Recording Voice Overs


I’m a complete newbie to microphones and the like but have a good general knowledge of how to use computer software and hardware. I am going to be making a charitable educational program and need to include voice overs. As it is a charitable program, the budget is quite low, so I’m just trying to get the best bang for buck.

I have two computers to use for recording, either would be suitable - a Dell M1330 laptop with built in sound card (uses the Sigma Tel High Definition Audio Codec), and a PC with an onboard motherboard audio (motherboard = gigabyte p55ud3 with Realtek ALC888 codec)

I quite literally have no clue on what to purchase. On reading up, I have found so far that I should use either a dynamic microphone into the 3.5mm port or a USB microphone (i don’t know which would be better - any advice please?)

I have found two microphones that may or may not be suitable, but are within my price range:

  1. Samson Q7 - and
  2. Logitech Desktop USB microphone -

I prefer the Samson Q7 because I am under the impression that the sound quality will be much better (using an xlr female to 3.5mm male cable from ebay), though with +20 gain i am not sure if it will be sufficient. I have adobe soundbooth cs5 to edit the sound if necessary

I am open to all suggestions as to what to do. Please give some advice if you can. Thanks!

If you are on a really low budget you could try a cheapo headset with a microphone (£5-£10) plugged into the 3.5mm.

You may have to buy / improvise a pop shield whether your mic is cheap or expensive.

It does depend on your environment. The Logitech microphone is tailored for voice. It has good room noise cancellation and a modest voice bump. You can use it for music performances…

It has all the USB microphone problems. You can’t ever get very far away from the computer and you can’t use a USB hub.

You shouldn’t use the sound card for an analog microphone. That means you’re stuck with a mixer or external sound card of some sort. We reviewed some here.

The all time favorite for rock voice is the Shure SM-58. We have two of them in the company.

The down side of those is they require a mixer or external amplifier. I’ve been using the Peavey PV6 and I’ve been happy with it. I’m also using a Mac, so I use the digital converter built in. There is a Peavey version with a USB converter inside.

He was looking for a music microphone, but Bruno was the lead in the longest post on the forum. Lots of good microphone and connection info if you feel like digging through it.

The headset is not a bad idea. It doesn’t matter which way you turn your head – the spacing remains constant. We did discover many headphones with terrible microphones. We settled on the Labtec analog series. One department is using USB headsets and they seem to be happy.


Just noticed that the headset microphone voice sample I used above was a “Gigaware” headset which connects via USB, not via 3.5mm jackplugs.