Mic For Narration With Camtasia (models)?

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Hi folks,

I currently use a $39.00 USB headset Sennheiser mic to narrate my tutorial videos.  I do not yet own Camtasia but it is looking extremely likely that I will purchase it quite soon.  I am not able to achieve the quality of sound I would like out of my current microphone.  Sennheiser is a good brand and so I think the issue it with the fact that its a 'headset' mic.  I chose this because I switch from operating the PC to playing the piano in my tutorials.  But it seems that I am going to have to switch tactics one way or another.

I can only think that the best option (and I am quite sure that all the 'pro's' do this) is to have a desktop mic and not a headset type (due to the massive difference in sound quality).

I spent a good couple of hours on You Tube tonight watching reviews and comparisons of different mics used in conjunction with Camtasia.  Obviously the end result depends on the natural tone and volume of the narrators voice, as well as the acoustics of the room.  But in general, for what I need, is anyone able to point me in the right direction?

Basically, I just need a reasonable quality mic (I think 'dynamic' is best suited here) which will sit on a tripod, with a 'pop' shield, and will pick up my voice clearly from (say) 12 x inches (so that I can still talk whilst playing the piano and also I can have it to my side when operating the PC).  I guess that would come under it having a choice of 'directional' settings?

Would a USB fitting do the same job as an XLR ended cable?  I only have two inputs on my soundcard interface (Steinberg CI2+) which I would like to keep free for the stereo outs of my synthesizer.  I could use a mixing desk, but I don't really want to start adding more hardware to the set-up if I can help it.

I am thinking of something around the £100 mark if possible.

I read a couple of threads on here but they did not quite answer all of the above specifically to my scenario.

Here are a couple of videos if you care to watch to further explain my situation :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbMub0JPDss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-bXCLLo6U8

Many thanks in advance guys.

Ta,

Paul Seaman

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monsterjazzlicks

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Posted 5 years ago

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Joe Morgan

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Hello there,
I use a relatively inexpensive.  USB-Noise canceling,  Head-set microphone.
Andrea Electronics C1-1022600-50 model NC-185
Mostly because I use Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition software. This particular brand of microphone was highly recommended by Dragon. It's "Directional" so it picks up sound mostly from the direction of your mouth.  Noise Canceling  is an important feature.
It does a pretty good job on it's own. Plus when you turn your head it follows your voice. A Desktop mic. won't do that. The best position for a microphone is usually clipped to your shirt and close to your mouth OR--- 

  

I also export my Audio and clean it up in another program. Then I produce my video with that.
A USB connector is used for a digital signal, that's what you want. 

Regards, Joe 
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi Joe,

Cool photo !!  lol

I never heard of Dragon but I just saw on Amazon it has pretty good reviews.

I looked into 'clip on' mic's but I have decided not to go down that avenue.


I was looking at this mic on You Tube earlier today :-

Audio Technica AT2020 USB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZRTUZwDBKY


And this one seems highly popular :-

Rode Podcaster USB Studio Microphone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1RfYIlCfrQ


I have Steinberg Cubase so I can edit the sound if needed (though I would try and get a decent narration recording from the start if possible).

Cheers,

Paul

(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I personally don't care for clip on mic's because they are easy to bump and introduce loud noise when that happens. But that's what most TV newscaster's and talk show people use.
A good photo should never collect to much dust. LOL
I tried using an inexpensive Desktop mic and I had to keep my mouth close to it. I'm sure a good mic is much better.  I got Dragon and realized how poor my desktop mic was at that point. 

So I strapped on my Head-Set and fired up Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It is now typing everything I say. When I used the desktop microphone it made a lot of mistakes. Now with this new headset it is practically flawless. The biggest drawback of Dragon NaturallySpeaking is it allows you to ramble on and type out more words than anybody is interested in reading. You can spell chrysanthemum correctly without using spellcheck. You can even control your computer. But if you accidentally say the wrong thing, it may do something  that you did not want to do. So I keep that functionality disabled. It took me under 30 seconds to dictate this paragraph. This would require a whole lot of typing and I'm not very fast at it.
Regards, Joe

(Edited)
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi Joe,

Thanks for your kind and continued help.

I think the advice you are giving me on this matter is a little too technical in respect with what I am actually trying to do here.

It appears you are using your mic to dictate the words onto the screen (ie. the nescessity to have 'voice recognition' facility and software).  I have VR facility on my new Dell Windows 8.1 but it is not something I am particularly bothered about using to be honest. Maybe I did not explain my intentions clearly enough (in which case I do apologise).

I only want a 'regular' mic to talk into and to record my voice (as audio).  I don't need it for VR or to convert what I am saying into 'text'.

Sorry for any confusion !

Having looked again at various models and scenarios, the best device I think is going to be a mic which comes with a tripod stand (and so not a clip-on or one which needs to be held by a boom stand).

Best,

Paul

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Joe Morgan

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Hey, no problem. I was just explaining what Dragon was because you said you never heard of Dragon before.
I just use the "Head-set mic"  because I bought it for Dragon. It's great for recording with Camtasia as well.
I don't use a boom or Clip on either.
Regards
(Edited)
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monsterjazzlicks

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Ok cheers Joe.

There is an Audio-Tech on eBay at the moment :-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Audio-Technica-AT2020-USB-/111357221243?pt=UK_Music_Instruments_Microphone...

In the mean time, I am going to download the trial if Camtasia.  I tried out Sony Vegas Platinum earlier and after 20 x mins I uninstalled it.  The damn thing was bloody awful and far from user friendly.  The callout type graphics etc were of very poor design.  I tried submitting some questions on the Sony Forum but it won't let you until you register.  So I did, and then it still would not let me because you then have to submit the serial-number of the product you are referring to.  I emailed Customer Support who gave me a cut&paste reply saying that unfortunately they can not assist nor offer a product which catered for my needs (yet they sell a version of Sony Vegas for over £400 !!).  What a completely lousy service !!

Ta,

Paul

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kayakman, Champion

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I use the Audio Technica AT2020 USB myself; it is a high quality, desktop, USB mic that I have positioned about 3 feet away from where I sit; it is very sensitive and sits on its own small tripod stand; I work in a 25x25 "hard" room that gives me good, natural sounding ambiance, which I prefer in my recordings
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monsterjazzlicks

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Thanks Kayakman,

I was reading the good reviews about this on Amazon :-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Audio-Technica-Cardioid-Condenser-USB-Microphone/dp/B001AS6OYC/ref=sr_1_2?ie...

Do you think it would work ok if I had it sat on the tripod in between me and the laptop?  I sit at a desk with my laptop in front of me (like you normally would).

Is it correct that the USB version does not require Phantom Power and the XLR version does?

Do you have (or would) a 'popper' clip on to the tripod stand?

The only mic I currently own is a SM58 but that's 'dynamic' so I think quite different from 'condensor'?

Does 'desktop mic' just mean it sits on a tripod and is designed to be used for narrating rather than singing/gigging?

Sorry for all the questions ! lol

Best,

Paul

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kayakman, Champion

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the mic is very sensitive; the closer it is to your mouth the more ypu are likely to pick up "sss" sounds, etc; but just give it a try and see

I know nothing re "Phantom Power"; the mic is just a USB device that gets its power from the laptop I use

again, no knowledge re "popper"; I certainly don't have one

based on its sensitivity, I think it is good for any type audio input you want to record

when I mean sensitive, I mean "sensitive"' it can pick up extraneous sounds from other parts of my residence; it also picks up outside bird and insect sounds when I work with windows open [FYI, these natural sounds can help a recording sound more "normal"; i.e., not canned]

with audio capture, the closer the mic is to your mouth, the less "obvious" other noises are [although they are still being captured]; but you can just set the capture volume down to help manage unwanted extraneous sounds

I suggest a buy & try approach

just be advised that your environment makes a big difference; a "soft room" [lots of sound absorbing stuff] will give you recordings that are very different from a "hard room" environment
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi Kayakman,

The mic will be sitting on a large wooden desk with the laptop.  The room has carpet but really the only 'absorbing' property.  I am in a second floor flat with double glazing so I would say pretty quiet compared to other home studio environments.

Its the 'SSS' sounds that are giving me massive issues at the moment.  May be to do with the way I speak?! lol  Or perhaps the Sennheiser headset mic.  I rolled ALL the Bass of last week and I am still unhappy with the tone. i am far less concerned about the sound of the 'room' than i am the tone of my voice.

Does the mic have a On/Off switch?

Ta,

Paul


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kayakman, Champion

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everybody make "sss" sounds, some louder than others; a not-to-close mic helps eliminate these

FYI, try cutting back treble to cut back on the "sss"'s

no on/off switch; why would you want one?  you can always just pull the USB plug
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi Kayakman,

Sorry, that's what I meant !  I took all the Treble out.

The reason I wanted an On/Off switch it because during my tutorials I will be playing the synthesizer.  This is recorded as 'system sound'.  The sound of the synthesizer will be coming out of my studio monitors (so that I can hear what I am playing!) so I obviously don't want this being picked up and re-fed thru the mic.  So I was thinking of flicking the mic Off when I play the synth.  Plus the keys on it are very noisy and will definitely be picked up by the mic.

You can hear this very clearly in the first 30 x seconds of my video :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZMVZ2cSgdo

However, there may be a solution if try plugging a pair of headphones into my Steinberg CI2+ Soundcard Interface instead of having the monitors switched on.  I would need to experiment with this routing though using the VoiceMeeter software I recently discovered).  But in any case, the key-clicking of the synth will still be picked up acoustically?!

Thanks,

Paul

(Edited)
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi again,

I have really been looking into the Blue Yeti mics this evening.  There are two models, the regular and the pro :-

http://bluemic.com/yeti/

http://bluemic.com/yetipro/

With the pro model, the audio is far superior but leads me to a question. Obviously I would be using it within Camtasia and so will sample rate 192 kHz (and not 44.1) and bit rate 24 (and not 16) be ok would anyone know please?  I am concerned that Camtasia may have specific min / max requirements in this area? 

The regular Blue Yeti spec is 16bit / 48kHz.

Prices are £220 and £120 respectively.

Thanks,

Paul

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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi again,

Regarding recording AUDIO, I have been looking seriously at the Blue Yeti Pro.  It has an On/Off switch and also a direct headphone output for non-latency monitoring.

However, my same question still remains please (if anyone is able and kind enough to help) :-

Will sample rate 192 kHz (and not 44.1) and bit rate 24 (and not 16) be ok would anyone know please?  I am concerned that Camtasia may have specific min / max requirements in this area?  I believe the Blue Yeti Pro is able to reduce down to 48khz and 24 bit if needed :-


http://bluemic.com/yetipro/#/specs/


What sample rate and word length does Yeti Pro use?

From 16 bit/22 kHz up to 24bit/192 kHz and common sampling rates in-between.


Cheers,

Paul

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monsterjazzlicks

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Anyone able to clarify/help on the above last two posts please ??

Ta,

Paul

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Joe Morgan

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This sounds like a good question for Tech Support.       The service is free so no worries.

Just fill out a support ticket at                  https://support.techsmith.com/home

Or you could Give the Tech Support Team a call at 888.750.0686 (or +1.517.381.2300 ext. 771 internationally)--they are available from 8 am - 7 pm EST.

 Regards, Joe...    {:> )


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monsterjazzlicks

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Thanks Joe,

I have been emailing a guy Cory L off and on so I may give him another shout.  Or send the Tech Team a link to this thread via the Support Request you kindly included.

I have Skype also !!  Give us a shout sometime (monsterjazzlicks) !!

Paul

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monsterjazzlicks

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I emailed Tech Support today regarding this query.  Cheers.
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi guys,

I just made a very quick demo for anyone who has experience with the Blue Yeti Pro mic :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miYX1D_PlKc&feature=youtu.be

Hopefully the BLP does not suffer the same on/off 'noise' as what my current Sennheiser mic does.

I also sent this video to Blue Microphones Tech Support.

Ta,

Paul

(Edited)
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monsterjazzlicks

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Here is the reply from Tech Support I kindly received today :-


Paul,

We have had plenty of people using the blue yeti microphones.


That being said, Camtasia Studio timeline works in 44,100 and 22,050 most efficiently. That's because that is what we use to play back that audio.

With Camtasia Studio we record at 44,100. Sometimes having a mismatch in sample rates can cause some strange sound problems for us, but I have never seen it specifically happen with the Yeti range of Microphones. That doesn't specifically mean that it couldn't though, unfortunately.

Kind Regards,

Cory

TechSmith Technical Support

(Edited)
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monsterjazzlicks

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Paul,

I just was talking with a colleague about this. It sounds like the 24 bit may be a bigger issue. We record and work with 16bit in Camtasia Studio, so you may end up with a degraded sound quality coming from a 24bit microphone.

I don't have exact details on if we have seen this with the yeti pro, but we have seen similar behavior with other microphones.

Kind Regards,

Cory

TechSmith Technical Support

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steve.hammill

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I'm not a fan of large diaphragm condenser mics because they have such BIG EARS. Not only will they hear every flaw in the acoustics of your room, but those buggers will also hear a pickup truck going down the highway five miles away - even from inside of my Whisper Room. 

Your SM58 running through a MicPort Pro USB audio preamp is a fine and flexible solution. 

However, for roughly the same money you can buy a YETI Pro USB mic and call it macaroni. The YETI is a large diaphragm condenser mic, but it works nicely. It kills me that an inexpensive mic like the YETI produces U87 like results. Obviously, when challenged, the U87 is a far and away better mic, but for something like a screencast VO it's tough to justify the $3k difference. 

Be certain to buy the YETI Pro because you need the earphone jack for monitoring without latency.

You might also consider using other software to record/edit the audio, export it to MP3, and use in in Camtasia Studio.  
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monsterjazzlicks

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Thanks Steve,

I do have an SM58 which I use for backing-vocals on gigs.  But I wanted a condenser mic (for instance, like the Yeti) so that I can also record vocalists in my small home studio.

I don't actually need the output monitor facility myself, but it might be handy for vocalists I am recording should they need to hear themselves more distinctly.

I have Cubase Steinberg which is my PC music DAW.  I had thought about using an external digital recorder to record the audio (eg. my voice) and then export/import it into Camtasia as a Wav or mp3 like you kindly suggest.  But I abandoned that method because it seems like an expensive and long winded way of going about (what should be) a fairly straight forward procedure.

Cheers,

Paul

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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi Cory,

So I can record at 16bit/44.1KHz ? And it will be fine ? I am happy with this configuration as long as it work OK. I don't mind the slight downgrading of audio quality in this scenario.

Ta,

Paul


Paul,

That is the format that Camtasia records at. Generally speaking that is more than adequate for most people. 

Kind Regards,

Cory

TechSmith Technical Support

(Edited)
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steve.hammill

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Paul, you'd be a rare bird to hear the difference in a typical in-home studio. Even in fine studios, few people hear those differences. 

I haven't used Cubase in years, but like Reaper pretty well. You can make the adjustments in Cubase and probably be good to go. I prefer to do anything that might need precision editing in a tool designed for it. 
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monsterjazzlicks

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Hi Steve,

Thanks a lot mate.

Its just that so many are obsessed with having the absolute highest possible quality for something so simple as their voice on a podcast/tutorial ! I do agree with you here.  As long as people can understand me ok and there are no plosives etc, then I am quite happy.

My reasons for my questions here were much more to do with compatibility between Cubase, Blue Yeti and Camtasia.

And with the Blue Yeti Pro i will be able to use it to record vocalists in my small home studio.

Though many people do say that I would be better off choosing a different mic than the BYP.  Something that is not USB and that does not have a built in mc or headphone monitor output such as one of the Audio Tech models.

Best,

Paul

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