Equipping a Let’s Play: Microphone

A short post for you today, since everything – except my ability to play games and talk at the same time – is up and working, and we’ve had quite a ride the past few weeksΒ with getting everything up and running. Last week we talked a bit about the capture device I’m using, so today I thought I’d delve a little more into the microphone set-up I have. Here we go!

Part II: Microphone

I admit I wanted an excuse to get a decent recording microphone for some music projects I have, so I took the opportunity to splurge a little bit. There are plenty of microphones that would get the job done, but I chose to spring for a fancy condenser microphone. Basically, a condenser microphone is the type of mic you’d generally find in a recording studio: it’s a little more sensitive to the full frequencies of your voice/instrument, and is a little more sensitive to sounds. It generally has a louder output that non-condenser mics, but it also requires its own power source in order for you to fully take advantage of its power. But one step at a time.

For the microphone, I chose the Floureon BM-800 Condenser mic (again, they’re not paying me for this…). It’s what’s called a cardiod mic, which just means that you don’t have to talk directly into the “top” of it for it to pick your voice up. Most microphones have a recording area that goes out of the top of the mic in a cone shape, but cardiod mics have more of a 3D heart shape coming out of the base/middle of the mic… Just trust me that it picks your voice up from more than one direction πŸ™‚ Mine also came with a little shock mount that can be screwed onto a microphone stand (which I already had). It works; it’s job is to minimize any sound of “bounce” or “bump” that might happen to the stand, so the sound isn’t transferred to the mic. So far, so good!

Image result for floureon bm-800

So far, I really like it. I haven’t played with it too much in regards to music yet, but for my voice it sounds good and does what I need it to do. It came with a wind-screen, which is nice and keeps all the “s”s and “t”s and other plosives from sounding awful, and can plug right into the computer with a 3.5mm jack. Now, I’m recording into the Hauppauge software, or into Audacity, so it’s not exactly high-tech recording software I have, but like I said, for what I need, it works. It even works without the phantom power, although I do hear a bit of a difference between the two.

*edit* I’ve since learned that the 3.5mm jack doesn’t work, as my computer doesn’t consistently recognize the microphone in that jack. I have a 3.5mm-to-USB converter, which plugs into the computer and works nicely. This is something I purchased (SYBA brand). Don’t use the one that came with the mic because it’s terrible and doesn’t work. For an example of the sound, click here.*end edit*

Phantom Power

Now this one is a little tricky. I bought a phantom power box because everything I’ve ever been told about condenser mics is that they don’t work without phantom power. So I dutifully purchased a phantom power box. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great device, and I like that it has an on/off switch so if you want to switch between the two settings, you don’t have to unplug everything and redo all your wiring.

Like I said, there’s a subtle difference between having the phantom power on and off, and perhaps with a different sound recording program it would make more of a difference. Maybe even once I get around to recording music, it might matter. But as of right now, it’s not something that I would say is a necessity. Maybe because the Floureon is made to plug right into a computer? I don’t know.

Image result for innogear i229

At any rate, it’s a good little device, and the name of it is InnoGear I229 Phantom Power, if that’s something you’re interested in dabbling in.

I unfortunately can’t post an audio file onto the site since I’m using the free version, but there are about 15 videos on YouTube that have all different settings with the mic that you can peruse if you are so inclined…

Bits and Bobs

HDMI Splitter:Β I’ll explainΒ why I have an HDMI splitter when I lay out my set-up, but if you are in need of a good HDMI splitter, I confidently recommend the ViewHD 2 Port 1×2 Mini Splitter (for HD and 3D). It requires its own power source, but the pictures are clear on all the devices that it’s “splitting” to!

HDMI to RCA converter:Β Again, explanations to follow later, but if you ever found yourself in need to converting your HDMI output signal into good old-fashioned RCA, I’ve been using the Cingk HDMI to RCA composite video/audio converter. Again, it requires a power source, but it converts the HDMI signal to RCA just fine. Not only do I use this for recording, but it’s the only way I can hook my PS4 into my CRT TV…

No special video this week, but if you haven’t already, you should definitely check out our Let’s Play channel, and give it a like and subscribe so you don’t miss the fun!

Next week I’ll talk a bit about the editing software I use, before diving in to what my set-up actually looks like!

Until then, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

 

 


25 thoughts on “Equipping a Let’s Play: Microphone

  1. So much power. I picture at least two surge protectors are needed for everything at the same station with just the regular stuff plugged in the area.
    At least if, for instance, you’re coughing or moving during recording you won’t get that awful headset scratch and thud sounds of the mic being moved that are common for a simple setup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have two surge protectors for everything, including the consoles that I usually have hooked into the television. My TV stand doesn’t have enough room for all the stuff, either, so there’s a mess of wires on the floor that I’m trying to tidy up! haha

      That’s true about movements not getting picked up! I have to be careful with coughs, though, because even if I turn my head and lean away, it still picks it up if I’m not careful. But no, there’s no scratching or thuds, which is nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good thing HDMI is the main cord now, makes it so much easier as far as cord messes go.
        The awful days of having a Nintendo and PS hooked up at the same time with only maybe two sets of red white yellow plugs, or having two different coax converters hanging off the back of the tv are in the past.
        Busting out an old gen console every now and again is fun, but a pain especially on outlet space since most used that awful brick block that covers two spots minimum on an average surge protector.
        I think the N64 was the first I remember where they moved that part to the section that plugs into the console so the outlet only took a normal spot in an outlet, and now they just section it out in parts for laptops and consoles.
        HDMI is eventually going to be phased out by some sync system. Which I’ll miss as much as needing 4+ cds to install a game, or accidentally putting your floppys next to something magnetic.

        Just thinking about that kind of made me nostalgic, not in the way that I miss old tech, but how slow everything moved, playing a game of Starcraft when someone had AOL and the game would lag, or the 50/50 era where half of the community was still on dial up while some had DSL.
        I can download a full game in gigabytes in the same amount or less time than a sample mp3 would take.
        Sorry for the long reply and the irrelevant tangent to the original subject.
        You have more important things to do like saving the galaxy from ancient alien robots. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah if I ever get an updated television and join the 21st century, a number of cords will be phased out, which will be nice. Until then, I should buy stock in twist-ties….

          It’s crazy to think about how far technology has come, isn’t it? I remember when we first got dial-up, and if someone was going online they would yell, “Don’t make a phone call! I’m checking my email!” only to sit for five minutes hoping the computer would actually connect.

          But now, I think my phone is more powerful than that computer was… In any case, I don’t mind hooking things up with wires, because it makes me feel better to *see* them connected. I don’t always trust wireless to actually work.

          And I’m always good for a rambling reply! Giant space bugs can wait! πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m pretty sure my cars computer is more powerful than the first three computers my mom got combined, and my phone is better than the Pre-Dell-Alienware laptop I had back in the early 2000’s, that thing had serious heating problems and was bulky.
            The scary thing is how quickly it all evolved, and how people like Orwell and Roddenberry imagined most of this before it came to life.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. And here I am with a spindle of old blank dvds, with no drive I can even use them on since my old laptop disk drive broke down and my new one never even came with one, but I have to think why am I keeping this? All my music is on this screen box in my hand, I can stream anything I don’t have on the go, and this spindle of disks just sits there with no use… I have thumb drives with more than enough capacity for small files. These are the reasons space bugs need killing, the way we surround ourselves with outdated waste makes us a competitive species.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. They collect and integrate intelligent life, we do the same with technology, how else does having 3.5mm still make sense?
                    Yet I hate apple for trying to phase it out. It’s adapted from the ΒΏ6.35mm? jack, which existed before 1900. Assimilate and repurpose.

                    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know much about mics, but it seems that your setup is really coming along and always improving! I can only imagine how much things cost to get up and running. In my case, my boyfriend already had a mixer board (with phantom power!) and a mic/stand for me to start using for the stream, so I was grateful for that. My mic is literally a stage microphone rather than something fancy like what you’ve got there. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your setup and changes you make! Very exciting stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s not perfect, and I’m learning on the fly, but I’m glad everything is working now! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, purchasing quality stuff is always a little costly, but I think it’s worth it, especially if you can use it for something else, like how I plan on using the mic for music, as well.

      As long as you get the sound you like, that’s all that really matters! And thanks! I’m excited to see where this goes, too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for the post! The microphone was the part for me that was a little difficult. When I recording video clips I was using my standard headset from my xbox one. If I start up again, I think that looking into a microphone for PCs and recording will be the best option because my audio was horrible lol. Have a great week!

    -Luna πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you found it helpful! Headsets are definitely the easiest way to go when looking to start up! I’ve come across some who seem to use them to record with success, but that’s not something I’ve dabbled in, so I unfortunately don’t have any tips for that πŸ™‚ Thanks, you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Phantom power sounds like something way cooler than it actually is. At least until you use it to unleash your level 3 super. Then it sounds like something exactly as cool as it actually is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dang, you’ve splurged for real, all this looks great. I’m using my headset and I’m surprised it’s pretty decent and doesn’t pick up keyboard sounds at all πŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ
    Looking forward to see more of your setup, and it’s great that everything has settled now and you can record freely πŸ‘Œ

    Like

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