Microphones

BIG, fat, huge, colossally important note!

This is coming 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.

Check out the article, The 9 Best Microphones for Voice Over Work. The article is a great resource for all levels of voice over artists and all different budgets.

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

4 Comments

  • Emil

    March 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm Reply
  • Emil

    March 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm Reply
  • Carlos Andrés Novoa Pinzón

    June 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm Reply

    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.

  • MckenzieVoice

    October 8, 2012 at 10:57 am Reply

    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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