What kind of microphone should you use to get the best sound for your ScreenFlow?
Ask a group of screencasters this question, and you’ll get answers as varied as if you had asked them the name of their favorite pets. There are hundreds, if not thousands of choices in the market, but before you spend money on a microphone, you’ll want to consider your needs, your intended audience, your environment, and your delivery format.
What to consider
Generally, the higher-grade microphone you use, the more accurate and high-quality the sound will be. But, if your plan is to compress your recording significantly, such as for a YouTube video, this compression process will also have an effect on the audio, so perhaps you can use a lower-grade mic with similar or same results.
If you are OK with a lower-fidelity, and a likely noisier recording, you could opt for a simple lapel or headset mic. This would be fine for casual blog postings.
A step up from that would be a dynamic microphone plugged into a soundcard or external sound device. This would give you a higher-level sound.
The next step would be a professional-grade sound card with a condenser or ribbon microphone. This set-up will give you very detailed sound that is usually very accurate to the source.
Of course, depending on your environment, one of the advantages of the highest-quality set-up – the mic’s sensitivity- can also be a disadvantage. These high-quality mics will pick up every small noise from a plane flying overhead to your dog walking through the room, so if you don’t have a good quality acoustic setting you may end up with a recording that actually sounds worse than if you had used cheaper, less sensitive equipment. So remember to consider your recording environment when deciding what microphone fits your needs.
Although we stop short of officially recommending hardware or microphones to use with our products, we do test many of them, and have found several that work especially well with ScreenFlow. So if you’re at a loss as to what to use, you might try starting with one of these:
- Blue Snowflake: With a USB connection, this small mic clips onto your laptop or sits on your desktop
- Samson G-Track: A USB-connected desktop mic
- Alesis USB Podcast Mic: A USB-connected desktop mic
We’re constantly testing and qualifying new hardware, and we’d love to hear your own experiences. What kind of microphone are YOU using with ScreenFlow?