It can be very frustrating to have your Blue Snowball be too quiet. You have everything set up correctly for your recording or stream, but for some reason, you can’t get your mic to be loud enough.
Here’s how to make a Blue Snowball louder in 5 easy ways:
- Increase the microphone input volume.
- Move your Snowball closer.
- Orient the mic correctly.
- Make sure it’s in cardioid mode.
- Boost mic volume with third-party software.
None of these solutions are complex, and they can be implemented quickly if you know how to do it. This article will tell you exactly which solutions to try first and how to do each one.
- 1 1. Increase the Microphone Input Volume
- 2 2. Move Your Snowball Closer
- 3 3. Orient the Mic Correctly
- 4 4. Make Sure It’s in Cardioid Mode
- 5 5. Boost Mic Volume With Third-Party Software
- 6 Key Takeaways
- 7 Sources
1. Increase the Microphone Input Volume
This is the simplest solution, so let’s get it out of the way first. Both Windows and Mac have an option to adjust the input volume of your microphones. It may be the case that your input volume is just too low.
Here are the steps for Windows:
- Right-click on the Sound icon and select “Sound settings.”
- Make sure your microphone is selected in the slider located under the “Input” title. If you’re on Windows 11, you’ll find the microphone volume slider under the “Input” section. If you’re on a previous version, go to the next step.
- Click on “Device properties.”
- Now you should see a Volume slider. Adjust the slider up until you get a loud enough mic volume.
Here are the steps for Mac:
- In the Apple menu, choose “System preferences” and click on “Settings.”
- Select your Snowball from the list of devices.
- Drag the volume slider.
Turning up the input volume on your operating system shouldn’t affect the sound quality. However, if you boost the volume over 100% in a specific program, you’ll probably create distortion.
Microphone Boost Option
If increasing the input volume to the max wasn’t enough, there’s another setting that can get you out of the rut: the microphone boost on Windows. The issue with this solution is that it’s always available.
It’ll depend on your audio drivers, your version of Windows, and your Snowball model. Still, you should check if you can see the slider.
Here are the steps:
- Go to “Sound settings” and then “Device properties.”
- Click on “Advanced device properties.” If you’re on Windows 11, scroll down until and click on “More sound settings.” Look for your microphone in the “Recording” tab, right-click on it and select “Properties.”
- A new window will appear. Select the “Levels” tab.
- You’ll see the first slider named “Microphone” (or something similar). That’s just the same volume slider we adjusted before. Under that, you’ll see a slider called “Microphone boost.”
Turning up the microphone boost should be more than enough to fix your issue. However, it’ll probably damage your audio quality. If you want to avoid that, take a look at the next option.
For more information, check out how to reduce background noise on a Blue Snowball mic.
2. Move Your Snowball Closer
The Blue Snowball works better when it’s up close to the microphone. In most cases, the ideal recording distance is 6-8 inches (15.24-20.32 cm) from your mouth.
If you’re recording a voice-over or a vocal performance, it probably won’t be a problem. You can always temporarily move the microphone to an optimal position.
However, a close recording distance might be an issue if you want to film your face while you’re recording with your Snowball. Having it up close could make you bend over the desk awkwardly or block part of your face from view.
Before giving up and trying the other solutions, make sure your mic is as well placed as it can be. Even if it’s not up close, moving it closer can make a difference.
You want to position your Blue Snowball in such a way that it doesn’t pick anything but your voice. If it picks other loud sounds, your voice will have less relative loudness when it reaches your mic. In other words, it’ll be drowned out by noise.
Place your mic so that there’s nothing between it and your mouth. If you have your mic behind your keyboard, move it to the front. The clicking could be interfering with the sound, especially if you have a mechanical keyboard. You’ll face the same issue if it’s close to other sound sources, like your pc fans.
This can be a little awkward if you don’t have much space, but it can make a huge difference.
Check out my guide to stopping a Blue Snowball from picking up the keyboard.
3. Orient the Mic Correctly
Good positioning should be coupled with good orientation. The Blue Snowball can’t pick up sounds from any angle – at least not with the same intensity. It can only properly pick sounds that are at its horizontal axis.
In other words, if you speak to your mic from above, even if you’re looking directly at it, it won’t pick up your voice properly. You should orient it so that your mouth is directed at the middle part of the microphone.
One option to fix this issue is just elevating it. Put it on top of some books or a shelf. Since the Blue Snowball is detachable from its tripod, you could also buy a taller mount for it.
Otherwise, you can just lay it back until it sits at a good angle. Lean it against something so that it’s looking slightly upward.
4. Make Sure It’s in Cardioid Mode
This is a common pitfall that, if you’re unaware of it, can completely ruin your sound.
The Blue Snowball has three recording patterns: cardioid, cardioid with 10 -dB pad, and omnidirectional. Make sure your mic is in cardioid mode.
You can make these changes through Blue’s companion software, Sherpa.
To understand why this is important, you should know why these audio patterns exist and how they differ. This will help you get better sound quality and more loudness out of your mics.
You only have the cardioid pattern if you have the Blue Snowball iCE, so this fix won’t apply to your case.
As mentioned, there are three recording patterns on your Snowball (and most other microphones):
- Cardioid. It’ll pick up sounds only from the front, usually in a range of 120 degrees. It’s also often called unidirectional.
- Cardioid with -10 dB pad. This particular setting works just as cardioid but reduces the sensitivity of the Snowball by 10 decibels, making everything sound quieter. Works excellent for recording instruments and vocalists without distortions.
- Omnidirectional. This pattern has a range of 360 degrees, so it picks up sound in all directions. Great for capturing sounds of an environment or groups of people.
If your Snowball is set to Omni, then it’ll be picking a lot of sounds that make your voice sound quieter. Make sure it’s set to cardioid and that you’re within its range.
5. Boost Mic Volume With Third-Party Software
If raising the volume on your OS wasn’t enough, there are third-party apps that can boost it over 100%.
As you saw before, this will probably hurt your audio quality. Play around it until you find a good balance.
For this explanation, we’ll choose Audacity because it’s powerful, free, and open-source. It’s also one of the most popular audio editing programs out there. However, if you want more options, VOICEMEETER is another popular choice.
How To Boost your Mic in Audacity
Start by sliding up your mic volume on the upper right corner up to 1.00. It’ll probably not be enough, but try just in case.
Now try adjusting gain. Audacity has a gain slider for each audio track. It’s the first slider on the box at the left of the timeline.
After selecting your Snowball from the microphone drop-down menu, try adjusting its gain. It’ll be by default at 0 dB, which is the standard limit for digital audio. By going above that, you’re boosting your mic past its normal volume.
Anything past 0db runs the risk of clipping. However, if your input volume is really low, it won’t necessarily be an issue.
For more information, check out which is better: Blue Snowball vs. Razer Seiren Mini.
There are a few issues that could be making your Snowball too quiet. Most of them are related to how it’s positioned and its natural limitations.
Properly setting up your microphone will make a huge difference. Don’t forget to turn up its volume in the Sound settings on your computer.
If that’s not enough, you can boost your mic volume with Windows’ microphone booster or third-party software like Audacity. However, keep in mind that this might decrease your audio quality.