The theme of our article today is ASMR microphone.
What is it, ASMR? What kind of recording equipment do I need? In general, who came up with all this and why? Make yourselves comfortable, we’re getting started! At the end of this article you can choose the best ASMR microphone for yourself.
So, ASMR. Verbatim from Wikipedia is a self-contained auto sensory meridian response.
I did not understand anything at all. I began to read further and found out that this is a neologism, indicating a phenomenon of perception, characterized by a pleasant feeling of tingling in the back of the head, spreading in the form of goosebumps on the skin, neck and back to the extremities. Or if it’s quite simple, it’s the answer of our nervous system to some certain pleasant sounds. ASMR sensations cause sound, visual, tactile and cognitive stimuli.
Let’s throw away everything we don’t need today and stop, naturally, at the sound ones. This group of stimuli is the most common and extensive. And it includes: whispering, a gentle quiet voice, slow soft speech, soft rustling,
crunch of plastic or paper packaging, cellophane in hand, tapping with nails
or objects, lightly scratching with fingernails or objects on a textured surface, plastic or wood, lapping with the mouth, snapping with the tongue, rustling pages, the sound produced by rubbing fingers with paper, breathing, breathing into the microphone and finally listening to music.
It is not quite clear who invented all this and why. But the fact that videos on this topic are getting incredible millions of views shows that people need it. Well, they need it. Then let’s talk about how it is done and what is written on it.
So what is needed?
Since everything here is built on quiet whispering, you should have, firstly, a good signal-to-noise ratio and, secondly, impeccable sound absorption and sound insulation. And this is understandable. Sounds are very quiet, and you should write them in complete silence.
The main thing you need to have from a sound card is a huge margin of gain and minimal noise. Processing is a very delicate and important point. And first of all, it is compression or rather a limit. Since everything is done at high sensitivity, even the loudest sound can easily stun your fans and make the work unsatisfactory. As for noise reduction, it is better to exclude it, because it will affect a useful signal, which contains the most delicious moments in the form of breath, light rustles, and so on. Well, if you understand that you can’t do without it, you should try to use a noise suppressor very, very gently and carefully.
The next point is reverberation. It is quite acceptable and useful to use this effect. But again, the neatness should be increased, there should be no overkill in any case.
And finally, a stereo picture. All kinds of enchancers and stereo image extenders will not be superfluous in any way. But not for the first time, everything should be in the right portions. Too much, and the effect will not be the same anymore. And the last one is to process it. There are several plugins like Anaglyph or AMBI bundle, which can simulate three-dimensional sound space.
Let’s take a moment to distract, look and listen to what it is.
Anaglyph is a high-quality free plugin for non-commercial use. It is the effect of binaural space distribution in VST format for digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.
Well, it is approximately clear. If you dig deeper, I think you’ll find a lot of useful and interesting things in it.
Blue Yeti and M-Audio Uber Mic
The cheapest ASMR recording option is to use a microphone with stereo directionality. For example, it could be M-Audio Uber Mic or the notorious Blue Yeti. Let’s try to write something on our topic into this microphone right now.
Blue Yeti microphone ASMR sound test
M-Audio Uber Mic review
TASCAM DR-07X and ZOOM H2n
I think it turned out quite well. Let’s keep experimenting and move on to the next method of recording, which should be of higher quality. For this purpose, we will use a portable recorder, for example, TASCAM DR-07X or ZOOM H2n.
ZOOM H2n asmr sound check
Audio-Technica AT2035 and AT4040
So… passions are getting hotter! Well, it’s time to move on to the next version of ASMR recording. This solution can already be called professional, because here we will have everything in an adult way. So, a professional sound card Roland Studio and two microphones Audio-Technica AT2050, which will work in a circular mode. You can use Audio-Technica AT2035 as well.
Audio-Technica AT asmr sound check
Zoom H3 VR
I don’t want to comment on anything, just go ahead and look at another version of the record, releasing a herd of goosebumps on our body and limbs. In the center of your attention is a portable recorder Zoom H3 VR, with the ability to record stereo sound in binaural format. It’s a kind of stereo recording that allows you to achieve incredible realism in creating spatial audio, transporting what is happening in the third dimension. Among other things, this recorder has its own Zoom Ambisonics Player software for Mac and PC to play, change directions and convert audio to binaural stereo and 5.1 spatial formats.
So we use four-channel recording, and you listen carefully.
Zoom H3 VR asmr sound check
3Dio binaural microphone
Yes, friends! I don’t know what we have with goosebumps, but that was not our main task. The main thing is that we showed the easiest ways to record ASMR from budget to decently expensive (in the case of a good card and two microphones), and of course this is not all possible options. There are other technologies and equipment that are used for this purpose. For example, the same 3Dio binaural microphone, which is very popular for recording when the artist is manipulating the ears of the listener. This microphone repeats the mechanism of human perception of sound, so the recording on it is very realistic. Well, such microphone costs about $1500. It is very good ASMR microphone.
3Dio microphone asmr sound check
But even this is not the limit, there are such things as Neumann U67, is made in the form of an artificial head, in which the auditory canals, repeating the human anatomy, have built-in microphones. But this is space in general, both in quality and price! Do not be afraid – something like $7000. We can only guess what we will get by spending such rabid money. May by it is the best ASMR microphone.
Neumann KU100 microphone asmr sound check
Have you ever ask yourself What I do whant for my birthday? May be it’s time to start your ASMR channel?
The 9 most important things in a home recording studio
Today, our article is entirely devoted to beginners, that is, those who are just going to do home recording.
So, the 9 most necessary things for your first studio.
This is the most important and materially expensive position. It is clear that now almost every home has such a device in the form of a stationary box with a monitor or laptop. But not all the inside of these machines meet the optimal requirements for proper work with sound recording.
Here are some tips:
- First. Your computer’s processor must be fast and multi-core, since most of the processing takes place inside the computer, and the more processes, the more processing power is needed to perform them. Weak machines start to limp, hang up, fly off until you lose your project completely. So, to make sure everything goes perfectly and you don’t lose time, nerves and interest, you’d better save on something else. And here I recommend to buy at least 4 Intel cores with a frequency from 2 GHz per core.
- Second. RAM. The history is exactly the same. Put it as much as you can afford. The more RAM you have, the more lively your computer will be able to handle the plugins and effects, and generally let the whole system work quickly and correctly. Buy 8 GB of memory or more – 100% will be satisfied.
- Third. Hard drive. As music recording takes up a lot of space, naturally the disks should be bigger and better at once, so you don’t have to spend time moving projects and reinstalling tools and plug-ins to a new, larger disk. As a rule, something is not installed for some reason, something does not work the way it worked, something is lost in general. So don’t cause yourself any unnecessary problems, just go straight to the right terabytes. And another thing: if the budget will allow, at least one disk with the operating system and a workstation would be ideal to have an SSD. This is a different speed and an absolute pleasure to work with.
2. Digital Audio Workstation
By the way, there is no special difference between all available. The fact that this or that station is equipped with some cool sound engine is a myth. The sound of music can be influenced by your equipment, plug-ins and effects, but not by the station itself. The principle of operation and available functionality are almost the same for everyone. It’s more of a matter of being attached to a certain interface or being comfortable to use on your monitor. That’s why the best station for everyone is the one where you can work comfortably. Among the most popular stations are the following: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Reaper, FL Studio and so on.
Personally, I work on Cubase 9.5 Pro for 10 Windows. All is enough, everything works correctly and cleanly in conjunction with a RME UC card running a notebook MSI GT73 8RX with Intel core i7 8750H processor, six cores of 2.2 GHz and 16 gigabytes of RAM.
There are also a lot of them now from different manufacturers, and with different switching capabilities, and so on. What is better, what is worse is an endless question. Naturally, you should understand that if you buy a RME for $1000 and a Behringer for $40, the difference will be not only in price. The best sound quality and stability of expensive models is indisputable, but much depends first of all on the goals you pursue. If we are not going to conquer the tops of the charts, but just want to be able to record our voice, guitar, and keys at the initial stage, we can do absolutely fine, for example, with this: Presonus Studio 2|4.
The presence of two microphone and instrumental inputs will allow you to record both the microphone and the guitar, and linear stereo signal. Moreover, there is a MIDI connection for external equipment or instruments. That’s all. We will be able to safely listen to our work in headphones and speakers. All these connections are provided. In general, Presonus 2|4 is the optimal modification that will solve the maximum number of tasks for your home studio. Also note that this card has four outputs, which can be successfully used for concert work. It is possible to send the metronome, it is possible to dictation and so on. And of course Presonus is not the only interface manufacturer with such features. Today in the studios are well and Focusrite, and Steinberg, and many, many others.
4. Active Studio Monitors
The minimum that you need to have for information at home is at least 5 inches. Well, for example, the JBL Professional 306P MkII, this is a quite normal start for quite understandable money for a pair. If you look for something cheaper, it will be more like multimedia columns, where you can solve only some problems, but it will be difficult to make a complete comparison.
If you don’t have a lot of money, we buy closed headphones where you can record and monitor your vocals. And if the money allows, then additional open or semi-open headphones will be just for information. And by the way, don’t forget that you may need an extension cord for your headphones. Because you should record your voice as far away from the noisy coolers of our computers as possible.
The minimum you will need is an XLR-XLR microphone cord. Two connectors for professional monitors. And also draw your attention to the wires, which will not be superfluous in your kit. And remember that when choosing, you should pay attention to the meter, so that you have enough from points to points, and do not neglect the quality of the connectors and the wire itself. It’s better to buy once and for all.
7. Microphone stand
In conditions of insufficient space, to which we can relate most of our city apartments, the best option is a direct stand “in a circle”. Heavy Compact Base.
- First, it will take much less space than a tripod stand.
- Secondly, unlike a crane, it will also be able to withstand the sound-absorbing screen, if you suddenly think about buying it.
8. Pop filter
Whatever and whoever says about its need or need, take it. It will not be any unnecessary equipment of your studio corner. As for the choice, and they are both metal and kapron, and double combined. It is rather an individual moment. The vocals are different, so are the problems with pronunciation and pitching. In the end, in order not to suffer, you can take universal solutions for all occasions. LyxPro VRI-30 for excample.
9. Acoustic insulation
A good result will only be possible when your room is prepared to the maximum. If you leave frankly bare walls in your room, any, even the weakest studio microphone will surely transmit to the recording of all unnecessary reflection sounds. And there is no way you can get rid of them in post-processing. This question needs to be well thought out and some money to lay on this item. For example, a room of 120 square feet fully intelligent with bass traps and all the other things you can equip for $100-200. Maybe it’s not cheap, maybe a more grounded option will have to be used, but it all depends only on what goal you pursue and what results you want to achieve.
This is all that is necessary to understand that you are ready for serious work. Even if from some low starting positions. But the foundation will already be laid, and time will show further. Let’s move towards development, stay on the same level or, alas, stop working. But the latter, as a rule, happens very rarely. Even if we decide to finally stop with music, then after some period of life, we return to this wonderful world. This is a diagnosis, and it is almost impossible to cure. So, friends, we are sick together, but only with good music. Good luck to you!