How to Make a PC Microphone Sound Better
By Larry Amon
PC microphones are inherently cheap. They are not made for recording a rock concert, just for capturing your voice for minimal playback, as part of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system or for software that takes voice commands. Even with an especially inexpensive computer microphone, you can use some standard recording techniques to improve the audio. Of course, it will also help a bit if you use a higher quality microphone with your computer.
Install a better sound card if possible, since a higher quality card can make a big difference. Open the computer case and remove the old sound card. Insert a new card. Close the case, restart the computer and point Windows to the drivers when prompted. Plug the microphone into the mic input jack on your new card.
Don't touch the microphone. Find a stand on which to set the microphone and don't hold it with your hand, since that is likely to add extra sounds to your recording.
Use a screen. Buy a windscreen and set it up in front of the microphone. Windscreens keep some of the spit and pops from coming through.
Position the microphone somewhat close to where you'll be speaking. Your mouth shouldn't be so close that your lips might touch the microphone, but if you speak more than a foot away, the microphone will probably not pick up your voice as well.
- When using a microphone to record, pops are loud spikes in the sound wave made when certain letters--such as "P"--are emphatically spoken.
Larry Amon has been working in the computer field for more than 10 years and has experience writing scripts, instructional articles and political commentary. He has been published online, as well as in "NRB Magazine" and "Delmarva Youth & Family." He started a nonprofit media organization in 2000.