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Bill Davis
Re: Audio setup
on Apr 30, 2012 at 11:18:54 pm

[Rich Rubasch] "What is good VO recording software? Where you might do some preprocessing before taking to the edit? We aren't loving Soundtrack Pro (all Mac shop). Anything in CS 5.5 worthwhile?

And as for mics just for VO, I like the Neumann TLM 102 or 103. How about the Shure SM7? Rent and try them out first?

Any input appreciated.

Order of priority for making a difference in the quality of any VO.

A - the voice talent.

B - the script

C - the equipment.

The finest equipment in the world will get you nothing but a better reproduction of the voice and performance that hits the mics diaphragm. Nothing can change this fact.

A great voice and performance - doing a mediocre script - will always yield no better than mediocre results.

If you've got A and B taken care of - then C is actually pretty easy. The human voice is NOT a particularly difficult sound to record. It's got very limited bandwidth to start with. It also expresses limited dynamic range (given a talent that knows how to do a proper VO they shouldn't be all over the map dynamically unless the script calls for that.) and is a pretty basic recording task.

I've done more than a thousand paid VO's in my career. I've done them using 50 different mics (Including dozens on both the SM-7 and the TLM-103 - With all sorts of signal chains - and they all did a fine job. The one I got paid the most for - and that ran the most - was done in my home studio using a classic kick drum mic (Sennheiser MD-421U) into a TEAC home tape recorder - none of which was standard issue in studio recording at the time. So take that for what it's worth.

I know it's popular to think that the "equipment" is what makes a VO pop. But really, like a good recipe for stew - it's never one thing - it's everything coming together.

And if the meat (the performance) is "off" - hiding that with more spices isn't the path to a particularly palatable meal.


"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor

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  • Audio setup by Rich Rubasch on Apr 30, 2012 at 10:08:51 pm
    • Re: Audio setup by Bill Davis on Apr 30, 2012 at 11:18:54 pm
    • Re: Audio setup by Michael Martin on May 1, 2012 at 12:34:38 am
    • Re: Audio setup by Ty Ford on May 1, 2012 at 2:30:10 am

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