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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:38 AM   #1
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Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I'm relatively new in doing VOs so I got a AKG3000B a while ago. I'm looking for something that sounds better than the AKG3000 after some attempts. I find it not as clear as the Senny 416 (different thing altogether!).

Should i sell the AKG and live with the 416? I use a Porta Booth to record but the 416 is way too long to work in there so I'm inclined to upgrade the AKG3000B.

Any recommendations for a mid price LDM?
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

Sean,
I always use the Samson CO3U USB mic.
It's perfect for narration work.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

While I'm not a huge fan of the Porta Booth unless needed for traveling, you should have no problems using the 416 in it. I would continue to use the 416, and in the mean time shop for a LDC that sounds good on your voice, and or a nice Dynamic which will pickup less room sound to supplement the Sennheiser.

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

Depending on your voice, you might like one of the recent and relatively inexpensive ribbon mikes that have come on the market, they don't seem to accentuate the higher frequencies like many of the common condenser mikes which have a peak between 12 and 15k. My somewhat squeaky voice is improved, your rich baritone or whatever might not....

I agree with Robin on the very useful and reasonably priced Samson CO3U, which we used at my newspaper's web video faciltiy for doing voice-overs at the edit station. Samson is not one of the "prestiege" names but I think you'd find this mike quite satisfactory. The ability to go direct-usb is very helpful when voicing an edit at the computer. Of course, there are xlr-to-usb converters if you want a traditional mike. That said, the AKG 3000b is usually reguarded as quite a nice mike. You might analyze what it is about it's sound that you don't like, and see if it is being caused by other perameters in your system. A little EQ might solve the problem.

I would not, at first guess, expect a shotgun like the 416 to be what you'd want for voiceover work...maybe I'm missing something there....

The portable studio thingy works pretty well, but the one I am familiar with, the SE Reflexion, is pretty heavy and cumbersome, requiring a serious stand or support to use it, btw. However, anything that cuts unwanted sound intrusion or reflexion is a good thing.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 02:51 PM   #5
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I just did a shootout of 4 large diaphragm condensers. See if any of these sound good to you.

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I've been doing VO since '73! Man,am I old! The Neumann U87 was my fave of all time. The Electrovoice RE20 (the Larry King mic) was/is my second. RODE makes great mics at a great price. You already know the room can have no rings, and you need to breathe from your tummy. The rest is practice reading travel ads and have fun playing in your headphones (Sony, AKG, etc).

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

Man I'd love a Neumann U87!

$3,200.00 is just a tad rich for my blood. I bet the price wasn't as hyped, even accounting for inflation, back in the 70s.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:54 AM   #8
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

Woah thanks for all the suggestion guys! I did try to EQ the AKG3000B.. somehow the 416 sounds better before EQ on both. Oh but i am recording directly to the Marantz 661. not sure if there were any issues there.

the sad thing is we do not have a nice place like B&H here so i cant try mics easily. The Neumann is way out of budget so i guess i'll be checking out Chad's nice video first.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:46 AM   #9
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I use the Rode NT2000 as my voice over mic and find it good value and very flexible.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 05:39 AM   #10
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

Definitely look in to the Rode Podcaster. Got one and it's fantastic.

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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:34 PM   #11
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I'm guessing you're working relatively close to the 416, which probably produces what's called the "proximity effect" in which bass becomes increasingly apparent the closer you work. This is a characteristic of all directional mikes, and the more directional, the further from the mike it becomes apparent. So you are probably hearing a fuller, bass-er sound from the 416 any maybe like it subjectively for this reason. Or maybe your AKG has some defect, of course. It's a large diaphragm cardioid which is known for a smooth and musical response, there's no flies on that mike....

The AKG will do the proximity thing also, as it is a cardioid, but at a much closer working distance.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I regularly use the EV RE20 with great success. It's only (what some may call drawback) is that is has fairly low level, so your preamp needs to have a lot of muscle combined with low noise for the mic to really shine.

Having said this, if you do have a nice quiet powerful preamp, then this mic does a great job of rejecting room noise while providing great sound, it's price is very reasonable, and it's built like a tank so it will last through years and years of abuse.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:31 AM   #13
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I have a Rode NT2-A that I rather like for voice over - although I don't do a lot of them. If I did I'd probably hunt for something better. The 2000 might be better but so far I'm happy enough with the NT2-A. I also have a Schoeps CMC 641 but I usually find myself using the Rode for this kind of thing.

In the end I think it's a matter of what you like rather than there being an absolute "best".
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:04 AM   #14
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

I have a U87 and a couple AT4033's and lot of other mics... but the mic I use for everyday narrations and voice over work is an SE 2200. Very nice microphone for the money. A nice little 7K bump for more presence.

Ribbon mics are okay if used at a distance, but they tend to have a VERY exaggerated proximity effect. And most are naturally figure 8 sensitive, so they will tend to pick up more room tone. If your sound sources are especially strident (trumpet, piercing female vocals, guitar amp), then a ribbon can be a nice addition to your microphonic arsenal. Otherwise, probably better to stay with a large diaphragm condenser. Like the SE 2200.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 02:58 AM   #15
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Re: Voice Over Mic Recommendations

not sure what you are running the mic through, but i find a good mic pre/compressor is a great investment if you don't have one... i can run a sm57 through my UA LA-610 and it can sound amazing- full, warm and even... also great for running the audio from field interviews through, to warm up and smooth out the levels. much better results and easier to attain than using plug-ins...
if you have the cash, a TLM 49 is pretty great. here is a sample of lead vocals with TLM 49 and backing vocals with sm57, all through the LA-610 (though my somewhat thin voice may not be a great example for VO...):
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