Strong Hiss - Should I change Microphone or ... ??

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by igmolinav, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. igmolinav macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005

    I use an ibook G4 with Garage Band, iMic, and the following mic:

    The way i have it set up is: The iMic has on the left side the computer. It plugs in to the computer through the USB port; and on the right side of the iMic, the microphone connects to it just through a simple let-in.

    I also use the following set up to try to reduce Hiss and it is where I place the small microphone:

    As I record in an isolated room, my recording gets a "strong hiss". Actually, I have heard this same problem in a couple of my audio books when I listen to the dialogues. However, in them, it is definitely barely perceivable. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that, the "hiss" I talk about is ONLY perceived, whether in my recordings or in my audiobooks, when there is dialogue going on. When the narrators pause, there is no "hiss". It is only perceivable to a lesser or greater degree when the narrators utter!! In the case of my own recordings it is unfortunately quite strong and unpleasant!!!

    What do you think could help me to solve my problem? Should I use another software to record? Should I use an "easy-to-use" software to clean "the Hiss"? Should I buy a better microphone, is there anyone that you may want to recommend, what do you think about these ones - (I was recommended the Rode Podcaster microphone to do my podcasts) : ) ??

    Thank you very much, kind regards,


    P.S. I also have a small ART brand preamp that I have never used because I have been using iMic. iMic, as opposed to the ART preamp, has no knobs and therefore is simpler to use. The model I have is the TUBE MP studio, (this website version may just be slightly different to the one I have, but it is basically the same one):
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    you should figure out which piece of the chain is causing the hiss and replace that, rather than buying pieces at random.

    if it's happening only during speech, that sounds like you've got some kind of automatic gain control going on. first step is to find that and turn it off. then at least you should get a consistent hiss level.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The problem may be the iMic. It lacks an adjustable preamp and you are likely using software to step the gain up. All that does is multiply the digital signal and the noise right along with it.

    Try using the preamp. It should help a lot. You want to add gain before the D/A converters so as to use all of the iMic's dynamic range. Set the iMic to "line", connect it to the preamp, reduce the gain in the software and dial in some on the preamp.

    If you were to buy any new gear, look at audio interfaces. The iMic is the lowest spec'd interface on the market.

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