Introduction to High Quality Voice Recordings
The microphone you opt for and the way you position it for recording goes a long way in determining the quality of voice-overs.
Great vocals require professional recordings and this can only be achieved by knowing the right placement of the microphone.
The use of the gear is always more important than the gear itself. Similarly, the way you use the microphone will determine your demo’s success.
With loads of microphones to choose from the market, aprofessional voice over artist knows which microphone to select that will make a world of difference substandard and spectacular results. Below are the basic microphones that you need to know before buying one:
Sometimes called moving-coil mics, these are the simplest mic design and are usually used on stages as these are sturdy and do not require phantom power.
The voice-overs recorded in these mics are warm, and not as natural as condenser mics. Dynamic microphones are a good option if you are planning to do voice-overs in a noisy environment.
Unlike condenser ones, they lower sensitivity to background noise and have a narrower dynamic range (difference from quiet to loud sounds)
Condenser mics are able to capture much more detail than others as these are the studio-grade mics that professionals use for their studio voice-over recordings and for auditions. They produce clear and natural sounds and therefore, offer superior sound quality recordings.
Although some of the condenser mics are USB, most of the good condenser mics require phantom power. These are also fragile and can be damaged easily by moisture and dust.
Considered as one of the most natural-sounding mics, Ribbon mics follow the movements of the sound waves more accurately and are bidirectional with a lower sensitivity.
These contain a step-up transformer to multiply the transducer’s output voltage and are fragile in nature, hence needed to be treated with great care
It is essential to understand the fundamentals of a microphone before one endeavor in the journey of voice-overs. The quality of your recording is the key to success in this industry and that has a lot to do with your approach.
Having an expensive microphone without following a good mic technique will never lead to fruitful studio sessions. Here are a few simple tips to use the appropriate studio mics in an optimum manner:
Recording voice-overs require the microphone to be positioned either on-axis or off-axis. On-axis means that the mic is pointed directly over your mouth and this type of setup is helpful when one is looking for beaming, intense recordings that sound up-close.
On the other hand, off-axis recordings have microphone pointed sideways (not directed straight to the mouth) and are useful for scattered sounding recordings that take the room ambience into consideration. To understand better, try to record in both manners and decide which angle works best for you.
According to the Proximity effect, as the vicinity of the microphone becomes closer to the source of the sound, the more magnification of the low frequencies will occur. Unwanted resonance may occur when the microphone is placed too close to your mouth.
Knowing the right position hence becomes important to eliminate the echo of the sound and produce clear recordings.
Who thought that the way you position the mic in a room would have a direct impact on the quality of the audio? Stationary waves are often found in the centre of the room, due to which it is advisable to not stand in the centre and record.
Also, walls without absorbing panels can cause diffusion of sound that you definitely want to avoid in your recording.
The right place would be to position your mic just off the centre of the room. You may sometimes encounter pickup of unwanted sounds.
Positioning the mic nearer to the loudest part of the source sound can help. Always opt for a condenser mic, when in doubt to minimize the undesirable noises.
Just like you would visit site to site to buy the product you need, similarly, you need to check every part of your studio to find the right mic position.
Measuring distances and checking the effect of each position on your recording will give you the right idea. If you don’t like it, try another position or try another microphone.
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Shock Mount or Pop Filter
Professional artists how simple accessories such as a shock mount and a pop filter can change the way the final recording sounds.
A sturdy shock mount helps to minimize the unnecessary vibrations of the microphone while a pop filter reduces the sound of plosives (that usually occur while making the P or B sound) and does not let the moisture enter the microphone.
If you are a professional voice actor or just starting in the field of voice-overs, you can always visit and register on Voyzapp – a reputable voice over agency in India, that has provided hundreds of professional and aspiring voice over actors to get new voice-over opportunities.
Remember, even the best microphones will perform poorly if they’re not positioned correctly. Proper microphone placement is an art in itself and takes thorough practice. The more you work at it, the more it will be easier for you to produce quality recordings!