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Voice over microphones?

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Jim Kanter
Voice over microphones?
on Sep 22, 2005 at 2:41:36 am

All you pros out there please weigh in.

I'm looking to get a good voice over microphone for recording narrations in a booth. Video and film application. Am wondering what are good deals in the $300-$600 range and would like to hear from folks with experience.

Thanks in advance.



Jim Kanter,
Digital Film Institute
http://www.dfilminst.com


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Steve Crimmel
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 22, 2005 at 5:27:33 am

Hi Jim, I would recomend a Shure SM7 or an Electrovoice RE20. These are dynamic microphones, used by many radio stations. I use them for V.O. work because they are not as sensitive as my large diaphram condensers, therefore they do not pick up as much mouth noise. They work the best for me....Steve Crimmel, http://www.paintedskystudios.com



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Matte
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 23, 2005 at 4:15:18 am

This is not a joke.
I own and use several expensive studio condenser microphones.

But here is a link to a Mic that simply will work perfectly for VO work (and yes, it can make an "adequate" voice sound good and a "good" voice sound GREAT.)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=rec/s=mics/search/detail/base_pid/273...
The price is $59.99 (yes, that's 1 cent under $60).

I'm not kidding, this is a terrific mic. It requires Phantom Power to run (the standard is 48 volts, but I have easily run this mic on 12v -20v Phantom power from a battery-powered mixer.)

This mic also sounds quite good on string instruments and woodwinds.
It is very sensitive and can be over-powered by percussion and some brass instruments.
There is another version (for about $100 more) that has a 10db attenuator for use under LOUD conditions.

Info on this mic has been posted on the COW many times and it ALWAYS gets surprised and grateful responses from those who buy it. There are hundreds (thousands?) of these mics in studios around the world.


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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 23, 2005 at 12:11:23 pm

There are approximately 172 mics that fit your needs.

Good dynamics are better than bad condensers, and there are a ton of bad condensers out there now.

The RE20 and SM7 are good dynamics.

The AT 2020 is a pretty amazing condenser mic for $99. (A lot of cheap condensers sound like crap, but the price keeps luring people buying them.) I have an mp4 clip of it in the video folder in my online archive.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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billelder
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 24, 2005 at 9:00:19 am

LOL! Well put. I've also been hearing good reviews about the AT 2020. Very tempting.

The RE20, Shure SM7 and Sennheiser MD421 are all great dynamic mics. I use the RE20 and it will take anything you throw at it. Plus I like its solid sound. The Shure SM7 has a recessed element from the foam pop filter and more rolloff and pad settings than an RE20. (RE27 has them, tho.)

I have heard the same recommendation about the MXL 990 from musicians as well as VO folks. Hey, Matte, I've seen the MXL990S with the pad and rolloff options but haven't heard any hands on review and there are none on the Musician's Friend page. Hmmmmm.

I own (and use) a Studio Project mic and have heard great things about the Rode mics as well. One mic that has surprised me is the AKG C1000. A friend has used it to record VO's of people out of studio and I've been impressed with the quality to the point that I asked what mic they were using for that VO. $200 for one, $300 for two.



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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 24, 2005 at 11:14:25 am

Warning: Do considerable research on the c1000 before considering it for anything but a doorstop. Seriously.


Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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billelder
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 24, 2005 at 11:28:19 pm

Ty,

It was an opinion. If your intent was to dissuade people from making a mistake, could you be so kind as to direct us to an article you have written, or a review that may be helpful?



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Matte
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 24, 2005 at 12:36:18 pm

[billelder] "I've seen the MXL990S with the pad and rolloff options but haven't heard any hands on review and there are none on the Musician's Friend page."

The version I have of a mic like this is here:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=live/s=mics/search/detail/base_pid/27...

The only reason I have it is I found one at the Musician's Friend Outlet store for $49.00.
It RATTLED.
Well, I took a chance (Musician's Friend is just across the Mo. River from some local gambling casinos...
I'd rather take a chance on "gear" than on a "slot".)

Got it home and (as I'd suspected) the element was loose inside.
I opened it up, reattached the element and all was well.
I decided to pull out one of my RE20s and installed this mic.
It sounds very nice for VO.


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glenn chan
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 26, 2005 at 3:51:51 am

I interned at a voice-over recording studio two summers back. They had several microphones there, one of which is a Neumann (very expensive mic, over a thousand dollars). It got used once.

The mic they used all the time was one of the Audio Technica large diaphragm condensors (AT4040 I think), because it is pretty much accurate to the talent's voice and doesn't color it.

Sometimes coloration is desireable. Dynamic microphones add a particular coloration to the talent's voice. A particular microphone's coloration/tone may work better on some voices than others.


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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 26, 2005 at 11:23:31 am

Right now, I'm using a Neumann U 89 a lot for narrations. I'd be curious to know the reason why Glenn's studio chose not to use their Neumann. Incidentally, one thousand dollars is not a lot to pay for a good mic. I have half a dozen mics in my collection worth more than that, and they sound like it.


The AT 4050 condenser mic is less colorful than the AT 4040 condenser. Both condenser and dynamic mics can color the sound.

The combination of a mic and a mic preamp also results in a certain sound. Plug the same mic into two different preamps and the sound may be quite different.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Jim Kanter
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 26, 2005 at 4:20:53 pm

Thanks for your opinions, everyone. Much appreciated. Will look into al your recommendations.

Jim Kanter,
Digital Film Institute
http://www.dfilminst.com


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glenn chan
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 26, 2005 at 9:12:16 pm

Hey Ty,
I think the main reason is this:
The studio had 2 AT4040s, and only one Neumann.
To record two talent, you obviously need two microphones. So it's just easier to leave the AT4040s in the shockmounts all the time.

That, and I believe the AT4040 is more accurate / less coloration. As in, it doesn't do anything "funky" to the sound that clients may not like. They also had a compressor in the chain, so maybe that didn't make much sense.

It wasn't exactly a high-end VO studio, so they may not be doing the same thing as everyone else.

At the end of the day, I think particular sub-$100 mics are more than good enough from a technical standpoint. The S/N ratio probably isn't "bottlenecked" in the mic (need to consider background noise, preamp, A-D converter).
Then it really comes down to the microphone's sound, which is subjective and depends on the talent and the voice you're looking for.
Neutral mics obviously can't have a negative effect on the sound.


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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Sep 26, 2005 at 10:46:54 pm

Yah. Contrary to some folks thoughts, a Neumann isn't always better. A TLM 103 is a wonderful mic but it has a very wide pattern and a tipped up top and bottom. In a less than amazing studio with a lot of hard surfaces and plugged into the wrong preamp, it will suck.

Regards,

Ty


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acmeharpoon
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Nov 19, 2007 at 6:34:35 pm

Has anyone had any experience with the Blue Dragonfly Microphone? I will be using it strictly for radio voice-overs and I was wondering if you would recommend it.

Thanks for your time on this, Gang.


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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Nov 20, 2007 at 4:20:51 am

Hi,

How much do you want to spend?
What kind of space you you want to use it in?
How quiet is the space?
What kind of preamp do you want to plug it into?

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. More at: http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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acmeharpoon
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Nov 20, 2007 at 2:36:09 pm

Dear Gang (and Ty,

I will be plugging the 'Dragonfly' (should I buy it, that is), into a Mobile Pre USB box and recording with either GarageBand and/or Pro Tools software. I would record in my small home studio with not much in the way of sound-proofing save a small isolation tablet built around the mic'd area.

My recordings are for demo/audition purposes only and are specific to radio commercial voice-overs and narration gigs.

I am currently using the AT 3035 (which has been a fine work-horse), and now wish to 'upgrade' a bit.

Any new thoughts on this?

Thanks, Gang (and you, Ty)...


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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Nov 20, 2007 at 4:47:04 pm

Honestly, I'm not sure you'll gain that much from a dragonfly given what you have.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. More at: http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Brendan` Wolsteiner
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:06:58 pm

I agree that a few of the inexpensive condenser mics are not of the finest quality. However, the majority of the problems arise from lack of experience from the user. Even the most modest of "true condensers" not the cheap back eletrets from Samson etc are capable of very good performance.



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Ty Ford
Re: Voice over microphones?
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:54:54 pm

Yes, well.....

I had a long chat about electret condensers versus "true condensers" a few years back with one of the leading tonemeisters in Germany.

In that conversation I specifically asked about the differences among electret and "true condenser" mics.

It was his opinion that there was no reason to suspect a mic simply because it was of electret design. He mentioned a few to me (and there were a few I found later) that are usually regarded quite well. I don't have names, but I do recall the conversation.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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