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Suggestions for Voiceover Setup
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Suggestions for Voiceover Setup

Hi All,

I do voiceovers for tech videos and am looking to up my game from my present setup. Currently have:

- Yeti Blue USB mic with boom arm and pop filter
- Untreated room/office in attached image (carpet floor but computer fan noise and some street noise at times)
https://ibb.co/wcqSvvh
- MixPre 3 II (used for non VO work on location presently)
- SM58 and other dynamic mics

Looking for suggestions on...

- How I might treat the room or if I should move my VO work to my walk-in closet. I am planning on remodeling the computer room anyways shortly.
- Which XLR mic might be most ideal. Top contenders are SM7B, TLM103, MKH416. I’m in South Florida and would love to test/rent these before buying. Plan would be to use the mic with my MixPre (either direct or as an audio interface)

Any other tips or suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Suggestions for Voiceover Setup-pxl_20210908_120624244.jpg  

Last edited by skyace888; 1 week ago at 02:14 PM.. Reason: fix image
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
"How might I treat the room" needs a long answer -- there are books about it -- but you should treat the room. No closet. How much noise comes through that window?
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Thanks for the quick reply Brent.

I suspect that there is indeed quite a bit to acoustically treating a room. Would be great if someone could help point me in the direction of how to get started.

Curious why you say not to use a walk-in closet. I would've guessed that it's a quiet, ideal spot with the right dampening.

Some noise does come through the window including cars passing by, an AC unit that's right outside, etc. It hasn't posed too much of an issue for me thus far with my current setup but it's less than ideal and I'm wondering if I can treat this room properly or I should consider another room in the house for optimal results.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #4
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
Curious why you say not to use a walk-in closet. I would've guessed that it's a quiet, ideal spot with the right dampening.
It's a box. Stick your head in a refrigerator box and talk. Smaller, but more or less the same effect.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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mbvoxx's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
as for mics, any mic will work fine. SM7 is a good choice since it doesn't pick up as much of the room as an LDC.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 
Thanks guys.

So I was able to find a local store that rents mics and have rented both the TLM103 and Manley Reference Cardioid for a week. I'm testing them out with my MixPre 3 II in the office room as well as my closet. While my office is not an ideal recording spot today, I am looking to either make it more ideal or record in another room (regardless of if I go dynamic mic or cardioid mic).

Additional thoughts welcomed and I'll keep you posted. Wish I had a way to rent a SM7B but that probably won't be possible.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Without getting wild, you could get an acoustic panel room kit for around $1K from Acoustimac in Tampa and have a really good start at taming your room.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Thanks David. I reached out to them to see what options they suggest for treating my room. Also considering mobile booth options like the IsoVox, Glide Gear Portable Isolation Sound Booth, and Snap Studio Ultimate Vocal Booth as options.
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Here are top contenders for voiceover:

Neumann U87ai
Neumann TLM 103
Manley Reference Cardioid
Sennheiser MKH 416

Those four are used by professionals worldwide.

Forget the SM7B... that's a podcast mic... completely different than voiceover. You want clean, clear articulation for voiceover. The SM7b is a subdued mic. Don't buy an SM7b because you have a bad room. Fix your room (which can be done for a few hundred dollars) and buy a proper voiceover mic.

If you can, try all four listed above. They are very different than each other, which is good (increases the odds you will find a good match). My voice sounds terrible on a 416... good on the U87ai and the TLM 103.... you never know until you try. In theory the 416 should be a "better" mic than the 103, but for my voice the 416 is unusable, but the 103 is fine.

Not trying to sell you on the 103, but it has one of the best the self-noise/signal-to-noise ratio performance in the world, and it's one of the more affordable of the group. If you don't mind spending the money, a comparison of the U87ai and the Reference Cardioid is worth trying.

Also consider this: the MKH 416 is the industry standard boom mic for location audio (TV/film) and the MixPre is the go-to professional field recording device. So if the 416 works for you, you have then also magically created a 100% industry standard field recording setup (416 + MixPre). You can use this to pick up side jobs doing location audio work.

GIK Acoustics is great for affordable professional sound absorbing panels. You want a dead room (no reverb). You should put many of these on your walls, even your ceiling. 2 inch thickness is fine. Go for lots of coverage rather than super thick panels. Super thick costs money, and the thicker panels are used to trap lower frequencies. you don't need that with voice over, so go for lots of coverage.

It's amazing how well proper sound absorption panels can trap sound. Don't use foam. It doesn't trap nearly as well, and looks ugly.

2 feet by 4 feet is a very common size to buy. If you bought two three packs (for a total of six) that will go a long way to deadening a small room. Plus it will look nice. It's your workspace. Get something that will inspire you. Proper panels with a proper voiceover mic = a professional room you will want to work in.
https://www.gikacoustics.com/product...cs-spot-panel/

You can block the window with drywall. Make a "box" out of wood. Put drywall on the front. fill the inside with fiberglass insulation. Paint, mount on the wall over the window. Having sounds from the outside get into your studio is very bad. Nobody will accept an audio take with outside sound, which means you will be wasting time doing retakes or waiting for when it is quiet. Block the heck out of that window. Even plywood the outside of the window if you can get away with it. It's much better to work in a nice room than have to work in a closet.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
I'd try out a Beyer M88TG too.
Chris
Old 6 days ago
  #11
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Agree with some of the above comments:

1. TREAT the room the best you can and try to minimize the noise (from the computer or other sources)

2. Get a mic that fits you voice and needs (I’d slighty “adjust” that list above with the U87,416,103,manley.. instead I’d probably consider this one: U87, tlm107, a smaller senny like the 8050 which for indoors might perform better, although the 416 is a staple for a reason, and I agree with who said that sometimes the 103 is also a great ticket, but really depends on the voice, I’m not particularly a fan, but on some vocals it works).

Using the SD mixpre will give you great results (I’d personally match it with mics that are a tad “smoother” or less “pushed”, like the 107 or the senny 8050, the U87 and the 416 will probably also do quite well).

Just my 0.02$,



Cheu
Old 4 days ago
  #12
Here for the gear
 
Thanks for the follow-ups!

I've dropped the SM7B from consideration and will look for places where I can rent some or all of these:

MKH416
U87
TLM107
MKH8050

Any others to consider? What about Schoeps?

I've attached some quick voiceover demos I did with the TLM103 and Manley Reference Cardioid in my closet recently. Feedback welcomed. They are great mics! I do worry about the transformer setup and the tubes with the Manley though and what's involved maintenance-wise. These were recorded in my closet. I will look into GIK Acoustics and sound treating my computer room but I still don't know if I'll be able to sufficiently block out sounds coming in from the street - especially for longer recordings.

** looks like the board didn't upload the WAV files. here they are **

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BJf...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RRN...ew?usp=sharing

Last edited by skyace888; 4 days ago at 11:00 PM.. Reason: fix links
Old 4 days ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Also Blue Blueberry. Designed for 3" away.
Chris
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #14
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
What about Schoeps?
Those are great mics, and I've used them for VO but they're best on spoken word with a bit of distance. They're so little that you'll want to crowd it. In commercial studios I solved that by using a foam filter from a 416 on it. And, in fact, the VO artists thought they were on a 416.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #15
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
Thanks for the follow-ups!

I've dropped the SM7B from consideration and will look for places where I can rent some or all of these:

MKH416
U87
TLM107
MKH8050

Any others to consider? What about Schoeps?

I've attached some quick voiceover demos I did with the TLM103 and Manley Reference Cardioid in my closet recently. Feedback welcomed. They are great mics! I do worry about the transformer setup and the tubes with the Manley though and what's involved maintenance-wise. These were recorded in my closet. I will look into GIK Acoustics and sound treating my computer room but I still don't know if I'll be able to sufficiently block out sounds coming in from the street - especially for longer recordings.

** looks like the board didn't upload the WAV files. here they are **

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BJf...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RRN...ew?usp=sharing
You definitely need to treat the room, you can hear it in these files.. I’m speaking about the acoustics of your room.

Btw the 103 fared quite good on your vocals..

Blocking/suppressing the noise from the outside is a different thing..
the “internal” acoustics of the room doesn’t change any of that (these are two different subjects, with different solutions)..
there might be some DIY options and solutions though..

The Schoeps cmc641 (or cmc1 short bodies as well) are also very good..
but at this point any mic on that list is going to be great to excellent, it’s a matter of taste and needs.
If you can test a couple of these you’ll know which one fits better YOUR voice (and needs/taste).

The 416 has a specific sounds, that for specific things might be “desirable” (tv stuff or movie stuff specifically)..
but you can get great results (and technically speaking even better, with all the mics of that list)..
Because as said recording interiors, especially when not well treated (or for movies), a “normal” sdc fare better than shotguns.

Btw some/most post prod studio have/offers both..
a 416 (or a shotgun) and a U87 (or an LDC).

But it really depends who are you working for and what they “need/want”.
You can get the job done (well) with any of the mics of your list.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 4 days ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 
Thanks Cheu.

Yes I liked the 103 and compared to the U87ai, which I am yet to test, it offers lower self noise and less interference without a transformer (which might be helpful for having Ipads, cellphones, etc. nearby when required for scripts).

Since treating an entire room will likely be tricky for me (e.g. home office I can't block all outside sound and closet is small), would love to get some thoughts on mobile solutions like the IsoVox (plus their IsoMic), Glide Gear Portable Isolation Sound Booth, Snap Studio Ultimate Vocal Booth, or even something like the Aston Halo. Has anyone used these?
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #17
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
... and less interference without a transformer (which might be helpful for having Ipads, cellphones, etc. nearby when required for scripts).
It's true that the 103 has no transformer, but I'm not sure what you mean by the rest of it.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
It's true that the 103 has no transformer, but I'm not sure what you mean by the rest of it.
I meant that no transformer likely results in less radio interference from other nearby devices.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #19
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
I meant that no transformer likely results in less radio interference from other nearby devices.
Why do you think that?
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #20
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Why do you think that?
Thought I had read that online but maybe it's not the case. I'm going to head to my local audio shop soon and return the rented TLM103 and Manley. I'll see what else they might have for me to rent.
Old 3 days ago
  #21
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's probably not as easy to rent and try out, but the Gefell M930 has an extremely good reputation as a VO mic. Very similar specs to the TLM103 (extremely low noise floor, cardioid-only) but it seems to be gentler on sibilance. Relatively affordable for the quality, as well.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #22
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
Thought I had read that online but maybe it's not the case.
To the best of my knowledge, the transformer in a mic that has one is generally thought by experts to be a sound-enhancing feature, not an RF-magnet. Please note that you're reading this online, as well. :-)

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 3 days ago at 03:30 AM..
Old 3 days ago
  #23
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JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's true that wrapping up any electronic circuit - even including a transformer - with a shield (and let's make the shield mu metal while we're at it); it doesn't actually shield anything unless the shield is grounded, right?
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #24
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyace888 ➡️
Thanks Cheu.

Yes I liked the 103 and compared to the U87ai, which I am yet to test, it offers lower self noise and less interference without a transformer (which might be helpful for having Ipads, cellphones, etc. nearby when required for scripts).

Since treating an entire room will likely be tricky for me (e.g. home office I can't block all outside sound and closet is small), would love to get some thoughts on mobile solutions like the IsoVox (plus their IsoMic), Glide Gear Portable Isolation Sound Booth, Snap Studio Ultimate Vocal Booth, or even something like the Aston Halo. Has anyone used these?
I never used the snap studio ultimate and these kind of portable booths, they might be better than nothing..or even decent/good.. but just a draping or a curtain is not going to help much.. you need something more like a broadband absorber imho.

Definitely not a fan of the Halo and the relatively small “behind the mic” solutions..

the GIK acoustics PIB is pretty good, you might need two though..

I fear there’s no other way than treating your room.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 2 days ago
  #25
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've always avoided those "halo" style pseudo-iso-booths... they appear to mainly suck out the high end without addressing any real problem frequencies, and also potentially introduce comb filtering. I agree with Cheu that some GIK treatment would be a much better use of money, like maybe a pair of gobos that you can experiment with positioning until you like what you hear.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger ➡️
It's probably not as easy to rent and try out, but the Gefell M930 has an extremely good reputation as a VO mic. Very similar specs to the TLM103 (extremely low noise floor, cardioid-only) but it seems to be gentler on sibilance. Relatively affordable for the quality, as well.
Yes, much gentler.
Chris
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