How To use a condenser microphone – Beginner’s Guide

gaming setup with a condenser microphone

A condenser microphone is a highly sensitive microphone that is commonly used in recording studios by professionals. They are also becoming increasingly popular and used by gamers with consoles and PCs for streaming and online gaming. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up and use a condenser microphone to get the best out of your USB mic.

Quick tips on how to place your microphone

1. Choose the right location

The first step is to choose the right location for your microphone. If you are using it for gaming or streaming, you will want to place it at a distance of 5 to 8 inches so that your voice is clear and easily heard. If you are using it for recording purposes and voice-over, you will want to place it very close to your mouth so that it can pick up details in high quality.

2. Understanding Polar patterns

A microphone’s mode or polar pattern indicates how sensitive it is to sounds arriving at different angles. Basically, the angle where the microphone has a sensor to pick up the voice.

It’s important to pay attention to the polar pattern. Every mic comes with one or multiple polar patterns (you can find that indicated with a polar pater symbol)

Polar pattern symbols indicated by names – Source: Quora

Discover more about polar patterns and how Condenser microphones are in-depth in this article: Everything You need to know about condenser microphones

3. Connect the mic

Next, you will need to connect the mic to your console or PC. If you are using a console, you will need to connect it to your controller via the appropriate port. For streaming or recording purposes on your pc, you will need to connect it directly to your PC via the USB port.

4. Adjust the settings

Once the mic is connected, you will need to adjust the settings to get the best results. make sure to adjust the volume and mic sensitivity so that your voice is clear but not too loud. For interviews, for example, you will want to adjust the volume and sensitivity so that all the sounds in the room are picked up evenly.

5. Test it out

Finally, once you have everything set up, you will want to test out your microphone to make sure it is working properly. To do this, simply speak into the mic and see if your voice is being picked up clearly. If it isn’t, then you may need to adjust the settings again until you get the desired results.

You can quickly and easily test your microphone using this free online service. or any other online service of your choice. Just google “online mic test”

How to use a condenser microphone with a PC

You can connect and start your microphone directly to your pc using a USB cable that comes with your microphone without the need for 3rd party software. However, if you want (and must) customize your mic settings, improve performance and use the best out of your mic There are a few free software you should consider:
OBS Studio: Screen recording & gameplay/streaming
Audacity: Voice-over and audio recording
Voicemeteer Banana: Live Streaming (twitch, youtube…)

Connect the microphone to your computer. Most condenser microphones will require an external power source, so you will need to connect it to your computer via USB or XLR.

  1. Open your audio software. This could be something like OBS or Audacity.
  2. Select the condenser microphone as your input device.
    1. In OBS, this can be done by going to Settings > Audio Devices and selecting the microphone from the list.
    2. In Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences > Devices and select the microphone from the drop-down menu. or you can simply select it from the device toolbar
  3. Adjust your sensitivity settings. For example,
    1. in OBS you can go to Settings > Audio and drag the slider under “Mic/Aux” to adjust the sensitivity.
    2. In Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences > Recording and adjust the “Input level” slider.
  4. Test out your microphone by speaking or singing into it. If you are satisfied with the results, you’re all set! If not, go back and adjust your settings until you get the sound that you want.

How to use a condenser microphone with Audacity

audacity interface

As we’ve mentioned above, recording software is essential to USB condenser microphones with your pc. If you’re a gamer who wants to stream online or record gameplay for youtube, understanding those tools and learning how to play around with the settings is a must to get the best out of your microphone.

Starting with audacity is a free yet the most powerful and popular software for recording. So let’s dive more in-depth into how to set up your microphone with audacity. After all. Setting up your microphone with audacity has become very easy in the latest version.

Assuming you have already purchased your lovely new Condenser microphone and downloaded the free audio editor Audacity, it’s time to get started! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to do in order to get up and running: 

  1. connect your microphone to your pc using XLR to USB interface with your mic
  2. Open audacity software and you can easily select your microphone from the “Device toolbar” which is displayed by default in a new installation of Audacity:how to use a microphone If you don’t find the toolbar is not visible click  View > Toolbars > Device Toolbar
  3. Adjust the volume levels until you can see that the sound is being picked up by the software (you should see the green bars moving when you speak into the mic). If you’re not sure what level is best, start with something around -12dB and adjust from there.
    how to use a condenser microphone
    recording and volume level

    how to use a condenser microphone
    Playback meter
  4. Press record and start speaking! When you’re done, press stop and then save your file. And that’s it – you’re ready to start podcasting, recording voice-overs, or whatever else you want to do with your new Condenser microphone!

How To Make Your Voice Sound Better in Audacity

Well, there is no direct answer to this question, finding the best settings vary from one person to another and this is something you should find yourself by playing around with the setting. However, there are a few essential settings that I myself used to improve and enhance the output quality
to edit your sound in audacity you go to menu > Analyze and you’ll find a long list of tools to use with your recording.

Those are the most important tools that I used myself
1. Noise Reduction: Essential step to reduce constant background sounds such as hum, buzz, and hiss noises
2. Compressor: reduces the Dynamic Range of your audio, by compressing, or turning down the louder parts.
3. Limiter Filter: boosting the quieter part more than the louder passages.
4. Filer Curve EQ (Equalizer): this used to be called Equalizer in earlier versions, so if you’re watching a tutorial and see this term then you should know it refers to Filter Curve EQ, this tool is basically a way of manipulating sounds by Frequency (this is the most tool you should play around with, fortunately, there are presets to choose from)
5. Normalize: The last step in your audio workflow: applies a constant amount of gain to the audio recording to bring the peak amplitude to a target level.

How to use a condenser microphone with OBS

A condenser microphone is a great addition to any recording setup and can be used with a number of different devices and software programs. One popular program that condenser microphones can be used with is OBS or Open Broadcaster Software. OBS is a free and open-source program that allows users to record and live-stream video. When using a condenser microphone with OBS, there are a few steps that need to be followed If you’re looking to get the most out of your condenser microphone.

How to connect your mic to OBS?

  1. Start by connecting your microphone to your computer’s audio interface.
  2. Next, open up OBS and go to the “settings” menu.
  3. Under “Input Devices”, select your audio interface as the ‘Microphone”.
  4. Now go to the “Audio Mixer” and you should see your microphone input appear.
  5. Adjust the levels until you’re happy with how it sounds, and you’re all set!

How to make any condenser microphone sound better with OBS

I’ve picked this video for you instead of a written guide. It will guide you through and show you how to use your mic properly with your OBS and set it up for the best results. Enjoy!


What do you need for a condenser mic?

You basically need a microphone (obviously), A source of power(XLR to USB cable), and a device to use your condenser microphone with. For gamers and streamers, you need a USB condenser microphone to connect to your gaming PC and you’re good to go.

Can you use a condenser mic without an audio interface?

Absolutely Yes! why you can use an audio interface or mixer with your microphone, but it’s not necessary. You can simply connect your mic to your pc using the Phantom power. You only need an XLR to USB cable.

Can you damage a condenser mic?

everything can be damaged, if you throw your microphone to the wall it will be damaged, but you probably refer to the loud sound if it can damage your mic! the answer is No. It is impossible to technically damage a condenser microphone at any conceivable sound level.

How far away should my mic be?

The Ideal position will be somewhere between 2 and 12 inches from your microphone. If you plan to place a pop filter, it should be about 1 to 2 inches from the mic. Use additional measures in your recording space as needed, based on your choice of distance and the microphone polar pattern.

What is the best microphone for gaming

From a personal experience and point of view, I would nominate two of my best USB condenser mics that I recommend, first one is the blue yeti mic. The second is the HyperX Quad cast mic. Both of them offer great recording quality and support all the features needed by a gamer or streamer.


Adding a condenser microphone to your gaming or streaming setup can help you achieve much better audio quality than with just your built-in mic (or even most consumer mics). Just keep in mind that these microphones are generally more sensitive than other types, so you will need to adjust your settings accordingly in order to avoid picking up too much background noise. With a little bit of trial and error, you’ll be able to get great-sounding audio that will take your content to the next level!

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Yassine Zino

I am Yassine Abbassi I work in Public relations and consultancy, but gaming is my passion, I founded to help streamers enjoy the best gaming experience providing them with guides, tutorials, and how-tos