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Jenny Tyrrell
Home VO Studio!
on Jun 8, 2009 at 6:15:20 pm

Hello,

My name is Jenny I voice a lot of spots for AM and FM radio.
(Working towards building a solid career!)

I have a weekend reporting gig thats an hour from my house. Basically, we shoot a piece then I go back a couple of days later to do the VO's. I don't want to have to drive through rush hour to get there, so I want to get the correct mic/ect to record the VO's in my apartment, and then email them over in a high-quality MP3.

I do have a MacBookPro, so I have the right computer, I just need the right Mic and accessories.

A Digidesign Mbox2Mini with a audio-Technica AT2035 was suggested to me. What do you guys think?

Can you recommend any other Mic's /Systems I should look into?

Thanks!
Jenny


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David Jones
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 8, 2009 at 8:30:36 pm

Hi Jenny-

You may want to consider getting the same mic the station you work at, has, so the sound matches those that voice there.

On the other hand, you might look into the Coles Lip Mic. The network reporters use them because the mic will cut out all background noise and give you near studio quality sound. It's a bit pricy, but I think well worth it.

Whatever you do, make sure your apartment is quite enough when you track; ie: air conditioner, refrigrator, fans, etc. are off. Invest in a good pair of headphones, too. Like the Sony MDR-7506.

Regards,

Dave J


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Bill Davis
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:01:54 pm

Hi Jenny,

As a voiceover guy with well over 2000 paid gigs, congratulations on discovering you have the talent to do this. It's a LOT of fun!

Since you already have a laptop, I'd suggest you look into the Centrance MicPort Pro. It looks like a barrel style audio adaptor, but includes not only a decent mic preamp, but a workable headphone amp as well. You attach it to any dynamic or condenser mic, hook the USB cable to your laptop - and you can record directly to one of the quality free audio digitizing applications like Audacity.

Headphones work well for monitoring VOs - with the Sony MD-7506 an extremely popular choice since they're very efficient, plus have a bump right around human voice frequencies letting you really hear your work - including off-axis issues and popped P's, etc.

As to mic, that's largely dependent on the tonal qualities of your voice. I actually agree that if you don't have a recording space that is reasonably dead regarding echo and hard surfaces - the Coles Lip mic might actually be a good choice since it removes the room from the equation.

If you can't afford that, or just want a different approach, some long-standing traditional radio/VO mics include the Shure SM7, thee Electrovoice RE-50, and the venerable Sennheiser MD 421 (all dynamics which means less expense.) If you want to spend more for really outstanding clarity and nuance, look toward studio condensers like the Audio Technica 414s or any of the Neumanns (the TLM-103 is very popular) - they'd be a long-term investment in your career and even tho expensive, they'll hold their value remarkably well and if you ever decide to get out of the business, you'll probably get most of your money back - even if you sell them them ebay.

Good luck. And welcome to the business!



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Charles Smith
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:47:39 pm

I've used the Coles lip microphone and agree it is a great noise cancelling microphone as it is really obvious when you're announcing from a loud area like a sports colesium, racetrack or helicopter. But keep in mind that the Cole has a very flat frequency response and may not give you the sound you'd expect in a studio mic. If noise abatement is your number #1 concern, the Coles lip mic is good and it'll set you back about $650 +/- . I think there's only one distributor here in the states that carries it.

What you might want to consider is make a table-top soundbooth. Get a large box or plastic storage bin, glue some acoustic foam around the interior, glue an LED light in the top, lean your copy in the back and set your mic in the middle on a short stand. Heck, you could just clip on a lav and lean into it. I've done this type of set up for office recordings, hotel rooms, anywhere I can close the door and get away from white noise like A/C vents, etc.

And don't laugh but one of the best utility mics I've used is the EV 635a as it has a good response and tight pattern and can be picked up for about $100 or so if you look around. Test out what you have and see what works best. ( A closet with lots of clothing works well too!)

Chaz


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Ty Ford
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:00:54 am

Chaz, buddy,

The 635 is an omni with almost no proximity effect. Not a good choice for VO. The Centrance Mic Port Pro is a good thought. I also like the idea of getting the same mic the station uses. Preamps, however, can make a mic sound very different. If the preamp at the station is pretty neutral, you should be OK.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jenny Tyrrell
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:18:04 am

Bill,

Thank you so much for your your help! I am very excited to be apart of this business. Everyone I have met has been so kind and I am constantly laughing (so I know this is for me!) How did you get into the business? When you first started, how did you get your voice out there?

My email is JenniferTyrrell@hotmail.com, If you have a free minute i'd love to hear more about how you got to where you are!

Jenny



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Ty Ford
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:13:09 pm

[Bill Davis] "Audio Technica 414s"

AKG 414?

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jordan Wolf
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 8, 2009 at 10:43:25 pm

Jenny,

I would look into a simple, dual-channel audio interface. You mentioned that you have a Macbook Pro - what types of Firewire does it have (400 and/or 800)? I know the new ones only have the Firewire 800 in them.

If you have Firewire 400, I would look into the PreSonus Firebox. If you go USB, look at the PreSonus Audiobox. Many interfaces come with the DAW software, so there shouldn't be a problem - you can always use Audacity until you save up, anyway.

For headphones, try to get what the stations you cater to have. Same thing with microphones, but...I would look into: Shure SM7/SM7B, Sennheiser MD421, E/V RE-20, Sony C500. I, personally, would get an AEA R84 ribbon microphone. The Coles mic, mentioned before, is a ribbon mic, also.

Don't buy Monster Cable or anything like that - Mogami makes some nice stuff as do ProCo and Whirldwind.

Good luck and have fun!

Wolf
<><


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Jenny Tyrrell
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:13:37 am

Thank you everyone for your advice! I have a lot of research to do tomorrow :) - I really appreciate the time you took to explain the different options that I have.

I currently work at a cluster of Radio stations where I voice spots for multiple clients (as well as MLB). I am working towards bringing my career to the next level, are there any websites you would recommend I join or places I should look to start getting my voice out there? I am currently putting together my reel and have a couple national clients under my belt.

http://www.JenniferTyrrell.com has some of my work on it -

I am looking for an apartment with a walk in closet not for my clothes, but so I can set up my studio in the middle of it! I am very excited to have found my passion!!!

Jenny



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Ty Ford
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:11:41 pm

Jenny,

I was on the air in major market radio for 17 years and was also the production director at the stations for which I worked. I teach VO for the Washington/Baltimore AFTRA/SAG Conservatory. My thoughts on your clips.

Your sportscaster clip has good energy but you fall into an inflectional pattern that doesn't have anything to do with what you're saying, so it rings false. Work on letting the meaning of the words form your intonation.

The Verizon clip sounds like sentences recorded separately and strung together. There's a disconnect between each one. Try that copy in one take and "bring it all together." Integrate.

Interesting voice quality; slight huskiness, nice texture.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jeff Beaumont
Re: Home VO Studio!
on Jun 17, 2009 at 2:32:20 pm

I may be too late in jumping into this conversation but FWIW:

If you are making a significant investment in a mic the biggest consideration is what makes YOUR voice sound it's best. The AKG C414-P48 was my favorite V/O mic as a recoding engineer (other peoples voices, not mine) but is very expensive for a home studio and I find that it gives a harsh edge to a lot of women's voices. Experiment before you buy.

Also the mBox mini is a good choice as long as you want to learn ProTools. Othere intefaces from M-Audio or other companies with Bias Peak LE sotware is a much more appropriate choice if all you are doing is recording V/O.

You mention "high quality mp3", which I feel is a bit of an oxymoron. I would suggest a loseless format like .flac. If you an and the client are on high speed connections even .aiff or .wav should be no problem. you just can't e-mail them. Getting an audio file small enough to email is a compromise (IMO). Learn about FTP or file sharing with Skype or even services like sendthisfile.com or MobileMe so you can give your clients large files without loosing audio quality.

Jeff

Jeff Beaumont
Producer/Editor
Willow Creek Community Church


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