How to Make Your Mic Sound Better

How to Make Your Mic Sound Better

Whether your dream is to be a successful Youtuber, Twitch streamer, or podcast host, or whether you just use your microphone for work, learning how to make your mic sound better is extremely important. Even if you are just starting to enter the world of voice recording, it is vital that you invest in a microphone that will deliver you clear and crisp audio. There is more to quality audio than speaking clearly into a decent mic.

Quite often people start out on a low-quality mic and a few takes in can see a major difference in their audio compared to their favorite content creators. Your audio is either too loud, too soft, indistinguishable, or picking up more background noise than you were aware of. If you’re looking to improve your audio quality, look no further! While a $30 microphone will never compare to a $1000 microphone, your audio quality can still sound professional.

Listed below are six tips to improve your microphone quality.

Reduce Background Noise

Reduce Background Noise

If you are having problems getting a clear sound from your microphone, try minimizing all background noise. While sounds such as people talking, air conditioning, or other miscellaneous noises may be ignored or blocked out by you, a microphone is much better at picking them up. If these sounds are picked up, it can be very distracting for your audience and can make the audio quality seem noisy. 

Turn off any fans or air conditioning, close your door if you have noise in your house, or let people who may be contributing to the noise that you will be recording. To have as clear of a sound as possible, it is important to have as little background noise as possible.

Keep Your Microphone Off of Your Desk

Close-up picture of a microphone raised off of a desk with a boom arm.

Another important reason your audio quality may be lacking is the placement of your microphone. Entry-level microphones are typically designed to stand on short legs like a tripod. This positions your mic closer to the desk and, therefore, closer to your keyboard and mouse, and further from your mouth. This quality can also be disrupted by any movement made from your desk.

The solution to this problem would be to purchase a standalone mic or place your existing mic on a boom arm. These mic stands usually clip onto your desk or surrounding furniture to bring the mic closer to your mouth and further from your desk and keyboard. Having the mic suspended also minimizes any disruptions from your desk moving. 

It may sound unnecessary to purchase another piece of equipment, but boom arms typically can be found online for around $10 to $20. Finding a boom arm that can fold back can also help minimize space around your desk.

Make Sure Mic is Positioned Correctly

Interestingly, a mic is designed to face a certain way. There are two common designs of microphones: one is meant to be spoken in from the top (top-address mic), and the other from the side (side-address mic). A common desk microphone is the Blue Yeti, which is a side-address mic. This mic is extremely popular among YouTubers, gamers, and Twitch streamers.

Your voice will sound clear if you speak to the correct side of the mic. It’s important to speak into the correct side because if your mic is turned the wrong way, it can pick up on background noises you did not intend on hearing. This is why you should keep your microphone’s back turned toward sound so you can minimize noise.

Keep your Microphone Close to Your Mouth

A few inches away from your mouth is the sweet spot when speaking into a microphone. If you are too close to the mic it can distort your voice and make your audio difficult and unpleasant to understand. 

If you are positioned too far away from the microphone, it can affect your audio quality, as well. Even if your mic is sensitive and can pick up sounds, or your voice, from a few feet away, doesn’t mean it will produce the best quality. 

Don’t Move Around While Recording

Movement and gestures are natural when speaking, and doing so will not hurt your audio quality. Find a position that is comfortable for you and you will be fine as long as you stay relatively near your microphone. The reason moving around can affect your audio is it might result in weird fluctuations in volume and sound quality.

Make Sure to Set Your Gain Level

Close-up image of a microphone showing the "gain" and "volume" control dials.

The easiest way to describe gain is it controls how “sensitive” your mic is, or how loud your final audio will be. If your gain is set at a high level, it can distort your voice by being too loud, which is called “clipping.” You can turn down the gain on either the microphone itself (if there is one) or by going into your “Device Properties” in Windows. The ideal gain setting is different for every mic, but 75% is usually recommended. It is better to be too soft and amplify your voice in post-production than too loud and your initial audio be ruined. 

How to Make Your Mic Sound Better: Conclusion

Audio quality is incredibly important when it comes to needing it for work, school, or doing something you love like gaming or streaming. Hopefully one of these six tips has been helpful so you can continue creating the content you love. 

Written by: Savannah Harrold

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