Have you ever listened to your podcast and heard your voice crackling on stream? Did you record a song, but the highs seem to be too high? If you already encountered these scenarios or other similar occurrences, you should already know the importance of testing your microphone’s quality before using the device.
Here are four ways to test your mic’s quality to ensure you’re going to record audio with the desired sound attributes:
1. Use An Audio Interface
Some instances may not require you to use high-quality audio when speaking to your microphone. For example, online conferences and talks with mom and dad across the state might not need high-quality vocals.
But, you might be recording sounds from various musical instruments. Consequently, you have a podcast with hundreds of listeners per episode. If so, you need to ensure you’re producing high-quality audio from your microphone. One way to achieve such objectives is by using an audio interface.
This piece of hardware connects to your computer and improves its sonic capabilities. In other words, using an audio interface allows you to check for other factors than volume alone. It has dials, knobs, and switches to help you check and fine-tune different areas of the equalizer, which may include lows, mids, and highs.
Another advantage of using an audio interface is you can change the sound settings in real-time. Therefore, you can continue doing mic tests with the interface without turning off either of the devices until you obtain the desired output.
2. Use A Reference Microphone
As its name implies, you can use a reference microphone as a point of reference to help you calibrate your main mic’s audio performance.
You can go about using this device in two ways, depending on your current setup. First, connect your main microphone to your computer. Test the sound from that device using your preferred audio-recording software. Then, save the data from your main microphone and remove the device from your computer. Connect the reference microphone to your computer afterward. Now, record sounds using the reference mic and save that data. Open the two audio files to help you check and fine-tune the audio quality from your main microphone.
As for the other method, connect both the main and reference microphones to your computer. Note that you may need extra peripherals to achieve this connection.
Again, use your preferred audio-recording software for the quality check. But, this time, you can record audio from both mics at the same time, saving you valuable time.
Both methods are achievable using a reference microphone. However, you need to assess your studio setup to check which option is currently achievable.
3. Use An Online Mic Test Tool
One of the simpler ways to test your microphone’s audio quality is by using an online tool. But, keep in mind that many online mic testing tools don’t allow real-time fine-tuning. Hence, these tools tend to only let you see the data to help you check which area in your sound system to calibrate.
Therefore, ensure that you know the different pieces of microphone sound information before proceeding to use these online tools. Nonetheless, using these online tools present a relatively quick and easy way to see which areas in your microphone’s audio performance need improvement.
After testing, you should see data, such as echo cancellation, sample rate, sample size, volume, and overall quality rating. Calibrate your microphone’s sound performance using the data shown and test again until you achieve the desired audio output.
4. Use A Recording Software
Can you imagine singers Todd and Eagan Tilghman sing a duet without testing their microphones first? If these performance artists didn’t check their mic’s quality before their performance, they might cringe at the poor audio quality upon listening to the output.
Singers, musicians, radio DJs, and, perhaps, even online teachers need to use high-quality audio from their microphones. But, you might not need sophisticated hardware to test your microphone’s quality. Instead, you can use reliable audio-recording software.
Some sound-recording software, like Audacity, are free to use. Use these applications to check for aspects like bass performance, gains, and reverbs while recording from your microphone without spending a fortune.
Furthermore, use the record function in these programs to produce real-time sound data. This feature ensures that you can fine-tune your mic’s performance on-the-fly, saving you valuable time in return.
You can use an audio interface, a reference microphone, or a digital tool to help you test your microphone’s sound performance. Keep in mind that this guide isn’t the ‘end-all’ requirement to test mics. Perhaps, you have other audio testing techniques in mind. But, consider using those techniques with the methods mentioned in this post to ensure your microphone is always producing high-quality audio.