Monitoring a mic sounds like a complicated concept, but it's actually pretty easy to do and explain. Mic monitoring is the process of hearing what you're recording played back into your headphones in real-time.
Mic monitoring is most often used to hear the playback of your voice, but it can be used to take the sound from anything recorded and play it directly in your ears at the exact time it is happening. It is essential for mic monitors to play back in real-time so that you won't hear delays or a lag between your recorded sound and the actual playback.
Mic monitoring has several benefits that most people know about, and a few that most don't even consider. For example, did you know that mic monitoring can actually help with your health?
Common benefits of mic monitoring include the ability to hear yourself clearly as you talk or sing in a loud environment, checking the technical aspects of your recording quality, and improving team communication.
One hidden benefit is that this feature allows you to avoid the dangers of The Lombard effect, which is the tendency of speakers to increase their vocal work when speaking in a loud setting to make sure that their voice is heard. This can easily cause vocal fatigue, which brings about a sore throat, loss of voice, scratchiness, and similar symptoms.
Mic monitoring can also help your team members avoid ear damage due to loud levels when people are testing out their sound quality in digital meet-up settings. Many people are tempted to scream loud or have the volume way too high to the point where everyone on the call with a headset is at risk of some crazy and unnecessarily dangerous volume levels.
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For singing or playing an instrument in a studio recording setting, using a mic monitor setting can help you hear yourself as you record without feeling like the music in your headphones is drowning out your own sound. Monitors are also used regularly in live performance settings where a singer or rapper on stage needs to hear certain things in their ear (referred to as in-ear monitors) without being drowned out by the loud environment they are performing in.
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The term mic monitoring is usually associated with gamers. Most people just refer to it as a monitor setting for other uses. You can easily use mic monitoring with consoles like Xbox and Playstation when gaming while streaming or playing with other gamers. For team settings, mic monitoring will help with fast gameplay and good communication without the risk of a player shouting too loud and ruining the flow because they can't hear their own mic quality.
Mic monitoring can come in handy for virtual calls where you need to properly communicate with your team and make your meetings more productive and timely. A lot of work meeting time is often spent with team members figuring out if their audio levels are right (or simply never knowing at all). You and your coworkers can save time on the meeting by monitoring your mic levels before the call or during the session while you speak.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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