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◊(define-meta title "How to Record With a Yeti and Audacity (and eliminate background noise)")
◊(define-meta published "2014-11-28")
◊(define-meta topics "podcasting,audio")

Maybe you saw renowned podcaster Marco Arment’s tweet this morning:

◊tweet[#:id "538351950866415617"
       #:handle "marcoarment"
       #:realname "Marco Arment"
       #:permlink ""
       #:timestamp "Nov 28 2014 9:21 AM"]{But the Yeti is fine for most podcasters too. Just keep in mind that it picks up a lot of background noise no matter what pattern you set.}

I use/used a ◊amazon["B002VA464S"]{Yeti} on ◊link[""]{my podcast} for a few years now. Many others do too (including ◊link[""]{Jason Snell} for what that’s worth) — it’s long been known as the sweet spot of bang-for-the-buck for intermediate-level podcasting. Marco’s probably right that it’s not ideal in some ways, but let me tell you how I eliminate background noise.

In my experience, you can get a very clean signal with very little background noise from just about any mic if you use the Right Technique. That technique is:

    ◊item{Use a pop filter}
    ◊item{Turn gain on the mic ◊emph{way} down}
    ◊item{Speak super close to the mic}

◊figure["mymicsetup.jpg"]{My super inexpensive, terrible mic setup.}

Yes, the pop filter (the $10 ◊amazon["B0002CZW0Y"]{Nady MPF-6}) is simply held in place with a heavy object. I own no booms or shock-mounts. Not to say I wouldn’t love to have them, but I’m just not about to buy them for now (see further notes below).

Using the above placement, I set the gain knob on my Yeti at 40-45%, and set the pattern to Cardioid (heart-shaped). Then I set Audacity’s input level for the mic to 50%. I speak at a normal volume ◊strong{with my mouth almost touching the pop filter}.

Additionally, I run Chris’s Dynamic Compressor plugin on voice tracks after all other editing has been done:

◊figure["audacity-compress.png"]{My settings for Chris’s Dynamic Compressor}

◊item{Compress Ratio: ◊code{0.7}}
◊item{Compression Hardness: ◊code{0.7}}
◊item{Floor: ◊code{-14.0}}
◊item{Noise gate falloff: ◊code{6.0}}
◊item{Maximum amplitude: ◊code{0.95}}

I may normalize the track to -2db before or after running the compressor, or both.

You can hear the results on any of the later episodes of ◊link[""]{my podcast} (which I’ve currently not been keeping up with). Which brings me to standard disclaimers: my podcasting is of a different style than most podcasts. My episodes are relatively short (5-15 min), and almost everything I say is pre-written and edited, and I’m the only voice. All of which makes my primitive Yeti/pop filter setup that much more bearable. If I were co-hosting with anyone or doing longer episodes I can see where it would get kind of unworkable, but for what I do I don’t mind it at all.