Recommended Microphone for My Partner?

Hi all, I'm trying to research something where I'm completely out of my depth and looking for some advice. My partner has started making videos for YouTube for no reason more than she loves doing it. She doesn't get a huge amount of views, but what she gets makes her happy, making the content makes her happy, I think she's a natural, and I want to support her.

Audio has been an issue (currently using a phone and a lapel mic) and she's looking into getting a new microphone. I'd like to get it for her and maybe pay more than she would.

Her videos compose of both her sitting at her computer talking, as well as her cooking, chopping, doing things in the kitchen, etc.

Short version - any recommendations on what mic she should go for at a good price that might meet her needs? Bonus points if it's one mic instead of many.

Longer version - We were last looking at the yeti x VS the yeti nano - presuming the 24 bit audio will be better for clarity. They also offer a couple of modes (in layman terms, one directional, omnidirectional, stereo and one other thing I forget). The X offers all those, whereas the nano does not. She can probably only afford the nano. I'd happily buy her the X if it's worth it. But really, with so much choice out there (including non yeti mics) I am very much a penguin in the desert.

Also, whatever I buy I will talk to her first. Nothing worst than buying her a gift she doesn't want. But even so, just knowing how to think through this purchase better I think would be a help to her.

Comments

  •  

    With a mobile as the recorder, probably:
    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/640845

    I think the directional element is important with noise like chopping you don’t want to dominate or resonate via a normal mic stand.

    •  

      Cardioid, that's the one I forgot! So the thinking here is with a directional mic, it will focus on the voice, and keep sounds like chopping and the likes a bit more in the background?

  •  

    What's wrong with the current lapel mic anyway? Any sample? Without know what is wrong it will be hard to meet her needs.

    • +2 votes

      Yeah, fair comment. From what I can tell the lapel mic's design regularly rubs on her clothes and whenever she moves there's shuffling sounds and the like. That's what she's told me, I more often hear a bit of an echo and often her voice sounds further away than the food she's preparing.

      An improved lapel mic might just be the answer if there's any recommendations there?

      Best sample I have is one of the videos she's made.
      https://youtu.be/M6uufhgT7eo?t=225s

  •  

    I think basically her voice is ok except the background, blender (almost deafened me), equipment, etc noise

    It will be ideal for her use case to setup two mics

    1. To record her voice with unidirectional / shotgun mic, placed closer and pointing to her

    2. To record the background equipment sound with omni mic, placed further from her

    Once recorded using an audio editing software like Audacity,

    1. Put her voice on track 1 and background audio on track 2

    2. Noise clean her voice if any, the unidirectional / shotgun should be doing pretty good job already

    3. Soften the equipment noise, if possible, soften more for blender, soften a bit on chopping and leave the boiling sound there, the idea is to create a pleasant background audio that is nice to hear.

    4. Play both tracks together and fine tune the background audio to a level where it will not overcast her voice

    After this, she should be able to get very good audio.

    As for the equipment, with the low budget in mind, maybe keep the current omni lap mic for background audio and just focus in searching for a unidirectional / shotgun mic. If you think you can afford Yeti X go for it, but if I am in your situation, I will go for the Rode Video Micro posted by @mskeggs or even a budget BOYA MM1 or MM1+ will be great.

    NOTE: I am not a sound engineer, just 2 cents from experience.

    Good Luck

    •  

      Hey, thanks heaps for the advice. I'll share this with her and have a chat :)

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  •  

    My wife is a journo and over working from home over the past 18 months we've been through quite a few options. Given how cheap it is you have nothing to lose with trying something like this:
    https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07N3SX1RL?ref_=pe_2361882_2972...

    In our experience the audio quality is far better than some of the much more expensive options tried. Note that we also use some egg cartons over the top of the isolation shield as a "roof".

    Good luck.

    •  

      Thanks, this looks a really good suggestion! Out of curiosity, what other options did you try? Would be good to hear some of the lessons you learnt if you don't mind sharing? Trying to look into this ourselves we were just getting very lost and overwhelmed with the options, and don't have a huge budget for trial and error.

  •  

    She is moving a lot so I would recommend Rode Go wireless mic. Clip and viola!!

  •  

    I think you'll struggle to do better than a clip on lapel mic or a headworn mic like a countryman headset/earset mic. Experiment the positioning and mounting of the current mic so you don't get noise from clothing. The other option is a narrow pattern overhead mic on a boom just out of frame above and just in front of her head. You want the mic as close as possible to her mouth to maximise the ratio of the voice volume to extraneous sound.

    A big part of why it doesn't sound great is the kitchen has many hard surfaces that reflect the sound. This is why professional recordings are done in a room with controlled reflections - when the reflected sounds are absorbed the direct sound is much clearer. If you can place some absorption in the room out of frame while recording that would help too. Big cushions, foam mattress etc can work.

    That said, it's not completely terrible as it is. A simple improvement would be for her to just talk louder if she can.