Re: Audio setup by Bill Davis 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
I want to check with you to see what you are attaching to the Kona3, as you may or may not know the Kona 3 handles digital audio only. If you don't already have a AD/DA converter you will have to get one to get the analog signal of your mic into the AES digital input of your AJA. My company builds turnkey post systems that use the AJA Kona 3G and Lucid AD/DA converter, this is how I know this. As far as Mics go the TLM 103 is nice but a little bright. You can't go wrong with a good ole Neumann U87 and a clean preamp which most post houses use the Avalon 737sp. If you're on a budget I can suggest some great alternatives as far as mics and preamps. As far as the AD/DA converter goes there are a ton on the market just don't go too cheap, a converter is one of the most overlooked components when it comes to good digital recordings, Apogee makes some affordable and nice sounding ones. Lastly, if all you're doing is recording VO then Adobe Audition will be fine but if you have to mix, do ADR and edit, Pro Tools is my recommendation for post flexibility.
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Location Sound/Audio Post Production/Sound Design