How to Get the Best Sound Quality – Part 1: Microphones

Good content deserves a good sound quality. Nothing is more annoying than when a great talk is made inaudible by noise and bad sound. But you don’t have to be sound engineer to perform livestreams and recordings in first-class quality. Through years of experience with large and small events, speakers and podcasters, we have collected the most useful tips for you.

 

Tip #1: Every speaker needs a microphone

Whether you’re recording a podcast at your own kitchen table or talking to hundreds of people in a large auditorium – anyone who speaks needs a microphone. This also applies if, for example, there are questions from the audience. It is also possible that several people share a microphone. However, this must be well organized, for example, by a moderator, who always hands the microphone to the current speaker.

In a small, quiet room you can also use an ambient mic. In this case we recommend a test to determine whether the respective speaker can be heard well.

 

Tip #2: Choose the right type of mic

There are countless types of microphones. However, we want to keep it short and recommend to you the most common and most suitable ones for recording or streaming spoken content.

1. Dynamic microphones

Dynamisches Mikrofon von Shure

Dynamic Microphones (moving coil and ribbon microphones) use electromagnetism to convert sound into an electrical signal. They are most frequently used at live events because they are very robust.

2. Condensator microphones

neumann kondensator kleinmikrofon

In contrast to the dynamic microphones, condenser microphones are less robust. They are better suited for recording in the studio, but have a higher sound quality and can be adjusted more variably.

 

Tip #3: Stay close to the mic

A common mistake during a lecture is that the speaker holds the microphone in his hand, but very far from the mouth or gesticulates with it. So if you are not speaking yourself, please remind all speakers of the position of the microphone before the event.

This problem can also be solved by microphones that can be clipped to the clothing, so-called Lavalier microphones.

rode lavalier mikrofon

Tip #4: Each speaker has the same distance from the microphone

If you don’t have a microphone for each speaker, you can use an ambient mic. Usually, that would be a small diaphragm condenser, i.e. a subgroup of the condenser microphones. For all speakers to be recorded equally loud, their position is important. Also the directional characteristics of the microphone must be observed, meaning in which direction it is particularly good / loud.

If you are using one mic for the entire room, the following tip is particularly important:

 

Tipp #5: Improve room acoustics and avoid noise

It is not always easy to create silence in a crowded venue. Please try anyway and point out that the event is broadcasted live or recorded. When clipping (Lavalier) microphones are used, rubbing the clothing often causes unwanted noise. So be careful that the microphone is not touched during movements.

If you record a podcast at home, you can minimize the reverb by selecting the smallest possible room with the least possible bare walls. Blankets and drapes can help to reduce the reverb. Some podcasters even sit between open doors of a wardrobe. Of course, that won’t create the room acoustics of a sound studio. But you can still achieve a good sound quality with a good podcaster microphone (for example the classic one made by Rode).

 

Let’s go! Your live broadcast or recording

With these tips, you are ready for your own livestream or podcast in the best sound quality. With our free streaming technology, this is easy. Simply create an account and upload audio files or start a live broadcast.

 

 

Title photo: Tamaki Sono via flickr
Other photos: https://www.thomann.de/de/index.html

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