Even though this was partially a request, the thought of explaining what I’m currently using for my stream sounded like a pretty good idea. While a good portion of folks that stream look to bitrate settings for the visual side of things, having a good handle and knowledge of the audio portion of stream is the other half of the coin. When you hear someone speak in any sort of media, whether if it’s entertainment based or for informative purposes, much of it is done on some sort of special audio composition that enhances the speaking voice of whom you’re paying attention to. For gaming purposes, most headsets come standard with a microphone that allows you to chat with friends and teammates but does so in a very basic manner.
While it does the job; like this Razer Kraken here as an example, the clarity and presence that one hears is reminiscent of speaking through a walkie-talkie or cell phone. Despite being coherent, it often doesn’t lend well in terms of a personal experience as compared to if you were sitting among the audience during a live talk show.
The very first non-headset based microphone that I currently use today is an Audio Technica AT2020 USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone. Without getting into too much detail, this audio guide from Lightstream better explains the technical standpoint between the two types of microphones in use by all sorts of people and what is better suited for voice work. Like the guide suggested, USB is a lot simpler for folks who want a straightforward solution, despite some limitations. After spending time with my mic, I eventually ended up getting a Rode Microphone Arm, as it kept my desk space somewhat clear, but not obstructing the functionality and effectiveness of my mic. Another portion that lends a helping hand to this important aspect of media is having a mixer. While more professional setups will feature one, there are some of us whom probably never considered one until recently. While my current setup does not accommodate a traditional mixer from a financial standpoint, I’m currently getting by through a digital solution through VB-Audio’s VoiceMeeter software. While I’m not too involved with its audio levels, it has allowed me to somewhat tune the bass and treble side of how my voice sounds.
At the end of the day, this isn’t a “how to get your first microphone setup” going, or what the best microphone on the market is. This is just merely what I have going on at the time being, which may change as time progresses on. If you do need some pointers, I found a great beginner guide here, which goes into depth like the previous guide about microphones, but also explains about supplementary accessories to complete the package. If anything is to be learned, it’s that if you’re lacking in knowledge about this sort of thing, you have to put in the time and research to learn about the related tech, including the science and lingo related to it.