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Old November 21st, 2013, 07:28 AM   #1
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Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

My friend needs an affordable mic or recorder for voiceovers/podcasting (she doesnt need professional stuff). The budget is only $125. What would you recommend? (The problem is that the soundcards in notebooks have pretty noisy input, she already recorded something with Skype mic and the sound was full of noise / she achieved much better result with her cell phone)
Thanks for any tips.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 07:46 AM   #2
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

What's SKYPE mic?
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Old November 21st, 2013, 07:50 AM   #3
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Regular cheap microphone for voice communication over internet (Skype etc. :) I dont now the details.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Does she need to wear it?

If not, the MCA SP-1 is less than $50 USD and sounds quite a bit better.

With SKYPE calls, she really needs to be wearing headphones and muting the computer speakers.

Ty Ford Audio and Video: MCA SP-1 Cardioid Condenser Mic

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Old November 21st, 2013, 08:07 AM   #5
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Thanks. I was wondering if you can record noise-free voiceovers with ordinary soundcard. I never achieved a quality audio recording with my soundcard. I had allways MUCH better results when recording voiceovers with microphone pluged into my (prosumer) camera. But she doesnt have a camera. So I was wondering if some cheap sound recorder (like Zoom H1) would be a better solution.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Although a bit of a battery eater, the TASCAM DR-60D at $349 USD is a nice recorder. (get an external power supply)

Ty Ford Audio and Video: TASCAM DR-60D Four-Track Digital Recorder for DSLR and other uses

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Old November 21st, 2013, 08:52 AM   #7
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

So do you think that MCA SP-1 pluged into a regular soundcard on a PC will sound ok? Or should I recommend her rather Zoom H1 (or MCA SP-1 plus Zoom H1)? The Tascam is out of her budget.

BTW, MCA SP-1 is a XLR mic, so she will need some XLR to 3,5mm adapter, right?

Last edited by Peter Berger; November 21st, 2013 at 09:37 AM.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Have a look at one of the USB offerings from Blue Microphones
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Old November 21st, 2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Blue Microphones Yeti looks great.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

I've been using one of these now for a couple of years. It sounds better than I expected for the $$. Since it is also a USB mic you don't have to worry about noisy laptops.

M-Audio Pro Tools Vocal Studio 8250-30006-01 B&H Photo Video
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Old November 21st, 2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Berger View Post
So do you think that MCA SP-1 pluged into a regular soundcard on a PC will sound ok? Or should I recommend her rather Zoom H1 (or MCA SP-1 plus Zoom H1)? The Tascam is out of her budget.

BTW, MCA SP-1 is a XLR mic, so she will need some XLR to 3,5mm adapter, right?
Actually it's a mic that requires phantom power and significant gain, a preamp in other words.Then that preamp will need to be connected to the computer. The usual solution is a device called an audio interface

The H1 will not work, it provides plug-in power which is not the same as phantom power.

The H1 or H2n or H6 can all be connected directly to the computer and used as a USB mic, an alternative to the various USB mics being recommended in this thread.

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Old November 21st, 2013, 11:16 AM   #12
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Most pro and semi-pro studio type condenser mics like the MCA SP-1 need Phantom Power via an XLR>XLR cable, so a common everyday (noisy, awful sounding) consumer sound card would not work. In the OPs case and IMO, a USB mic would be the best choice.. eliminating the need/cost/installation/set-up for a Phantom Powered mic preamp.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
I've been using one of these now for a couple of years. It sounds better than I expected for the $$. Since it is also a USB mic you don't have to worry about noisy laptops.

M-Audio Pro Tools Vocal Studio 8250-30006-01 B&H Photo Video
If the mic is half-decent, this looks like a very attractive package. (With the M-Audio and ProTools logos all over it, you'd hope it would be good-enough.) Just add a stand, a pop-shield (some old tights stretched over a wire coat-hanger will do) and away you go.

Presumably mics like this and the more expensive (c. $230) Rode Podcaster have simple pre-amps built in, before the A-to-D and USB circuitry.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 12:53 PM   #14
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

It is plenty good enough for a podcast.

I don't use the version of pro-tools that comes with the mic. I use Audacity due to its light footprint and its more modest hardware requirements. It works very well with that software.

I've even set up my steadicam case as a bit of a sound box to remove some room tone from the recordings.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 01:26 PM   #15
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Re: Lowbudget solution for voiceovers/podcasting

I would look at the Audio Technica AT2020 USB.
The AT2020 is a good deal for the price, and I trust that Audio Technica did a decent job of making a USB version. The built-in USB interface bypasses the uniformly terrible built-in audio inputs found on all computers.

Remember that the environment is AT LEAST as important as the microphone. If you have a noisy location, reflective surfaces, and/or a nearby computer with a whirring fan, the best microphone in the world will sound no better than the built-in mic on your laptop.
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