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Old March 22nd, 2003, 01:09 PM   #1
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voiceover recording question

We are currently recording our video voiceovers with a microphone connected to our computer using the program easy cd creator platinum. We then import the wav file to premiere. We are looking for a higher quality audio than we are now getting as this leaves us with a less than clear and sharp audio than we would like to have. Should we be recording some other way such as a digital recorder? What ideas do you have to improve quality? One person told us that capturing through a computer will not give us good results due to the low quality sound cards that computers generaly have. thanks
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 05:13 PM   #2
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If you record into your computer you will be getting computer noise + interference plus any noise in the room. You can cut down on this by going through a mixer first and then input the mixer into your sound card. If you are going to go that far you might as well just borrow / rent a DAT.
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 05:17 PM   #3
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If you are going to record with a computer, make sure it's in another room. Otherwise, the fans in the unit will sound like jet turbines.

Yes, a mixer is totally needed with a good mic. I use a Behringer Eurotrack MX602A which has 6 channels, with two XLR inputs with preamps. This is then fed into my M-Audio Delta audio card.
The mixer also allows me to plug my bass guitar into one of the preamp channels to record bass tracks as well. In addition another channel is used for my Line6 Guitar PodXT guitar amp simulator and another for one of my sythesizers.

So yes, a mixing board is kinda handy.

/Adrian
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Old March 24th, 2003, 07:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replys. What is a dat and where would we buy one and which one should we buy? We are not interested in renting as we would use this about once a week and renting would be a hassle.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #5
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DAT FAQ:

http://home.worldonline.nl/~mjjm/mic-faq/mic-faq.html
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Old March 25th, 2003, 06:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help Keith
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Old March 25th, 2003, 07:25 AM   #7
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There are other options other then DAT---you can do nice voice overs by recording to a simple mini-disc setup.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 07:43 AM   #8
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Another option I will check into. Thankyou
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Old March 25th, 2003, 07:53 AM   #9
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I've been looking at the DAT systems, and noticed that they are EXTREMELY expensive. Most of the DATs I saw, start at $1,000 and up.

I have also seen and used HD recorders/mixers. They are more reasonably priced, and probably more suited to what you are looking for. Look at Zoom, Korg, and Tascam.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #10
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It sounds like your VO recording is going to be pretty regular, and you'll always be at the computer anyway, so it seems like you should just get a decent host based system to do the recording. Here's a good start:

M-Audio Audiophile 24/96: $150
M-Audio Audio Buddy (Mic Preamp): $60
Audix OM2/Shure SM58 or similar: $100
Cables and mic stand: $60

The Audiophile is a 24bit, 96KHz capable professional PCI sound card that has very good sound quality and will not have any of the noise of your current consumer card. The Audio Buddy is a mic preamp needed to amplify the low level mic signal into the Audiophile. There's lots of other preamps under $100 too. You can't go wrong with a classic Shure SM58 mic, although you may choose to go with an inexpensive condenser mic like the Oktava 219. For your setup though it sounds like a condenser would just be noisier, picking up more of the general environment and wouldn't be worthwhile. A small boom stand so the talent doesn't have to hold the mic (extra noise) and 2 cables (mic to preamp, preamp to Audiophile) and you're set.

There's always variations on this setup. I don't work for M-audio or anything, I just really like their stuff. Go with what looks good. I'd suggest browsing around http://www.musiciansfriend.com (they'll have all the parts listed here), or if you have one nearby, stop by your local Guitar Center, since they are the brick and mortar side of Musician's Friend.

Also once you have your audio chain all taken care of, you might look at this article by Douglas Spotted Eagle on making a little voiceover sound box. It will cut down on environmental noise like the computer and traffic outside, and give you a lot cleaner and bigger sound.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 10:00 AM   #11
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Great info, thanks. A few months ago, I bought a shure sm85 microphone and a preamp for it from a music store. I tried to use it but it gave me hiss in my recording so I went back to using my mono wired lavalier microphone. I unfortunately have a preamp now without a limiter or compressor on it which I just read this morning on another website is not the best setup. I think a better preamp is one with a compressor like the ART Tube MP OPL Microphone Preamp with Output Protection Limiter that I just saw at a website? It is less than $70 and may be a wise purchase. I like the idea of building a voiceover box thanks for the link I will get busy building it after I find out where to buy the sound deadning foam. Also the improved sound card sounds like a great idea. It seems the best solution perhaps is 1; buy a better sound card, 2; build a sound box and 3; buy a preamp with a limiter to reduce audio spikes from my voice. I still will need to find out why I have hissing when recording with the shure microphone however that may be remedied by the new equipment purchases or better control of levels when recording?
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Old March 25th, 2003, 11:03 AM   #12
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What about recording into the camera. Hook up a mike to the camcorder place the camera anywhere and then hit record. If its A DV camcorder you can get 48000Htz which some say is as good as DAT. Capture the audio in and lay onto time line.

I recorded a whole CD this way!!!

Hope this helps,

Ed Smith
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Old March 25th, 2003, 11:18 AM   #13
 
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I'm doing many voice overs on the videos I produce. I' ve settled on an Echo Mona and a M Audio Delta 1010LT high quality sound cards on each of my machines. I prefer the Mona for its considerably lower noise floor, however, both systems work exceptionally well. I use a Sennheiser ME66 patch into each sound card thru a mackie mixer for added control. The Echo interface really works great for normal as well as 5.1 surround sound, and , if you can afford the cost, is well worth the professional results.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 12:19 PM   #14
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Good ideas Bill & Ed. Lots of ways I am finding out to get from "a to b". If I record audio only on my gl2 dv cam I am not sure how I would get that into my computer to edit with sound forge software before I place it into my nle as a wav file. I have so much to learn yet.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 04:04 PM   #15
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I use a USBPre from Sound Devices with great results. It has mic preamp and a/d converter, is mac/pc compatible and is usb bus-powered. check out www.usbpre.com for more info. Of course, your mics matter quite a bit as does the recording environment.m
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