Practically everyone who is into podcasting or in general sound recording faces this problem at some point of time. The mic is not recording anything! The worst part is, this is mostly realized in the middle of the recording or at the end of it. It is just a waste of time. This can be easily avoided by using a mic tester.
With work from has become a new normal. Everyone attending online meetings using Google Meet , Gotomeeting , Zoom and many other services. It is also essential to test your microphone online or offline before you enter the meeting to save yourself from panic and embarrassment once you log in to your online meeting.
You can watch the video below which summarizes the post.
Why should you test your mic?
Testing your mic is one of the most important things to do before you start recording your podcast on your PC or an interview through Skype or something similar. First, you would want to check whether your mic is functioning or not.
Apart from podcasting, in day to day life, if you plan to attend online meetings due to COVID 19 situation forcing you to work from home then you also need to test your microphone online or offline before you enter a meeting.
Taking an online mic test will help you to be sure that everyone in the meeting can hear you properly. You can test your microphone by using one of the online or offline methods in this article to be sure about the functioning and volume levels of your microphone.
For professionals and Audio Geeks, they would also like to test the quality of their mic. This involves a lot of technical parameters.
There are various ways to test the mic.
- Online mic testers : Here you can take an online mic test over the internet using various online microphone tester websites.
- Offline by using a software tool : Here you can take test your microphone offline without internet using offline microphone tester tools or software.
If you are new to podcasting then you can read about some of our interesting articles on Podcasting Basics.
If you want to purchase a microphone for your iPhone then you can read here.
If you are interested in buying a USB microphone then you can read here.
If you want to read a quick summary of this post then read the web-story below.
Online Mic tester : Test your microphone online
Online method of testing the microphone is probably the easiest one and should get the job done for the beginners.
If you are using skype or a similar program and you find your mic is not working, then it becomes difficult to find where the problem is. Is it with the application, it with the mic settings or the connections?
Testing the mic with online method can give a clear indication about the health of the mic and its connection with your PC.
When you use online mic tester, mike is trying to communicate to the browser. This is the most direct method that can be used for testing.
How to use an online mic tester?
Testing the mic online is easy.
- https://www.vidyard.com › mic-test
- https://www.speakpipe.com › voice-recorder
In order to test your microphone online , you can follow the following steps. These steps will work with most of the online mic tester websites. Testing your microphone online is very easy , just follow the below steps.
Steps to test your microphone online
- Go to the website of your choice ( https://www.onlinemictest.com / https://www.vidyard.com › mic-test / https://www.speakpipe.com › voice-recorder )
- There will be a play button, click on that.
- It may ask you to allow the access to your microphone, this is essential for the site to perform the test. You can click allow.
- Speak into the microphone.
If everything goes well you should see a waveform on the screen, the ups and downs will match the volume of you speaking into the microphone. If you see the waveform, your mic is working fine.
If for some reason, if you do not see the waveform, you may have to check your mic settings or the connection of mic with your PC. Few other things you should check are
- the volume of your mic
- if you have selected the correct mic
- the mic is not on mute.
If you are only interested to know if your mic is functioning or not. Then online mic tester is efficient.
Offline mic tester
There are many ways to test the mic offline as well. You can use the recording tool itself or you can use the windows mic tester feature.
Use Recording software as Mic tester
The best tools to use for testing the mic offline are the same once you use to record. Audacity, Adobe audition and Garage Band for Mac all can be used to test the mic.
You can setup the mic in the tool of your choice, hit the record button and speak into it. You will see the waveform getting captured. You can also check the sound level also to ensure that volume is sufficiently high but not too loud to trouble the listeners.
Ensure that the highs and lows are close tot the top and bottom line of the waveform boundaries but not exceeding those.
Test your microphone using Widows 10 default Mic Tester
Windows also has a default mic tester. You can right click on the volume icon in your task bar at the right bottom of the desktop.
Click on Open Sound Settings. You will find a dropdown to select your microphone. Select the microphone that you want to use. There is a feature below this to test your microphone. Speak into the microphone and the blue bar should move to the right depending upon how loud the sound is.
If you do not find your mic or the bar is not moving, then you can use the Troubleshoot button to identify the problem.
Mic testing for the pros.
Professionals and microphone manufacturing companies would like to test their microphones in far more detail. A dedicated software and hardware is generally used for this purpose following are some of the measurement functions that are used to test the microphone and rate the same.
- Sensitivity: Sensitivity the is output from the mic for a given input. Sensitivity, the ratio of the analog output voltage or digital output value to the input pressure, is a key specification of any microphone. A high sensitivity microphone isn’t always better than a low sensitivity microphone. Sensitivity tells something about the characteristics of the microphone but not necessarily about its quality.
- Signal to noise ratio: Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is technically the ratio of the power of the signal level to the noise power that corrupts that signal. Therefore, the higher the ratio, the less noise will be apparent in the overall microphone signal. Noise is an inherent issue in the world of audio. Maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio is critical to getting a clean audio signal from your recordings. Ideally, we want no noise in the mic signal and, therefore, a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) or infinity.
- Directivity: This is the ability of the mic to capture the sound coming from all directions. A large diaphragm microphone will generally capture sound from wider direction whereas a shotgun microphone has a very strong forward directional response. Those that uniformly pick up signals coming from all directions are referred to as omnidirectional.
- Distortion: When a signal passes from input to output, any change in that signal (i.e., the signal’s waveform) can be regarded as distortion. Any microphone will produce distortion when it is overdriven by loud sounds.
All these things Indicate the quality of sound produced by the microphone.
The software tool generally comes with a calibration setup as well to ensure that the background noise is cancelled.
Welcome to your podcasting journey with quickstartpodcast team.
Below paragraphs have links to all our posts in a logical manner starting from being a podcast listener to being a podcast creator.
The podcast Listener phase :
The podcasting journey generally begins with various questions such as what is a podcast , what a podcast is used for ? how to listen to a podcast , what are the best android and iOS apps to listen to podcast .
Depending upon the things that you like you will search for fiction podcasts , educational podcasts etc. Most of the people restrict their journey in podcasting to this level. They just end up being listeners to podcasts. Some of then take the next leap of faith and decide to start their own podcast.
Podcast creator Phase :
How to start your podcast ? is the main question they are faced with . Once that you have decided to start a podcast , what should be the name of the podcast , what should be the podcast format , which podcasting niche should you chose , what should be episode titles , what are popular podcast formats and what should be mine and so on ..
What is the right equipment for creating a podcast , what are the best XLR , USB , Condenser and dynamic microphones available. Can I record my podcast in an iPHONE , What should be the polar pattern , should I use an audio interface or a mixer , do I need a POP filter . There are so many question . How much podcasting will cost me , what are different setups based on my budget.
Once you in the journey of podcasting you will need to decide how should be a great podcast intro , how to record the podcast , how to record podcast online , how to test the mic , what should be length and frequency of my podcast , how to make great sounding podcasts and finally how to make money from podcasting ? ..
The journey starts from being a podcast listener going all the way to being a great podcast creator and quickstartpodcast is there with you in all this journey.