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Audio Quality

Community Beginner ,
May 24, 2023 May 24, 2023

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When I bought my computer I had the option to pay 99 cents for a headset to come with it. This headset is, somehow, worth less than what I paid for it. I use this headset on discord when playing games with my friends. When using discord with this headset there is no white noise, ambient noise, background anything. It sounds great and there are no problems. 

 

In my basement I have a soundtreated room with a SonyZV-1 and a Rode VideoMic which I *intend* to use to create professional promotional material for my business. The ZV-1 and Rode VideoMic sound like actual trash compared to my 99 cent headset. The passive white noise that my setup picks up makes any attempt to record audio totally wasted. 

 

I have watched HOURS of tutorials on youtube on 'cleaning up audio' and none of it can even come close to fixing the audio monstrosity that is the Rode VideoMic. This seems to be a problem unique to me. There are no tutorials on youtube about getting rid of white noise on the VideoMic. Tutorials about removing white noise often provide samples of 'bad audio' that the youtuber then cleans - their version of bad audio is drastically better than my cleaned audio. 

 

What the actual F is happening? I am beating my skull bloody on the digital wall as I slam into this problem with no solution.

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Audio hardware , How to , Noise reduction

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , May 25, 2023 May 25, 2023

You probably won't want to hear any of this, but I can't say that I'm that surprised, quite honestly. The ZV-1 is basically a vlogger's camera, designed to be used at a relatively close range, and if you put a VideoMic (you haven't said which one, incidentally - they aren't all the same) on top of it, and then sit at a 'normal' sort of distance from it, rather than having it on a selfie-stick at arm's length, you're way further from the mic than is ideal. Even though the manufacturers try to kid

...

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Community Expert ,
May 25, 2023 May 25, 2023

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You probably won't want to hear any of this, but I can't say that I'm that surprised, quite honestly. The ZV-1 is basically a vlogger's camera, designed to be used at a relatively close range, and if you put a VideoMic (you haven't said which one, incidentally - they aren't all the same) on top of it, and then sit at a 'normal' sort of distance from it, rather than having it on a selfie-stick at arm's length, you're way further from the mic than is ideal. Even though the manufacturers try to kid you that using their super-directional mic like that, everything will be fine,  as you've discovered, it isn't; it will only be okay at a very short range, where it's picking up more direct signal than ambient sound.

 

Back in the Dark Ages when I used to teach camcorder courses we used to tell people that the prime purpose of mics on cameras was to record the noise of the zoom motor, and the cursing and muttering of the camera operator. Even if you prevent that, then as I said, the only thing it's going to pick up well is the ambient sound of the space it's in - which is pretty much not what anybody wants.

 

I can tell you what works way better (because I have two of them) and that is to use Rode radio mics. I have a couple of 'Filmmaker' kits and these are really good. Even the BBC is using Wireless Go's now, for heaven's sake, and they won't allow rubbish sound out at all. You also have to bear in mind that with the best will in the world, the sound recording capabilities of the ZV-1 aren't exactly stellar, and it needs all the help it can get. Generally the best way to do this is to give it a healthy feed from a radio mic, which will use up much more of the dynamic range, and keep the hiss at a much lower level.

 

But that said, I've used a vlogger's camera once - and that's why I don't own one. For indoor studio-type presentations, you'd be much better off with a half-decent camcorder. What it comes down to is that at the heart of it, you need to get the capture as right as you can in the first place - having to attempt to do massive fixes afterwards wastes a lot of time, and never works as well.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
May 25, 2023 May 25, 2023

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+1 for the Wireless Go

As Steve Jobs would have said: "It just works"

 

Best regards, Euan.

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Explorer ,
May 25, 2023 May 25, 2023

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Try dropping the audio in to the Adobe Podcast Enhance Beta. If the output is garbage after that, the audio basically can't be saved. You are better off coming in as close as possible to the mic. There's a reason podcasters use dynamic mics instead of the capacitive types with their cardioid pickup pattern.

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Community Expert ,
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023

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Whilst it's fine to try the speech enhancer, there's nothing like getting it right at source. You don't want to be 'as close as possible' to the mic, either - you want to be at a sensible distance, like a few inches away. And FYI, virtually all dynamic mics have a cardioid response, and the small capacitor ones that come with radio mics are basically omnidirectional (pressure) mics, which are much better at close range because they don't exhibit the presence boost that cardioids do.

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Explorer ,
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023

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Oh, well looks like I learnt the wrong things then. Thanks for clearing that up, Steve.

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Community Expert ,
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023

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I'm not entirely surprised - there's a lot of misinformation out there, and it's not really your fault. If you haven't studied any of these subjects formally, how are you supposed to tell what's good stuff and what's BS?

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