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Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?

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Archie Cruz
Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 8, 2009 at 2:59:40 am

I have a chance to do a multi- mic comparison for Voice over work.
The client wants me to record using 3 highly recommended mics at three price points. The nice people at Blue offered me any mic in their pro line for loan. Which one should it be though? It looks like a couple of them would be effective. And is the Neumann U87 really the cat's meow for male VO? Can you list your three fav studio VO mics in order of least expensive down to most expensive?


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Ty Ford
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:19:18 pm

Hello Archie,

The client request is very odd. Who's the client?

Unfortunately it's not as easy as you think. The true sound of a mic can be compromised by a lackluster preamp so that the difference between it and a lesser mic are negligible.

BLUE's visual design sense has always exceeded the actual sound of the mic.

The u 87 has been a studio favorite for years. I use a u 89, among others. Others include The EV RE20, Shure SM7b, Audio Technica AT4050 and Sennheiser MKH 416 are frequently used.

Regards,

Ty Ford



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






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Sam Mallery
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:25:29 pm

As far as Blue is concerned, the one I think you should try out for VO work would be the Mouse:

http://www.bluemic.com/mouse/

Much of the description of the Mouse is about "thundering lows," but don't let that taint your perception of it. I believe the Mouse was originally designed for VO & radio work. Microphones are very subjective, and I happen to think the Blue Dragonfly, Kiwi, Mouse, Cactus, and Bottle are all outstanding microphones.

The current U87 that is available today is a very nice microphone. Is it worth spending over $2800 on? That depends. For myself, personally, it isn't worth spending that much money on. I've heard my voice through a U87 and a nice preamp. It sounded good, but, every voice is different, and it turns out that my particular voice sounded better through an $800 microphone.

I don't have a list of my top 3 VO mics, because I haven't done that much VO.






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cowcowcowcowcow
Bill Davis
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:15:07 pm


Top 3? OK.

Coming in at #3. The AKG 414 TLII
The reason - In the early 1990s it happened to be the mic hanging in the studio where I did the first VO series I'd ever done where I earned more than 5 figures in a single day.

Coming in at #2. The Sennheiser MD-421U
The reason - this was the best large diaphram mic I could afford when I started doing VO work out of my own studio in the late 1970s Paid $200 - earned THOUSANDS!

Coming in at #1. The original Telephunken (Neumann pre-cursor) developed by the Germans circa WWII and likely stored secretly in the mic closet of the finest studios in the world - this mic will make anyone sound like a GOD!
The reason? It set the standard for idiots believing that there is some "magical" quality in microphones that will change them from inexperienced civilians into voiceover PROFESSIONALS merely by posessing this particular concoction of metal and wire. The power of this idea rivals the power of the story of Santa Claus or the Ten Commandments. With this myth in place, people keep believing in the power of the hardware - allowing those of us who've made a lovely living doing VO work to keep the secret that a great VO requires any particular mic in the same fashion that a great recipe REQUIRES mushrooms.

FWIW.







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Vince Becquiot
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 9, 2009 at 4:06:33 pm

That's not true.

Mics do make a difference.

I sound great in an TLM 103, squeezed inside a roll of 4 inches thick carpet and processed through maxed out settings from that evil Antares plugin.

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Ty Ford
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 9, 2009 at 6:43:12 pm

Vince,

Thanks for chiming in. Please drop us a link where we all can hear that.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Archie Cruz
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 18, 2009 at 8:03:12 pm

Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
by Bill Davis on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:15:07 pm
I couldn't stop laughing- your response is so true and phrased with such rapier wit! Something that I find refreshing in all to serious discussions.
I'm a newbie that also happens to realize that it's the training, the voice you're born with plus flawless enunciation and diction to mention just a few important recipe ingredients.I also cook and yes, it's not in the fungi, it's the experience that makes the big difference; but ingredients' quality does matter, in cuisine as much as in technology.

So I'm either going to have to concede that either I'm not gonna be the Mediterranean's answer to Don La Fontaine or my engineering capability needs help or both A & B are true. I am noticing this though. My cheapo Zoom H2 stuck in my face while clowning around sounded better that all the mic isolation and pre-amps that I now deal with. Go figure.
Your xpert critiques are always welcome. Here's my first couple of Demos. Second set I did for PwC Consulting 8 years ago, sick with a fever and never having done any narration- ever before.
Don't be gentle on me- just hit me with your xpert feedback.
Thanks


http://voice123.com/mp3/demos/mahmoudeldarwish%20-%20Sept%2009ElDarwish.mp3

http://voice123.com/mp3/demos/mahmoudeldarwish%20-%20E-Business%20PwC%20200...







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Bill Davis
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:38:53 pm


Had time to listen to #1 only.

As to critique, there's noting wrong with your voice per se and you could be a fine narrator or voice talent.

However you're primarily supporting your voice with air from your LUNGS - which is a mistake that most untrained speakers and singers make initially. That's the source of the somewhat "breathy" undertones in your performance.

You need to support your voice from your DIAPHRAGM instead. To understand the difference, try reading a longish passage with your hand over your heart and concentrate on keeping your chest wall absolutely still.

You can TRAIN your diaphragm like any other set of muscles. Start reading aloud every day. 5-10 minutes at first, longer as your muscle tone improves. Record yourself at LEAST once a week and listen back critically.

Notice the sounds and parts of speech where you might have trouble. For some, it's "TH" sounds, or splashy "S" sounds or perhaps particular consonant combinations. (vowels are typically easy as they resonate well.) When you hear problems, concentrate practice on learning to handle them when you come across them in a script.

Do that and you can be very good at this.

Good luck.



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Archie Cruz
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Oct 1, 2009 at 1:37:38 am

Thanks for that advice! I'll take it and see where I go. I posted some more demos on my sight. Sound engineering (during and in post) seem to make a big difference, and I'm getting better at it. Still. I'm no star and don't actually aspire to be one. Just do some simple narrations to support my video footage at times. I own the Producer's Handy Dandy and of course, thousands of great voices on the various VO sites suggest I should not quit my day job.


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Ty Ford
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Oct 1, 2009 at 2:18:03 am

The Producer's handy Dandy is owned by Shel Smith.

Regards,

Ty Ford




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






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Mahmoud EL-Darwish
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Feb 27, 2012 at 8:04:08 pm

Very old response to a very old response. Ty. I meant that i own a COPY of the two CD set. Thanks for clarify the real publisher - Shel Smith.


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Ty Ford
Re: Which Blue Mic For VO / Narration?
on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:42:21 am

timing is everything.

Ty


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


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