Portable on Camera Microphone

You might also consider this microphone – it is generally designed to be attached to a camera, but can be successfully used with the phone if you record your audio on a phone: 

RODE VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone 

HEADPHONES:

Headphones: Sennheiser HD25 mk2 

(this is not a headphone set, just headphone to listen to your audio)

AUDIO EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS: 

Some suppliers give educational discounts so don’t be shy and ask! 

BIG BEAR SOUND – https://www.bigbearsound.com

THOMANN – https://www.thomann.de/ie/index.html

AUDIO WAREHOUSE DUBLIN – https://audiowarehouse.ie

GEAR FOR MUSIC – https://www.gear4music.ie

STUDIO SPARES – https://www.studiospares.com

CANFORD AUDIO – https://www.canford.co.uk


Credits:

Thanks to MÓR Sound for tips on the equipment.

Cover photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

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