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Old November 11th, 2006, 06:05 AM   #1
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Voice over/Narration.

I want to add voice over/narration to a couple of projects I'm soon going to be involved in.
Unfortunately I don't have a dedicated voice over mic (and it'll be some time off before I manage to get hold of one).
In which case I have the choice of two of my mic's to use:

Sennheiser ME66 short gun mic
Shure Sm58

Would one be more suitable for this purpose over the other? The ME66 works very well indoors, but that's usually mic'ing people up from a distance (the mic obviously not so close to their mouths as it would be in a voice over situation).

Thanks.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #2
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You really need a large diaphragm condenser mic for this application in order to get a big warm sound, though I have had good results from other condenser mics too. What ever you use, make sure you use a pop shield (the old stretched stockings trick is a cheap alternative).

If you're on a tight budget and need to use what you have I would suggest testing both to see what you like best but you'll probably need to work with some EQ to get it sounding at all reasobnable.

For slightly bigger projects it's worth getting hold of an LDC - there are some very decent low-cost models on the market now. And if you can't do it yourself there are also many resources on the web to find pro or semi-pro artists to do the job for you at a reasonable cost.

Colin
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Old November 11th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #3
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If you can't add a high-end condenser as Colin recommended, the better choice for voiceover would be the shotgun microphone.

The SM-58 has an unnaturally warm sound. Usually, it's used in vocal situations for music performance.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
I want to add voice over/narration to a couple of projects I'm soon going to be involved in.
Unfortunately I don't have a dedicated voice over mic (and it'll be some time off before I manage to get hold of one).
In which case I have the choice of two of my mic's to use:

Sennheiser ME66 short gun mic
Shure Sm58

Would one be more suitable for this purpose over the other? The ME66 works very well indoors, but that's usually mic'ing people up from a distance (the mic obviously not so close to their mouths as it would be in a voice over situation).

Thanks.
I am a union narrator as well as an location audio guy. Of the 2, the ME66 will work best. Place the tip about 45 degrees to either side of the mouth and at a distance of about three inches from the mouth.

When pressed, that's what I do with my Sennheiser 416 or Schoeps cmc641.

Regards,

Ty Ford

BTW, If you need a narrator please let me know. I have demos on my site.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford
Place the tip about 45 degrees to either side of the mouth and at a distance of about three inches from the mouth.

When pressed, that's what I do with my Sennheiser 416 or Schoeps cmc641.
Is that how you would position a studio mic too? I assume the objective is to avoid sibilance?
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Old November 11th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #6
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Emre;

No, not to reduce overly sibilant speech. Micing from the side reduces popping plosives (and keeps the mic out of the sight line to the copy.)

The best way to control overly sibilant speech is to make an appointment with a speech therapist who can teach you where to place the tip of your tongue during sibilant sounds. It takes about 4-6 visits, no big deal, but a BIG IMPROVEMENT. That's where I send all of my student who come in the door wanting to do voiceovers, but who are overly sibilant.

There are many high frequency limiter plugins to handle material already recorded. I also zoom in to micro edit some waveforms to reduce the dense HF SSSS sounds.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 12th, 2006, 08:03 AM   #7
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Many thanks for the replys folks.
Colin - Aye - I have a homemade pop sheild - tights and coat hanger does the trick...unfortunately doesn't look that professional.
I'll aim to work with the ME66 for the time being then - I need to look into a dedicated VO mic, but I just don't have the budget at this time.

Eric - the Shure has served me well for a number of years, but yes - it's the live mic of choice and perhaps not so well suited for this type of work.

Ty - I've bookmarked your website - I'll take a good look at that. Is the Sennhieser 416 a pretty essential narration microphone?
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Old November 12th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #8
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Hello David,

I said, "when pressed", I use the MKH 416. I mentioned that because it's a shotgun, although pricier than the me66. I have personally used (or have been asked to use) everything from an omni lav to an SM58, RE20, SM7, me66, AT4050, AT4033, Neumann U 89, u 87, TLM 170, TLM 193, Gefell m71, m900, Schoeps cmc641 and probably a dozen others.

My point being is that there really isn't a "narrration mic." There are many mics that are used for narration. You asked which of your two would be most suitable. I think, in your case, I'd try the me 66.

Regards,

Ty
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Old November 12th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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Thanks Ty (I must've missed the 'when pressed' disclaimer).
I'm a long way off making an investment in a 'dedicated' voice over mic and for any dubs I may do (for dialogue which was damaged/lost for example) then I'd use the ME66 anyhow.
You've given a good list of mics, therefore plenty of material for future investigation!

Cheers for the advice,
Dave
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Old November 12th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #10
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One more to consider might be the new RODE Podcaster. It's a USB dynamic mic under $200. The cool thing is that it has a built-in headphone jack for monitoring your audio while narrating. There is a video on the RODE mic site with a demonstration of how to position the mic to avoid plosives. It's the one called "Mic techniques" here http://www.rodepodcaster.com/page2.html
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Old November 13th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #11
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Thanks guy - I'll take a look at the mic and the site.
Cheers.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #12
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I'll recommend the shure sm7....love that mic for VO and narration

Paul
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #13
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If you have both in your possession, I suggest trying them both out. It's not like you're only going to get one shot at cutting the voice track.

Each voice is unique and a mic that sounds good on one voice, may not sound that great on another. Another consideration is your recording location and its acoustics, condensors are great but sensitive, dynamic can work better in some situations.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford

. I also zoom in to micro edit some waveforms to reduce the dense HF SSSS sounds.
I do the same for popped "P" 'plosives. Zoom in and you will see a big fat waveform. Cut it and the pop is gone.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mecca
If you have both in your possession, I suggest trying them both out. It's not like you're only going to get one shot at cutting the voice track.

Each voice is unique and a mic that sounds good on one voice, may not sound that great on another. Another consideration is your recording location and its acoustics, condensors are great but sensitive, dynamic can work better in some situations.
Yes - i will try them both out, I really wanted to see whether either of these mics were acceptable to a certain degree by you folks. I have to use what I have for the time being, but with a little work you can usually achieve a pretty good standard. I'll be using soundtrack pro to edit audio and will follow the workflow mentioned by ty and glenn here. I've rescued shocking 'belches' in audio recordings by a bit of frequency manipulation.
Thanks.
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