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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Suggestions for audio setup...

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Dante2004's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posts: 23
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PREFACE: I've been searching google and reading posts on here...don't tell me to "Google it". I already have. I am looking for some more specific answers as I CONTINUE to google this topic and learn more. I don't have a huge budget...big surprise. So solutions must be in the $xxx range.

What I have now:

Shure Lavalier wireless mic
Shure - Wireless Systems - PG14/PG185 Wireless Lavalier System

I have this running through a 1/4" cable to a 1/8" converter to plug into the audio in on my iMac.

Type of work I am doing:

Video testimonials - plug the audio input into my Canon HD camera. Then import the video/audio into Final Cut to make edits, etc.

Tutorial videos in Camtasia. For these, I have the 1/8" (1/4" converted to 1/8") feed plugged directly into my iMac.

My main concern at this point is the audio setup for the Camtasia work and over voice over work that I am trying to do.

-Slight "fuzz" in the audio which I can filter out using the "audio enhancements" in Camtasia.
-No control over the sound of my voice - what I get, it what I get

This is what I am trying to accomplish. I want to make my voice deeper and have more of the "radio DJ" sound. Also, I want to be able to elimanate some background noise if possible because I am NOT working in a sound proof studio, just an office.

What I am looking at:

First, I know I have a lot to learn, so if you can suggest some books, or online resources, that would be great!

Mic -
From what I have been told - and through my research, it seems that this is a pretty good mic for the price $349 retail
Shure SM7B Microphone with Switchable Response and more Dynamic Microphones at

Is that a good price on this mic? Does this look like a good selection for what I will be using it for?

Mixer - adjust the sound of my voice...should I use software are an external mixer?

Now I just need some suggestions of how to get from Point A to B.

I have been looking at this:
Apogee Electronics > Products > Duet

Anyone ever use this with Camtasia? It says it works "with any Core Audio-compatible application." What does that mean? (Reference: "I have a lot to learn").

For what I am doing, will I see a noticable difference between using an interface like the Dual, compared to just using the 1/8" input on my computer?

Thanks for any suggestions you guys can provide!
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Dante2004's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posts: 23
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No responses? Surprised...
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Stef Andrews

Member Since: Oct 14, 2008
Location: Leeds/Brighton
Posts: 104
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Mac Specs: 2008 MB, 2.1GHz 4GB RAM, 10.5.8

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For spoken word, if that is all you are doing (which is what i take what you have said as) your chosen set up would be absolutely fine. The SM7 is a cracking dynamic mic, I like to use them a lot on rock vocals (James Hetfield is quoted to use them in the studio too!). But yes, the choices you have made seem absolutely fine, the Duet is a great interface, if a little untidy in terms of the breakout cable. But don't let that put you off, there are ways of changing this with different 'breakout boxes' made by manufacturers if the cable got on your nerves. Its preamps are great, and will be a BIG improvement on what you have now, if you haven't done so, i suggest you read the Sound on Sound review of the box.

Hope I've helped,
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Henry101's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 01, 2009
Location: Indiana
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Some of your problems can be solved by EQing and filtering. You can boost frequency's to give your voice a little more low end. If there is noise in the background you could either EQ that noise out or put a noise gate on it. With both of those you have to be careful. Too much can make the audio seem hollow or muddled.

Best way to learn with these things are to try it and see what works. I know there are EQ filters and dynamic filters in Final Cut.

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Member Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posts: 36
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What he said. Definitely for what you are doing, and on a budget software mixing is definitely the way to go.

There are a bunch of free eq plug-ins which should work in any audio editor. also a freeware program like Audacity Audacity: Mac OS 9 / X
is a ludicrously powerful tool, often underestimated especially by apple users for it's undeniable pug-ugliness. There would be a bunch of eq and compression tools as part of it. You can then render and drop the file into Final Cut.

As well as Henry 101 suggestion of eq and filtering, experiment with compressing your voice, (I would suggest after recording, but it's a personal thing). Coupled with eq'ing (filtering is a type of eq'ing really) compressing can give your voice more presence. I wouldn't go so far as to pitch shift it, though it's another possibility. Without hearing your voice, often lowering the midrange and cutting the very top end of spoken voice can remove a lot of the garbage.

As far as online resources Totally invaluable, especially because you will need to know what you are trying to do with EQs, compressors etc rather than just playing with settings on the off chance that you might randomly stumble on the result you were after.

For what I am doing, will I see a noticable difference between using an interface like the Dual, compared to just using the 1/8" input on my computer?
YES. Especially since you are talking about spending fairly good money on a microphone.
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