Voice-over mic for home recording

Discussion in 'Studio' started by Daria, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Daria

    Daria Newbie

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    Hello everyone!

    I want to build a small home project studio for voice-over recordings. However, my budget is very limited.
    I consider some microphones after I read comments and reviews of them.

    sE Electronics sE X1R
    VO: 1-A Harlan Hogan Signature Series Microphone
    MXL R144

    What is best for voice-over recordings a ribbon or a capacitor? and why?

    I know also that ribbon microphones have a very little sensitivity compared to capacitors and need a strong source, also ribbons do not require any phantom power and not to forget to say that is very fragile too!

    if I buy a more expensive microphone than those I have mentioned do I get a noticeably better sound quality?

    Many thanks in advance!
     
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  3. TW

    TW Rock Star

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    I do voice over stuff. I prefer dynamic mics because for most of my work I need that big radio announcer like voice. I use a beyerdynamic m99 for years. I also love my Shure sm7b.

    Yes and no. A mic has to fit a voice and fit the goal you want to achieve. That is the most important. What differs a more expensive mic from a cheaper one is mainly the higher quality components that are used.

    You don't have to spend a fortune. At around 150 $ you get a prosumer mic that produces a broadcast quality sound.
    One of the best bang for the buck all-round mics you can get at the moment is, in my opinion, the Lewitt LCT 240 pro.
     
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  4. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    For a ribbon mic you'll need a 'special' (powerful) pre amp due to it's very low output.

    For condenser mics you'll need a pretty quiet recording room, so this depends. If you don't have that I'd go with TW and look for a dynamic mic.
     
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  5. playtime

    playtime Kapellmeister

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    Voiceover recording experience for radio and TV last 20+ years here. I have a range of different mics for different scenarios and each one of them has it's purpose. Industry standards are condensers (Neumann U87 and Sennheiser MKH-416 shotgun mic) followed by dynamic Shure SM7B. Never had good experience with ribbon mics.
    For a lower cost you can get pretty amazing results with Rode NT-1A (although I reccomend new NT-1 with smoother mids and highs) and Rode NTG3 as best alternative to Sennheiser 416.

    Hope this helps :winker: Cheers!
     
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  6. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    Hey, Daria. Welcome to the forum.

    None of the mics you listed will touch the CM47fet from AA Microphones (https://advancedaudio.ca/collections/fet-microphones/products/cm47fet) when it comes to delivering a great sounding voice- over recording for under $300. The circuit that makes up this inexpensive condensor microphone punches way above it's weight due to the thoughtful and important decision to add something called a de-emphases circuit that will reduce any sibilance of higher frequencies and push it past most any microphone in this class that have a tendency to sound kind of like nails scratching a blackboard or shattering glass. You'll also be assured of getting a fine microphone because they at AA have a stringent quality control protocol and each mic must fit within a narrow specification or it won't leave the work bench of the person inspecting it and find it's way to a disappointed customer. Really, you'd be hard pressed to get a better sounding condenser with a transformer. It also has in addition to the cardoid pattern what is known as an omni pattern choice which will pick up more room sound and as well a more linear low end without proximity effect. This is a good thing and gives you a slightly different sound if you wish to experiment getting a different tone.

    The three mics you listed pale in comparison to the CM47fet, the Harlan Hogan not something that I ever came across, and I eat, breathe and sleep thinking about recording.

    Best of luck with your decision.
     
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  7. Matt777

    Matt777 Platinum Record

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    Can't help.. this guys^^ know what they are talking about :wink: or something like that..;)

    I have a question though: why do I see the Electro Voice RE 20 in more than 50% of radio stations and why nobody mentions it here?
    Oh and another one: which one would be ok for recording a singer too (I heard very good recs /w SM7B..)

    The things that I learned here (and tried) are only that if you don't have a well treated room, the dynamic mics can be a better choice (obviously).. and that the result may depend on your voice&mic match.
     
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  8. playtime

    playtime Kapellmeister

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    RE 20 was and still is highly respected mic for broadcasting. It still holds its position in many radio stations around the world because this mic responds very well to radio broadcast hardware processing. Talking about mutiband compression, gate, eq'ing and limiting with professional quipment like OMNIA etc...
    However, RE 20 is mostly used on News/Talk format radio stations where voice dominates over music on the air. In recent years, condensers and Shure SM7B are most popular mics. In home recording studio you can get pretty good sound with it but you must pair it with good preamp or channel strip like Avalon VT-737sp. Otherwise you can get low gain with backround noise and somewhat "dark" sound.

    I highly recommend reading Dave Foxx blog for great VO tips and tricks. He's a true VO superstar.
    I've been working with him for years and learned a lot along the way :guru:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  9. macaca

    macaca Newbie

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    I have some recommendations, but I have a few questions.
    Are you recording in a quiet or noisy room? (computer noise, furnace, neighbours) Is it a large or small room and most importantly, what preamp are you using?
     
  10. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    I have an Electro Voice RE-20 and used it for vocals and other applications, though now have another go to microphone for my voice. I didn't mention the RE-20 because it seemed over the budget of $300 which was the highest cost of the mics that Daria has listed.

    Another idea is to purchase a previously owned microphone that might cost more new, and for a fraction of the price have something other than you might have first thought was possible. Most of my microphones have been bought second hand at great discount of the new price...expensive cables also I have picked up at pennies on the dollar, which can add up to great savings if you have a need for tons of the stuff. I have about $1000 worth of Vovox cabling that I was able to pick up for about $200. I am a happy camper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  11. Matt777

    Matt777 Platinum Record

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    You're right. It was more like a history-lesson question ;) and I probably went a bit off-topic.. sorry for that. IMO though, you can give an "alternative" above the budget (when you covered that), especially if OP asks for it..

    Also, I think it would be useful to always specify where you think would be the best (or at least reasonable) way to stick the mic in. Like directly into the interface, dedicated preamp.. or like playtime, scaring me and the children away /w Avalons..;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  12. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    @Matt777 .. only Avalon will do:rofl:

    But seriously, a condensor mic can use the phantom power directly from whatever interface made in the last 12 years or so and even budget models should be perfectly perfect as sound cards as today all sound good to very good until you start to go the extra mile and splurge on much more expensive offerings.

    When I first bought the RE-20 I had a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB which became noisy after about 40 dB of gain. The mic demands almost 60dB in my experience before it shines and sounds phenominal, and so I bought a Triton Fethead ($89 from Sweetwater .. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1245015-REG/triton_audio_fethead_in_line_microphone_preamp.html?ap=y&c3api=2572,113041916107&gclid=CjwKCAiA8rnfBRB3EiwAhrhBGq-cqg0xeRtByDscnDBHL9SBeMcbdTa8v0XUCIAqiakkFe2Q7bledRoCt4UQAvD_BwE&smp=y) which utilizes the phantom power of the interface to give 27dB of pure clean gain and made the mic usable in my then situation. Now I have for the past seven years or so been using a super clean sounding RME Babyface that works beautifully without the extra help, and in fact to my ears sounds better to me than through any of my other outboard preamps which impart their own versions of color to the input signal which I own.

    It is always preferable to hear your voice as it sounds with a new mic, in your room with your signal chain, but not everyone is able to do that. I think that the Advanced Audio CM47fet should sound good on everybody and stellar on many.
     
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  13. playtime

    playtime Kapellmeister

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    Agreed. Start with decent audio interface preamp and build your way up later. No need for Avalon right away :rofl:
     
  14. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Rock Star

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    Oh no, a mic thread-can't resist as superliquidsunshine knows. :wink::bow:. I own a lot of different mics. My reasonably priced ART pre-amp makes all of them sound better than the input pre-amps on my interface. (Presonus) I do find the sound of my Fathead ribbon likes a Cloudlifter, but the two together are kind of pricey, and it has to be babied. Just like singing, different mics sound better for different people depending on style and range of voice. Borrow anything you can, and try it in your own environment before spending lots of money. Welcome to the forum.
     
  15. SquareDjay

    SquareDjay Platinum Record

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    Hi,which directivity do professional studios use for recording voices?
     
  16. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Platinum Record

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    I second everything superliquidsunshine said, even when I try to replicate his advice and get it wrong i get great results :wink: Seems, he has taken budget into mind here but I also like the RE 20 or SM7b (dynamic).

    You didn't mention how the ART pre-amp is awesome not only because of price but its got a tube version. I'd go with the ART regardless of what you choose for the mic. I wouldn't use the interface pre's unless you've got some blackline or something..
     
  17. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    It is not per studio, technically, but rather engineer by engineer/producer by producer. Most vocals, I feel safe to say, are captured in cardoid patern. There are exceptions. Sometimes if it is a live recording with a full band, a hyper cardoid mic might better serve the need to keep the bleed from the others sources at bay with something like a Sennheiser 441 or a tube mic like a Rode Classic which gives you every polar pattern to choose from on the power supply. If two singers are singing background at the same time a figure 8 pattern will grab both sides of the mic. One might choose an omni pattern to capture the ambiance that a nice room offers in the vocal, or, and this is becoming a thing, a whole group positions themselves around one single omni mic and create a mono mix by positioning themselves around it.
     
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