Hacker Noon Editor, businesswoman, podcaster, and true crime lover
I have been podcasting for a year now between The Art Hustlers' Studio and The HackerNoon Podcast, and I've learned a few things about audio. I'm in no way an audio expert yet and my background isn't in audio engineering or production. But, one day in 2020 I bought a mic and started learning lessons the hard way - by doing, f*cking up, and improving.
Over the past year, I've made many audio mistakes and it has been fabulous for my career and growth. On the very first podcast episode I recorded, I had my mic muted for the first half of the episode. On an episode I recorded with an in-person guest, the audio was horrifying because I didn't know how to position the mic. With this slogging thread and story, I hope you can learn from some of my mistakes by adjusting to the optimal settings for your Yeti Blue mic.
There are a few nobs on the Yeti Blue mic. The first is the mute button. As part of my pre-recording checklist, I always make sure I can see a solid red light on that mute button, which indicates the mic is on and not muted. If you're light is flashing, you won't be recording audio, my friend.
The next nob is the volume dial. As a podcaster who records with guests, this dial is pretty much just for show. Apparently, you can plug your headphones directly into the mic - I've never needed to do this.
On the backside of the mic, I have the gain nob. Gain refers to the level of sound output for the mic. If the gain is too high, you'll get clipped. If the gain is too low, you won't hear anything; the gain dial is very sensitive. To give you some context, on one of the latest recordings of The HackerNoon Podcast, one of the mic's gain was set at 3 o'clock and that was way too high. Mine is set at 8 o'clock, but I also have a vocal booth surrounding my mic which helps. Try setting your dial to 9 o'clock to start. In general, I'd say it's better to err on the side of quiet than loud because it can mostly be adjusted in post (unless it's TOO quiet).
Below the gain nob is the pattern nob. This dial changes the type of recording pattern your mic will use. There are four kinds of patterns: cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. For podcasting, you should be using the cardioid setting which is the one that looks like a little butt. This is optimized so that whatever is directly in front of the mic (in this case you) will be recorded. If you were recording with a guest in person and with only one mic, you'd want to change to omnidirectional or bidirectional.
One other important thing to remember about using the Blue Yeti mic is where to speak into the mic. Most people want to point the tip of the mic towards their mouth, but you should actually be keeping the mic up and down and talking into the side of it. You also don't want to be too close and talking directly into the mic itself. It's better to talk at least a foot back and turn up the gain if you need to.
This Slogging thread by Alex Cobb, Amy, David, Guy and Linh occurred in hackernoon's official #podcast channel, and has been edited for readability.
What's everyone setting his or her gain to for the TWOPI recordings? Also, is everyone making sure to keep audio rolling throughout and not cutting it off partway through?
Because someone may have clipped a bit...the entire episode
Yours looks good! I like 9 o'clock, but it sounds great. That sounds insulating is doing numbers.
David I believe you are the culprit in question 😂
Not pointing any fingers or naming any names, but it's not Amy, and the gain problem specifically isn't Guy.
ha its probably me, I attached a mic for the first time. its also a yetti. it worked fine via restream in this first recording https://twitter.com/productschool/status/1412501856870449152 and then twopi and storm podcast yesterday was second and third time using it.
with this computer.
you probs just need to put your gain to 9'oclock. “clipping” means it was too loud so you went over the audio threshold for appropriate volume :savage-smiling-with-tear:
Audio expert over here^ :face_with_monocle:
Who’s gain? But glad my $30 5 year-old mic isn’t causing too many issues hehe
Your issue was muting your audio periodically and inadvertently pausing the recording.
So, it's not a competition, but Amy wins.
Is Storm's podcast also off? Are those two recordings salvagable/publishable?
Gain was at 3 oclock, just moved to 9 oclock now
Does muting on zoom affect the recording (even when I’m not speaking)? I HAVE A SQUEAKY CHAIR
Yup. It's an abysmal system. We truly do live in a society. Do they have WD-40 over there?
Can we hear a test of 9 o'clock? Idk if you can send it over the slack.
I’ve been meaning to give it a good spray-down for ages, but cheers for letting me know about the zoom muting thing!
Yeah, it's something no one else seems to realise and I only found out about by reading the podcast recording guidelines. Terrible system from Zoom. Only way around it would be recording a separate track as well.
No worries, tho, mate. Took care of it. Cheers.
David you also gotta change the bottom dial to the butt looking icon loooool
omg what’s going on??? i don’t understand anything =)))
It's also called cardioid, but that's SO much less fun to say.
so i’m planning to use the yeti mic with the dongle as mentioned at the end of the twopi episode, awhat now? do i have to know anything about zoom setting or what have you?
I'd say don't mute your Zoom call under any circumstances. I THINK you can mute the mic If you have to.
omg that’s news for me. ok. how does one mute the mic though 🙈
Should be a button, depending on the model. Amy's doesn't seem to have one. My model has a little button right in the middle.
Oh my mute button is on the other side
Have 10/10 recorded entire episodes with the mic muted in the past SOOO
That's it, everyone - thanks for reading! I hope this helps you avoid some of the same audio mistakes I was making. If you want to check out my podcasts, you can listen to The Art Hustlers' Studio or The HackerNoon Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. In the meantime, I'll be podding hard.
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