Need advice for how to get a mic out of frame

Hey Guys,

So I need some advice on what you guys think the best way to tackle this is. I am looking for a mic setup for my sim racing rig (made of 80/20) that wont block my view of the monitors and stays out of frame for conference calls/presentation recordings (I use it as my main desk currently). Another consideration is that my environment, while not loud, certainly has background noise with other people gaming being heard directly through my door. My budget is $500 or so for a mic + setup or ~$1000-1500 if yall think I can actualy make good headroom on soundproofing think ass walls.

EDIT3: The wheel is controlled by a direct drive wheel base that is a massive brushless motor. As such, it does put out a fair bit of EM interference. Its not typicaly an issue with grounded cords, but idk about mic internals so I figure I should mention it.

EDIT: The rig in question (excuse the messy bed)

EDIT2: I am more than happy to play with sliders to get better sound, but any interface I get would need to be able to lock the settings some how as I bump shit while driving/working all the time

Also, I do have a blue snowball I am more than happy to play with if yall have suggestions for how to keep some modicum of sound quality ~3ft away from my face, but I cant realy find any monitor arms for it anyways so I am down for whatever is recommended.


So you could accomplish this with a shotgun mic mounted above the monitor, but I might be concerned about how it would actually sound as having those monitors there will cause a fair amount of reflections from those but it probably can be mitigated.

Something like a rode NTG5 would be pretty great but you really don’t need to spend that much, an audio technica AT897 does a solid job as well. I would say that it would be worthwhile investing in a channel strip that has a gate or expander but that might eat into budget a bit too much (something like a dbx 286s or art pro channel ii)


I had quite honestly just assumed a shotgun was out of my budget given all of the reviews I have watched of lower price ones have sounded just awful. Something I forgot to mention is that I have a fair bit of range in my voice (basically depending on if my throat is pissed off or not), but over all my voice is on the higher side for a male. I know this can effect choice at the high end but didnt know if it would play a role in my budget range.

This is 100% an issue I am aware of, but I honestly didnt think it was tackleable with how close they are to me. Do you have suggestions om how to mitigate those? I can felt treat the bezels, but those arent exactly the bulk of the issue here…

Any suggestions on this front? I figured I will need some kind of preamp+ADC/interface but literally the only one I know of is the go XLR

Also, possibly dumb question, but do mic arms all use the same style of mount? Or will I have to find one that specificaly works with the mic I pick?

Mind expanding on what your setup is?

it’s just to show what I did, overhead mike on a boom arm. Works well and it’s out of the frame from the cam on the monitor.

Mind if I ask how far you sit from the mic? My mic would be in the rage of 3ft or so from my mouth so idk if certain mics will work significantly better than others. Are you just using a standard cardiord mic?

I’d say about 18 to 36" it varies as I move about but it’s picked up well. And to answer you question, buy pro type stuff and it will all fit standard mike threading. The microphone you buy will more than likely come with a holder for it, the threading for that holder will be std and if not there are a lot of adapters so don’t worry about the mount.

A good boom arm with enough height adjust ability and you can play with the angle of the arm coming at you.

Pay attention to the pattern pickup of the microphone you buy and you can be assured to get great audio out of it.

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Generally imo you need to spend about at least 200 to start getting decent ones, also look into a sennheiser MKE600 or oktava MK-012.

It will, but you don’t have a whole ton of options, the at and rode should handle full range fairly well

So it’s more something to work around rather than treat, by putting a bit more aggressive gaiting and some compression to minimize how noticable it is and make it a bit harder to hear the reflections

Depends on your budget, there are a bunch of options out there, something like a solid state logic ssl2+ along with one of the aforementioned channel strips would be pretty great, or you could try and find a used ua apollo twin mkii or quad mkii for a good all in one with nice dsp (in your case you would want the quad)

Depends on the mic you pick, you would want a shotgun shockmount and then you could use a more traditional screw on mic arm mount for attaching it to the desk

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I’ll respond to your replies when I eat breakfast, but I just did a couple quick measurements before my shower and here are the results

  1. When racing - least important for sound quality - 22" to above the monitor directly infront of me or 12" if the mic can be bout 30 degrees off from facing forward.
  2. When presenting/regular desktop use - important sound quality - 28" to the top of my screen or 8 inches out and 2 inched down from my mouth dead on (can also do 4/4 but I figured that would be worse).

I realize if I move the mic I will have to rebalance it, but (I think) that’s fine (and I would have to do that with a shotgun anyways since I move my chair back when I present). Would these closer configs alow me to use a mic that is less prone to reflected sound artifacts/background noise than a shotgun? Or am I just wildly overyhinking this anyways and a shotgun will be 100% fine?

In order to use a mic that wouldn’t be affected by the reflections it would have to be in front of your face and visible in frame is the issue. Other mic options that wouldn’t be in frame would most likey not be ideal either because of an overly large pickup pattern or just poor pickup from voices at range

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Tyvm for the info. Ill keep it in mind.

Noted. Also, ty for the reqs.

Makes sense. Kinda “yes it does technically matter, but you don’t have many options anyways”

Awesome. Ill look into that direction then. Seems like I will be adding some microphone youtubers to my subscription list.

Something I’ll need to look into is a channel strip that isn’t a rack mount. Unfortunateky I just don’t have any place to put something of that formfactor in my setup. Also, any reqs on where to look for used audio gear since its seeming like i either need to buy used or realy up my budget?

Mind if I ask what you mean by “infront of my face” distance wise? I don’t have anyone to take a pick of me sitting in the rig, so I apologize for the sketchy pic, but this is generally how the frame of my camera works. The read line is the bottom of the frame and the yellow is where my mouth is. My mouth is only 18" from the monitor in this pic for scale

This does mean i should be able to get it pretty close to my mouth for meeting and the line, but the closest it could be for racing is here (about 12" away)

I believe any mic designed to be used up close would be way too far away at 12" off axis to be useful, correct?

Hmmm generally they will mainly be that rackmount size, there’s not many I know that are more desktop friendly, you would have to do it either with a dsp system like the apollo or with 500 series versions of preamps and compressors

Reverb or ebay are solid and typically safe

A few inches away from your mouth

Pretty much yeah

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Got it. TYVM for all the help. I think I have a pretty solid idea of what to look into now at least.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t that (depending on where the door is) pick up that noise perfectly too?

@db_Cooper overhead-large diaphragm may work in this situation. Cardiod pick-up pattern and off to the races.

There used to be like two that were half-width. Can’t remember what they were or who made them if my life dependet on it.
As you have those alu-extrusions there anyway, why not get two angle connectors and mount it vertically?

Yes, but you can mitigate that by dialing in gain and gating, also depends on how far away the door is, if it’s far away enough it’s not going to be that big of an issue

That’s what I would be concerned about when it comes to picking up noise personally

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Shure SM57 LC “on a stick” would work. This would however show up on a webcam feed.
For people in the know, the SM57 will probably get a nod because it is a been there, done that solution.

My recent acquisition is a small diaphragm condenser, does not take up nearly has much room in my face compared to the USB mic (or the never realy used MXL 770).
Keyboard noise is greatly reduced (which might be down to the shockmount), have not tested room noise with it yet.

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Yes, if you can get close enough (which would involve being in frame) the 57 lc is tried and true, would work very well for the price

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But why not try a Lapel Microphone? Personally, I use a AKG C 417 PP daily for my video conferences via zoom. Everything else was too impractical for me in the long run or the sound was not convincing.

When shooting a film under time pressure, I always choose Lapel Microphone for the voices instead of an NTG3 or similar.
EQ or at least a low cut should be used and, ideally, a compressor and a noisegate.
The Sennheiser ME 2-II is almost industry standard, but the Sennheiser MKE 40-EW in particular sounds outstanding.

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Sorry for the delayed reply here. I wanted to make sure I was actually digesting the info yall were talking about and had a bit of research to do.

Its about 15ft to the right of the rig, but facing it.

The rig is partialy torn apart (prepping for a couple new additions to it that I just wrapped for myself). I have a desk that goes over it and part of that includes a storage shelf in that pace on the right between the rig and the wall. I can obviously get rid of that and add the channel strip, but they would have to be pretty deep. a full 1u standing upright would actualy stick up past my shifters since the rig is ultimately pretty damn close to the ground. I guess another option would be to mount it behind the monitors in a “set and forget” place, but that would be completely unreachable without getting all the way out of the rig and walking around the corner.

Kind of a dumb newb question. From my research, it seems that most interfaces come with software that allows for gating and mimicking several other analog pieces of recording equipment. What exactly is the benefit with going with a physical channel strip over a software one?

Seems like overall my solution is going to be far more down to tuning my setup than the setup its self given how trash the recording conditions are, correct? If so, any reqs on videos/articles covering this kind of tuning?

Ok, im a bit confused by this. I thought shotgun mics are hyper-cardiod. I thought the main issue with them was washing out some of the higher frequencies in more noisy environments leading to a little ess natural sounding recording, not that they pick up noises perpendicular to their axis well. What am I missing?

Yah… I do realize that I am being a little bit ridiculous wanting the mic out of the feed given all the issues with my recording enviornment… As it goes though. Ima try and pick up everything second hand anyways so even if I loose $1-200 flipping them back when it doesnt work out thats fine for a new toy for me to play/learn with for a couple months.

Good news is my keyboard is quiet as hell. Ive never had it be picked up even when using a blue snowball 3ft from my face cranked so high you could hear the TV through the wall behind me.

That is 100% an option I am entertaining (and the way I probably would have gone before @M0N seemed so unconcerned about my recording environment being unable to be dealt with). Ultimately, a setup I dont have to put on every time would be much more convenient, so I am going to try other stuff first, but a lapel mic very well may be what I end up falling back on