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Old December 21st, 2010, 07:27 PM   #1
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Rode NT1 and Zoom H4N

Is anyone using Rode NT1 and H4N together for recording voiceover? If so, can you please share your experience?

I want to record voiceover that I will later in post to my video.

Thanks,

Azad
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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Is that the NTG-1 (shotgun) or the NT-1A (large diaphragm condenser)?

The H4n is totally adequate for voiceover. It doesn't have the quietest preamps, but that's okay. Recording voiceover isn't like recording fleas dropping pins.

Regarding the mic, I prefer a large diaphragm for voiceover. It has a broad enough pattern (cardiod) that you can get close enough to get some proximity effect (bass) and still capture the nasal and direct sounds. Also, it will sound good indoors, as long as it's not too reflective.

The NTG-1, on the other hand, is fine for general dialog, but not ideal for the bigger, closer sound that we expect from voiceover. Put it too close, and it is too narrow and sensitive to position changes. Move it too far away, and it's weak. And the off-axis pickup isn't ideal for indoor use.

That's not to say that you couldn't use an NTG-1, but that you could do better on the same budget.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Hello Jon,

I was referring ot NT1A, not the shotgun.

I have some basic needs for voiceover, not any major production at this moment. So do you think I can get by for now with the H4N for the time being? I want to buy the At4053b as my shorgun and indoor boom mic.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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The NT1A and H4n is a great combo for voiceover. I have used and tested the H4n and own an NT1A.

The only beef I have with the NT1A is that it can be overpowered and get a bit distorted and gritty. On the flip side, it's as quiet a mic as there is. The thing is just about silent.

Just make sure not to speak directly into the mic (like you would an ElectroVoice RE20 - an awesome VO mic), or you can get pops and such. I like to keep it about ten to twelve inches from the forehead, angled at the nose. Use a pop shield. Aim your voice under the mic. If that sounds too thin, try moving it closer. If it's too deep, move it farther away. If it's too nasal with too little body, position it down near the upper chest aimed at the neck and speak over the mic. It really depends on the tone of the speaker. If they speak loudly, don't get the mic too close and keep the gain low so you don't clip or distort.

The bottom line is that with the NT1A and the H4n, you can record professional sounding VO with no obvious problems. Rather than upgrading the mic/recorder, the next dollar I would spend would be on the recording space. After that, the mic is the weakest link, and rather than recommend this piece of gear or that, I would recommend auditioning mics and finding the one that best compliments your voice. Beyond the NT1A/H4n/space, you'd be looking at fine tuning. You already have a solid, basic kit.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 11:06 PM   #5
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Will you say pretty much the same thing for AT2035? I hear that you can be pretty close to AT2035 and it has a warmer sound. I would be more interested to know about the combination of H4N and either AT2035 or NT1A, versus a shootout between the two mics.

I appreciate your help very much.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 11:12 AM   #6
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I haven't used the AT2035, but it's in the same class as the NT1A: an affordable, large diaphragm condenser mic with a fixed cardioid pattern. The AT2035 adds a pad and HPF as features.

If you get a chance, go to a local music/audio store/studio and see if you can audition the various mics. What sounds good on one person might not be balanced well for the next.

One thing to watch out for is too much "scoop". Some mics give you lots of bass and treble with little in between. It can sound impressive in the short term, but can be harder to EQ, mix, and get a natural sound. Also, listen for harshness vs. smoothness. Avoid mics that are too harsh - especially if they get harsh with loud inputs. That said, a consistent touch of crunch on the high mids can give a voice a nice edge.

In general, I like the balanced sound of Rode condenser mics. They're very natural to my ears, and they are solidly built. But when it comes to mic comparisons, it's best to use your own ears. Maybe you can find some shootouts on the Internet.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #7
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I have the NT1, and I wouldn't say to put it one foot from your forehead. For voice-over, the proximity effect (added bass to the voice) sounds really nice. Just get a good pop filter, or a double pop filter (2 layers) and get your mouth 5" or 6" from the mic. If you get loud plosives, slightly turn off axis to aim your breath away from the capsule.
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