Author Topic: Microphones, screencasts, podcasts, etc. (Questions. I have them!)  (Read 329 times)


  • Bristles
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I am a university professor and I started teaching fully asynchronous classes (no set meeting time, everything done online) in 2018--well before the pandemic. I actually LIKE this mode of instruction a lot even though everyone  else seems obliged to sadly shake their heads in sorrow and mumble something to the effect that nothing beats in-person interaction. I beg to differ--at least for SOME classes. In polling my students last semester, the majority (75%) said--pandemic or not--they would like to have the option of fully online instruction for at least SOME of their classes.

In any case, I record and upload screencast lectures (voice-over PowerPoint and other digital media) for my students every week, and it is very time-consuming. Fortunately, I can re-use most of the ones I have done previously, so I am looking at a much lower workload in the coming several weeks.


I have been finding my self spending an inordinate amount of time editing my screencast recordings (voice-over PowerPoint slide lectures) captured in Camtasia with a Blue Yeti condenser microphone. We have a pretty decent tech support group at our university, and they are usually helpful, but I understand this microphone they recommended is the WRONG kind for voice. Everyone else I know in the recording engineering business tells me I need a dynamic microphone and not a condenser--that condensers are too sensitive and will pick every fine nuance of every breath, grunt, and other vocal noise anyone makes while speaking.

In any case, yesterday it took me 2hrs to edit the audio an 18 minute recording. This is not only because Camtasia is very buggy (I do not recommend it!), but also because I like to edit out every last breath and grunt and lip-smacking sound I take. It gets to be incredibly time-consuming. I guess I am kind of a perfectionist with this, but it is taking time away form other things. Do you think this is solely due to using the wrong kind of microphone? What type of dynamic mic would you buy in the 100-150$ price range? Keep in mind this is only for 128 Kbps voice--not recording the nuances of acoustic musical instruments.

I am looking at buying (having my dept pay) for a dynamic mic. Other than that, how do you handle editing, especially of the audio?

Any advice would be appreciated!

EDIT: I do have a pop filter, and as far as I can tell, it has absolutely no effect on the sound.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:00:07 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Microphones, screencasts, podcasts, etc. (Questions. I have them!)
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 03:40:14 PM »
I don't have a mic recommendation, Or maybe I do, but it's a build. I would do a thorough search of podcast mics and see what the brings.
 I would have some concern for the room you record in, try to avoid reflections. I've heard some recording that sound like they were made in a bathroom.
If you have any building skills, these videos may interest you. And it's cheap,
First an acoustic panel build that is very inexpensive but effective. Helps with reflections.
 Here is an easy build of a PZM mic using a condensor mic, mechanically easy, with some electronics to work through, basic though.
This video explains why the PZM has an advantage with preventing reflections.
I started the above video at the point where he talks about reflections.
Here is the whole video, and it is good info to learn, he's just a little hard to listen to. He uses a bit higher quality mics.
 Here's a condensor mic for the PZM build, this is the latest mic that is a hit among the builders. .
Here's the spec sheet. It has a very flat frequency response.
  Hope that helps.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Microphones, screencasts, podcasts, etc. (Questions. I have them!)
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 05:37:42 PM »
Hello again!

Believe it or not, my wife and I had to deal with similar a few months ago in preparation for this semester. Given you've got a good and proper desktop with multiple audio-in jacks, including a dedicated microphone jack... let me suggest an over-ear omnidirectional microphone with 3.5mm jack for a wireless mic pack, plugged directly into the microphone jack, and run through VB-Cable and NoiseGator to finish cleaning up the audio.

We'd bought this Weymic initially which worked a treat, but it's no longer available, so the Pyle PMEM1 might be a good alternative.

NoiseGator (will require Java, unfortunately)
How to set it all up.

She uses it as the default microphone setup for her audio lectures and for Zoom. Once you get all the tweaking and fiddling done on the NoiseGator end (the defaults from the video may or may not work, aim for really low times and adjust everything else until it works well), the audio sounds spectacular. Really crisp, smooth, dynamic, no pops, low noise floor, no lip smacking and breathing noises with the mic placed on the cheek/chin/side of mouth, and you can barely even hear the cat in the background when he wanders into the room and starts yelling for attention, and all for around $20.

If you need an audio editor, she's using Ocenaudio, which is apparently an application favorite among voice-over folks. It's a destructive editor (so make a copy of the master first), but it's far faster and easier to get into and start using than Audacity. This said, Audacity is the 800lb audio editing gorilla and it does have some nice auto-editing options like truncate silence. This said, she's just using the Windows default Voice Recorder app to record the masters now, and given how clean the recordings are, she only edits now if she has to splice files or cut out a gonk, and it's really streamlined recording production with the software noise gate already in the recording line already for her. From there, just dump the recording into Powerpoint directly and export from there. With this workflow, she can go from initial recording for a 15 minute mini-lecture to published with captioning under Microsoft Stream in under 90 minutes, with the captioning the most consuming part of the process.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 05:40:21 PM by Daley »