Need Advice for A Voiceover at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 21st, 2005, 07:29 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Need Advice for A Voiceover

A friend of mine has been asked to audition for some voiceover work.

He has a script, and the director wants a sample of his voiceover work.

I have the following equipment available:

Sennheiser G1 and G2 wireless systems with ME-2 Omni lavalier microphones.

Neuman KMS-105's (2) (Supercardioid Vocal Condenser)

Neuman U87 a i (2) (Large Diaphram Condenser)

Sennheiser MKH-60 and MKH-70 with full Rycote setup.

Pop filter

Tascam DA-P1 DAT (But I do not have S/PDIF inputs on my computer)

Canon Xl1s

Beachtek DXA-8

Sound Devices 302 mixer

Mackie VLZ 1202 mixer

Computer with Vegas 6.0

Sound blankets

I do not have any hard wired lavalier microphones.

I thought it would be best to obtain a suitable room, and then record him using the XL1s. I want to record him using the Neumann U87 ai, with a pop filter as the primary channel.

For a completely different sound, I wanted to try using the Sennheiser G1 or G2 wireless with the standard (omni) ME-2 lavalier on the other channel. I do not like using wireless, but I do not have a hard-wired lavalier.

Alternatively, I could use the Neuman KMS-105, or another Neumann U87 ai on the second channel.

I do not have a proper voiceover studio, but will attempt to make do with some locations that I do have available. I do have one room available at work that has sound deadening foam on all of the walls.

Question 1: Is there a way to use the MKE-2 lavalier microphones without going through the Sennheiser G1 or G2 transmitter?

Question 2: Of the equipment that I have available, what would you use?

Question 3. Which hardwired lavalier microphone would you recommend?

Thank you for your advice.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21st, 2005, 08:42 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
I'd go with the Neuman u 87. Small room with sound deading. Make sure the mike is suspended, or if it's on a desk/tabletop make sure the surface of the desk is padded as well.


I wouldn't bother with recording with the lav's.

(Yeah, I worked in Radio for 6 years on air)
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21st, 2005, 08:47 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Richard,

Thank you for your input.

The sound room that I have is a small room., maybe 6' by 8'.

After reading all of posts on voiceovers, I think it may be good to try the
U87 ai and the Neumann KMS-105 on the other channel.

I will be doing this tomorrow (December 22, 2005), so any other suggestions will be appreciated.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21st, 2005, 08:50 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
It's an audition, right? Relax. Use what works and don't try to reinvent the wheel.

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21st, 2005, 08:55 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear Ty,

You are right. Since this is an audition, we will have time to experiment.

The voice over artist, my friend, will be reading the entire script. If the results are good enough to satisify the producer and the client, then he will have the job.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2005, 04:44 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Send your audio from either the Mackie or the SD mixer direct to the computer's audio interface and record into Vegas. After editing and cleanup, burn the result to CD to deliver to the producer.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2005, 10:41 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
I would definitely concentrate on the U87 and the KMS105. The KMS105 should let you work successfully in less than ideal rooms. The U87 will sound best when you're in a room with good acoustics.
Mic placement, both in the room and in relation to the talent, will be very important, as well as using a good pop screen.
How long is the script? As the script gets longer, then concentration on the talent's relationship to the mic becomes more of an issue. It's usually easier to back a few inches out of the maximum beefy zone when doing a longer script so that your cut points from different takes will be smoother.
Take the time to make your pickups smooth and uniform by having him read plenty of material ahead of where you need to make the edit. This will make the talent's delivery as similar as possible when joining two segments together.
Some mild compression and EQ usually help the finished product too.
If you get an audio interface for your computer that has both analog and S/PDIF inputs, then you can have your choice of clean pathways into the computer.
You can record to DAT and then make a digital transfer, you can record directly into the computer more cleanly than the onboard inputs, or you can record to the XL-1 and capture by firewire. The camera's quality will be lower, but if using the camera allows you to go to a great sounding room and operate without any fan noise, then it may be a net improvement. Be careful of overdriving the line-level inputs of the XL-1s. The RCA tape outs of a Mackie 1202 are hotter than the camera is designed for, so you have to be wary.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2005, 09:53 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 344
Emo Phillips has a golden tongue.
Stephen Finton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear Steve and Jay,

I appreciate your suggestions and advice.

The sound room was in a separate location, away from my editing suite, so using the computer as a recorded was not practical.

I used the KMS-105, and the Neumann U87 ai. Both were off axis, about 45 degress. I had a pop filter in front of the U87, and I recorded through a Beachtek DXA-8 into an XL1s.

I have already edited the voiceover and I am very pleased with the results.

I was concerned that "plosives" might be a problem so I set the levels a little lower than normal, which was probably a mistake. I assume that I should have had the gain set so that most peaks were about -12 db. I had them a little lower.

The Canon Xl1s preamps are noisy, as has been reported on this site in the past. When using the Beachtek DXA-8, I normally set the XL1s audio level to 9 pm, (minimal gain). My experiments in the past, using my camera, shows that I get more hiss above this level. I use the better preamplifiers in the Beachtek to provide the necessary gain.

Both of the Neumann's are good microphones. What amazed me is that the sound was dramatically better leaving both microphones in the final product as a stereo pair. Individually, each track sounds ok, but together they sound much better.

Jay, you stated that the camera's audio quality would be a little lower than the DAT. Are you referring to the noisy preamps in the XL1s? Or is there another issue?

When feeding the Xl1s from the Mackie VLZ-1202, you advised me to be wary. I assume that you mean that I should set the gain on the XL1s low, using line-level inputs, and monitor via headphones (as always) to insure that I do not have distortion. If there are other techniques that I should use, please advise.

We are going to build another sound room for voice overs. Is a small room better than a larger room?

In a quiet room, using these two microphones, how close should the microphones be to the speaker's mouth?
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton

I was concerned that "plosives" might be a problem so I set the levels a little lower than normal, which was probably a mistake. I assume that I should have had the gain set so that most peaks were about -12 db. I had them a little lower.
If you're popping teh mic, the level at which you are popping does'nt make any difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton

Both of the Neumann's are good microphones. What amazed me is that the sound was dramatically better leaving both microphones in the final product as a stereo pair. Individually, each track sounds ok, but together they sound much better.
I had something similar going when I used to record the same mic to two tracks of the DAW I used to use. Two tracks was beefier. You may have gotten lucky. Combining mics this way can also ...um, suck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton

We are going to build another sound room for voice overs. Is a small room better than a larger room?

In a quiet room, using these two microphones, how close should the microphones be to the speaker's mouth?
Depends on what you consider small or large.. I've worked in booths about 2x the size of a phone booth and my present room is 25' x 35'. I like bigger rooms, but a small good sounding room is better than a large bad sounding room. The acoustics of the room, regardlesss of size, are what matters. You do need good ventialtion if you plan to have someone inther for more than five minutes.

Distance to the mic varies per person. I like working very close, 2-3 inches, to give a true intimate sound when doing most narration. I don't pop, so I can do that. Others with plosive control problems can't. I have one guy who hires me, partly, because I can work his mics very closely and he doesn't hear his room. I have some samples up on my site, both on the front page demos and in the On Line Archive.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 27th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Like Ty said, you've got to avoid plosive pops at all cost. Depending on the circumstances, I'll use a foam screen on a mic that already has a metal and foam internal screen, in addition to a hoop-style pop filter.
Acoustics of your recording space, and how to modify and work within those properties could fill a small library. Deader is better, but totally dead can really sound lifeless so you have to strike a balance. If the closest reflective surfaces are dead and you're working the mic at 2 to 12 inches, then having a little open sound behind the talent can be ok for a medium sized room.
Air conditioner and traffic rumble, ventilation hiss, refrigerators, fluorescent lights etc. etc. all have to be minimized. Obviously you have to work with what you have available, but once you put yourself in a audio state of mind, you can get a good idea of the spaces that will work and which you must avoid. If you're going to build a room and there's any chance that you'll need two talent to have a dialogue, it should be at least 8' by 8' and 10' by 10' would be better if the space is available. Lighting that can go right where it's needed is important so that additional burden of bigger lights isn't put on the ventilation system, which raises the possibility of more noise. The shape of the room, acoustic windows, monitor and talkback systems, door seals, the furniture and surfaces to hold the script all enter into the equation.
The main problem with the XL-1 family isn't specifically that the preamps are technically that noisy, it's just that you have very little room for error in how you feed them as compared to most DAT decks. So from a practical standpoint they can be noisy, but if you feed them exactly as they want, they're more than adequate for VO work.
The 3 switch settings for Mic, Mic ATT and Line divide the sensitivity of the camera into 3 fairly narrow bands. If you're feeding the camera a signal that's approaching either edge of any of these 3 bands, then you're going to have problems.
For example with a Mackie 1202, the Tape Out RCA connectors are much hotter than the line-level RCA's on the camera want. So you have to keep the Mackie at a lower output than normal, set the camera's recording control at a low to moderate position that gives you a full signal. I usually run a little hotter on the camera, like -8 to -10 db for peaks, with normal levels to at least -12db. As long as you listen to the camera with headphones and make your adjustments on the Mackie output to eliminate distorting the camera input, you should be fine. Also read the excellent Mackie materials so you're sure you've got your mic trims set for best performance.
If using the DXA-8, you have to do similar experimentation that's accurate in a practical sense. You should be recording a person, rather than just listening to how much hiss there is in a silent room. Do you use MicATT on the camera and keep the DXA-8 gain lower? Or do you push it up and use Line level on your camera? These are things you have to take the time to test in order to get the best out of your gear.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network