Hello all and thank you for having me.

I have a video studio which is great however I need help with the audio.

I have the following:

  • Matrox MX02 - XLR Audio input
  • Sennheiser MKE2-P-C, condenser lavalier microphone, omni directional, with XLR-preamp , black,
  • Focusrite ISA One Analog

The "Sennheiser MKE2-P-C, condenser lavalier microphone, omni directional, with XLR-preamp , black," is super sensitive and pics up everything.

The problems I have is: •Background ambient noise (Room is sound proofed)

I have only one person in the studio talking and he/she does not move that much. I need (I think) a directional mic to focus the recording. I do not want the MIC to be visable in the video. MAybe a NTG-3?

I do not want to change the AMP but of coure the MIC i have too!!!

My Goal is to have AMAZING VOCAL AUDIO, Very clear and loud... This is not for singing but just for talking.

Thank you

  • Can you please clarify "ambient noise". Premap hiss noisefloor, noise interference from other electronics (e.g. ground loop), or just the ambient tones of the enviroment? – Stavrosound Jan 15 '12 at 3:06
  • Building Environment. I think it is from the water pump/heater or something. Please note that this is in a flat. I am on the ground floor. There is not noise from the neighbors but there is from the pipes etc. Nothing major. but very quite. – Author Leon Jan 15 '12 at 17:43

When using any shotgun, or any super directional mic indoors you have to be aware of reflections of sound. While the microphone cancels out a lot of off axis sound the microphone will still pick up reflections from the un-soundproffed walls when indoors. This is the case with all shotguns not just the Rode NTG 3. If you have to go with a directional go with a shorter one like the Rode NTG 2 (not great quality sound). Just remember that it will still pick up sound in the direction it faces so it will still pick up the base rumble of a city. all miss will but if the audio is clear and the rumble is consistent you can take it out in post to some extent. Alternately if you don't need any particular perspective and you don't mind a more base filled recording, you can get clearer sound with a lapel. If you position it close enough, and the lines are delivered clean, clear and of average strength, you should be able to reduce or remove some of the background noise in post if its just the steady consistant rumble. Also remember to put on a highpass filter to get rid of the base rumble a bit. Its always good practice to do it in an unclean environment where you need clean dialogue.

Just a note for outdoors Rode NTG are fine, i own one. The base pick up is nice even at a distance. Recording men with deep voices is easy.


Mic placement with a lapel mic is the most important thing. I haven't even begun to learn how to place one correctly or where the best positions are but if you're new at it as I was you probably placed the mic halfway down the person's shirt. Get it closer to the person's mouth (tie or collar) and this should reduce your signal/noise ratio and level quite drastically.

I've never been a fan of an interference tube mic indoors unless you're in an anechoic chamber or you have a very quiet sound source. A voice is not quiet unless you're whispering or doing "in a world" voice overs and even then I hear the room reflection clouding up those highs by comb filtering off the tube slits..

I think a better choice would be a hypercardioid condenser or possibly even a dynamic mic like the AKG C5. The AKG C5 I have found to be able to get rid of a waterfall quite nicely and produce a useable result, depending on what sound you're running into.

Is it just traffic or air conditioning noise or computer whines or what? Most local noises can be strategically turned off (fridges, A/C, HVAC, computers, etc.) You just have to be creative with mic placement, silence all those things and you should be good.


I've heard it said by many people here and Stavro as well that who cares if you have a bit of noise in your foley or dialogue - it adds to the flavor of the soundtrack. Just as long as it doesn't impede the message, a tiny bit of ambient noise floor or traffic in a dialogue scene inside a living room is OK in my books to an extent. Who says we live in a quiet world where dialogue is recorded in sound proof booths?

  • There is a general ambient sound form the bundling it self, Clarity of audio is by far the most important as it is going to used for education purposes. I did make my own studio and server video capture solution. However it is evident that the MIC I have DOES pickup everything, and I mean everything. It is a great mic but it gets all. My goals is to attain the highest audoi quality possible because I want my NONE and native watchers/listeners to understand me. @Utopia - I have sent you an email with a video sample. Any one wants to see. authorleon[at]gmail[dot]com NTG3 thoughts – Author Leon Jan 15 '12 at 17:39

"amazing vocal audio" shouldn't be limited to obtaining absolutely dry recordings. Sometimes you want a bit of the ambience to go with the voice. It helps with the picture. Placing the mic closer will help with the voice/ambience ratio. And depending on what the walls are made of, and how big the space is, a shotgun microphone may not be your best bet. Or if you're doing VOs and such, this calls for a dedicated soundbooth or some portable solution. Finally, don't judge this by listening on headphones. My 2c.

  • Yes, air/life in the recording is very important indeed in my opinion. Even if you end up chopping around your VO with tight edits, I still feel that the air/life make a difference in the naturalness of the voice. – Stavrosound Jan 17 '12 at 8:41

It seems like you're a video guy trying to fill in the role of sound, probably for budget reasons? then I recommend doing a bit of reading first.

Read up what the different Polar Patterns mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone#Microphone_polar_patterns

Have a google search for boom mic placement

and you've got the basics there.

  • You need not be one thing in life. In fact, if you want to be correct, I am actually a senior business coach. But I enjoy to learn thus I do not walk the path of one route. – Author Leon Jan 15 '12 at 17:31
  • Jack of all trades, Master of none, that kind of thing? If you like to learn, read the link I sent and have a google search for boom mic placement. You don't need to buy an NTG-3, you can get the cheaper NTG-2 and it will suffice for your needs. Even with a directional microphone you will get room noise. – edmatthews82 Jan 15 '12 at 23:38
  • The correct statement is: Jack of all trades, Master of none, creater of one. Not for all people.. takes a lot of work... – Author Leon Jan 25 '12 at 16:23

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