Help please, looking for starter mike set-up for audible/work

All, Need your assistance please, I need the GF to go back to work, too many audio purchases lately, running out of funds…She needs to earn her keep :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (I’m joking, I’m joking…) anyway, she wants to try her hand with audible and some other audio books and i want to set up a little area for her to work on her desktop. What is currently available that won’t break the bank that she can use fairly SIMPLY please in her office to read and record some books? I know NOTHING about this stuff and she knows even less so i am at your mercy for knowledge and advice.
Thank you, Nick

paging @M0N

M0N does production work, so he will have info to help you!

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Shit, i just needed something simple to try her hand out at reading stories for audible…M0N may set me up with a baby recording studio :rofl: He’s partially the reason i’m in this mess and need this woman out working! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I mean, if it’s a rather quiet environment and your okay with condensors… you could always just go grab a Blue Yeti off the markets since it’s a plug and play unit… They can be seen going for like $60(Just bought one at this price so can verify this pricetag as accurate) and have good quality of sound as well as build quality… Otherwise I guess you’d want an XLR dynamic mic but that will be a bit more costly… Behringer UM2 and one of the Dynamic mics(not my area of experience so can’t recommend a lot of dynamics others will have to do that) should work maybe the Samson Q2U?

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She has a nice corner office set-up on the second floor of the house. I’m gone all day so i assume the house if fairly quiet. Yes the HVAC system makes some audible noises but nothing beyond normal/average i guess. No kids, or animals around so shy of being in a real properly treated studio i assume this room would work ok to set her up and start her off in. Heck if she actually gets work from these people and i see a payday i’ll set her up real nice. I just don’t wanna drop big bucks on stuff that may get used once and then sit around collecting dust…wait, my stuff does that allot…:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :thinking:

I used to use a condensor without sound proofing the room for a while there in a quiet area like this and had no issues so I think it will be fine… you may need to adjust the mic sensitivity a bit but that should be expected.

Should probably explain a bit on those two… Condensors are your soundproof room mics in other words they are really good at picking up every bit of sound but most gamer streamers use these just fine even without soundproof rooms. Dynamics are your live concert mics and are really good at focusing on your vocals and blocking outside noise. Some condensors though are “Super Cardioid” which can be a bit better at focusing your voice instead of like the keyboard or something.

The samson is what I started with and was recommended by some people from here actually as it’s a budget dynamic xlr/usb microphone so it just plugs in and works… blue yeti would still be my other recommendation at this point since you want a bit more cheap… maybe like an at2020 usb if you can find them cheaper but a bit more unlikely from what I have seen.

I think the other one I just tried which was strangely really good was the adorable little Razor seiren mini which surprised me considering its razor. They are $50 new and can come in pink(incase your gf prefers that lol) and they are super cardioid

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So, all three of these seem to be the most common recommendations. Seems like a ton of folks have been buying them, many sold out and prices have doubled and tripled on some models… thanks guys. I’ll pick the one i can find for a reasonable price.

I would just scour the used markets… Check like head-fi and what not too…

I use Hifishark to dig through multiple sites at once… works really well to find a good deal

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So will she be willing to edit the recordings? Or is this more for just recording raws and then sending it off somewhere to get processed? Since that would affect what mic you would most likely want to go with. Also would you also be trying to setup a makeshift vocal booth as that would really be beneficial for sure?

So, she would edit and like i said, if she can actually get steady work doing this, i’ll build her whatever is required. I just want to get her started so she can make some audition pieces to hopefully get something going at some point

Don’t think this over too much. I just want something she can at least learn with…if that makes sense. Spending money on trying to get anjob always annoyed me so i asked for some advice. AT2020usb seems about perfect from the little reading i did…

Gotcha in that case then, for this use case I really would recommend a condenser simply because it’s going to be more clear, detailed, and airy sounding which is something you generally want for a use like this imo, mainly to make sure speech is clear and easily understood, make sure that there is adequate hf information and not too much hype in the low end in case it gets severely compressed later on, and also generally something that can be more fine tuned in post (at least to me)

You could start out with the 2020 usb and it would be nice. In the meantime I would really work on optimizing your recording space either by working to treat the room, or make a diy vocal booth in the room (I would try to make a booth if you can), since that’s going to be hugely important. Also start looking into what you would want to use for editing and start to develop a good workflow that makes it easy to apply tweaks and nail down settings and preferences for how it should come out. Regarding editing try to make sure to not have too heavy of a hand in editing, small but meaningful tweaks is the goal

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Like @M0N said, when you are serious, dedicate a space to it and get some acoustic courtains/panels/booth elements.

Maybe sandwich some glass wool between plywood and spandex as a DIY acoustic panel?

Personaly, I find USB mics to be good enough for video conferences, streaming, etc. (Except the Samson Meteor, see below ↓)
For future expandability, I would go with an XLR mic of whatever type fits your recording conditions best.

Avoid the Samson Meteor

I used a Samson Meteor for ~3 years. It has been one of the pickiest USB devices ever. I had it on USB 2.0 ports, 3.0 ports, passive hubs with other devices and powered hubs. Before I replaced it recently, I had it on a powered hub I modded with a few caps.

The the reason for this USB travel was that it would randomly start producing random chirps or hiss. One at 7kHz and a bigger one at 10kHz. Depending on… something? These chirps and hisses get extremely piercing.

The 120Hz spike is the transfomer in my A-100 through the desk surface, the rest is probably my computer. So you NEED a shockmount.

A friend of mine recently got an AKG P120 and Behringer UM2 also as an upgrade to get away from the “Samson Hisseor”

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Thank you @MazeFrame, i just had no idea where to start. I just wanted something basic so she can read some stories and send them in as part of her “interview” process. If any of this leads to work w/ income, i’ll build her something commensurate w/ the work. :+1: