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Old February 12th, 2013, 11:56 PM   #16
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Thanks for the info.

I was speaking directly into the front of the mic, probably 1-2 feet away.

My voice sounded really muffled, not natural at all.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 01:07 AM   #17
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

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Old February 13th, 2013, 01:24 AM   #18
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

On a tip from Ty Ford I'm awaiting a pair of these very affordable mics:

mca sp1| B&H Photo Video

After listening to several samples on line I decided to them. I'm planning on doing some instrumental recording with them but they should also do very nicely for VO work.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 02:07 AM   #19
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Does anyone have any opinions on the Rode Podcaster?

Seems like a good quality mic for the price, especially considering I wouldn't need to purchase any other equipment to get it going.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 03:14 AM   #20
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Jody - Google microphone acoustic screen.

These are amazing popular with home studio users and people who need controlled close micing on location.

There are loads of chinese manufacturers large diaphragm mics on the market and they're actually pretty good. You need a popper stopper of course, but this is also very useful as it keeps you from getting in too close and the proximity effect changing your voice quality. If you set one of these up on a mic stand, with even a cheap mic like the Samsons, you will be pretty impressed. These mics have a very defined audio quality, cost a tiny amount, and while of course a Neumann U87 will be different (note - not always 'better') they'll do rather well for voice over and singing.

The home recording people are so much more willing to experiment with different brands and types of kit than video people, who always tot out rules, and methods based on sound recording practice, but seem to place less emphasis on experimentation and a wider equipment choice.

On video forums, Rode is a constant recommendation, as is the venerable (and elderly) 416. Nothing wrong with them at all - but they are not the be all and end all of microphones. Far more important is what you can do with a microphone with technique, eq and processing. The voice artistes who record themselves, working to briefs on the internet will have their own favourite mics, and if they make their voice sound 'right', then from the recording viewpoint, they're ideal - make and model simply doesn't matter. Price is no guide either - the U87 mentioned can flatter some voices and bring out deficiencies in others. It has a characteristic sound - which is rarely described as bright, or clean, or even accurate. It has a definite 'colour' to it. The Chinese large diaphragm mics tend towards clarity at the top end - so can sometimes be called bright, clinical or even toppy. If that flatters a voice, that's good.

For voice over work, matching your voice to a mic is really important so I'd borrow all sorts of mics from friends to test, then buy one that works for you.

I've had successful recordings indoors from shotguns, recorded voice overs with the in camera mic because that was all that was available, used a hand held SM58 mic for a studio recording and failed miserably getting a decent sound from a Coles lip mic (that everyone else seems to be able to use) for commentary.

Take forum advice as a guide - never definitive law. Then try the results on audio recording forums and see if their advice matches. Often, it doesn't.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 05:35 AM   #21
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

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Old February 13th, 2013, 06:25 AM   #22
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

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Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
I was speaking directly into the front of the mic, probably 1-2 feet away.

My voice sounded really muffled, not natural at all.
Yeah, you had it placed wrong for VO, or for anything really. Place it where I mentioned. Record something and post it here so we can hear what you're doing. You don't talk into the end of a shotgun mic, it's aimed at someone, usually from above.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 13th, 2013, 08:17 PM   #23
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

IMO the more information the better! I can sift through it, do my research and make an informed decision.

So thanks everyone, much appreciated.

At this stage I'm looking at either a Rode NT2A or a Podcaster, and building my own little recording box out of acoustic foam. I only do voice overs for corporate videos so I think a simple setup like that should suffice.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 08:37 PM   #24
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Jody,

If you do, post a bit of what you end up with. If you're recording and playing back in the same room, and your room has a sound, you may not be able to hear it with your speakers in the room that you're playing back in.

Regards,

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Old February 13th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #25
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Will do. It'll probably be a few weeks before I get the equipment (after a few clients decide to pay me), but I will post some samples here when I get it.

Thanks again.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 10:28 PM   #26
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in here...

I record all my voiceovers currently with a Zoom H4N and a regular old 40 dollar Sony cardioid mic (FV-620). First time I used the mic I was surprised that it has good, close proximity and clarity for the price. 40 dollars for a mic was a zero risk buy for me. During ambient (in between speaking) I barely see any noise whatsoever (all manual gain on the zoom too). If you can budget in a large condenser mic that will give you better results and will give you better tone. The one complaint I have with the cardioid is the bass tones are not very present but you can massage it in post a bit to get it back.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 07:27 AM   #27
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Justin:

Any mic with a cardioid pattern will exhibit some "proximity effect," in other words if you work close to the mic (let's say roughly closer than 12") there will be an increase in the low frequency end. So I'm surprised to hear that your Sony mic is lacking in low frequency output.

Even Sony's website does not publish a frequency response curve for this mic, but the so-called "specifications" indicate 70 Hz as the bottom end, which suggests to me that the mic might, in fact, sound rather "thin" and lacking in bass.

Also, the fact that Sony markets it as a "handheld vocal mic" suggests that they expect it to be used very close, so they might intentionally reduce the low-frequency response to avoid boominess caused by the proximity effect.

How close do you normally work the mic when you record?

Also, are you using an XLR-to-XLR cable, and plugging into the Zoom's XLR mic input? Or are you using the XLR-to-1/4" cable supplied with the mic, and plugging into the Zoom's 1/4" input? Or are you using an adapter and plugging into the Zoom's 3.5mm mic input?
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Old February 18th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #28
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

Not sure why a NTG would not be any good. I have been using my NTG2 for VO work and it sounds OK to me. I have the mike on a stand at approx 6 inches away from my mouth, but at an angle, i,e, I am not speaking directly into it. I have experimented a lot with various mikes including my Rode NT1-a ( this has a very deep sound and also picks up too much ambient noise from my computer). I also have an expensive headset from Audio Technica, this has a brittle sound and picks far too much hisses from my Sssss's

Here is a link to a video I produced yesterday using the Rode NTG2

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Old February 19th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #29
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

I previously stated: (#7) "There are more than a few VO artists who use and swear by a Sennheiser 416 which is the same type as the NTG3", so for the record, I didn't suggest buying a new mic.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #30
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Re: Tips for voice over recording

What I would like to know is how do people use the EQ to sweeten up voices.

Here are my three mike samples (sorry it is in a Zip file, as an MP3)

1 Rode NT1a
2 Rode NTG2
3 Audio Technica Headset BPH51
4 Audio Technica Headset processed using EQ

With a bit of extra work the Headset doesn't sound too bad, but it does involve an extra step in the workflow. The Rode NT1a is too boomy for my taste. The Rode NTG2 does a nice job, but can be awkward to use on a desk top when doing tutorials. Ideally the headset should be the best solution for tutorial work but does require that extra step.

Which version do you think works best, any advice on sweetening up audio would be much appreciated. .
Attached Files
File Type: zip audio test.zip (2.08 MB, 44 views)
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