Remote working, home studios, and digital entrepreneurship are becoming more common, which means that professional home audio setups are becoming more common. But optimizing your home setup for excellent quality audio isn’t as hard as you may think.
Here are 8 ways to make a Blue Snowball sound better:
- Record in a quiet area.
- Optimize the location of your microphone.
- Position yourself correctly in front of your microphone.
- Choose the correct settings on your microphone.
- Use the right software presets.
- Purchase a pop filter.
- Use a noise gate filter.
- Use an equalizer.
In this article, I’ll go into more detail about each of these tips to help you optimize your home audio setup and make professional-sounding content without the need for expensive equipment.
1. Record in a Quiet Area
The Blue Snowball microphone is a condenser microphone. A condenser microphone will pick up delicate sounds in the surrounding area, even if you aren’t meaning to capture the noise.
This technology is excellent for recording sound effects or ambiance noise because of how sensitive it is. However, this sensitivity can be problematic if you don’t want all the background noise to be picked up by your mic when you’re recording.
One way to avoid this issue is to record in a quiet area. Try to eliminate any background noise that you don’t want your Snowball to pick up. Background noise can be anything from a pen tapping on your desk or construction outside your window.
For the best audio quality, be sure that all noises have subsided before hitting the record button. It is also a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. If noise happens to start up while you are recording, it may be best to stop and resume when your area is quiet again.
2. Optimize the Location of Your Microphone
Once you’ve eliminated all your background noise, make sure that the mic can adequately pick up the sound of your voice. The first step in doing this is to optimize the location of your microphone.
Though this mic is good at picking up background noise, you don’t want to record yourself speaking from across the room. For the best sound quality, place your microphone roughly five inches away from your chin.
Being this close to the mic will ensure that it can pick up everything you are saying and help block any noise behind you. It is important to also be a few inches away from the microphone because being closer may make your voice sound muffled, lowering the quality of your audio.
3. Position Yourself Correctly in Front of Your Microphone
Additionally, you’ll want to position your mouth correctly in front of your microphone. Having the microphone near your mouth won’t help if the sound waves from your voice are going towards the opposite side of the room, entirely missing the mic.
For optimal sound quality, make sure you’re facing your microphone when speaking. Speaking towards the microphone will allow it to pick up your voice and help eliminate unwanted background noise and feedback.
4. Choose the Correct Settings on the Microphone
Once you have your microphone set up correctly in your quiet environment, you’ll need to optimize your Blue Snowball microphone settings.
Blue Snowball mics come with three different settings on the device, each of which is optimal for a different scenario. Choosing the correct setting based on what you are recording and your environment is one of the best ways to enhance your sound quality. Struggling to pick up any sound on your Blue Snowball? Read more in my guide here.
The first preset on your microphone is best for direct recording. This setting will record anything that is spoken directly at the device and will reduce ambient background noise.
This setting is best for when you’re recording alone and speaking directly into the microphone. Examples for this setting include recording a podcast, audio for a YouTube video, or a single instrument playing.
Cardioid With -10DB Pad Recording
You should use the second preset on your microphone for recording louder sounds. It’s best for singing powerfully into the microphone or playing an especially loud instrument. It’ll reduce the microphone sensitivity allowing you to record the sound distortion-free.
The third and last setting on your Blue Snowball microphone is omnidirectional recording. This setting will pick up sounds from around the room, not just what is in front of the mic.
This setting is best when there are multiple people in a conversation, all positioned around the microphone. With this setting, the mic will pick up everyone’s voice, even if they’re not sitting in front of it.
5. Use the Right Software Presets
In addition to correct microphone settings, you’ll also want to select the proper software presets before recording.
The Blue Snowball microphone plugs directly into your computer via USB, so you’ll be recording directly onto your computer and into your chosen audio software.
Each software is slightly different, but all of them will allow you to select preset settings. These settings include options that depend on where you’re sitting relative to the mic, how loud you’re producing sound, and how much audio you want the mic to pick up, among other things.
Selecting the optimal preset settings for your environment and setup ensures the best possible recording in your original audio file. Having a clear and crisp audio recording will drastically cut down the time you’ll need to spend on audio editing after recording.
6. Purchase a Pop Filter
Using noise-reducing hardware is another way to ensure you aren’t picking up any unwanted ambient noise. Adding a pop filter to your recording routine may be what you need to bring the audio quality of your Blue Snowball up to a professional level.
You’ve probably seen a pop filter before, though you may not have known its name. A pop filter is the round piece of hardware that you typically see in recording studios placed over the microphone. It almost looks like a round screen that is shielding the mic. This filter removes the “pops” in a recording when air moves quickly over the microphone.
Using a pop filter is one way to remove unwanted feedback in your audio and help your Blue Snowball sound more professional. There are different pop filters, so be sure to look for the most accommodating filter for your recording setup and use.
7. Use a Noise Gate Filter
Another way to filter your sound is using a noise gate. A noise gate is a filter that’s applied to your audio after your recording is complete. It allows noises above and below a certain frequency threshold and filters out sounds outside of that range.
This filter is suited for most audio types in most scenarios and is easy to apply to your recording. Applying a noise gate filter to your audio files is an easy way to improve the quality of your audio.
8. Use an Equalizer
Proper equalization of your audio is one of the most helpful tips for bringing your Blue Snowball up to high-quality audio. The equalization process includes adjusting your audio volume within different frequency bands. These are commonly used in music production and are considered a more advanced tool for audio editing.
Equalization will be different for each person, situation, voice, and environment. I recommend looking into and playing around with the equalization settings so that you can find what best suits you and your needs.
For more information, check out which is better: Blue Snowball mic versus Razer Seiren Mini mic
- BlueMic: snowball iCE
- BlueMic: Snowball
- YouTube: TheFranswah Studio: 5 Tips To Make Blue Snowball Sound Better
- University of California Santa Cruz: Blue Snowball Microphone User Guide
- Wikipedia: Pop filter
- Wiki Audio: A Guide to Choosing the Best Pop Filter (Top 5 Picks)
- Audacity: Noise Gate
- DBpedia: Equalization
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