As a voice-over artist, it is critical that you choose the best mics for voice overs, your room, and your budget. When it comes to determining which microphone is right for you, there is only one good way to go about making this very important decision.
Before buying anything, YOU MUST LISTEN AND COMPARE FOR YOURSELF.
Typically, when voice talent begin their career or begin to invest in a home studio they choose a microphone based on one or more of the following: advice from friends or associates, familiarity with something they’ve used previously (perhaps an Electro-Voice RE20 from a radio station), what the sales person at the music store sells to them, or what they can afford. Although all of these factors should be taken into consideration, they serve as merely a starting point.
The advice of others is helpful, but how good something sounds to one person (or on one person’s voice) may not be as good for someone else. The best way to use the advice of others is to list all of the microphones they mention as possible options. For those who have had experience in broadcast, it is important to note that although those RE20’s and Shure SM7’s are great in radio stations for their sound and their durability, they are not necessarily the best choice for voice overs.
Of course the advice of a salesperson should always be “taken with a grain of salt”. They may be very knowledgeable, but they may also be getting incentives to sell you something that just isn’t right for your needs or your voice. Lastly, it is understandable that everyone wants to save money, but consider two things:
Since this is your career, you want to sound your absolute best, and sounding your best should help you pay for your investment.
If you do the research, you can still find the best microphone for you and your current situation.
The best advice will most likely come from the engineers you work most closely with. Engineers in the voice over industry often have the benefit of hearing many different microphones on many different voices. Not only do they know what they like, but they may also know your voice and the sound of your room well enough to know which microphones will work best for you. Also, if you are working with them closely already it may mean that you are already earning money with them and that is the best reason to seek their advice and make a decision that will help keep them happy with your sound. But even with all of that being said…
Nothing can replace the experience of actually testing several microphones and listening to the myriad of choices and sounds that different microphones offer. It is truly an ear opening experience.
It should be noted that there are several microphones that are considered voice over industry standards and the only reasons to not choose one of them are: 1) if you absolutely can not afford them or 2) if they do not sound as good on your voice as something else. For voiceovers or voice acting, the Neumann U87, TLM 103 and Sennheiser 416 are industry standards because of their well known characteristics and sound quality. Therefore, engineers and producers generally prefer to work with these microphones.
If you either can not afford one of these microphones or they are just not working well for you, here is a plan that should help you find the best microphone for you and your situation. As a general rule, a large diaphragm condenser microphone will likely be the most appropriate choice as a voice over microphone. There is an enormous selection of LDC microphones available and they range in price from below $100 to up into the thousands of dollars.…