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When it comes to microphones, one of the respected names that come to mind is the Blue, and one offering of this brand is the Blue Snowball Microphone. The most affordable and quality entry-level microphones (Snowball iCE and Snowball). However, some users found that Blue Snowball microphones can pick up a higher level of background noise if you didn’t set it up correctly.
The use of the Blue Snowball Mic, of course, comes with many advantages, especially for aspiring podcasters and Youtubers who want a mic that is easy to setup. Yet, just like any other mics, its use also comes with the recurring issue concerning how to reduce background noise.
Background noise can be a very annoying issue when you are using any type of mic, but if you are using Blue Snowball Mic, you can read through this post to learn how to reduce background noise when using this mic.
Techniques for Reducing Blue Snowball Mics Background Noise
Setting the Blue Snowball Mic right will enable you to minimize background noises. Since the Blue Snowball Mic features two polar patterns, Cardioid and Omni, you can choose between these two polar patterns to get the best setup for any application.
It will also help to position a sound filter between your mouth and your mic. If background noise still goes on, you can always use noise-canceling software or plugins. Below you can find several strategies you can employ to reduce background noise when using the Blue Snowball Mic:
Reduce Noise Using Noise Reducing Hardware
Since the Blue Snowball Mic comes with cardioid and omnidirectional patterns, you can always choose between these two polar patterns depending on the mic applications. So, at the onset, you need to know what is best for your mic applications.
If you are streaming or podcasting, you can always go for the Cardioid polar pattern. This polar pattern lets the mic pick up only those sounds directly in front of the mic. It picks up front and side sounds with high gain. Nevertheless, it poorly picks up the sound coming from the rear.
If you intend to record multiple sound sources, then you should choose the Omni polar pattern. Once you’ve set the polar pattern correctly, don’t forget to use a sound filter. The sound filter can filter the plosives and other unnecessary sounds you don’t want to record. Moreover, you should ensure that the recording environment is acoustically treated or is silent.
Apply a Low-cut Filter Using a Software
If you are desirous of reducing background noise, you need to engage in your room’s acoustic treatment. You can only do acoustic treatment up to a certain degree. In case you want to eliminate low-frequency sounds further, you can use noise-canceling software. The use of good software can help you clean up your recording. Moreover, you can cut on the background noise or rumble using good noise-canceling software.
The use of noise-canceling software is your most efficient way of reducing background noise. With it, you can use plugins that can reduce this unwanted background noise. Your DAW, of course, is your best noise-canceling software. It will allow you to utilize many plugins for addressing different types of background noise.
F.L. Studios: This software is perfect for music producers and musicians. It lets you mix tracks according to the best standards. Moreover, it comes with many plugins to facilitate the recording process for you. It also comes with many options on how to reduce background noises.
The Adobe Audition: for example, is perfect for editing videos, animations, and pictures. But it is also helpful in editing sound. You can edit sounds manually using this software or you can use many of its plugins to do so. Some of these plugins include Automatic Click Remover, Adaptive Noise Reduction, DeHummer, and Automatic Phase Correction.
Pro Tools: Another software you can use is Pro Tools, a digital audio workshop for macOS and Windows. You can use it for editing audio and for mixing. Nevertheless, this software is expensive. Yet, it comes with many features as well as plugins for achieving a highly professional sound or track. You can use it for podcasts, audio mixing, and music production.
The question of how to go about mic placement can never be answered by a simple answer, for miking depends on what you are going to mic. Depending on which instrument you want to record.
However, with the Blue Snowball Mic, you need to position the mic on its tripod. It has a swivel base. This swivel base allows for a straightforward position of the mic on the tripod.
If you want extra isolation from noises (low frequency), you can mount the mic on the Blue Ringer shock mount before you mount the mic on the tripod. Then at the back of the snowball mic, select position “1” if you want to record one sound source.
You can select Position “2” if you’re going to record a loud sound source. Position “2” is also the cardioid mode. If you are recording multiple sound sources, you can use Position “3,” the Omni mode of the Blue Snowball Mic.
Another trick to reduce background noise is to harness the proximity effect. Your voice becomes deeper as you get closer to the mic, allowing low frequencies to become more pronounced during recording. Other people avoid the proximity effect. Yet, it can be an excellent way to reduce background noise during recording.
Rooms come in different ways; some are loud, some are silent. When it comes to room treatments, however, you can employ the following three strategies. You can use sound-absorbing materials, bass traps, and barriers. Heavy curtains, acoustic foam, and rugs are great for absorbing sounds and reducing echoes. They can prevent the bouncing off of sounds on hard materials like ceilings and walls; You can start with the space behind the sound source and the space behind the microphone.
Bass traps, on the other hand, can trap low frequencies. Barriers, however, are made of dense materials that block the unwanted noise from entering the room in which you are recording. They are quite difficult to set up. Yet, they are the best way to get rid of outside noise.
You can complement your acoustic room treatments with the use of low-cut filters. These low-cut filters are programs that you can use to reduce and remove the low frequencies below the sound source.
Use a Pop Filter
One of the hardware that you can use to reduce unwanted sounds in your recording is the pop filter. It can reduce high-frequency noise once it is in place. It can be in the form of a foam ball that readily fits around the mic, or it can be a screen made of cloth, nylon mesh, or metal mesh that you position between your mic and your mouth.
The pop filter is effective in reducing plosive sounds that you would usually produce when you speak and pronounced plosive consonants like “P“. The downside of using a pop filter is that you may fail to record the high frequencies that you would like to record. Replacing with better third-party Snowball mic stand to complement with the pop filter is also a solid setup.
It will help to position the pop filter around 2 to 6 inches from the microphone. Then, set your mouth around several inches away from the pop filter. You can also sing directly onto the filter, but it may not affect the plosive’s intensity.
Different mics come with different frequency responses. The frequency response is the sound range that the mic can reproduce. It is the factor that could significantly determine the microphone’s sound signature. In the case of the Blue Snowball Microphone, its frequency response is from 40 Hz to 18 kHz which basically covers all the sounds that you would like the mic to capture.
When it comes to using Blue Snowball Mic and reducing background noise, you may try the abovementioned techniques to reduce unwanted noise in your recording sessions. If it doesn’t fix the issues, you might need to go for another type of mic.
But the Blue Snowball is definitely an excellent option for recording narration and other applications. The thing is, with the Blue Snowball Mic, you should experiment with it to find the best setup for the needed applications. Besides, given the abovementioned tips, you will indeed never go wrong with the use of the Blue Snowball Mic.