Microphone Threshold Level?

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ultrarustic
Posts: 3
Joined: 06 Jan 2021

Post 06 Jan 2021

Hi there,

here is the thing:

I got a mic connected and routed as audio input into reason.

Problematic are the background noises. So I wonder how I can set up something that let's through only signals above a certain dB value.

It has to be realtime - so I can't use noise elimination of audacity or things like this...

Any suggestions?

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selig
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Post 06 Jan 2021

Yes, using a gate will allow this and there’s one in every mixer channel. I’ll add that I have a few mics that are noisy and have never been 100% happy with the results using a gate. The mics in question are both over-ear mics which may just be a coincidence, but my cheap Rode lav mic is much quieter for live use. So I’ve ended up not using the noisy mics at all rather than gate them..I’ll add that “live” gating is less predictable than being able to fine tune them (and automate them) on a recording, so I’m even less likely to use them live if I’m not “hands-on” with the mixer at all times!
Selig Audio, LLC

ultrarustic
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Joined: 06 Jan 2021

Post 06 Jan 2021

@selig - cool... have been into reason since version 1, but never used a gate

works pretty good for my realtime vocoding needs - thanks

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Billy+
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Post 06 Jan 2021

Would be interested in getting a bit of information on this as well, I'm using a Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Studio Recording Condenser Microphone for live recording primarily for live streaming and really need to cut out background noise from outside the room.
IMG_2369.JPG
https://www.marantzpro.com/products/view/mpm-1000

Element: Pure-aluminum-plated, 18mm-diameter-diaphragm condenser capsule
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 20–20,000Hz
Open Circuit Sensitivity: -38 dB ±2dB (0 dB = 1 V/Pa @ 1 kHz)
Impedance

Output: 200 Ω ±30% (@ 1 kHz)
Load: >1000 Ω

Self-Noise: 17 dBA
Maximum SPL: 136dB (THD ~ 1%, 1 kHz)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 77dB
Phantom Power Requirements: 9-48 VDC, 3 mA typical
Dimensions (length x diameter): 6.5" x 1.90" (165 x 48 mm)
Weight: 10.5 oz (300g)

I have it on an isolation pad but its on my desktop and getting the gate settings is a bit harder than I first expected.
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Last edited by Billy+ on 07 Jan 2021, edited 1 time in total.

ultrarustic
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Joined: 06 Jan 2021

Post 07 Jan 2021

@Billy

I can share what I did in the mixer setup - see the screenshot for that... (Gate ON)
settings.png
You could also use a freeware like noise gator, which might be a bit easier to use even - also when you want to kill noise without starting up reason...
https://sourceforge.net/projects/noiseg ... t/download

Audio source will just be enabled when it reaches a certain dB value
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Billy+
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Post 07 Jan 2021

Yeah I've got a dedicated version of that in the chain but I'm not totally happy with it.

However I've just stumbled upon this

https://www.pluginboutique.com/product/ ... 4-Voxessor

And I might just grab it and see

I've even used a SPL meter to get an estimate of the level of the background noise.

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Billy+
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Post 07 Jan 2021


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selig
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Post 07 Jan 2021

Billy wrote:
06 Jan 2021
Would be interested in getting a bit of information on this as well, I'm using a Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Studio Recording Condenser Microphone for live recording primarily for live streaming and really need to cut out background noise from outside the room.
One sure way to decrease background noise is to increase foreground noise, aka your voice. Get as close to the mic as possible so you can turn down the input gain (and thus turn also down the background noise).
Selig Audio, LLC

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Billy+
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Post 07 Jan 2021

selig wrote:
07 Jan 2021
Billy wrote:
06 Jan 2021
Would be interested in getting a bit of information on this as well, I'm using a Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Studio Recording Condenser Microphone for live recording primarily for live streaming and really need to cut out background noise from outside the room.
One sure way to decrease background noise is to increase foreground noise, aka your voice. Get as close to the mic as possible so you can turn down the input gain (and thus turn also down the background noise).
Actually your spot on with that and I did practice keeping close to the mic but after awhile I find I'm sitting back a bit more and fiddling around with the gate to compensate and before you know it one of my kids is flying past the door running as heavy footed as possible :lol:

I guess it's just practice to make it habit, although I did consider a studio live light above the door ;)

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mcatalao
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Post 07 Jan 2021

IMHO, a lot of people buy condensers and don't realize they are a lot more prone to ambient noise, so buying condenser mics, and not taking care of the acoustic around will result in poorer recordings. I've made that "rookie" mistake when i bought my first condenser mic, and my "office" room sudden came to life and my sound got worse than the recordings I did with my faithful sm57's and sm58's.

Anyway, even cardioid condenser mic's have a greater off axis sensitivity than dynamic microphones so they will capture a lot more "room" than dynamics. Also some say that the circuitry in a condenser mic make them "compress" the sound a bit and the lower passages are more present. Finally, the openness of a condenser mic makes it capture a lot more higher frequencies than a dynamic mic, so all this stuff together will bring your room into the mic.

There is also an additional problem to what Selig proposes about talking or singing nearer to the mic, because since most cheaper condenser mic's are cardiod, both dynamic and condenser mic will have a proximity effect and the sound will be boomier the nearer you get from the mic. However in a dynamic mic this happens at a lesser extent than in a condenser mic because the dynamics head is designed for nearer use.

IMHO, the best option for noisy rooms, specially if you have a computer in the room and there's stuff, like passing people in the near hall and so on, is getting a couple of dynamic mics. I like the Sure SM57 and 58 and have been using the betas a lot too (also 57 and 58). The beta 57 is even more versatile than the sm, as it works nicely for instruments and vocals.

If you have the option to treat the room where you record, that would be ideal (recording with a condenser in a good room). Still, I've used dynamics for the best of 23 years on this (live, at home and in the studio) and they do a great job!!!

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Billy+
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Post 07 Jan 2021

Some good advice there. ^

I personally went with my choice as it made sense at the time*, I had seen a few streams using shotgun mics and knew that wasn't going to work for me. I needed phantom powered with XLR connection and capable of a nice wide full range capture which is exactly what I've got, the price was about as much as I was willing to pay £50 and the quality is more than acceptable for the use.

* pre pandemic/lockdown I pretty much had my house/studio all to myself, that's not the case now.

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selig
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Post 07 Jan 2021

mcatalao wrote:
07 Jan 2021
IMHO, a lot of people buy condensers and don't realize they are a lot more prone to ambient noise, so buying condenser mics, and not taking care of the acoustic around will result in poorer recordings. I've made that "rookie" mistake when i bought my first condenser mic, and my "office" room sudden came to life and my sound got worse than the recordings I did with my faithful sm57's and sm58's.

Anyway, even cardioid condenser mic's have a greater off axis sensitivity than dynamic microphones so they will capture a lot more "room" than dynamics. Also some say that the circuitry in a condenser mic make them "compress" the sound a bit and the lower passages are more present. Finally, the openness of a condenser mic makes it capture a lot more higher frequencies than a dynamic mic, so all this stuff together will bring your room into the mic.

There is also an additional problem to what Selig proposes about talking or singing nearer to the mic, because since most cheaper condenser mic's are cardiod, both dynamic and condenser mic will have a proximity effect and the sound will be boomier the nearer you get from the mic. However in a dynamic mic this happens at a lesser extent than in a condenser mic because the dynamics head is designed for nearer use.

IMHO, the best option for noisy rooms, specially if you have a computer in the room and there's stuff, like passing people in the near hall and so on, is getting a couple of dynamic mics. I like the Sure SM57 and 58 and have been using the betas a lot too (also 57 and 58). The beta 57 is even more versatile than the sm, as it works nicely for instruments and vocals.

If you have the option to treat the room where you record, that would be ideal (recording with a condenser in a good room). Still, I've used dynamics for the best of 23 years on this (live, at home and in the studio) and they do a great job!!!
Proximity effect is awesome, and you have to "eat" the mic in most cases before the effect really stands out. In fact I can honestly say that in 40+ years of studio work I've never had it be a negative. I find it helps give you the VOG (voice of god) in many cases!
But if you don't like the results, use a low shelf to "equalize" the effect, which is usually only takes a little EQ.

Bottom line: If it reduces your noise levels, then it's worth that small (easily correctable) price IMO.
Selig Audio, LLC

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Billy+
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Post 07 Jan 2021

OK OK I will get closer
IMG_2370.JPG
Still think I'm buying the vst as well....
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mcatalao
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Post 08 Jan 2021

selig wrote:
07 Jan 2021
Proximity effect is awesome, and you have to "eat" the mic in most cases before the effect really stands out. In fact I can honestly say that in 40+ years of studio work I've never had it be a negative. I find it helps give you the VOG (voice of god) in many cases!
But if you don't like the results, use a low shelf to "equalize" the effect, which is usually only takes a little EQ.

Bottom line: If it reduces your noise levels, then it's worth that small (easily correctable) price IMO.
Well, I find it actually difficult to take the proximity effect out naturally once it is there. I agree that in dynamic mics, you really need it to be millimeters away but in cardioid condensers it's more pronounced... And tbh the voice of god effect is great for voice over's but for music it depends on the effect...

You can use the mic shelf too if it has that, but again... not quite the same.

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selig
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Post 08 Jan 2021

mcatalao wrote:
08 Jan 2021
Well, I find it actually difficult to take the proximity effect out naturally once it is there. I agree that in dynamic mics, you really need it to be millimeters away but in cardioid condensers it's more pronounced... And tbh the voice of god effect is great for voice over's but for music it depends on the effect...

You can use the mic shelf too if it has that, but again... not quite the same.
Happy to demonstrate, though I hardly feel it would be necessary. It's no different from making any tonal adjustment - just EQ so it sounds right in the mix. If the mic was boomy without proximity you'd still be able to make it work in the mix no? But that's beside the point, we're not talking about a lead vocal in a mix, and we are talking about reducing background noise.

My point: which is easier to do transparently and with tools on hand, reducing some extra low end (if you even need to) or reducing background noise?

To clarify: the OP is talking about real time vocoding (and Billy was talking about live streaming VO), not a lead vocal in a music track (which is still super easy to deal with IMO).
Selig Audio, LLC

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mcatalao
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Post 09 Jan 2021

selig wrote:
08 Jan 2021
My point: which is easier to do transparently and with tools on hand, reducing some extra low end (if you even need to) or reducing background noise?
No doubts on that but I prefer to have the best recording upfront (plus hpf is not as innoccuous as that). I would still go with a dynamic mic for the job with an untreated room and noisy ambient.

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selig
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Post 09 Jan 2021

mcatalao wrote:
09 Jan 2021
selig wrote:
08 Jan 2021
My point: which is easier to do transparently and with tools on hand, reducing some extra low end (if you even need to) or reducing background noise?
No doubts on that but I prefer to have the best recording upfront (plus hpf is not as innoccuous as that). I would still go with a dynamic mic for the job with an untreated room and noisy ambient.
Totally agree, but from the other angle - would rather have a cleaner vocal with less background noise, and would simply use a little low shelf if proximity ever actually caused a problem (which it has not in 40 years of recording vocals...). 😏
But out of context, we are all just speculating here - for use with a vocoder a simple gate may actually be the best solution!!!
Selig Audio, LLC

Desnuda
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Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Post 10 Jan 2021

My cheap Rode lav mic is much quieter for live use. So I’ve ended up not using the noisy mics at all rather than gate them..I’ll add that “live” gating is less predictable than being able to fine tune them. Download blender here https://connect.symfony.com/profile/blenderdownload

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jam-s
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Post 13 Jan 2021

A nice alternative noise gate is the free "silencer" RE from kuassa: https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... oise-gate/ or you could also use the gate section in the mix channel.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace. ... Pool's closed due to corona.

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