One of the most crucial steps in becoming a voice over artist is to set up your home studio. To make the most out of this, you need to invest in the right voice over equipment.
Voice over equipment are the tools of the trade that allow you to produce fantastic voice overs. For a home studio, there are several pieces of essential voice over equipment you need, including a quality microphone, headphones, mic stand, and software.
A serious professional should treat their studio as a mecca. Since this environment would help you earn money, be more creative, and establish your career, everything in it should be planned and thought out accordingly. Having high-quality voice over equipment will allow you to generate better quality output in the comfort of your home.
Most voice talents are intimidated to get voice over equipment because they think it’ll cost them their life savings. Thankfully, advances in technology have made various tools more affordable. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the voice over equipment you need to get to set up your home studio.
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Voice Over Equipment for Your Studio
If you’re still uncertain about which voice over equipment to shop for, you’re on the right page. This section also offers an in-depth look at other important factors you need to keep in mind to ensure your studio turns out amazing.
Even if you have the best voice over equipment, it will be worthless if your set up is inefficient. But setting up your home studio is not complicated.
A good studio will let you record digitally and send fantastic output to your agent, casting directors, or future clients. Even if you’re a newbie in the industry, you can set up a studio from scratch. But before you do that, you first have to consider the defining factors of a good studio. First, a studio should stop reflections within its space. Second, it should not let external sound in. Third, it has to have a stable environment, so you sound the same every time you record.
Most voice over talents prefer custom booths built for their available space. This tip will help you produce great outputs for your clients without spending thousands of dollars. You may also convert an unused cupboard or room into a makeshift recording studio.
If you don’t have space in your home, you can even use your closet. This option will work well since it offers an isolated space and houses sound-absorbing items, such as clothing. Despite this, free your closet from things before recording so that your microphone won’t pick up the sound of you brushing through your clothes. This type of sound may seem harmless, but it is very noticeable and distracting, especially if you are using a sensitive microphone. Removing and adding clothes and other items should also be avoided since it will make your output sound different every time you record.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of voice over equipment. However, every voice over artist should not forget about the basics that include good audio acoustics. If you’re working in a studio that’s all echo and background noise, your amazing voice will be wasted.
Your goal should be a good acoustic environment to house your voice over equipment. Meaning, your studio has to be sonically dead. There are many different types of acoustic foam panels you can get to say goodbye to unwanted resonance and noises. Various soundproof shields for microphones are also available. If you want to go the extra mile, install some carpet. This tip will ensure that your microphone will pick up nothing but the sound of your voice.
Every talent’s most important voice over equipment is their microphone. This essential device will allow you to produce high-quality sound. Getting a good product is integral since the wrong microphone would drastically affect your recording quality. Investing in a good microphone will save more money in the long run.
Voice over artists typically pick from three types of microphones. First is the condenser type, commonly used in quiet areas and studios. This microphone is sensitive to even the faintest noise, so it’s best to forego it if you’re recording in a noisy area.
The second type of microphone is the dynamic type. This microphone is a popular voice over equipment choice because it does not record background noise. However, it’s not an ideal microphone type for people who want to emphasize intonations and small noises. The final type of microphone is the USB mic. Although it comes off as less professional, it is a worthy choice in part due to its affordable price tag. Because of this quality, it’s a top choice among newbies. All you need to do is plug it in your computer’s USB port, and you’re all set.
If you think you can simply use your phone’s iPhone to record and review your audio, you’ve never been more wrong in your life. A true voice over artist knows that unless it’s an emergency, the earphones that come with your mobile device should be never be used professionally.
Don’t use in-ear headphones or earbuds since these products give you an inaccurate representation of bass frequencies. If your headphones have a small driver, it will not generate enough detail. Noise-canceling headphones are also not ideal since they give off noise to counteract the external noise. These models are also generally more expensive, so you’ll be saving yourself the unnecessary purchase.
It would be impossible to produce a neat and clear output without having high-quality headphones. Open-backed headphones are suitable for voice over equipment. These headphones make the sound similar to a speaker. It’s also a top choice of mixing engineers. Despite this, it may have sound leakage, which refers to the sound heard from outside. The bleed can cause issues when it is used while recording. Because of this, closed-back headphones are an ideal choice for voice over artists.
Here are some microphone accessories you need to have. These items will make a dramatic difference in your work quality.
Although choosing cables may not be as fun as picking other pieces of voice over equipment, it’s something you should not underrate. Every beginner should know what analog and digital cables are. The former transmit information through electricity, while the latter transmits information through binary code, which is a string of 1’s and 0’s.
Balanced and unbalanced are the two types of analog cables used to transfer three levels of signal. These types can either be mic level, which comes from the microphones and transmitted through standard mic cables and then boosted to the line-level thanks to a preamp. The second kind is the line level, which is the usual choice of people who use pro voice over equipment. The final type is the instrument level, where the signals come from instruments.
The next microphone accessory you need to invest in is a mic stand. This tool can either be a desk mount, floor mount, or shock mount. Using a desk mount is very easy and comfortable. This choice allows you to have a neat setup where you can position yourself any way you want. Most desk mounts are also fully adjustable and extendable, so you can have a fully supportive environment while still prioritizing quality and comfort.
There is also a floor mount mic stand. This type of voice over equipment gives the user flexibility and optimal sound pickup and isolation both on stage and in your studio. Because of this, it’s a versatile device you can take anywhere. Most floor mount microphones have rollerblade-style wheels that give it improved stability and low center of gravity.
Finally, there is a shock mount type available. This helpful piece of voice over equipment will help you get rid of the vibration that travels up from the mic stand to the microphone’s diaphragm. A shock mount will prevent any kind of vibration. Although quite expensive and not as handy as other microphone holders, there is nothing else that offers the same benefits.
Sometimes, talent is just not enough. A good voice over artist is a master at editing their audio files, and one can’t do this without proper software. Reliable software will ensure that your voice will have pristine quality. There are loads of software options available, depending on your needs. Some perform best for multi-track editing, while some work well for advanced audio editing. To help you, we’ve gathered some of the top software choices of voice talents.
For Mac users, Twisted Wave is the clear winner. This powerful and user-friendly audio editor will let you edit your output on your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices. If you have this, you’re taking a portable studio anywhere you go. Another good choice for Mac users is Garageband. This free software is mostly geared towards musicians, but it also has an incredible selection of voice presets.
If you want a free option that will grant you cross-platform editing, Audacity is perfect. If you’re willing to invest some money, Pro Tools is also a great option, as it has been a heavy favorite in the film industry. It is also on par with Adobe Audition and Logic Pro.
The secret to choosing the best audio interface is to remember what you need from it. Consider your usual recording process. Getting voice over equipment that gives you exactly what you want is a must. If you just need simple outputs and inputs, just get a basic setup. There’s no point in getting a Thunderbolt interface if you don’t have the port on your computer.
Lights and stand
Unless you have night vision, it is a must to invest in good lighting for your studio. Ideally, you should be able to achieve effects with lights. You can use this element creatively depending on your space’s specifics.
Recording studios are less illuminated to create a certain ambiance since it gives the area a more relaxed feel. Creating the proper ambiance also means you should light up parts that need to be visible, such as the area where you read your script. If you have limited space, you can choose portable battery-powered LED lights.
Take note that during your recording, you will get thirsty. You might want to get a dedicated water stand. Utility shelves like this can also be used to put your phone and important belongings.
Another important piece of voice over equipment is good software to help their business flow easier. Although having a system to manage your contact and workflow is not required, it can make a huge positive impact on your life.
If you prefer writing things down, create a personalized visual pipeline where you can see which stages of projects you have accomplished. This option can include something like contact information, follow up e-mail, schedule meeting, and contract signing.
The Best Voice Over Equipment Is Within Your Reach
Now that you know the must-have voice over equipment, you can start creating incredible outputs. However, this step is not enough. Although having a high-quality voice over equipment is important, there’s only so much it can do. Just like any other professional career, vocal technique, your awareness of your craft, work ethics, and desire to improve will be what makes you stand out.