New Microphone setup

It’s no secret that my old microphone was less than ideal. Basically it wasn’t sensitive enough, wasn’t easily adjustable, and sounded different every time I set myself up for recording.

It’s a cheap lapel mic, which explains much of the quality issues I experienced, it was however better than nothing and allowed me to get started making content. Fortunately I had salvaged an old condenser microphone from some equipment that was being retired.

It’s an AKG GN 30 ESP with a CK31 capsule, which isn’t a particularly modern piece of audio gear, but from what I’ve read online is actually fairly decent, and something that they still make. From what I’ve read online it seems these are commonly installed in Churches, various types of halls, and often teleconferencing systems. My particular example was new in 2006, and was part of an Accessgrid facility, I salvaged it when the audio system there was upgraded.

Of course being a condenser mic you can’t just connect it to any old thing and expect it to work. It requires an XLR cable and phantom power in order to operate. So to connect it to my PC I had to get an audio interface that would support it.

Step in the Swamp Industries SM11, a basic 3 channel Mixer with a builtin USB sound interface. It wasn’t too expensive either at just under $100 AUD. Add in an XLR cable and it was pretty much a case of plug and record, which was refreshingly easy.

The mixer has a few nifty features that I’ll be using, such as the ability to plug in head phones to monitor the audio being recorded, and being able to play audio through the USB sound card, so you can hear approximately what it will sound like over the PC sound output.

My audio set up is still quite new and I’m still working out all the kinks, I’ve found having a better mic can make doing good recordings more difficult as it picks up sounds that my old mic wouldn’t hear. Such as the sound of my old Sparcstation running in the background, or my air conditioner. But this is less of an audio problem and more an environmental one.

I’ve finished my first video using the new audio setup, have a listen bellow and let me know what you think.

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