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Old June 20th, 2005, 07:56 PM   #1
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computer setup narration

I was just wondering if anyone can tell me how to a inexpensive basic setup to do some narration on my computer, so it doesn't sound bad. I would like to just use radioshack as my store of choice since it is close. Brand names and maybe cost would be helpful too. The narration will be added to a video later.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 05:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Tamayo
I was just wondering if anyone can tell me how to a inexpensive basic setup to do some narration on my computer, so it doesn't sound bad. I would like to just use radioshack as my store of choice since it is close. Brand names and maybe cost would be helpful too. The narration will be added to a video later.
Assuming here that you want to do it right rather than just getting something recorded without regard to quality. You can record narration with little more than a quiet room that has been arranged so it has decent sound characteristics, recording software (there's a program called Audacity that's quite good and is freeware), a quality microphone with a proper stand, perhaps a mixer or mike preamp, and a good quality audio interface or soundcard. Unfortunately Radio Snack just doesn't carry any of the last three components. (They have all three types of product, just not high quality ones.) A better place to shop would be a large music store with a recording department.

Mike brands of choice would include(in no special order) Sennheiser, Schoeps, AKG, Audio Technika, Shure, Rhode. Mixer/Preamps consider perhaps Behringer or Mackey (but you may not actually need one, depending on your soundcard choice). Audio interfaces consider m-Audio, Emu, Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU), Edirol. Oh, and don't forget a really good set of enclosed ear headphones designed for studio monitoring use, NOT MP3 player earbuds or the lightweight open-earpiece types designed for listening to your stereo (or god-forbid, computer accessory "multimedia" headsets). To check out the market and get an idea of prices, I've recently discovered www.zzsounds.com, also browse the audio pages at BH PHoto.

The most important equipment purchase you can make is buying some education before buying anything else. Check out "Producing Great Sound for Digital Video" and "Audio Post-production for Digital Video" both by Jay Rose from your local bookstore or Amazon.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 07:47 AM   #3
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Microphone: If you own a decent microphone (they only need to cost a few hundred dollars), then stick with that. If your voice doesn't sound that great on it, maybe try to look around for a microphone that sounds nicer with your voice. This is entirely subjective.
If you don't have a microphone, you could also look for something to use for multiple purposes (i.e. as a boom mic, on-camera, etc.). i.e. Oktava MC012/MK012, shotguns: AT897 AT4073a, on-camera (not that great sound) Rode Videomic
If you just want a VO mic, maybe look at something like a Studio Projects B1 ($99?) or C1 ($199?).

Analog-digital converter: Your camera may be decent if it's something like a DVX100.
Otherwise get a PCI/firewire/USB sound card. Some of them come with preamps.

Preamp: The cheapest way is to get one is to get a Behringer UB-series mixer (UB502 has no phantom, so avoid it if you are using a condenser microphone). A mixer can be nice to have.

Room: Try to pick a room that is quiet. After that, look for a room that has low reverb/echo. You can build your own sound absorption tiles to do that. Jay Rose's book has instructions for that... for VO, you really only need to get the book on audio postproduction.


2- If you have like no money, Radio Shack sells a lav mic (maybe check for stock first, because they don't always stock everything people say they do). Hook that up to your computer's sound card.
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