Microphones

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BIG, fat, huge, colossally important note! This article comes to you from a guy who has listened to over 2 million auditions and 100,000 demo uploads in the past 4 years. You should not cut corners when buying a voice over mic!  5 really bad mic purchases equals 1 really great purchase! Take your time, and save for the right one! A great mic will not make you read better, but it will be there for you when you do. There are many brand names available, but you cannot approach buying a voice over mic with the mindset, ‘I will spend as little as I can’. For more info on voice over mics, take a look at this article.

Finding the right microphone for the online voice talent can be a labor of love, and one should be diligent about finding one that provides the best audio quality, and fits your voice. There are voice talent selling equipment online. When it comes to buying voice over equipment, it is helpful to buy from people you can get in touch with online. A measure of knowing whose opinion to trust on mics, and who may be ‘just writing something for someone else to increase sales’ starts with being able to contact that person online. The end of anonymity behind websites demands business integrity.  Harlan Hogan is a well-known figure in the online voice over community, and someone many voice talent trust for their equipment.  It also helps to know the person, if you have to return anything.

When voice talent discuss voice over mics, the most common types of mics mentioned:

  • Dynamic mics; much tougher mics like Shure, usually associated with on-stage performing. They can take a rockstar’s punishment for years! Hopefully, your home studio will not become a rockstar’s hotel visit.
  • Condenser mic, which is seemingly most common for voice artists, and generally more expensive than dynamic microphones. They are used in studios/home studios because of their sensitivity to loud noises.
  • That is just a couple of them. Remember that the mobile market is still working on offering a mic that is studio quality, and mobile. I see instances and reports of people recording in closets, under blankets, or under coats while walking on the street, but these are rare situations.

General rule of thumb, be it somewhat painful to accept: The ears will always know what is better for you than your wallet!

NEXT: EQUIPMENT

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6 Responses to “Microphones”

  1. Emil March 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm Permalink

    Hi Steven.
    Thanks for this blog. I just did a VO demo and my VO producer recommended this mic – the Audio Technica 2020. Any thoughts?

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AS6OYC/ref=asc_df_B001AS6OYC1954178?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B001AS6OYC&hvpos=none&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2835710778194355&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

    Thanks

  2. Emil March 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm Permalink

    Hi Steven

    Forgot to hit the notify button. Can you tell me if this is a good microphone?

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AS6OYC/ref=asc_df_B001AS6OYC1954178?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B001AS6OYC&hvpos=none&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2835710778194355&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

    My VO demo guy recommended it.

    Thanks

  3. Carlos Andrés Novoa Pinzón June 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm Permalink

    I really thank you Steve for this blog. I want to work as voice over, but I think I need some extra-information from you if you please.

    1. I’m colombian, working in my own company, Audiotesla. I’ve been working on broadcast about 10 years. I’m learning about these new employment possibilities. Would you like to tell me what is the exact meaning of ‘voice over’? (no need to tell my in Spanish, of course).

    2. About microphones, I have two: A Behringer C-1 studio condenser mic and a Shure Dynamic cardioid one. What can you tell me about this equipment? Are they profesional, or not? Do I serve these microphones for my Voice Over purposes?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Steven Lowell June 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm Permalink

      Hi Carlos,
      Thank you so much for reading this. The founders of Voice123 and VoiceBunny happen to be from Colombia as well, so it will be a pleasure to assist.

      What is the exact meaning of the word “voice over”? My impression is that a “voice over” is the form of media that involves “being paid to speak, but not seeing who is doing it”. Voice overs can be heard in everything from toys to animation to web videos to radio spots and in-store videos or announcements. There are new ways of “being paid to speak” out there. A site you may wish to check out is http://voicebunny.com.

      2. About microphones? Have you seen this yet? http://www.edgestudio.com/microphone-selector I dont personally think a Shure dynamic mic is meant for recording voice overs from home. I have only used that mic for stage performances. The Behringer…may not give the best quality for finished work. I do believe you should look into pre-amps, and mics too.

      We know several locutors in Bogota. If you would like to maybe connect with someone, to get more info from someone who is currently working on Voice123, please contact me at steven@voice123.com

  4. MckenzieVoice October 8, 2012 at 10:57 am Permalink

    To any readers and newbies to voicing (VO). Be very careful when selecting a microphone for your voice over work. I selected a microphone originally for podcasting. It was a Behringer C1. I thought that it would be a good buy because a) it was cheap and b) it was for podcasting so surely the vocal quality would be good. Maybe, I was doing something wrong but the sound quality was not what I expected and the tended to be a lot of extra feedback from the mic as well as background noise pickup. Condenser mics generally pick up more exterior sounds, so although you may buy these types of mics for a professional studio type sound, if you decide to record at home they can introduce a lot of excess noise that you don’t need and to clean up the recording will then introduce garbled noises on your voice.

    I am pleased to say that after realising this error in my judgement I replaced this microphone with a Rode NT1A and the difference in voice and lack of exterior background sound pickup for me personally was remarkable. The Rode NT1A I bought came with a free 10 year guarantee which I hadn’t seen any other manufacturer give on their microphones, so Rode must be confident with their microphones. I am pleased with the mic and about the Behringer mic maybe this is for podcasting only but if anyone else got a decent result out of a Behringer C1 for studio type of work I would like to know because maybe I was just unlucky with this mic and had a bad piece of kit.

    Great post by the way!
    McKenzie voice

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