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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
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PreSonus Firestore mobile

Just an update on my previous audio questions. I purchased the PreSonus FireStore mobile device together with a Rode NT1a.

The firewire device/card took a while to set up, the instructions were clear enough although very minimal. PreSonus devotes most of the manual to how to use the bundled software "StudioOne". I am not that interested in this software as I have no intention of turning into a pop singer or arranging the final movement of Schubert's unfinished symphony. It was only through clicking on everything in sight that I worked out how to actually get some sound out of the device. Having said that, it does produce superb quality.

I am not getting on too well with the Rode NT1a, it just picks up far too much ambient noise - I do a lot of screen capture tutorials and the computer fans make more noise than I would like. At the moment I have a Rode NTG2 rigged up to the FireStore and it is working fine, I will save the NT1a for a future project when I have more time to mess about with it.

Not sure how to adjust the tonal quality, everything seems so bass enriched, maybe the M-Audio A40 speakers I just purchased embellish the sound too much.
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Vincent Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Re: PreSonus Firestore mobile

Yes, I have an NTG2 as well and have also noticed the bass boost. As I understand it, it is due to the design of the microphone (or any interference tube type shotgun)

There is a proximity effect which will boost the bas quite a bit - if you like it that's great. If not, moving the mic somewhat further away from your mouth might reduce the bass boost - of course, it will probably also pick up more computer noise.

Personally, I think an omni pattern lav mic might be better in your situation.

And maybe some good noise reduction software - I've had rather good luck reducing the sort of continuous whooshy type noise using Izotope or SoundSoap, Izotope is definitely my favorite, but Sound Soap is also quite good.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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Re: PreSonus Firestore mobile

If you have the mic over your desk, the desk may block some computer noise. If you had got the NT2a you could have cut the bass. But really that proximity effect usually sounds cool - perhaps you're just not used to your voice sounding that way.

Basically you are hearing everything better because you have a better mic now. I will put a blanket over my computer when I need to cut down the fan noise. The issue here is your room, not your mic. Look into room treatment solutions and see how you can set it up. A lot of fan noise is often made worse by reflective surfaces. You could get some studio foam and put it on the wall behind your computer, and maybe on your desk of the computer is next to a hard surface on the desk. Also as a long term solution you could get some extension cables for your monitor and move the computer further away from your recording position. You can even replace the fan in your computer with a quieter one. The NT1a is your best mic, and it's a shame you won't be able to use it for a nice, full sounding VO.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #4
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Re: PreSonus Firestore mobile

Thanks for your replies. I do have the mike on a boom arm over the desk and it cuts the noise down bit. Last night I experimented with a cheaper mike (Sennheiser 818 SII) a Dynamic mike this is less sensitive than both my Rodes and seems to have cut down the ambient noise.

I am still experimenting with the combinations, the best result "out of the box" is the Sennheiser (£30 mike), The Rode NTG2 shows the most promise, but I have to use Audition 2 to Normalise the volume up to -2db, run the Capture noise Restoration then apply the Restoration to the entire clip. Finally I use the Graphic EQ to reduce the bass and add the sparkle. I can't use the Rode NT1a at all, it picks up far too much noise, pity I was rather hoping to make this my standard mike for voice overs.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: PreSonus Firestore mobile

I have the NT1a and it is certainly capable of pulling in every sound from the environment.
A friend once jokingly said he needed to borrow mine because he had a new project that required recording gnats passing gas at 50 yards...
Some things to try out:
Reduce your ambient noise level by moving things around with longer video monitor cables or putting baffles between ambient sources and the mic.
Make certain the fan noise and whatever it might be reflecting directly off of, are at the null of the mic, which is rather narrow.
Just for the heck of it, check that the mic is facing the correct direction (sorry, but it's easy to do with this mic) and also check that the mic is actually constructed correctly and the capsule is facing the correct way inside the mic. Don't laugh, it's happened before (but not with any of my Rode mics).
Make sure you're using the NT1a at an appropriately short distance and using a real pop screen, preferrably one that has two layers with an air space in between.
Lastly with high-sensitivity, wide-pattern, low-noise mics like the NT1a, it can be easy to simply set their recording gain higher than it really needs to be. This causes both an increase in the ambient pickup as well as it unintentionally forces the voice to be delivered somewhat softer into the mic.
If your recording environment is really noisy, then a low-sensitivity head-worn or close-talked vocal mic can help the situation. But the best goal would be to work in an environment that's quiet enough to use your large-diaphragm mic.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: PreSonus Firestore mobile

Thank you Jay for your input. I was using a Sennheiser Headset for previous productions, but the quality leaves a lot to be desired. At the moment it is very difficult to re-locate my computer, just due to space limitations. I am managing to cut down the fan noise with the Noise reduction filter in Audition, but this does leave me sounding like a space man in a goldfish bowl (not quite that bad).

I tried the NT1a again this morning and speaking closer to the mike, 4 - 6 inches, now I sound like a deep voiced Hollywood trailer voice over.

I will continue to try to find the ideal solution. At the moment my confidence has taken a nose dive and I am mucking up all my lines, followed by a application crash on one of the better takes.

Some you win :-(
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