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Whether as a profession or for fun, people who are into gaming know the importance of a great mic and audio setup. These are needed for clear communication when you’re in a heated game with other players or for recording voice-over content if you’re a live streamer. For this, many people spend time and effort researching the best gaming microphone and even invest in the most expensive ones.
While these microphones are already great on their own, you can further elevate your gaming setup’s sound and recording quality by positioning and placing your gaming mic the best way. It may just be the restart you need to bag a winning streak or get more subscribers.
When positioning your mic, you will first have to know if this is a front-address or side-address type. The former is best positioned at a tilted angle towards your mouth so that your voice can hit the head of the mic directly while blocking out any sound coming from the back. The latter picks up sound coming from the sides so you would need to position your mic’s head vertically. The polar patterns of your mic will also play a role in this.
Aside from the aforementioned, the setup of your gaming mic will play a huge role in how you should position it. If you’re not using a gaming headset, then your mic will either be a free-standing or mounted microphone. Choosing between the two kinds of setups will vary depending on your preference or limitations, but either one has its own merits. Here are some best practices when it comes to positioning your gaming mic in both setups.
Oftentimes, free-standing or desktop microphones are USB mics. They are growing in popularity because of their ease of utility and convenience. Not to mention, their price tags are more affordable even when it comes to their setup since they are plug-and-play mics.
However, this also makes their sound quality a bit trickier to nail down. With that said, these are some of the best practices you can apply when it comes to positioning a free-standing or desktop mic for gaming.
A free-standing or desktop mic must be positioned at least 6 to 12 inches away from your face. Placing it any further will make it susceptible to picking up background noise and ambient sounds. Since your mic will also be placed on your desk, it may pick up sounds from your keyboard.
To avoid this from happening, it’s best to place an absorbent material such as a mat or foam underneath the keyboard so the sound won’t be reflected on your desk and bounce toward the mic. After all, your keyboard will be your controller in a game so it pays to take these extra measures so no click-clacks can be heard.
Position the mic at least 12 inches away from the speakers to avoid audio distortion or picking up sounds from the game. Otherwise, your voice might not be heard at all when you’re conducting a live stream or giving out instructions to your teammates.
Aside from knowing these positioning tips, there are other more in-depth ways how to make your USB mic sound its best. It pays to know these things if you would like to fully maximize and take advantage of your mic.
Plenty of gamers and live streamers make use of a boom arm when mounting a mic because it allows the microphone to be close to the mouth for direct sound pickup and frees up valuable desktop space. However, positioning it incorrectly can not only obstruct your field of vision but also give you poor sound quality that may come off as muffled or deafening.
To avoid any of these from happening, let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can position a mounted mic using a boom arm.
One of the best ways to position a mounted mic boom arm is on either side of the desk so as not to obstruct the view. If you’re live streaming or gaming, you would definitely want to keep your field of vision clear since your viewers need to see you and you also need to see the game that’s at play.
Positioning the mic to the side of your desk will also give you desk space and freedom to make any movement. Most importantly, this position prevents the mic from picking up any unwanted noise caused by desk vibrations, mouse clicks, or from you aggressively tapping away your keyboard.
If you want your voice to sound fuller, warmer, and louder, then you should position your mic close to your mouth at a distance of 6 to 12 inches. Anything closer than that will result in a muddy and boomy sound recording.
Finding the best placement of your gaming mic is as important as positioning them properly. You may have properly positioned them only to find out that there are external factors that are affecting the sound quality of your recordings because of poor placement. Here’s where you should be placing your mic so you can get clear sound recordings that are free from unwanted noise from your surroundings.
As in most cases, a lot of gamers play or live stream in a closed room. While this helps in filtering out outside noise, there are still certain mic placement tips that you need to be aware of when recording in a room.
If you tend to turn the air conditioner or fan on whenever you’re gaming, then make sure to place your mic in the opposite direction of the wind. Otherwise, harsh wind sounds will be picked up by your mic and it can create an unpleasant recording for the viewers or whoever is on the listening end. If this is unavoidable, then consider purchasing a windscreen to minimize the wind sounds.
Veer away from placing the mic near the window. Even if you intend on closing the windows when you’re about to live stream or place a game, noise from outside can still be picked up. Unless you want ambient sounds in your recording, then place it away from the window or any open area.
The interior of a room also affects the sound quality of the mic. Since gamers often have design pieces or decorative items in a room, then the mic should be situated carefully so that the sound quality won’t be scattered due to the waves bouncing off of the items.
As tempting as it may be to decorate your desk and surroundings with figurines, it might be best to keep your recording area as minimal as possible. By doing so, the sound waves won’t be obstructed and can clearly be picked up by the mic.
Even if you own the best gaming mic, knowing how to properly position and place it can make all the difference in your overall sound and recording quality. Whether you are live streaming or playing just for fun, how you sound when you play your games plays a major role in how the match will turn out.
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