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The Gamer's Guide To Audio

Updated: Apr 1, 2019



A few quick points about The Gamer's Guide to Audio series

What is The Gamer's Guide to Audio series?

The goal of The Gamer's Guide to Audio series is to inform video content creators how to capture the best possible audio you can whilst saving yourself time and money.

Understandably audio can get quite complex and this episode in the series focuses towards people who may have little to no recording experience and/or audio knowledge.

What is the point in The Gamer's Guide to Audio blog posts?

The blog aims to do an overview of particular segments of the video content and expand upon that knowledge (where applicable).

Where can I ask questions?

If you have any questions please ask them! These tutorials are to help you, and there are no pointless questions. You can post these questions straight to the YouTube comment section for myself and others to help you; this is a safe place to ask these questions. For this reason, ANYONE who bullies, harasses or has a negative impact on users who are looking for help will have their comments removed and will be permanently hidden from commenting on the channel.

The Gamer's Guide to Audio Episode 1!

The Gamer's Guide to Audio Ep.1 contains the following information (with video timestamps) this information can also be found in the description on YouTube:

  • 0:18 - Choosing your Microphone

  • 1:46 - Microphone Placement

  • 5:18 - How to position your microphone & Polar patterns

  • 8:38 - Using polar patterns to improve your audio

  • 9:33 - Microphone Accessories

  • 14:54 - Storing your Microphone (tip)

  • 15:53 - Audio recording basics

Expanding on:

How to choose your Microphone 0:18

Condenser microphones vs dynamic microphones

As I stated in the video a very basic explanation for the difference between a dynamic microphone and a condenser microphone is that a condenser microphone is more sensitive than a dynamic microphone. Whilst they both have different characteristics it is important to remember that in a generally loud environment, where there is more background noise that could effect your recording, it is a good idea to look towards a dynamic microphone as your microphone of choice. Audio technica does a great article on explaining the differences between condenser microphones and dynamic microphones here. However, please be aware that I have read through this content and it may be hard for beginners to understand, so don't worry if you cannot understand it and remember that you can always ask questions. Two Important points when deciding which microphone is best for you

In the video I show you two different microphones, one is the Rode NT-USB and the other is the AKG C214.

These microphones are both condenser microphones, and so I wanted to briefly explain how any of these microphones even a dynamic microphone such as the Shure SM58 may be a viable option IF you have the correct setup and ideal conditions.

Price

For a start let us have a look at the price difference starting from the most expensive to the least expensive using a shop in Sydney, Australia that I have purchased from in the past:

  1. AKG C214 - $629 Australian dollars

  2. Rode NT-USB - $175 Australian dollars

  3. Shure SM58 - $175 Australian Dollars

So clearly we can see there is a substantial difference in price between the SM58/NT-USB and the AKG C214. An important thing to know is that despite the price differences between these microphones I do not prefer, for example, the AKG C214 over the Shure SM58. It is completely dependent on the situation, so the important thing to take away from this (in terms of price) is that finding the right microphone for your situation is more important than the price.

Type of connection The next thing to note is that the AKG C214 and the Shure SM58 both use what is called an XLR connector whilst the NT-USB (as you may have guessed) uses a USB connector. This is EXTREMELY important information. Chances are you have a USB port on your computer, or an attachment that allows you to connect USB devices to your computer (don't forget to check for compatibility between the USB microphone and your operating system). Now in almost all cases your operating system (OS) will download the drivers you need and set everything up for you so you don't have to worry, this is very ergonomic and extremely useful for beginners and means that you will not have to worry about a bunch of "fancy things" like gain, phantom power, recording resolution and compression (as some USB microphones have a compressor or limiter built-in).

But what if the microphone that is best for my situation uses an XLR connector? Put simply, you would require an audio interface that has at least one XLR input, there are a wide range available for all prices that would do just fine. The important thing to know is that using an audio interface and a microphone with an XLR connector will more than likely mean you will not have the "automation" that the USB microphone's provide as I gave examples of at the end of the previous paragraph. This means that you may require more equipment such as a compressor when recording using your XLR microphone. So therefore it is safe to say there will be more learning required before you are able to use this setup effectively. But that does NOT mean you won't be able to!

Creating your own pop filter 11:53

In the video I briefly talk about how to create your own pop filter. This process is relatively straight forward but I wanted to show you that this method may look less appealing but for-fills its purpose.


Timestamp: 0:34

Here is an example of what seem to be a few different home made pop filters created for USA for Africa - We are the world.

Conclusion for episode 1

As you probably know there is quite a lot of depth when it comes to audio and microphones and so I hope this has given you some information to think about when choosing the right microphone and the right setup for you. If you get nothing else out of watching the video or reading this article than remember this: Price isn't everything so use your ears, not your eyes when purchasing a microphone.



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