I have a Rode NT1 condenser mic. I am more than satisfied with the audio quality I get, when I record podcasts and screencasts.

I have one problem though. My apartment is located near a semi-busy road, and the noise from the cars outside ruins my recordings.

I know I should try to eliminate the noise by other means, but I wonder if using a dynamic Mic such as Heil PR 40 or Shure SM57 would be any different, compared to my Rode NT1?


What you can do to minimize this problem is to record really close with a cardioid pattern and give very low amount if gain from the pre amp.

If this doesnt work, a dynamic mic would be better, allways with a pop filter and the same analogy of proximity.

The dynamic mic would need a tad more gain though.

If this doesnt work you might consider a hypercardioid mic with a very specific and directional recording area.

Generally a smaller mic capsule is the way to go, and allways record close with low gain and maybe process later In the box to make it louder.

A small hypercardioid mic example


  • 1
    Reducing the gain surely will reduce the noise level - as well as the wanted signal level, so that advice is somewhat pointless. However if you are able to increase the loudness of your sources (louder speech, closer micing etc), you may reduce the overall gain a little and thereby reduce the noise "floor" too. Jan 23 '17 at 8:19
  • That's why i advise combinig gain reduction and distance reduction thus source accentuation
    – frcake
    Jan 23 '17 at 12:18
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    The shortest answer to the question is, "not necessarily" but this answer seems to be saying "yes". Jan 27 '17 at 6:12
  • I borrowed a Sennheiser e935 dynamic mic from a friend, and tried it. It really is different. Although I like the output of the Rode NT1, but the Sennheiser e935 almost completely ignores the noise from the outside. So, yes, in my case, it really is different. Jan 28 '17 at 14:57
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    This answer is just plain "wrong". As @ToddWilcox said, the best answer is "maybe". I have condensers that can take a drum-stick hit to the mic body that you will never hear in the mix & barely hear in isolation. Conversely, as they are omnis, they will pick up every whisper in the room if the gain is high enough [& the drummer isn't playing] A mic does not 'know' what you define as 'noise' & cannot differentiate it from what you consider to be 'sound'
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 28 '17 at 18:01

You probably are already using a microphone spider for isolating floor rumble.

A condenser mic is not per se more sensitive to outside noise. It only seduces you to use setups sensitive to outside noise.

The Røde NT1A is a very, very quiet large-diaphragm condenser microphone with good sensitivity. That means that if you are creating an audio setup in relation to its electronic noise floor, the relevant noise floor in the recording will be more likely than not an acoustical noise floor of actual noise unless you are working in a professionally isolated studio.

So position your microphone in a manner (and use rumble filters and close your doors and switch off heating timely before recording sessions to avoid cracking pipes and take off wall clocks you can hear on the recording) that the ambient noise is not a problem.

Oh, and feed your cat.

Basically a large-diaphragm condenser like the Røde NT1A is a nice microphone for snooping (where you are actually interested in outside noise) but its low electric noise floor becomes mostly relevant in studio settings. As a primary recording mic outside of studio conditions, you'll rather use it for the typical large-diaphragm artifacts (a somewhat silky sound coloring for vocals and overhead drums) or as a secondary microphone to capture the ambient sound of large rooms, in addition to closely positioned main microphones.

Yes, you can place it across the room without getting annoyed by an electronic noise floor, but in reflectionless studio surroundings this is sort of pointless since it will sound sort of the same, not having a large proximity effect and the studio not having much of ambient reflections. And in not-so studio environments, you'll get enough noise from elsewhere to not make it advisable as the primary recording mic.

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