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Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!

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Rob White
Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 4:06:31 pm

Hello all,

I work as a Media Producer and Videographer for a company that are shortly going to be recording their own Audiobooks/dramas.
I'm after advice that will point me in the right direction for the type of hardware needed to output high, broadcast quality vocal work whilst keeping cost-effectiveness and value for money in mind.

I understand that microphone preamps, dynamics processors and channel strips will be needed etc, but I'm really more interested in advisors suggesting lists of gear that work well together, having possibly experienced the gear itself in practice.

Any help is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this!

Rob White


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Bob Kessler
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 4:34:14 pm

You'll find vehement opinions regarding gear in both directions; everyone has their personal favorites and pet hates.

What you most need to consider is the recording space itself; you need QUIET!!! Sound isolation and treatment are very important. A far as the gear you want equipment with low self noise. You want speakers that are flat and give an accurate representation of what you are listening to. These day most processing is done in-the-box, so you don't really need racks of processing gear any more.

You also need to consider the type of "talent" that you will encounter. Experienced VO artists, narrators, etc. have solid mic technique. If you are using less experienced people you will probably be grateful for a more forgiving mic.

Peace,

Bob
____________________________________________________________________
Filmmaking is the art of the invisible;
If anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.


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Rob White
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:56:10 pm

Hey Bob,

Thanks for your reply!

I'd like to ask; "These day most processing is done in-the-box" - what do you mean by this?
Also, do you have preferred gear that you yourself use? I'm really trying to get a pool of ideas which I can draw from and eventually put a list together with cost and quality in mind at all times.

I think I'm right in thinking that as with most tech - you get what you pay for...right?

Many thanks,

Rob


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Ty Ford
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 5:24:51 pm

Hello Rob and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

I just speced a Neumann TLM 103 and a Centrance Mic Port Pro for a client who want to do at home voice work. He's running Adobe Audition. His tracks are clean and very quiet.

Mr. Kessler's suggestion that a quiet and well tuned space are required is spot on.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Rob White
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:57:43 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply, Ty.

And thanks for naming some gear - that's helpful.

Cheers,

Rob


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Richard Crowley
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 8:36:00 pm

Recommended listening: Episode 108 of "This Week in Radio Tech" an interview with George Whittam, a leading expert in voice over studio design.

http://twit.tv/show/this-week-in-radio-tech/108


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Rob White
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:58:35 pm

Many thanks Richard - very insightful!

Kind regards,

Rob White


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 5, 2012 at 11:12:29 pm

A couple of peripheral odds and ends:

Metering - I use ppmulator with audio hijack pro on the mac, can't recommend it highly enough.

Headphones - give it some thought, you need a good response, closed back and also comfort. I can wear audio technica ath m50 all day!

Monitoring/talkback - mackie big knob, it just sits there and works.


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Rob White
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 6, 2012 at 7:37:02 am

Hey Andrew,

Do you have anymore suggestions - desks, compressors etc...

Many thanks.

Rob


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 6, 2012 at 12:42:46 pm

Well, I've worked with some dodgy old crap over the years, but I still have a soft spot for Alice mixers, ART tube mic preamps and Drawmer compressors. [That probably gives away my background at the BBC.]

I used to like Rogers (etc) LS3/5a speakers, mainly because you could put them pretty much anywhere and trust the sound they produce, very situation independent (unlike most ported designs). But I can't believe the price people pay for them second hand now - they're good when you get used to them but they're not THAT good! I'm mainly using Genelec's these days.



BTW, speaking of the BBC, with the closure of Bush house, you can see the kind of dodgy old crap has kept the world service going for the last few years by looking at what they're auctioning off - http://www.ppauctions.com/auction.php?id=71
(to be honest, there's a handful of nice-ish old mics there but I wouldn't give house room to most of it!)


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Bob Kessler
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Sep 6, 2012 at 3:59:01 pm

Well, you still haven't mentioned a budget.

I use Pro Tools LE as my DAW with the DIGI002 as my interface.

For VO/Vocal work I use both the Neumann TLM-103 and the AKG 414BUL/S mics. (I have a number of other mics for other purposes).

I own the Focusrite Vocalmaster Pro as my mic pre/channel strip. (If I had the budget I would probably get an Avalon or a Summit pre, although nice things are coming out all the time.)

I own Mackie HR824 speakers. (If I had the budget I would probably get Genelecs or JBLs.)

I put A LOT of time and money into isolating and and treating my room.

Peace,

Bob
____________________________________________________________________
Filmmaking is the art of the invisible;
If anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.


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Rob White
Re: Starting a voiceover Recording Studio - advice needed!
on Oct 4, 2012 at 6:10:20 pm

Really, thank you everyone!

We had a demo today with some Pro Tools stuff and various pieces of hardware; it was all very insightful and ace!

Thanks for all of your help!

Rob


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