Voice-over narrators play a crucial role in the production of audiobooks. From news reporting to experimental filmmaking, voice-overs may be used in every kind of media. A well-executed narration can improve even photo slideshows.
Voice-over narration isn’t difficult to master, and the necessary technology is quite inexpensive. The quality of your narration, on the other hand, will be determined by the tools you choose to record and control sound. This guide will explain the various types of audio recording equipment available to you, as well as how to utilize it properly. This method assumes you’re making a narration for an audiobook or storytelling, and that your major resources are a computer and video editing software. The same information can be used to produce narration for audio podcasts, audiobooks, ADR (additional dialogue recording), and other multi-media projects.
What equipment do you need?
You can use a variety of elements for your voice-over, as well as various methods. If you’re serious about this as a career, you can even establish your own voice-over studio. If you’re just starting out, a simple microphone that plugs into your computer will suffice.
- Microphone: The microphone is the most critical piece of voice over equipment for any artist. This necessary gadget will enable you to create high-quality audio. Getting a decent device is crucial because the unsuitable microphone will have a significant impact on the quality of your recordings. Investing in a good microphone will save you money in the long run, but if you’re on a tight budget, our round-up list of the best mics for voice-overs is a great place to start.
- Microphone Stand: The mic stand is the next microphone equipment you should purchase. This device can be desk-mounted, floor-mounted, or shock-mounted. The artist should not hold the microphone in their hands. Your recordings will be more consistent and even-sounding if the mic is secured in place on a mic stand.
- Headphones: Without high-quality headphones, producing a crisp and clear output would be impossible. In-ear headphones or earbuds are not recommended since they provide an inaccurate depiction of bass frequencies. If your headphones have a little driver, you won’t get enough detail out of them. Noise-cancelling headphones are also ineffective since they emit noise to compensate for ambient noise. For voice over equipment, open-backed headphones are ideal. The sound produced by these headphones is similar to that of a speaker. Despite this, sound leakage, or sound heard from outside, may occur. When used during recording, the bleed can cause complications. As a result, closed-back headphones are an excellent option for narration artists.
- Pop filters: When you record something, have you ever heard the obnoxious “P” popping or “S” hissing sounds? This is due to the fact that your recording lacks a pop filter, which is a screen that diffuses and collects these sounds before distorting your audio.
What kind of microphone should you use to record voice?
When creating voice-overs, people use a variety of microphones.
USB Microphone: This type of microphone connects directly to a computer’s USB port and records sound that is above average. It’s great for entry-level voice-over work and low-budget podcasting.
- A USB microphone connects to a computer using a typical USB connection
- This allows you to record directly into a computer without the need for additional equipment.
- They’re also reasonably priced.
- While a computer can recognise more than one USB microphone at the same time, setting it up can be challenging.
- Because most USB microphones rely on a computer to work, they aren’t as adaptable as normal microphones.
- You’ll need a different type of microphone if your ultimate goal is to record the best-sounding voice-over possible.
Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone: Because of their precise and lively sounding middle and upper frequencies, these mics are frequently used in music studios to capture singers and instruments. They’re also utilized to make voice-overs that sound rich and textured.
- With Large diaphragm condenser mics you can capture the finest quality of sound using one of these mics if you control room ambience and utilise proper recording method.
- This type of condenser mics offers a very detailed response with vibrant upper frequencies.
- They require additional equipment to utilise with a computer.
- They require phantom power to work.
- A Large Diaphragm Condenser mic’s ultra-sensitive capsule is more vulnerable to catching undesired plosive and vibration noises.
Dynamic Broadcast Microphone: Dynamic Broadcast Microphones, which are commonly used in radio broadcasting, provide a soothing and warm sound, with slightly less defined high frequencies. For multi-person settings, these mics are commonly used in radio stations.
- They don’t need phantom power to work.
- When compared to Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics, Dynamic Broadcast Microphones are more tolerant of plosive noises (the “S” sounds that hiss and the “P” sounds that pop), making them a little easier to deal with.
- Using them with a computer necessitates the purchase of additional equipment.
- Dynamic Broadcast Mics lack a little detail in the upper mids and high frequencies, despite having a pleasant warm tone.
Here are Amazon links of Microphones that we recommend:
- Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB Microphone with High-Res Metering
- SAMSON C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone
- Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid
- Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone
Microphone Stands for Narrators
Good microphone stands aren’t given nearly enough credit. Because newbies believe they’re all the same… Experienced narrators knows the reality. If you’ve ever used a substandard mic stand, you know how terrifying it is to lunge for your $1000 condenser mic just as it’s about to fall to the floor.
Quality mic stands are, without a doubt, one of the best purchases you can make for any studio or live equipment. So, for today’s post, I’ve put together a detailed guide to assist you in finding the best stands for your needs.
Desk Mic Stand
A scissor arm mic stand linked to your workstation is ideal if you’re recording and editing in the same location. Because of its convenience and adaptability, the desktop stand is now the most popular option. When you’re not using your microphone, you can easily move it out of the way with an adjustable desk stand, and when you do, you can easily take it down.
Podcasting, e-learning, tutorial videos, audiobooks, medical or technical recordings, and some character reads are all voiceovers that can be recorded with a desktop mic stand. There are no hard and fast rules about which genres each sort of mic stand is appropriate for. It largely relies on the recording position and location of the narration.
Floor Mic Stand
A whole-body mic stand is the best option if your recording studio is separate from your editing desk. You could also want to invest in a stand for your copy. However, if you read the copy on your computer, tablet, or phone, you won’t need one.
Mic floor stands are ideal for voice recording sessions outside. Depending on the vocal direction and necessity, some professional recording studios require the artist to record script while standing.
Because they provide stronger noise-cancellation, closed-back headphones are a better choice for recording. If you’re recording vocals, you don’t want any sound to leak into your microphone from the back of your headphones. Open-back headphones may look great, but they aren’t always the ideal choice for recording. Closed-back headphones are the ideal headphones for recording audiobooks. Closed-back headphones have a solid back, as the name implies, which prevents sound from leaking out.
Do I really need Pop Filters?
When recording professional voice over, plosives are sounds that you should be cautious of whether you’re recording in a DIY vocal booth or a professional studio. Plosive sounds are ones that can be found on letters such as P and B, and they occur naturally in speech. Pop filters and microphone positioning are by far the most popular methods for avoiding plosives during the recording process. If you record with your mouth too close to the microphone, popping sounds will be amplified. The plosive sounds interact with the diaphragm of the microphone, resulting in an output signal. A pop shield or filter acts as a barrier between these sounds and the microphone, preventing them from being heard in the final result.
Things to Consider When Buying a Mic Pop Filter:
- Shape: On the market, there are a variety of shapes to choose from. Flat fillets are less expensive, but they require you to speak directly to the centre. Curved filters, on the other hand, give you additional flexibility and range while recording because they function from any angle.
- Size: The size is determined on the size of your microphone. You’ll want a diameter that fits your microphone as well as your recording style. If you move around a much when recording, for example, a pop filter with a wider diameter would be preferable for you.
- Mounts: The mount that comes with the filter is also something to think about. A gooseneck mount is included with most pop filters, and it screws into the filter frame and clamp. Make sure the gooseneck neck is long enough to allow you to properly place the filter in front of the microphone.
Nothing beats the pros, but when it comes to do-it-yourself voice-overs, this list of four necessary materials is the best bang for your dollars. With a little effort, you might be amazed at how professional your project can sound.
Follow our Blog if you’re interested in voice acting. You’ll find voice over tips and tactics, as well as information on how to become a professional voice actor and even resources for your project!
What is phantom power?
Condenser microphones require phantom power. It’s called phantom power because the condenser mic’s external power supply isn’t visible; as a result, the power supply is a “phantom.” The mixer transmits voltage up the same cables that carry the audio signal. As a result, the mixer supplies electricity to the microphone from a distance. It’s not difficult to use phantom power, and you shouldn’t be afraid by it.
How do you plug non-USB (XLR) microphones into a computer?
1. Connect an audio interface to your computer through USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, or other means.
2. Ensure that the correct drivers have been downloaded and installed (a one-time event).
3. Connect the microphone to one of the interface’s mic inputs using an XLR cable.
4. Enable phantom power if the microphone is active.
5. Select the audio interface as the computer’s and/or software’s audio input.
6. Set the mic input to a track’s input (if using a Digital Audio Workstation) and record the track.
7. Set the interface’s microphone preamp to an acceptable level.