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I am afraid this is a bit off topic but I really need to find a microphone recommendation to record home videos without background noise. If this site is not the place and there is a site for searching these specific microphones, please let me know.

I have tried Microsoft LiveChat LX 3000 microphone but it is adding a wierd background noise into my video recording.

Also if there is a known software that reduces background noise, please share its name.

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How to record audio for video without background noise is on topic here, however without an idea of budget and what you are trying to record audio to, our ability to help is a bit limited. –  AJ Henderson Jun 16 at 19:53
    
It seems I need a mic with noise-cancelling feature to eliminate background noises. I think it could between US$55 til US$150. How about this: bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/… –  Junior Mayhé Jun 16 at 21:22
    
What are you recording audio with though? Are you using a PC and webcam? A camcorder? A DSLR? An Action Cam? Are you open to using a separate audio recorder and syncing video after? Are you looking to spend under $80? Under $500? Don't care about cost? These are all things that impact the answer to your question. –  AJ Henderson Jun 16 at 21:26
    
I will be recording a computer presentation. If I decide to buy Rode-NT1A mic, I will also need to buy an adapter to connect its XLR cable to my notebook usb port. Maybe Shure X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter is the way to go. Less than $500 is just fine. The mic + adapter will cost $329! –  Junior Mayhé Jun 16 at 22:46
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@JuniorMayhé: that's not a noise-cancelling feature, it's just a cardioid pick-up pattern (so, it picks up more from the front, less from the sides, and almost none from behind). The "low noise" spec basically means that the electronics in the mic are good quality, and don't introduce much electrical interference. Noise cancelling doesn't make much sense in the context of a microphone, although there are some recorders (like the Zoom h4n) that include some digital filters that can help reduce the impact of background noise. –  naught101 Sep 16 at 1:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your most critical need is going to be a professional low noise analog to digital converter and pre-amp with a decent quality microphone to go with it. There are a few options you can pursue for this depending on your interests.

Since you are currently working with a computer directly, you could go for any of a number of professional audio capture devices with XLR and phantom power capabilities, such as the X2U adapter from Shure that you were talking about or a device like an MAudio audio interface unit.

Since these only provide inputs you would also need a microphone. Depending on how close you mind the mic being, something as simple as an SM58 would produce nice clean audio for you, this has the added advantage of being usable really close to your mouth and focusing the pickup in a cardioid pattern that mostly picks up stuff in front of the microphone, thus it will pick up less background noise.

Alternately, you could use a condenser mic or shotgun mic that could be placed further away, however a condenser mic would pick up more of the room sound and a shotgun mic would require careful aiming in order to make sure it picks you up and not the room. A Lapel mic or LAV is also an option. A lapel mic is a type of condenser that can clip to your shirt and therefore pick up a little less noise, but will still be in the shot, though it is less obvious than a dynamic mic like an SM58.

Yet another option to get additional flexibility is to go with a device like an H4n recorder. This is what I use for my video work. It is a stand alone recorder which can also be used as an audio interface for the PC and also has built in stereo condenser mics. The device runs a little bit more expensive than an audio interface, but is normally a bit cheaper than an interface and a condenser mic pair. It also can be used away from a computer for any project.

Additionally, the H4n includes XLR and 1/4" inputs so that it can be used with any of the mics you could use with an audio interface if you later decide to upgrade or change to a different kind of microphone for a particular recording task.

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It sounds like you need a shotgun mic Also known as a zoom mic.

These microphones are designed to help isolate the sound you want originating from the subject while rejecting unwanted ambient noise. The pickup angle is slightly adjustable. To have a narrower cone, you need a longer mic. (see video below)

Also to reduce wind noise pickup, you usually cover the mic with something akin to a dust cover called a wind screen.

As far as software to reduce the noise, I normally use adobe audition. It's much harder to fix unclean sound than it is images, so I would make sure I invest in a good mic first.

sony zoom mic, shoe horn attachment

shotgun mic with wind screen



Here is a good instructional video describing the uses of a shotgun mic

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As far as affordability, portability, and quality audio I recommend the Zoom H1 because I own one. The H1 is the little brother to the H4n which is the industry standard in external audio recorders. It has high quality stereo mics on the front, an audio out so you can monitor while you're recording, and an audio in so you can plug in a lapel mic. Coming in at 99$ it's a solid bang for your buck.

As far as audio processing I have had success with Adobe Audition. There's some real nice tools in there to help you isolate the sound you want from the background noise. I recorded an interview on the street once and we used a shotgun mic but there was still tons of background noise. After spending some time with it in Audition, the background noise was very faint and the voice sounded much more full. Audition can't make miracles if you have poor audio, but it can clean up what you do have so the your end product sounds much more professional.

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Calling the h4n the industry standard in recorders is a bit much. It is the most popular budget option, but not a "standard". There are substantially better (and more expensive) recorder options that would be much preferred over the h4n if available. The h4n is just the cheapest thing with XLR jacks. Note: I say this as an owner and very happy user of an h4n. –  AJ Henderson Jun 18 at 18:58
    
It's more or less the industry standard for journalists though. –  naught101 Sep 16 at 2:10

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