I'm a novice having some issues making a recording, and could use some advice.

I want to make ambient recordings, so need to reduce all background noise. When I say 'background' noise, I mean the audible hiss you get when you just hit record in a quiet room.

I'm using a Zoom H6, with two lav mics. The Signal To Noise Ratio on the lavs is 69db, which I figure should mean pretty low self-noise. But there is still something of an audible hiss, and I'd like it as absolutely silent as possible.

From what I've read online, my understanding is that a better external pre-amp would help, but not sure if or why this is the case?

Any ideas? Apologies for any terms that might have been used incorrectly here.

Thanks in advance for any pointers!

Update: So I tried this again today but using my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 hooked up to my Mac. Same issue -- audible hiss in the background.

1 Answer 1


A SNR of 69dB for a mic that can likely take about 100dB means a noise floor of 30dB.

Lav mics are for close captioning. If you have only a temporary sound source (like in interviews), you can use noise gating.

But you cannot use noise gating on ambient recordings. Sorry, lavs are the wrong tool for the job. Get as the largest diaphragm condenser mic as the sound coloring permits, with good internal circuitry (this is mandatory). The required quality of the following mic preamp will be dependent on their overall gain (on "how hot" the mics are).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.