I swear I started this channel way before COVID
May 24, 2020 5:31 AM   Subscribe

I have a tiny YT channel for the mobile game Design Home. This is the headset I use to record and this is what the output sounds like. How much can I improve the sound output with minimal fuss, and should I?

The constraints are:

1/ I record from my couch and that's not changing. (I actually have a professional VO setup and using that is the opposite of fun.)

2/ I "film" live with the screen recorder app directly on my phone, so I'm restricted to 3.5mm jack devices.

I like the Turtle Beach gear but even if I spend four times as much as my cheap and cheerful headset, the only thing that seems to improve quality-wise is the speaker. They don't say anything about the mic except "omni-directional microphone."

This Hyper X headset is the best rated headset under $50 but gaming reviews really never focus on recorded sound quality, just party voice and speaker quality.

So how do I find what I need, or should I even bother trying to improve my sound output?
posted by DarlingBri to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
If you're willing to import the video into software with some audio processing capability, you can make it sound better.

First, run it through a high pass filter to remove any low frequency background noise.

Then add a little compression - the type that reduces dynamic noise. You don't need a lot, something with a 2:1 ratio with a threshold so it's pretty much always reducing 1db while you're speaking but not more than 4 or 5. This will make everything sound more even.

Run that through equilization - you'll have to experiment but on my phone's speakers, it sounds like there's a little extra upper mid-range that if you pulled it down 3dB would make it sound clearer. You can find spots like that by setting an EQ to -3dB and just sliding the frequency around until you find a sweet spot that makes it sound better. There may or may not be one.

Lastly, normalize the audio, which increases the loudness across the entire track such that the loudest part is just below clipping. This keeps the audio from being softer than other videos/music/computer noises so listeners won't have to adjust their volume before and after watching your video.

If you want to try swapping out the mic, Rode has a well recommended lapel mic that's popular with podcasters so I'd look at that, but I don't have personal experience with it.
posted by Candleman at 10:52 AM on May 24


If you're willing to import the video into software with some audio processing capability, you can make it sound better.

No, too much fuss. I just want to make it sound better out of the can.

If you want to try swapping out the mic, Rode has a well recommended lapel mic that's popular with podcasters so I'd look at that, but I don't have personal experience with it.

I had discounted that but the Rode SmartLav+ actually has a 3.5mm mini adapter so I actually could give that a go, thanks!
posted by DarlingBri at 11:24 AM on May 24


The audio sounds good to me. It's certainly better than many other "gamer" videos I've seen. You'd have to invest a bit more money and time in processing to get anything close to professional studio-quality audio, and it just isn't worth it, especially considering how good you sound already.

Now, if you were recording something more high-energy, where there's a lot of shouting and "OMG!!!"s, you would probably be having problems with transient spikes and distortion. But, you aren't and you don't, so it's all good, IMHO.

"Sponsored by Valium" LOL
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on May 25


Turns out my office will spring for a new headset under WFH funding if it has a noise cancelling mic (my house is chaos and sounds like chaos) so I will be ordering the HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset I'd decided on already, but it will be paid for by the taxpayers.

Thanks taxpayers!
posted by DarlingBri at 9:06 AM on May 26


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