Having a good microphone is crucial for streaming, but it can be quite expensive. That can be an issue for new streamers because the number on the paycheck isn’t very high when you’re starting.
However, you don’t need an uber-expensive mic to sound good, and today, I will teach you how to make microphone sound great on stream. Now, the most important factors to consider are:
Keep in mind that these tips should work with any microphone you have, so you don’t have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on professional mics.
Table of Contents
Stream Mic Settings That Will 10x Your MIC SOUND! [OBS & Streamlabs]
Audio (podcast) form for those of you on the go
Mic Placement and Positioning
Let’s start with mic placement and positioning.
One of the most obvious things you probably already know is that the closer the mic is to your mouth, the louder the sound is.
So, the first thing you need to do is find a balanced distance, depending on the mic type and quality.
You don’t want to set it far because it might be too silent, and on the other hand, you don’t want to eat the microphone because the sound it produces could be very loud.
Now, since I’ve already mentioned mic type, one very important factor to consider is the polar pattern type of your microphone.
The polar pattern type basically determines from what direction your microphone picks up the sound from its surrounding.
There are 6 main types of microphone polar patterns:
Understanding your microphone’s polar pattern can help you position it properly.
For example, most USB streaming mics are cardioid, which means that they pick up the sound mostly from the front side and a bit on the sides, while the back doesn’t pick up any noise.
This means you can place the front side towards your mouth, and the back side towards your keyboard, and it won’t pick up the keyboard noise or it might pick up just a bit of it.
On the other hand, you might have seen a lot of streamers who hold their mics upside down. That is because they use a microphone that can pick up the noise from both front and back. So, they position the mic upside down so it wouldn’t pick up the typing noise.
Mic Stand/Boom Arm
Tweaking Streaming Software Settings
Now that I’ve explained the mic placement and positioning, let’s move on to something more advanced.
In the next part, I’m going to explain how you can use different settings in your streaming software to make your microphone sound great on stream!
For this purpose, I will use OBS studio, since it is one of the most popular streaming software out there.
However, keep in mind that most of what I will say can be applied to Streamlabs, as well as other streaming software.
Adding Device to OBS
Before we move on, you need to add your microphone to the Audio Mixer in OBS. To do that, simply go to File>Settings>Audio>Mic/Auxiliary Audio and choose your microphone.
After that, since this is a test, you want to be able to hear yourself speaking through the mic in your headphones right?
To enable this setting, simply click the cog icon next to your microphone in Audio Mixer on the bottom, choose Advanced Audio Properties>Mic/Aux, and in the drop-down menu enable Monitor and Output.
How to Make Microphone Sound Great with Filters?
Now that your mic is ready to use, the next step is to add certain audio filters that can help to improve the sound quality of your streams.
The first filter I want to show you is the Compressor. What it does is it brings your microphone audio to a similar level no matter how loud or quiet your voice is.
To add this filter, simply click the cog icon again, like in the previous step, go to Filters, and a new window will pop up. Then, click the “+” sign at the bottom left and choose Compressor.
Depending on your microphone, you will need to adjust these settings, that may seem a bit complicated, but trust me, they are very simple.
The only 2 settings you need to worry about are Threshold and Output Gain. Threshold helps you reduce the volume when you make a loud noise, or when something falls next to your mic.
Ideally, you should adjust it so that whenever you yell or make loud noises, the audio level doesn’t go full red line.
Your aim should be the end of the yellow line or a bit into the red. When it comes to the Output Gain, it is useful to boost up the volume when you talk quietly. Again, aim it somewhere between the start and end of the yellow line.
Once the Compressor is added, it dealt with one problem but created another. By boosting the audio level when the voice is quieter, the compressor also boosted all the surrounding noise you produce, including the keyboard typing.
To deal with this issue, you can simply add another very useful filter, which is Expander. This filter will let you customize the way you want your microphone to pick up and let the sound through from a certain level.
In simpler words, background noise that is lower than a certain level will not be picked up by your microphone.
To add the Expander filter, click the cog icon again and go to Filters. Click on the “+” sign and choose Expander.
First, you need to set up the settings to begin the adjustment:
When the Threshold is at 0, every sound you make will trigger the microphone.
Now, to remove this issue, simply stop talking and make some other lower noise, such as keyboard typing, while dragging the Threshold to the right.
Once you notice that the mic has stopped picking up the noise in the Audio Mixer down below, you can stop adjusting the Threshold.
Just like before, this could cause another issue, such as the first letter of the words you say being cut off, but you can fiddle with the Expander to fix that as well.
Simply reduce the Threshold again, or decrease the Ratio until you are satisfied.
3. VST Filter
Now, if you want to make your voice sound more natural, rather than being heard like you’re talking on the phone, you can use the VST filter.
This filter isn’t included in OBS per se, so you will need to download it. You can get it from the Voxengo website, the link will be in the description below.
After you download the VST, install it anywhere. It doesn’t have to be in the same spot as the OBS. OBS will automatically find it on its own.
To add VST to OBS, simply repeat the steps like for the previous two filters. Go to Filters, click on the “+” sign, and choose VST you installed from the drop-down menu.
Now let’s click on the VST filter and a new window will pop up. Here, you can adjust the settings, which I will not explain at the moment, since it will be different for every microphone you use.
Simply fiddle with the sliders and test it out until you are happy with how it sounds. If you want to reset the sliders, you can just double-click on the slider you want to reset, and it will return to its default position.
4. Noise Suppression
Another possible issue you might encounter, especially when using a cheaper mic is the annoying hissing background noise. Worry not, you can easily get rid of it, by adding the Noise Suppression filter.
The last filter I want to talk about today is Limiter. It basically does the same thing as Compressor, but Limiter is used for very extreme situations, where the background noise can be so sudden and unexpected that you need to order your mic not to pick it up.
For example, if you’re playing the game, die in-game, get mad, and hit your desk with your hands.
To fix this, simply drag the Threshold slider to the right until you are happy with the result. The idea is not to go more than the beginning of the red line.
That way, you can be sure that there is no noise that can break through and ruin your stream quality.
There you have it! These were our tips on how to make any microphone sound great on stream!
I hope all of this was helpful to you. Try out these filters yourself and you will most definitely sound much better on your Twitch stream.