Voice Overs at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 16th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 10
Voice Overs

I'm working on a short that is basically a silent film apart from voice overs... what is the best method to get the best quality voice overs on a small budget?
Molly Ryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: ny,ny
Posts: 52
Hey Molly. First off, my experience is limited, compared to a lot of the others on here. That said, when I've done projects with voice overs, it depended on the sound I wanted to achieve. I've recorded them in the bathroom, in a big box(For a fridge), outside, etc. For more of a studio sound, using a sheet over myself or other worked. Another thing, is the mic. I've used a great mic(Borrowed or rented), and a $2 mic from Radio Shack to get different sounds. Experiment.
Claude Isbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Here are a few budget voice over tricks:

1) Manage your space. Hang blankets to stop the room reverberation. You can even line a box with foam and put the mic near the open side. Turn off the heater/air conditioner. Make sure people in the space are SILENT - not running water, walking, etc.

2) Use a good mic. I like large diaphragm condenser mics for singers and voice overs. Rode's NT1A is a nice bargain, and for a few more bucks the NT2 is much nicer. Many like the Electrovoice RE-20 for VOs, but they're more expensive still. Note that you'll need a preamp with phantom power for any condenser mic.

3) Mic placement is critical. Test, listen, move, repeat. Don't put the mic inline with the mouth, of you'll get 'plosives. If it's too bassy, move it away. Too bright, move it closer. For more midrange, record below the mouth near the chest. For more character, try the mic above the mouth, closer to the forehead.

4) Record into a 24-bit soundcard into almost any 24-bit-capable audio software. Give it lots of headroom - don't clip the signal. Period.

5) Use some magic! Here's mine: I put the same vocal on two tracks. I heavily compress one track. Try setting the gain of the compressor to 20:1 and the threshold to -20dB. Mix to taste. The unprocessed track will have the most life, but might get too loud or quiet at times. Some vowels might be dropped. The compressed track will be more full and consistent, but can sound dead and flat. Mixing them gives the life of the original and the consistency of the processed track.

6) Some more magic: EQ. Run this after combining the compressed/original. (You can do this with buses in one pass with the right software. Otherwise, record and do another pass on the recorded signal.)

6a) Balance the fundamental. This lives at 200 - 250 Hz, depending on the voice. Use a wide filter and boost or attenuate until the voice has the right amount of bass and body. Too much bass and it's boomy. Too little, and it's thin.

6b) Can you hear the consonants? If not, give a narrow band boost in the 1 kHz to 1.2 kHz area. If the consonants are already clear, leave this alone.

6c) Adjust the "character." This is in the 2.4 kHz area. Use a medium width filter. If the voice is nasally or harsh, tamp this down to smooth it out. If the voice is hollow, try boosting a bit - but not too much. You can't add something that isn't there.

6d) Add some "air". You can give a wide boost in the 5 - 15 kHz range to add sparkle. Be careful though. This can add hiss, noise and sibilance on the Ss.

7) Notch the competing sounds. If you have music in the background, EQ out some space in the 200-250 Hz area and around 1 - 1.2 kHz.

Oh, and before any of this...

0) Use good talent. Mics, processing and engineering can't fix poor delivery.

Best of luck!
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2008, 03:41 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Molly,

What kind of project is it and what kind of VO do you want/need?

Male? Female? Narrator? Character? Emotional? Authoritative?
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Rio de Janeiro, BR
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
1) Manage your space. Hang blankets to stop the room reverberation. You can even line a box with foam and put the mic near the open side.
Those were awesome tips.

Could you elaborate more on the foam technique? I didn't understand what exactly one needs to do with it.

Today I used my Juicedlink as a preamp for my AT3031, connecting it to my X-Fi.

So I have a few questions related to this If you or anyone else knows.

Would a small diaphragm mic do well for voice? (Specs: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Cardioid.html)

Would a consumer card like the X-Fi have any issues with recording? For my untrained ear everything is ok.

Thanks in advance.
__________________
Pietro Impagliazzo
flickr.com/photos/impagliazzo
Pietro Impagliazzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pietro Impagliazzo View Post
Could you elaborate more on the foam technique? I didn't understand what exactly one needs to do with it.
Take a look at this product: http://digitalproducer.digitalmedian...e.jsp?id=89503

If you have more time (and shipping foam) than money, it wouldn't be hard to make something like this by hand. It might not look as pretty as the finished product, but could potentially sound just as good.

Some claim that shipping foam doesn't have the same properties as acoustic foam. As long as you create angled surfaces, rather than a smooth flat surface, the results could still be good.

To my ears, amateur talent and the echo of a small, untreated room are the two biggest giveaways of non-professional production. Everything else (including the soundcard) is secondary.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:54 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network