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There are several types of microphones you can use for streaming, but a condenser mic is the best one to use if you want a sound quality that is rich and detailed.
However, the microphone sensitivity of condenser microphones when it comes to picking up sounds and background noise is greater compared to dynamic microphones. For this reason, it is extremely important to know the proper mic placement of your condenser mic so you can be assured of the best sound recording possible for your stream.
When positioning your condenser microphone for your streaming setup, you have the option to use a microphone boom arm or a free-standing microphone. Regardless of which mic position you will opt for depending on preference and available space, there are some best practices you can apply to achieve better sound.
Condenser microphones that are situated using a microphone boom arm will allow the person’s mouth to be closer to the mic for clearer sound. However, since a person will be speaking directly to the microphone at a close distance, it is best to install a pop filter or a shock mount to reduce the popping sounds caused by one’s mouth.
When mounting the boom arm that’s holding your condenser microphones, it is recommended to place it on either side of your desk so as not to obstruct your view. Positioning your boom arm at the side will also refrain the condenser mic from blocking your face from the camera during live streams or when you conduct Twitch streams.
When positioning your microphone and the boom arm, place a reasonable distance between them and your arms so you can refrain your hands from bumping into the mic. If you’re a Twitch streamer, this is a good practice to apply so as not to capture sounds from your keyboard or mouse clicks when live streaming a game.
If you don’t want to shell out a couple more bucks for a boom arm and a boom mic, then you can also position your microphone using a stand. Whether you’re using multiple condenser microphones at the same time or just one microphone, the best distance in positioning them is at least 6 to 12 inches away from your mouth for better sound. Positioning a microphone any further will require you to increase the gain control and make it more susceptible to capturing unwanted sounds and background noise.
Whether you are live streaming on YouTube or on Twitch, your setup needs to take into account the mic placement in proportion to who is speaking directly and the room where you plan on streaming. How you place your condenser mic will directly affect the sound that will be captured and it’s safe to say that dreadful sound quality can make viewers leave your Twitch stream, which we don’t want to happen.
In every room, there is a “sweet spot” for your microphone so it can perform the best and give you a professional-sound recording. Generally speaking, regardless of the microphone type you are using, the sweet spot is commonly near the sound source. However, there are factors such as room size, interior, design, and outside noise that you will need to consider when placing your microphone in a room.
A best practice is to place your microphone away from windows, especially if you live in an area where neighbors can be quite noisy or the roads are busy. While this is a general rule of thumb that should be practiced whether you’re using dynamic microphones, headset microphones, or XLR microphones, condenser microphones are more susceptible to picking up such background noise because they are more sensitive.
Avoid placing your microphone near a fan or air conditioner so as not to pick up any wind noise or sound waves. If this area in your room is the sweet spot, then it’s best to turn off such appliances during your stream.
A sound wave may also bounce in the room depending on the design, interior, and objects present. The more items are inside a room, the more waves there will be. To eliminate such, place your microphone in a rather empty area of the room. If space is an issue, then there are room accessories you can purchase to help in decreasing noise and waves.
Check as well the ceiling you have in the room where you plan on conducting streams. If you place your mic in a room small room with a flat ceiling, then you might hear some slight echo in your recording. You can minimize this by carpeting your floors to make the waves bounce less and produce a flat sound with less echo.
When placing your microphone in front of you, it should have a distance of at least 6 to 12 inches away from your mouth. If the microphone is too near you, then it may pick up breathing sounds and make your voice too loud for others. To ensure that no wind or plosives are picked up, then you can install a pop shield.
When angling your microphone, find out first if this is a side-address or front-address type.
From the name itself, a side-address microphone should be angled towards your face in such a way that will let you speak at the sides of it while the latter should be angled directly towards your face so you can speak in front of it.
While there are streamers who prefer to angle their microphones upside down, you do not necessarily have to. Although, there are certain microphones, such as the Blue Yeti, that can benefit more from it than other models. When angling your microphone upside down, turn it to a 90-degree angle. This angle will help reduce plosives even without a pop filter in use.
A condenser microphone is one of the best streaming mics to choose from the multiple microphones there are in the market. The features and performance quality of condenser mics are great considering their price points.
However, when you compare a condenser to a dynamic microphone, headset microphone, or XLR microphone, they are extremely sensitive in picking up sounds and recording detailed audio. With this, knowing the optimal position and mic placement for condensers is important in ensuring your stream’s audio quality is the best it can be.
The Blue Yeti has been growing in popularity for many streamers because of its features, performance, and price point. You would even often find a Twitch streamer using a Blue Yeti Pro USB or the Blue Yeti Nano.
Although the best mic may ultimately boil down to the preference of the streamer, other features make some of them better than others. Try to look for a condenser microphone that offers selectable pickup patterns so you can switch polar patterns depending on the application and recording location.
Speaking of polar patterns, make sure that the condenser mic you are looking at offers a cardioid mode since the cardioid pattern is most recommended for streamers who tend to speak directly in the microphone while minimizing background noises.
Sometimes, even the best microphones will still pick up background noise even if they have been properly positioned and placed. When this happens, it’s recommended to purchase accessories that will help with noise reduction.
For noise-reduction microphone accessories, you can never go wrong with a shock mount if you’re using a boom arm to stabilize your microphone. It will also help with sensitivity, which is a common case for many condenser mics. One streaming microphone that can particularly benefit from a shock mount is the Blue Yeti because of how highly sensitive it is in picking up a sound.
On the other hand, pop filters are great at blocking breathing sounds from being picked up by the microphone. These are a good investment if you tend to speak directly into the microphone and tend to shout during a stream.
Dynamic microphones are also popular streaming mics. A dynamic microphone is great at reducing noise while picking up clear sound. However, dynamic microphones can limit your movement compared to condenser mics because most of their frequency response can only pick up sound directly in front.
A dynamic microphone also usually costs more than a condenser mic, but that is to say that their sound recording quality is indeed impressive and is at a professional level.
Headset microphones make great streaming mics if you’re looking for a hands-free device. There are a lot of gamers who prefer using a headset microphone because it allows them to make hand gestures and arm movements without worrying if they would bump into the microphone. A headset mic also allows streamers to freely move their head and be assured that whatever they are saying will still be picked up.
However, since a headset mic is worn, it can also be too close to the streamer’s mouth. This makes headset microphones susceptible to picking up plosives, breathing, and wind noise. It’s not recommended for streamers who talk loudly or often shout because it can be unpleasant to the ears of viewers.
To avoid these issues, you can check out the guide we created to help you choose the best headset microphone for you.
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