The Right Voice Over Tools

Tuesday morning after the bank holiday, coffee in hand and I’m getting ready to start work on the new voice over script for British Airways (sessions not booked in till later today, but like to read scripts through a few times first, make sure Im prepared for it!)
Along with the script, Ive got a message through the website asking about my voice over booth – what its made up of and how it sounds. Naturally, it sounds amazing 😉 No, seriously, its a BIG thing when being a voiceover with own studio. Ive learnt that most people who aren’t in the business think you can do voiceovers straight into a dictaphone, or on record it onto your phone and you’re done, urm nope – involves a little bit more than that.
All voiceover studios are based around three main things – microphone, editing equipment and soundproofing. Without those, its going to be pretty tough to do voiceovers – the microphone is quite a biggy!!!
When I say microphone, you could use a cheap one from Maplin or something, but you wouldn’t get a very good sound, certainly not of the quality needed to be a professional voiceover. I remember a few years back, a friend of mine was very excited that he had got a USB microphone that looked just like mine, but cost a 10th of the price and he was going to make his fortune being a voiceover. We put them to the test…whilst it had its positives – didn’t cost much, plugged straight into your computer, came with its own editing software –  its one negative outweighed ALL of them…it sounded rubbish – It had a very tinny sound to it, no depth at all – might’ve been okay for podcasts or as flashy mic for Skype or something, but that was it.
Without sounding flash, Ive got two mics! Not showing off there, I purchased the first one years ago, a Neumann TLM 103 – which is absolutely brilliant, it picks up every detail of the voice, then I moved studio and decided to do a full upgrade to BeyerDynamic – the entire studio is kitted out with the stuff. I use the BeyerDynamic one most of the time as the studio is set up for it and it produces a stunning sound. The Neumann is more of a back-up now, should anything ever go wrong with the mic, I can just pop in the other one and carry on working  on voiceovers. Ive actually used the Neumann as a travelling mic too, if I’m away on holiday or just away from the studio for a few days and need to get work done, I pack the Neumann up, along with my travel booth and hit the road.
So, microphone is the most important thing, but you can’t just have a great mic, you also need good editing software and sound proofing…
….and having looked at the time, I’m going to chat about those in my next post, work calls. If you’ve got any questions though, or need a voiceover, get in touch here.
Neil
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