Need microphone recommendations (voice capture in group setting for streaming) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-30-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Need microphone recommendations (voice capture in group setting for streaming)

Alright folks, here's my situation. I've already got a super-righteous setup:

Onkyo 707 receiver
7.1 with Ascend Acoustics speakers
Hsu subwoofer

Thursday nights are for Smash Bros. Brawl, and I want to stream/record this stuff.

I need a microphone audio recording solution. Target price point is $300, but I will gladly go up if it means I can get what I want.

The environment is a living room, with between 4 and 8 dudes commenting during gameplay. The console audio is sent to PC via stereo RCA to a splitter amp, then to stereo mini into motherboard LINE IN. This means I don't need the microphones to capture gameplay audio, and if possible, I would like these microphones to ignore/drown out the gameplay audio. Also, we typically get pretty rowdy, so the ideal setup would be able to interpret yelling, clapping, all that silliness, without causing any artifact noise. Whatever option(s) I choose, I need the audio quality to not sound like ass (no feedback, no awkwardly missed ranges, nobody having their voice drowned out).

Regardless of the hardware I choose, it must terminate at my PC, otherwise it's impossible to stream (using OBS for streaming). Currently I'm using this motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131636

This board is currently my only audio input option for capture purposes (the coax and sp/dif to the left are only for output). Those 6 stereo mini audio jacks in the back are the 8-channel audio. In the past, these were inputs for HTIB, but now I only use the green (headphones) and pink (tiny mic attached to headphones). The blue port will be the audio capture from the Wii (as mentioned above, stereo RCA to splitter amp to stereo mini).

With the stuff I have *right now,* is it possible/realistic to get one or two compressor mics that would plug into my available stereo mini jacks? Should I be aiming for USB microphones? (if so, I'll need more USB ports, probably with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product). I have done a small bit of reading, and sources agree that the Audio Technica AT2020 compressor mic is a winner in the quality/cost ratio, but I would have to go the USB route. Also, I have no idea what sort of setting this microphone is good for (specifically, how it would handle many voices with background speaker noise).

Maybe I should get a collection of clip-on-to-clothing mics?

Educate and direct me, please! Audio capture with microphone technology is where I am the most ignorant!

***SIDEQUEST GOAL***

Whenever I'm doing solo streaming/recording, I want a microphone that can capture my voice, without capturing noise from PC fans, or from external speakers. It would be nice if I could have it on a stand so that my voice could reach it without having to sit in some specific spot. Right now I use headphones, but eventually, I want a decent 2.1 speaker setup (but that's for another thread ^-^).

Needless to say, it would be super-great if the microphone(s) I get for the group setting can easily satisfy this purpose with little-to-no finagling.

Okay, thanks for reading, I'm really sorry if I gave any useless details. Let me know if you need specifics/clarifications!
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-30-2014, 05:53 PM
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There's a company called Acoustic Magic selling a multi element microphone I've used in several small classrooms for lecture capture with acceptable results. Some of their models are both analog or USB, so you can integrate as you see best. I'd look for a used one on fleabay, they usually sell for a quarter of what they sell for new. It's got the simplicity you're looking for, that's for sure.
Only bring it up because it is a somewhat unusual product that isn't going to pop up on most search engines.
http://www.acousticmagic.com/
One type of microphone that works well covering larger spaces and multiple voices is a boundary microphone. I haven't seen a good one that is USB ( Doesn't mean AT or someone doesn't make one, just not the type of thing I normally use) You'll need to provide "phantom power" for this type of device, as you would for most any condenser microphone. This could be provided by way of a small pre amp. Companies like Radio Design Labs (RDL) make very affordable small form factor devices for this very application. I can provide part numbers if you are interested.
Now if you want to get serious, you'll put the microphones next to everyone's mouths by investing in several lavalier microphones and an automixer that will provide phantom power for these devices.
It could turn into a big mess of wires very quickly. Wireless would be ideal, but super pricey, and you'd still need an automixer to sum all the mics and provide gain adjustment before your PC mic input.
Strongly recommend a headset mic for solo work, there's a reason pro broadcasters wear them. Absolutely the best way to capture a voice and eliminate uncontrollable background noise.
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Last edited by weaselfest; 07-30-2014 at 06:07 PM. Reason: elaborate
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-30-2014, 09:32 PM
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I found the best microphone to pick up a group is a PZM model. I am lucky enough to own the RadioShack version, but a quick search at Amazon shows several current models: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...pzm%2Cmi%2C362
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-31-2014, 04:24 AM
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PZM or pressure zone microphones are boundary microphones. The technology was made popular by Crown, now a division of Harman International. Just like Kleenex, the term has been adopted as a generic term for any microphone utilizing the strategy of placing the mic pickup element behind a flat surface with a small gap between the two and using the reflective surface it is mounted to as a collection device for the rooms sound.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-01-2014, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Excellent details folks. Much appreciated
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