most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Did you buy a new mixer? Do you need advice? Post here.
Forum rules
If you require help using Audacity, please post on the forum board relevant to your operating system:
Windows
Mac OS X
GNU/Linux and Unix-like
memi33
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:05 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by memi33 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:37 pm

I will be starting a youtube channel and I will be using audacity to tune my voiceovers. I'm looking for a microphone that can be the best value for this endeavor. I've shortlisted this list [Advertising is not permitted] . Are these any good enough? thanks

steve
Site Admin
Posts: 80767
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:43 am
Operating System: Linux *buntu

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by steve » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:59 pm

There are very many microphones available for recording, and a vast price range. When choosing a microphone, "budget" is one of the main considerations. It's pointless recommending a $2000 microphone to someone that has a $50 budget. Conversely, if a person has a $2000 budget, they can afford a microphone that is better than any $50 microphone.

I've not personally found any microphone that I would consider to be a reasonable voice recording mic for under about $100, though I have used many "stage microphone" that cost considerably more than $100 that I would not recommend for voice recording.

I have removed the link to your website as:
1) This forum has a strict policy of not allowing advertising
2) There are literally thousands of web pages offering a list of "best recording microphones". If we allow one such link, then to be fair we would have to allow them all.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

DVDdoug
Forum Crew
Posts: 9290
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:30 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by DVDdoug » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:56 pm

I don't own an appropriate mic so I won't recommend one...

Once you have a decent microphone your "recording studio" becomes the limiting factor. Ideally, you'd like a soundproof studio with sound-absorbing interior surfaces. It's the noise (mostly acoustic noise) that separates professional recordings from amateur recordings.

No matter what microphone you choose, I'd recommend getting a pop filter.
I've not personally found any microphone that I would consider to be a reasonable voice recording mic for under about $100
I agree... "Good microphones" generally start at around $100 USD. Iif you go over about $300 I'd start looking for "features" like a pad (level reducer), a low-frequency roll-off switch, variable pick-up patterns, etc. (You don't always get "features" with a higher-end mic but most of us want to get the most for our money and the most flexibility.)

The most popular type of microphone for "home studio recording" of audiobooks, voice-over and podcast is a
"Studio Style" USB microphone
(AKA "Podcast Microphone"). They are super-handy and economical. (You can get very good quality for $100 - $200.) Koz (one of our experienced forum members) recently praised the Samson G-Track. The Rode NT-USB also has a good reputation. The Blue Yeti is very popular, but it seems to have a reputation of being noisy. But, there may have been lots of complaints simply because they've sold millions of them.

...USB power tends to be noisy and USB microphones as well as USB powered audio interfaces can be susceptible to that noise and it can very depending on the particular computer.

If you choose a USB mic, I'd recommend one with an analog recording level knob and a headphone jack for direct-hardware, zero-latency monitoring. There is always a delay (latency) when the sound goes through the computer and it's sometimes tricky getting that delay down to the point where you're not hearing an echo in your headphones.

Besides potential noise problems, the other limitations are that you can only use one USB mic at a time and you can't use a USB mic live with a PA system or mixer. (There are a couple of USB mics that also have optional-analog connections.)


The standard type of microphone for vocals, voice over, and almost everything in pro studios is a directional large diaphragm condenser. A directional mic helps with niose because noise comes from all-around and the signal (the good sound you want to record) usually comes from one direction. (Most good "podcast mics" are also directional.) There are a couple of very popular dynamic microphones used in radio (In the $400 range).

Stage & studio are low-impedance balanced (3-wire) and studio condensers require 48V phantom power. They are incompatible with regular soundcards & laptops unbalanced (2-wire) and 5V. So with any good non-USB microphone, you'll need an audio interface. Dynamic microphones don't need power but you still need a balanced XLR connection. If you buy an interface, again I'd look for one with direct-hardware, zero-latency monitoring.

IMO - A "perfect setup" would be a studio condenser mic and a USB interface with it's own separate (non-USB) power supply. But, that's more stuff to wire-up and mess with and you have to buy a microphone plus an interface.

kozikowski
Forum Staff
Posts: 68957
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:57 pm
Operating System: macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by kozikowski » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:01 pm

If you're going to appear on camera, it's not the worst idea to use the same microphone for both and just change to a soundproof and echo-free room for the voiceovers. That changes the establishing background sound without making you sound like a different person (or worse, trying to record in the kitchen).

If you have a nice camera, using it for voiceovers also neatly works around computer fan noises and bad data capture problems that USB microphones can have. A LOT of forum postings involve digging performers out of computer microphone problems—and the latest versions of Mac and Windows made these problems much worse.

It's also cheaper, important when you're starting out.

Next up is a chest or lavalier microphone so your on-camera work is cleaner and clearer and by extension, the voiceover will sound better, too.

Image

Then when you get going and time becomes a restriction, you set up your voiceover studio with a separate microphone or stand-alone recorder. Also with experience comes the ability to tune and adjust your sound.

It also gives you an alternate plan B when your regular separate system fails.

Koz

kozikowski
Forum Staff
Posts: 68957
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:57 pm
Operating System: macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by kozikowski » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:07 pm

One of the producers at work regularly turned in good quality voice work and I asked how he did it. He said he put the video camera in the back of his car, drove somewhere quiet and recorded everything in the car.

Koz

kozikowski
Forum Staff
Posts: 68957
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:57 pm
Operating System: macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by kozikowski » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:16 pm

We're going off in all directions because we don't know what the show is.

What is it?

Koz

steve
Site Admin
Posts: 80767
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:43 am
Operating System: Linux *buntu

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by steve » Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:08 pm

FrankLau wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:10 am
So I saw the Nessie mic and for $99 it looks like a fairly nice mic, but it looks like it's aimed at tiny laptop studios and podcasts. Does anybody own one and think it's a good buy for production?
"Blue" are famous / infamous for hyping their products, which can make it difficult to find objective reviews.

A review article on a reputable website offered this conclusion to their review:
Is it worth buying Blue Nessie? Apparently no. There is not a single reason to buy this microphone, because you can get better results with other mics at this price point, without having to worry about the durability. However, if you’ve already bought it – don’t worry, it will still probably sound better than any $50 USB mic out there. It’s not bad at all! Just wait until it snaps and then you can consider upgrading to something better. If you think I have missed on any of its advantages or the reasons why it is worth buying, do share your experience by leaving a comment. We will highly appreciate that!
Personally I would never use a microphone for important recording work that offers "instantly enhanced sound". For important work I would want a microphone that faithfully reproduces the sound going into it. I would not want to risk having to re-record because the mic "enhanced" the sound to an unusable state.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

kozikowski
Forum Staff
Posts: 68957
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:57 pm
Operating System: macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by kozikowski » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:50 pm

Home style USB microphones seem to be a good choice for the beginner. Relatively inexpensive, good sounding, versatile, and easy to set up.

That is if everything goes well. They can have their shortcomings.

-- You can't have a noisy computer because you can't get more than one USB cable away from the computer—about 6 feet (2M). If you can tell your computer is on just by listening, this won't go well.

-- Sometimes, a USB microphone can hate your computer and give you USB screaming noises in the background.

https://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/cli ... neClip.mp3

The most reliable fix for that is change the computer. There is a post-production software fix, but you have to apply it each and every time you announce.

-- USB microphones are prone to "essing." Boosting sibilance or harsh SS and FF sounds in your voice. Again, you can fix that in software—every time you present.

-- USB microphones are Lone Wolves. There is no easy way to record two or more. There is no three USB microphone podcast—at least not without three computers and that can have its own problems.


All that from forum complaints. USB microphones are popular.

Koz

microphoneglobe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:21 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by microphoneglobe » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:27 pm

Condenser microphones have enhanced response sensitivity. Since the diaphragm is thinner, it is capable of reacting quickly to very faint sound waves. This means that it is able to pick up a lot of detailed sound. A condenser mic is most recommended for studio voice recordings. Even though it is super sensitive to sound, it works well for voice recordings as there is only one sound (your voice) that needs to be picked up, which won’t be competing with any other sound (such as different instruments in [advertising removed].

On the other hand, a dynamic microphone is not as sensitive, which means that in comparison to condenser mics, there is less detail captured in recordings. However, this can be a benefit for recording quality, as it also means that the mic won’t pick up any background sounds. Generally, removing background noise can be beneficial if you have soundproofing challenges with your space. However, this may not be a worry on your end if you have already taken the steps to soundproof your studio space

microphoneglobe
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:21 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: most valued microphone for voiceovers?

Post by microphoneglobe » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:28 pm

Finding a microphone that will highlight your talent as a voice actor, and bring confidence to your recording can be a bit of a challenge. The market is flooded with varying vocal microphones, and everyone has an opinion on which ones are the best. However, the question which voice acting microphones are best comes up often.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a microphone, such as your budget, the sound you are trying to achieve and the space you will be recording in that can be helpful in choosing the right microphone. In a recent Voices survey, 25% of respondents say they chose their microphone through trial and error.

Audio expert, Bob Breen, from Armor Pro Audio, has been working in the audio industry for over 25 years, and has heard his fair share of microphones. In this part of the Voices studio build series, Bob gives his tips on how to help find a microphone that will complement your voice, and set you up for success.

What Are the Different Types of Voice Acting Microphones?
There are wide selections of vocal microphones on the market, but generally there are two types of mics that are most common: condenser and dynamic microphones.

Condenser microphones have enhanced response sensitivity. Since the diaphragm is thinner, it is capable of reacting quickly to very faint sound waves. This means that it is able to pick up a lot of detailed sound. A condenser mic is most recommended for studio voice recordings. Even though it is super sensitive to sound, it works well for voice recordings as there is only one sound (your voice) that needs to be picked up, which won’t be competing with any other sound (such as different instruments in music recordings).

On the other hand, a dynamic microphone is not as sensitive, which means that in comparison to condenser mics, there is less detail captured in recordings. However, this can be a benefit for recording quality, as it also means that the mic won’t pick up any background sounds. Generally, removing background noise can be beneficial if you have soundproofing challenges with your space. However, this may not be a worry on your end if you have already taken the steps to soundproof your studio space.

Now that you know the differences between the main types of microphones used in recording, you can now get out there and start browsing for your perfect mic.

Post Reply