Well, the only way you can get rich in voiceover is to be able to record your brilliant performance, and send it to somebody. For this, Mic needs to be your best buddy! Spend time with him. Get to know him. Know what makes him tick. Buy him things…you know the drill. Used to be Mic was an expensive cuss. He needed all kinds of support, and was very needy. Not any more; this is the “New Age Mic”: sensitive, frugal, and cooperative. So what do you look for when searching for the perfect partner for your home studio? Well, there are several things. We’ll talk about those first and then suggest some possibilities on the market.
Watch Your Diaphragm
First, Mic should be a “large diaphragm condenser”. These are by far the most common types of Mic in VO work, although we are seeing more “shotgun” types (looks like a long thin tube) in use. Stick to the “large diaphragm condenser” and you’ll be properly set. There are several versions of the large diaphragm condenser: cardiod, omni-directional, figure-8, and stereo. In fact, you only need the cardioid version (called a “polar pattern” if you’re itching for a blog with technical stuff) for most VO work, but there some very good Mics out there that do all of these, are alone and single, and looking for partners RIGHT NOW!
Choose a USB/Low Latency Mic
Second, Mic needs to be a USB style. This allows you to plug him straight into your computer, and bingo-bango you’re up and running. Yes you do need recording software. Reaper and Audacity are two great FREE programs you can download.
Third, Mic needs to be what’s called “low latency” or “zero latency”. This relates to your ability to monitor your performance in your headphones as you record. Latency is the lag between when you speak and when you hear your voice in the headphones. If there is any latency, it will drive you crazy, and keep you poor because you’ll just hate voiceover work, and quite needlessly. Zero latency will most often mean that there is a jack on the body of the microphone, into which you plug your headphone jack, and Voila!, no lag.
So Many Mics…
Some suggestions for possible Mics that you might want to cosey up with, bearing in mind that there are new ones coming out all the time. The mic that we are currently recommending (subject to change without notice) is the Yeti, made by Blue Microphones (http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/) This puppy is quite chunky but satisfies all the above requirments. It’s available from several sources in Vancouver: London Drugs, Tom Lee, and the Apple Store at the very least, for prices in the $150 to $170 (CDN +HST) range; good value for the money. It might be a good idea to ditch the little stand that makes it look like a Yeti (the snowman kind) or R2D2 (the Star Wars kind) and get a microphone stand. That’ll give you more options when it comes time to position the little cutie near your computer. Oh, and get yourself a pop filter. It’s a little hard to mount on the R2D2 stand, but change to a regular mic stand and, no problem.
If you need help with your home studio set up. Visit www.soundswrite.ca and join us for a one night course. Bring your laptop and your new mic and we’ll download the free software for you, set up your mic and even teach you how to edit. Plus you’ll get tech support. A great deal.
‘Till next time…