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Voiceover mic selection from what I have


tvaudioman
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I've been called to record voice-overs tomorrow for a commercial. It's in a house.
No video, which is different from my usual.

I can get the job done, but then I started wondering pro/cons of all the following and decided to throw the question on here:

Here's what I have as my options. Thoughts?
My various usual lavs

MKH60 boom

Audix SCX-1HC

SM57

Senn 835

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16 minutes ago, John Blankenship said:

Either the Audix or the 60.  Equally important is the intent of the VO:

Is it to be VOG?  Is it to be intimate?  Is it to sound digetic?  etc.  That makes a difference of which mic you choose, and even more so of how you use the mic.

Is that diegetic? Nice new word I haven't come across before, and quite specific to the film business......:)

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(Pindrop -- Thanks for the head's up on the misspelling -- corrected it.)

VO can mean many things -- and the term is often misused.  People have been known to label any sound not recorded sync as VO.  There are instances where it's a continuation of on-camera dialog they didn't take time to record when shooting -- and it could even mean they wish to insert a replacement line.  Just because someone may misuse a term doesn't absolve the need to capture the sound appropriately.

If it's a testimonial, what is its context?  Does it call for a "loose" real world sound, or more intimate?  What is the perspective of the sound?  In the head?  VOG?  Totally natural?  Totally neutral?  

Be ready to handle it whatever way is needed, which means you should also be prepared with some easily deployed sound dampening.

A proper pop filter (and, no, I don't mean just a foam ball) is a good tool to have in the VO arsenal.

 

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I've used RE 50, shotgun mics,  and lavs before. Of course when I'm cutting a V.O. it's not in a sound booth but in an office or some place as quiet as can be for ENG or doc style prods.  The hard thing is trying to get the room or area you are recording in to be quiet... in a house you have a little more control than in an office. Like John stated bring some dampening materials..   Make sure the refrigerator and furnace are turned off, and anyone who does not need to be present during recording  should be far away....like outside in their cars:)

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2 minutes ago, edward chick said:

 Make sure the refrigerator and furnace are turned off, and anyone who does not need to be present during recording  should be far away....like outside in their cars:)

of course, but thanks for mentioning. I've done quick one line pick-ups before. I find a walk-in closet, if available, usually works nice.

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Assuming we're talking VO and not a wild line... I'd grab the shotgun and get them right up on axis maybe two inches from the mic. Perpendicular to their face. Getting them this close allows you to reduce the gain significantly and then the background sound should be negligible level. If they need something better than that then they need a studio I'd say.

As John says what's the context? What do they want it to sound like? You may or may not be able to deliver depending on their answer.

If you don't have a pop screen put your Rycote on the mic.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, old school said:

I've used almost every mic mentioned so far in this thread. Lately I've been using my SM7 for announcer type VO. 

A sweet-silky-smooth sounding mic. 

In the studio when I did a lot of voice recording, my primary go-to choices, were an SM7 and an AKG 414EB.  Of course, others as needed to "season to taste."

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As John said, it depends on the situation. If this is traditional "Mike Rowe VO for Deadliest Catch", then I'd use whatever sounds best on the talent. If this needs to match a production track for whatever reason, then try and match whatever was used as best you can. For me, when I've recorded dialogue/VO for video games I've gone with a large diaphragm condensor, but in your situation you'll need to treat the room, or have the talent go in a closet full of clothes. 

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I do a lot of this, my advice: remember you are still in a practical location and not (presumably) a treated and sound proofed VO studio.  Thus the same rules you use for micing production sound apply--ie using a mic that will allow you to hold back BG noise and unwanted room reflections etc.  In these kinds of ad hoc situations I often hold the boom myself, since the speaker may not be anchored in place by a studio chair etc and may want to "act out" their speech a bit (move around).  I don't like going with the studio style big-mic+big popscreen on a stand kind of set up for this sort of thing--too slow, too cumbersome and the mic hears too much BG.  You can bring your boom mic of choice in close--not in front of the speaker's mouth but pointing down at it from the forehead zone--no P pops this way.  I would also forego headphones for the speaker unless you've been specifically asked to provide them--more distraction, more leakage etc..

 

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Totally agree Derek

Possibly with the MKH 60

John - I owned 2 x 414's and proudly took one into a studio for a V/O session with

Anne Hathaway but we experienced too much mouth slap so a slotted tube mike

keeps the capsule further away and minimised that (as well as a glass of water).

mike

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1 hour ago, mikewest said:

Totally agree Derek

Possibly with the MKH 60

John - I owned 2 x 414's and proudly took one into a studio for a V/O session with

Anne Hathaway but we experienced too much mouth slap so a slotted tube mike

keeps the capsule further away and minimised that (as well as a glass of water).

Totally agree -- when it comes to VO mics, one size does not fit all.

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5 hours ago, drpro said:

Coles

Coles 4104 is a great mic, but doesn't sound natural or neutral. but i would use it on a vo that could use some  'style' points. i own one but have never plugged it into a board that had 3/4 band eq. who knows maybe it would tweak up nicely and sound akin to an EV RE20 with a little extra something or other. as a background noise killer the Coles does the job it was designed to do.

getting up close to a 57 that is placed like a boom (minimizes the room) and taking advantage of proximity effect (increased bass response and minimizes the room) works. my fave dynamic mic of that type is a vintage Beyerdynamic M200.

i would be prepared to try two mics quickly and see what works best with talent and the room.

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