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Ensuring you have the best mic settings for YouTube can instantly elevate the audio quality of your live streams and audiovisual content for your channel. With the high standards of today’s audience, this upgrade in audio quality could mean a successful YouTube channel from your end that can capture thousands more views and subscribers.
If that is your end goal, then read further to learn the best mic settings for YouTube. In this article, we will focus on tweaking mic settings using OBS Studio as this is one of the most common free open-source, cross-platform screencasting and streaming software used for the best studio-quality results.
Before adjusting the mic settings using OBS, you will first need to be properly acquainted with the tools and filters found in the studio. Later on, these filters are what you will be adjusting so you can improve the sound quality and performance of your mic for streams and YouTube content.
The compressor is the mic filter setting that can help to make your microphone’s audio levels more consistent. This setting can make loud sounds quieter so the overall audio can be consistent with the loudness of your voice.
The noise suppression is the mic filter setting that will eliminate or reduce any background noise that can be picked up by your microphone. On the other hand, the noise gate is the mic filter setting that can block out any unwanted noise and sounds in the room that may be picked up by your microphone.
Lastly, the gain is the mic filter setting that will boost your mic’s volume level. This is helpful for when your voice is too soft or quiet and you would want to amplify it further.
After learning the main four filters you will be using, we can now dive deeper into how to adjust your mic settings using OBS for your YouTube streams.
Once you properly set up and connect your microphone, you now need to open OBS and add in the mic filters you will be using. To recap, the four mic filters you will use for your mic settings are the compressor, noise suppression, noise gate, and gain.
The compressor filter will show five settings options for you to adjust and tinker around with. According to preference and the audio quality you want to achieve, you can adjust these however you deem fit. For general purposes, we will be explaining what these five settings are and how they can affect your mic’s audio quality.
If your mic tends to pick up background noise and unwanted sounds from any equipment or the environment nearby, then you can configure your noise suppression filter to minimize this. While microphone accessories such as a pop filter or windscreen can help prevent this, using a software tool is one sure way to block this out entirely. Within OBS, you can choose from “Speex” and “RNNoise” to adjust the noise suppression level. Opt for a -30dB setting and adjust from there based on your preference.
If you still hear unwanted sounds and noises in your recordings even after adjusting the noise suppression settings, then you may want to configure the noise gate of your mic. This will eliminate any background sounds that may be in your area of recording.
When adjusting the noise gate settings, you will have to first make sure that nothing else is being picked up by your microphone so you are sure that you can block out the specific audio signal you want to be eliminated later on.
The Close Threshold level of your noise gate settings will block and mute any sounds with audio levels below what you have indicated while the Open Threshold level will only pick up sounds reaching the audio level you have placed. In short, anything lower than the audio level you have placed in the Close Threshold setting will be blocked and anything within the Open Threshold level will be recorded.
In that case, you should opt to make your Close Threshold level a bit higher than your Open Threshold so that your mic can eliminate background noise while still recording your voice. The audio levels will depend based on your environment, preference, and volume at which you plan on recording.
If you find that your voice is being overpowered or cannot be heard, then the volume of your mic is too low. In this case, you will need to boost the volume by adjusting the mic’s gain settings. If it’s the other way around, then you can also reduce the gain as needed. With a mic audio setting between -20 and -9 dBFS, below are some good audio gain levels to begin with:
Even if you already own the best microphone for YouTube or for streaming, configuring your mic’s settings can further improve its performance for said application. You can adjust the settings of your mic by reading the manual or browsing through the mic model’s website. However, opting to download and use studio tools can give you the best studio-quality results for the overall audio quality of your stream and audiovisual content.