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Old March 13th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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Portable V Studio?

Hi Folks.. I have never been to a VO booth (dunno how it is supposed to be like!) and tried to VO several times via a Senny ME66 to an EX1, and also a Giant Squid + Iriver combo but they never sound as good (clean) as I hope it would be. Sometimes I get "p"s or "ssss" with some hollow room ambient. I do not have a proper studio (I'm a hobbist) so I have to record late at night in my bedroom to minimise ambient disturbance.

I saw this article with the concept of building a mini sound booth for the mic below. I like to seek your recommendations if I should go build something like that, and/or just get a proper USB mic like the Rode Podcaster or something like the Samson Zoom H4n? The ME66 could work well but recording to the EX1 would take too much HDD space. I'm considering the H4n as it looks like a lovely kit for recording live events as a backup.

Porta Sound Booth
The New & Improved Voice Over ?Porta-Booth?

Samson H4N
Samson - Zoom - H4n
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Old March 13th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #2
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Shotguns like the (imho, excellent) ME66 tend to pick up reverbs from the room if you aim them at a hard surface, like the wall behind where you're speaking. An inexpensive cardioid USB mike, which you can close mike better than with a shotgun might help. We've had good success with one person who does location voiceovers into a laptop with a Samson USB hypercardoid hand mike (about $50). The portable soundbooths are probably neat --- also cost $300us or so ---Now, if you are working in your home, I'm betting you can find a closet, a wall with a duvet or blanket hung on it, something like that, to dampen reflected sound in the area of the mike without costing an arm and a leg to buy a soundbooth....//Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team

Now that I think of it, I saw somewhere --might have been YouTube -- somebody making a mike booth with a large box and acoustic foam panels, and another who put together rigid acoustic ceiling tiles with tape to make a cube shaped box about 2 ft in all directions, with one side open...put the mike inside and talk....cheap and presumably effective.../bv

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; March 13th, 2009 at 04:05 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old March 13th, 2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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Cool thanks. I think I will try it in the closet with a USB mic first. TIme to make some investments I think. I also heard that egg trays could help. Its a little difficult to get the professional foam from Sonex and the likes here.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #4
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USB mics aren't really that great (for me at least). I find the best solution to just be a small usb interface and microphone, like a EMU 0404. Then use a condensor or dynamic mic you have lying around. SM7 is a great choice for VOs, but you can use a cheap condensor like an AT 2020 and do alright. A USB microphone however limits you to a workflow without expansion, that is, you can't change mics or add preamps later. Also, the DA isn't as tailored to actually going through speakers if needed.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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I see Shure just came out with a USB adaptor. (X2u XLR-USB) I have not seen, used or more importantly heard it yet, but Shure's reputation is good.

If one choses to use a 57 for VOs, I would suggest getting very close to the mic and using a good windscreen and shockmount possibly a HP filter.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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Thanks Chris. I agreed with yr advice. I did some homework and found that the USB mics are not as bassy in my layman terms. I found a solution using the Micport Pro USB to XLR adapter. It hooks up to any condenser or dynamic mic.

The most impressive setup I heard so far is the Sennheiser 416 + MicPort Pro in a Porta-booth. Sounds really cool but the setup will cost almost 2 grand which is way out of budget. The other mic I noticed is the Heil PR40 which cost $325 from amazon.

The last option is the MXL9xx or something and that is most wallet friendly.

What do you guys think?
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Old March 14th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
Sometimes I get "p"s or "ssss" with some hollow room ambient. I do not have a proper studio (I'm a hobbist) so I have to record late at night in my bedroom to minimise ambient disturbance.
If you are speaking straight into a shotgun (me66) you will get some nasty plosives-the "p"s i'm guessing. try speaking with the tip of the mic pointing about 3" off the front of your lips, but angle the back of the mic of the mic to the left or right to about a 45 degree angle. The idea is that from the back of the mic it is pointed right at your mouth, but from the front of the mic you are speaking a little off-axis as to not send your voice/breath straight down the barrel. This reduces the popped p's and plosives dramatically but keeps you sounding naturally. After you get the orientation right, deadening the room ambience is accomplished with anything soft. Pillows, blankets, towels, etc are all good sound absorbers.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
Thanks Chris. I agreed with yr advice. I did some homework and found that the USB mics are not as bassy in my layman terms. I found a solution using the Micport Pro USB to XLR adapter. It hooks up to any condenser or dynamic mic.

The most impressive setup I heard so far is the Sennheiser 416 + MicPort Pro in a Porta-booth. Sounds really cool but the setup will cost almost 2 grand which is way out of budget. The other mic I noticed is the Heil PR40 which cost $325 from amazon.

The last option is the MXL9xx or something and that is most wallet friendly.

What do you guys think?
A simple sm57 would probably sound better than most shotguns if you are indoors. Use a mic made for this stuff, shotguns aren't made for it (however, you can use it if you really need to). I find the cheapest condensor I like is an at2020 used for peanuts. An sm57 is also pretty good. At $100 a Studio Projects B1 is a great all purpose mic. My favorite mic to have around however, is a CAD M179. I do a lot of studio work for music and that mic is a champ at anything. Not the best at anything, but if you need it done, it sounds good. Very neutral and has multiple pickup patterns, but it's $150. So that's the budget price range.

Going above that you can get something like an at4040, but still, I think CAD beats that out (price doesn't always follow quality). An sm7 is always good, but you would need a way better preamp to drive it. The Heil is a good mic too, it's kind of like an sm7 with more emphasis on the highs and has a higher output.

So conclusion: I'd say get the preamp and any of those mics listed.



However, I still say an interface like the EMU 0404 would serve better than just a simple single XLR input as it has real outs for real speakers which will come in handy when you decide to hook your setup to real monitors. Plus it has a bunch of things like MIDI and digital ins and outs and line ins which give you expandability options whereas you can easily out grow one of those usb single xlr interfaces and it will become useless.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #9
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the EMU 0404 wun work for me as I'm a mac dude. I'll drop by the local audio store and listen to their take tomorrow. I hope they have the nice stuff that you guys have recommended so far. Thanks again!
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Old March 15th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #10
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the EMU 0404 wun work for me as I'm a mac dude. I'll drop by the local audio store and listen to their take tomorrow. I hope they have the nice stuff that you guys have recommended so far. Thanks again!
Mac guy. Ok, I don't know too much about Mac compatibility, but I do know Mac guys love the Apogee Duet! (It's $500 though). Maybe an Echo Audiofire is compatible.
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