Lavalier microphone sound quality

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I am recording in Camtasia 2019 in a small 12 x 12 room with a drop ceiling. I want to use a lavalier mic instead of headset to present a more professional image on web cam. I purchased a RODE wireless lavalier which I really like. Unfortunately, the recorded sound is a little more "hollow" than when I use my Plantronics headset. 

Can anyone help me with any suggestions to improve the quality of the lavalier mic. Are there any recording settings that can make it sound less hollow.
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jhiggins

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Posted 2 months ago

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weissborn

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kind of "echo-y"?  You can try hanging a cloth backdrop but with a lavalier, it probably won't be much of a difference.  My guess is, and I'm not a sound engineer, is that you will need to tweak the audio with a program like Audacity or something similar. 

Wish I had a better answer for you.

Bill W
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gary_bauer

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The issue isn't with the lavalier mic. Rode is great quality. If you record in a large empty room, then that's what it sounds like . Frequently when the room fills up with people , chairs, tables, etc, the echo'y' effect is reduced. And by using Bill's suggestion and do some audio post-processing with Audacity you'll be able to "tweak" what you hear.  Warning. This can become complicated quicl;y and may not have the results you're hoping for.

Good Luck
Gary
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info

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I've found it useful to experiment with the placement of the mic. Generally, if the mic is close to your mouth your voice can mask the reverberations.
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kdwalkerjr

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That's probably the best advice to fix this type of issue.

Try to get that lav around 6" from your mouth.

If it's omni-directional, that's all you need to worry about.

If it's any sort of cardiod pattern, make sure it's pointing at your chin!

I use Rode lavs on my camera rig as well as my desktop condenser. Great mics and they'll do the job if placed correctly.
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Rick Stone

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One of the things I've seen in my journeys is that you want to do all you can to "dampen" the reflective areas of the room. This may involve acquiring something like moving blankets and suspending them in front of you as well as the sides. (I'm doubtful you would want them used as a backdrop)
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Ed Covney

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I just got done watching  a 2-1/2 minute video and the "sound studio" used was surround by very heavy drapes. One of the two-star comments noted he was returning it because it requires a pro sound studio setup.
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Rick Stone

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Have a link handy?
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Ed Covney

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At Amazon, I searched for "RODE wireless lavalier" - I clicked on one of the icons, I don't remember which, and read some of the comments. Saw a link to the video.  Many more videos on RODE are at YouTube.  
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cpr2010chas

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You want to deaden the sound of the room.  Clap in the room and listen for the echo back.   Put some moving blanks, wool blankets and anything to absorb the reverb from your clap.  Walk around the room and clap to find out where the most reverb is coming.  Wooden floors will change the sound a lot too.  I learned that from my son which is has had a recording studio.  My voice went from sounding like I was in a tunnel to a rich bassy sound.  I was told I sound like a radio announcer now.
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kdwalkerjr

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@jhiggins, can we establish...are you referring to 'hollow' which is what a mic would sound like when it's too far away from the sound source?

Or are you talking about echo/reverb/flutter which is what it sounds like when sound is bouncing around a lot?

I think a lot of comments here are dealing with sound absorption and I'm just trying to confirm that's what your issue is.

If it's a thin, hollow sound, it's presence and will likely be corrected with proper mic placement.

If it sounds like you're in an empty garage with lots of flutter, that's sound absorption and you'll need acoustic treatment like has been mentioned.
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi jhiggins and all!

There are some excellent recommendations in here and worth looking into each. I, like kdwalkerjr, am curious to know what the sound is actually like. Would you be capable/willing to take a quick test recording with Camtasia and upload it to Screencast.com (Share -> Screencast in Camtasia) and share the link here so we can give it a listen and make some more educated recommendations?

Something I've been playing with recently since my acoustics are ... sub-par (hardwood floors, bare walls, giant bay window less than 4 feet from my microphone, etc.), is using nVidia's RTX Voice application which helps quite a lot with the poor audio quality I was struggling with while streaming / recording at home. It's built by nVidia as a live noise-removal tool and is fantastic. The caveat is that you need to have a nVidia RTX series graphics card (there's some sort of workaround to get it to work on GTX-based nVidia cards, though I'd hesitate to try as it's not officially supported by nVidia on those cards). Do you know if you have an RTX-based graphics card?
-Robert
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jhiggins

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First of All - Thank you to all of you who have provided input. This is my first time using this forum and I appreciate all the help!

Per Robert's suggestion, I have uploaded a sound test that I used to survey my team internally to Screencast.com. The recording is 102 seconds in total. It contains three different tests as follows:

https://www.screencast.com/t/EyrJqlqz6wbq

1. Using a RODE desktop USB Microphone
2. Using a RODE wireless Lavalier (this is the one I want to use and resolve quality issue)
3. Using a Plantronics headset

Any feedback will be very much appreciated!
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kdwalkerjr

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So definitely not reverb/echo/flutter. Your issue is with mic placement AND the fact that it's a lav mic.

You won't be able to make it sound as rich as the desktop mic but you can get close if you do some EQ processing. Sorry, but them's the breaks.
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jhiggins

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Thank for the quick feedback!
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paulwilliamengle

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Also, if the OP has a walk-in closet , it might be super helpful to test the sound quality in that space vs. your original recording space. A walk-in closet is often, though not always, carpeted and has clothes hanging that can help soak up room reflections. 

Even if it's not a fully walk-in space, standing between the heaviest piece of clothing hung up might be useful. 

The above isn't a substitute for the moving blankets suggested above, but before the OP returns their mic or invests money or time into a more involved solution, doing an A/B comparison between original space and closet might help clear up "is this a mic issue or a room issue." 

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Ed Covney

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I liked the Plantronics best. The sound quality of the Rode, wired or wireless, was also very good (crisp & clear) but sounded as if you were in a small room.
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jhiggins

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Thanks