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IAmAndre

What microphone would you recommend to cancel background noises?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi,

 

I'll need to make a lot of phone calls and conference calls from now on and I must find a way to cancel background noises ranging from that train that passes near my house every few hours to the birds. None of them are super loud but they are still quite audible and it make things unprofessional. I'm currently using the microphone on my Corsair K50 headphones but would like to improve sound quality either via software or hardware. I wouldn't mind buying a dedicated microphone but ideally I'd like something more potable like headphones with a noise canceling microphone. What would be your recommendations?

 

Thanks

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8 hours ago, IAmAndre said:

Hi,

 

I'll need to make a lot of phone calls and conference calls from now on and I must find a way to cancel background noises ranging from that train that passes near my house every few hours to the birds. None of them are super loud but they are still quite audible and it make things unprofessional. I'm currently using the microphone on my Corsair K50 headphones but would like to improve sound quality either via software or hardware. I wouldn't mind buying a dedicated microphone but ideally I'd like something more potable like headphones with a noise canceling microphone. What would be your recommendations?

 

Thanks

If you're doing it properly, probably best to get a microphone and a proper booth to place the microphone and you in, Such as this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Microphone-Isolation-Recording-Absorber/dp/B07GJQL2MZ/ref=asc_df_B07GJQL2MZ/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=310848037917&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5033761139754518690&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045309&hvtargid=pla-637276733427&psc=1


If you have any questions about ultra high end audio (Or any speakers or audio gear!), don't be afraid to shoot me a message, or mention me.

 

Spent over 700k on audio gear, still trying to increase sound quality.

 

Why 44.1kHz is all you need: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist–Shannon_sampling_theorem

 

How loud should you listen?: http://dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/

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Posted · Original PosterOP
58 minutes ago, Derkoli said:

That looks awesome. I'm curious as to how it works though. Should the foam be positioned in a particular direction?

Also would this be suitable if I want to use speakers rather than headphones within the other person hearing their own voice?

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A reflection shield is definitely not portable, though very effective IF you have a good microphone and interface.

 

I don't know your budget, but have you looked into broadcast headsets? They are designed for people needing to hear and communicate to other people in noisy environments.

 

I don't know your budget, so here's a top of the line Sennheiser beast.

 

More headsets like this, here: https://www.thomann.de/gb/intercom_headsets.html?oa=prd&sw=headset&smuuid=eacf5208-9915-4d07-b57a-c437f2299fcf

 

image.png.e1477fb510f40a088c55d6cd430dffa1.png

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Posted · Original PosterOP
22 minutes ago, theonlyratatoskr said:

A reflection shield is definitely not portable, though very effective IF you have a good microphone and interface.

 

I don't know your budget, but have you looked into broadcast headsets? They are designed for people needing to hear and communicate to other people in noisy environments.

 

I don't know your budget, so here's a top of the line Sennheiser beast.

 

More headsets like this, here: https://www.thomann.de/gb/intercom_headsets.html?oa=prd&sw=headset&smuuid=eacf5208-9915-4d07-b57a-c437f2299fcf

 

image.png.e1477fb510f40a088c55d6cd430dffa1.png

Interesting. I don't have a budget in mind but I bought my Corsair KS50 at about $60 iirc so I could spend anything under $100 for now. Are you saying that headsets like these can cancel any background noise? I mean the Corsair pair that I bought for gaming was advertised as being able to cancel background noises too but it's definitely not the case. Would it be better than the first solution. I care about mobility but I'll be working at my home office most of the time and wouldn't mind carrying the audio equipment if I were to travel.

If the budget is too low, let me know what's the best bang for the buck. It's for my work so I can afford to save and invest more if needed.

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With mobility in mind, this is a good way to up your voice quality. To put it very simply: The closer the microphone is to your face, the more volume your voice will have and the less you have to turn up your voice; Meaning that all background noises will be reduced.

 

This is something you should know:

You will NOT be able to magically remove all background noise. Unless you invest into a microphone, interface and reflective shield and only book hotel rooms with thick walls. This obviously and definitely not portable.

 

Finally, are you on Mac or Windows? There's a software called AudioHijack on Mac. It's fantastic and lets you tweak your audio live to incredible standards. You can apply sound/noise gates (help only your voice get through), equalization (take out low frequency train rumble), and more processing to help you sound 'better' ... and possibly a noise reduction plug-in but you may have to buy that separately...

 

It's definitely worth looking into I think. This way you're doing as much as possible from a physical gear standpoint, as well as software processing.

 

This is not exactly your situation, but it gives you a good idea of how flexible this software is:

https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/loopback-podcast-skype-theme-music

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Posted · Original PosterOP
18 minutes ago, theonlyratatoskr said:

With mobility in mind, this is a good way to up your voice quality. To put it very simply: The closer the microphone is to your face, the more volume your voice will have and the less you have to turn up your voice; Meaning that all background noises will be reduced.

 

This is something you should know:

You will NOT be able to magically remove all background noise. Unless you invest into a microphone, interface and reflective shield and only book hotel rooms with thick walls. This obviously and definitely not portable.

 

Finally, are you on Mac or Windows? There's a software called AudioHijack on Mac. It's fantastic and lets you tweak your audio live to incredible standards. You can apply sound/noise gates (help only your voice get through), equalization (take out low frequency train rumble), and more processing to help you sound 'better' ... and possibly a noise reduction plug-in but you may have to buy that separately...

 

It's definitely worth looking into I think. This way you're doing as much as possible from a physical gear standpoint, as well as software processing.

 

This is not exactly your situation, but it gives you a good idea of how flexible this software is:

https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/loopback-podcast-skype-theme-music

I'm on Windows. Eventually I'll just invest on air conditionner and just close all doors and windows, which will make things better. I'll also consider upgrading the headset if needed.

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A small microphone vocal booth will do very little to attenuate outside noise, and will likely even increase the loudness of low frequency noises like the train due to their coupling to the ground:   


Measurements of a variety of small microphone booths

  

Blocking out external noise is something that needs to be done at the room level. When you look at an anecholic chamber, the foam on the walls isn't there to block out sound; it's there to reduce internal reflections. The thick, often decoupled, walls are what keep the room isolated.

 

Closing windows and doors, and damping the walls can help somewhat.

 

Moving the mic closer to your mouth will also improve signal to noise ratio, though there's only so much you can do that.

 

If you're using the HS50, try EQ'ing the microphone. I was pretty happy with these settings in Equalizer APO when I had one for testing:

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 15 Hz Gain 10 dB Q 1.41
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 29 Hz Gain 10 dB Q 1.41
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 81 Hz Gain 10 dB Q 1.41
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 55 Hz Gain 13 dB Q 1.41
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 137 Hz Gain 11 dB Q 1.41
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 491 Hz Gain 6 dB Q 1.41
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 264 Hz Gain 8 dB Q 1.64
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 2414 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 1.41
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 5063 Hz Gain -11.5 dB Q 1.41
Filter 11: ON PK Fc 7366 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 1.41
Filter 12: ON PK Fc 16173 Hz Gain 9 dB Q 1.41
Filter 13: ON PK Fc 20000 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 2.99
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On 8/28/2019 at 3:21 AM, IAmAndre said:

Hi,

 

I'll need to make a lot of phone calls and conference calls from now on and I must find a way to cancel background noises ranging from that train that passes near my house every few hours to the birds. None of them are super loud but they are still quite audible and it make things unprofessional. I'm currently using the microphone on my Corsair K50 headphones but would like to improve sound quality either via software or hardware. I wouldn't mind buying a dedicated microphone but ideally I'd like something more potable like headphones with a noise canceling microphone. What would be your recommendations?

 

Thanks

Hello! 

I’m a music producer and I understand your frustrations with background noises. 

 

The best way to get rid of those noises is by using a compressor. You can set a gate to a certain level, so that every noise that’s below that level will be silenced completely. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
26 minutes ago, NDRE said:

Hello! 

I’m a music producer and I understand your frustrations with background noises. 

 

The best way to get rid of those noises is by using a compressor. You can set a gate to a certain level, so that every noise that’s below that level will be silenced completely. 

Do you have any link to share?

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10 hours ago, IAmAndre said:

Do you have any link to share?

Unfortunately no, because I use specialized software after recordings to silence the background noises.

But it should be pretty easy to find a cheap one on eBay. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 hours ago, Nimrodor said:

A small microphone vocal booth will do very little to attenuate outside noise, and will likely even increase the loudness of low frequency noises like the train due to their coupling to the ground:   


Measurements of a variety of small microphone booths

  

Blocking out external noise is something that needs to be done at the room level. When you look at an anecholic chamber, the foam on the walls isn't there to block out sound; it's there to reduce internal reflections. The thick, often decoupled, walls are what keep the room isolated.

 

Closing windows and doors, and damping the walls can help somewhat.

 

Moving the mic closer to your mouth will also improve signal to noise ratio, though there's only so much you can do that.

 

If you're using the HS50, try EQ'ing the microphone. I was pretty happy with these settings in Equalizer APO when I had one for testing:


Filter 1: ON PK Fc 15 Hz Gain 10 dB Q 1.41
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 29 Hz Gain 10 dB Q 1.41
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 81 Hz Gain 10 dB Q 1.41
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 55 Hz Gain 13 dB Q 1.41
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 137 Hz Gain 11 dB Q 1.41
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 491 Hz Gain 6 dB Q 1.41
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 264 Hz Gain 8 dB Q 1.64
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 2414 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 1.41
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 5063 Hz Gain -11.5 dB Q 1.41
Filter 11: ON PK Fc 7366 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 1.41
Filter 12: ON PK Fc 16173 Hz Gain 9 dB Q 1.41
Filter 13: ON PK Fc 20000 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 2.99

OK I think I'll take this approach. I'm moving my home office to another room in which there's no traffic noise but still a lot of birds. Since these sounds are very high pitch they should be easy to mask by ignoring all sounds over a certain frequency. I've never done it before but it theory this could work.

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