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Old January 30th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #1
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Voiceover/Vocal Mic

I've gotta buy a voice over mic and I'm looking at the RE20 because I've heard it and I like what I hear... but there's a couple things that I'm wondering about it. It's a dynamic mic, not a condenser... will that make any difference? Because I know for the most part, condensers are used for voiceovers.

Also, I'd like something I could also use for recording vocals (as in singing), and instruments (like acoustic guitar). Of course, I imagine that I'm not going to find a mic that's great for spoken word, singing, and instrument recording all in one.

Is there any reason I shouldn't go with the RE20... do you know of a mic in the same price range that's better for me?

From what I've read, I should be looking at something that's directional (super cardoid, short shotgun).

Some other mics I'm looking at are: Rode NT2A (it's cardoid/omni condenser), AT4040 (cardoid condenser), and pretty much anything under $400.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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Of course, I just read a post by Ty Ford where he says that he doesn't really know of any mics under $400 that are much better than the AT2020.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 05:05 AM   #3
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Dynamics are a very common choice for spoken voice. They tend to be more rugged and less subject to handling noise than condensers. The RE-20 is a mainstay of the broadcasting industry. It's so solid you could probably drive nails with the thing without damaging it. I doubt there's a radio station in North America that doesn't own at least one and in my own experience as on-air talent in talk radio it was the standard announce mic in every studio. It can be very smooth and flattering, espcially for male voces. Got one on my "gotta buy" list as soon as I can spring a few $$ free, in fact.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 11:39 AM   #4
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Generally, a "value" condensor from rode or AT will do better at more applications than the RE20, and certainly better with acoustic guitar. For recording applications a large-diaphram condensor is used most often for voice. You really should listen to one or more. And there's quite a few in broadcast, too.

However, if voice work is paying the bills and you like the sound of the RE20... see if you can listen to some more mics... but if you do stay with the RE20 you could find a reasonable mic for guitar in the $100-150 range, such as a small-diaphram condensor. Oktava MC012 (see the sticky post in this forum), AKG C1000, many others.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 05:26 PM   #5
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Thanks... I thought the RE20 might not be so great at recording instruments, since it's mainly a broadcast mic.

Unfortunately, there's no place near me with the mics I'd like to try out. I'm probably going to go with an AT2020. My only concern is that I'm going to get a mic that doesn't sound as good for my voiceover, which is what's most important.

Basically, I want a good voiceover mic that is also suitable for instrument/vocal recording.

Ty Ford has good things to say about the AT2020. I just wonder if any of the following mics offer any substancial improvement for VO work: Rode NT1a, NT1000, NT2a, NT2000.

I've pretty much read every thread on voice-over mics, but the feedback is pretty vague: "It's a good mic" or "I really like it...".

I've already read Jay Rose's book on audio production, so I know about the acoustics side.

I just want to get an inexpensive mic, that's flattering, and is also able to be used for singing/instruments.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 05:30 PM   #6
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Have you heard of anyone using an RE20 for singing or music studio work? We've all heard the RE20 on the radio, but I'm also looking for a mic that I can use for music. Obviously it will record music, but I just wonder if it can handle loud sounds without clipping and I'm also wondering if the super cardoid pattern is good for recording acoustic instruments.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 05:44 PM   #7
 
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I've never heard of anyone using an RE 20 for singing; it doesn't have the air that a good vocal mic needs to have in most situations. It's also a dynamic mic, dynamics are used occasionally in the studio for vocals, but rarely so.
On the other hand, you certainly could use the RE 20 if it sounded the way you wanted a voice to sound.
It's commonly used on both stage and in studio for kick drum mics. I've used it for a number of kick and floor tom recordings, and it sounds great. The newer models are a bit more "snappy" than the older models, but overall it's a great mic for drums and bass cabinets, and you don't need to worry about SPL with this mic at all.
there is also a cheaper version in the older model, I don't know if they still make the PL 20, but they were exactly the same mic with different colors and packaging.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:33 PM   #8
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Your thread title suggested to me that you were looking primarily for spoken-word and voice-over recording with any musical application secondary and my comments were based on the assumption that suitability for singing would not an important factor. Indeed, a large diaphram condenser would probably be a better choice for vocal music but I'll still say the RE20 or its brother, the RE27, would be contenders in the options for narration work.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 10:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Your thread title suggested to me that you were looking primarily for spoken-word and voice-over recording with any musical application secondary and my comments were based on the assumption that suitability for singing would not an important factor. Indeed, a large diaphram condenser would probably be a better choice for vocal music but I'll still say the RE20 or its brother, the RE27, would be contenders in the options for narration work.
Well, I need to do a voiceover and I also need to record acoustic instruments. I'm more concerned with how my voiceover sounds than the music.

I'm looking at the M-Audio Lunar and Solaris also. I've read some good reviews.

The more reviews I read, the more it seems like there's no such thing as a bad condenser mic. I've yet to read a bad review of any condenser mic.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 11:45 PM   #10
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Nothing wrong with using a dynamic mic, but keep in mind, dynamic mics depend much more on the pre-amp to get quality recordings. The quality of the pre-amp is less of a concern with a condenser.

You can get great sound out of either type of mic, but I'd go with a condenser.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 12:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
Nothing wrong with using a dynamic mic, but keep in mind, dynamic mics depend much more on the pre-amp to get quality recordings. The quality of the pre-amp is less of a concern with a condenser.

You can get great sound out of either type of mic.
In Jay Rose's book, he suggests that dynamic mics like the SM58 are associated with speeches and live preformances, so they're not a good choice for doing voiceovers. A voiceover should not be associated with a speech or preformance or even have any reverb since it "exists in limbo" according to Rose. It makes sense to me.

He says that the RE20 is an exception, but he doesn't recommend any inexpensive condensers.

I'm also looking for something that I can plug directly into my Firewire 410, not through a preamp.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Hall
In Jay Rose's book, he suggests that dynamic mics like the SM58 are associated with speeches and live preformances, so they're not a good choice for doing voiceovers. A voiceover should not be associated with a speech or preformance or even have any reverb since it "exists in limbo" according to Rose. It makes sense to me.

He says that the RE20 is an exception, but he doesn't recommend any inexpensive condensers.

I'm also looking for something that I can plug directly into my Firewire 410, not through a preamp.
Since your Firewire 410 accepts a direct mic input, it has its preamps builtin and reputedly they're pretty decent ones.

The "exists in limbo" quality Jay reccomends is achieved by recording in the controlled acoustic environment of the studio and choosing a mic with an appropriate polar pattern than it is by whether the mic used is a dynamic or a condenser microphone - I think want he means by that statement is you don't want to record a live speech at some event and then try to use it later as a narration track. If your visual is a sequence of shots of the Grand Canyon and the narration goes "...looking down through the layers visible on the canyon walls is a journey backwards in geologic time ..." you don't want to record that speech in a college geology class where you'll also pickup the sounds of students moving about in their seats and the rustling of papers.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 10:50 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Steve House]Since your Firewire 410 accepts a direct mic input, it has its preamps builtin and reputedly they're pretty decent ones.

We just got a Shure SM7B to go into a Firewire 410 and I can't get decent levels unless I'm practically sucking on the end of the thing. Should I send it back and get a condenser? B and H has this Rode that fits our budget (we're a school district):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Since your Firewire 410 accepts a direct mic input, it has its preamps builtin and reputedly they're pretty decent ones.
Ok
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
The "exists in limbo" quality Jay reccomends is achieved by recording in the controlled acoustic environment of the studio and choosing a mic with an appropriate polar pattern than it is by whether the mic used is a dynamic or a condenser microphone - I think want he means by that statement is you don't want to record a live speech at some event and then try to use it later as a narration track. If your visual is a sequence of shots of the Grand Canyon and the narration goes "...looking down through the layers visible on the canyon walls is a journey backwards in geologic time ..." you don't want to record that speech in a college geology class where you'll also pickup the sounds of students moving about in their seats and the rustling of papers.
Yeah, the "limbo" part probably has more to do with acoustics, but here's what he says:

Here's a quote "condenser mics are almost always a better voice over choice than dynamic ones... [dynamics] lack the crispness and overall tonal balance that can make a voice-over track stand out.

[The SM57 and SM58] are not suitable for video production unless they are being used as a visable musician's or stand up comic's mic.

He later says that the SM7 and RE27 are exceptions.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Hall
Ok

...

He later says that the SM7 and RE27 are exceptions.
Yep - and the RE20 and RE27 are very close to each other, the main difference being the -27 has higher output and a couple more response curve options than the -20 has.
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