Voiceover tips | Space vs. Equipment

Voiceover Tips | Space vs. Equipment

This is a question I see on a daily basis in the voiceover world. “I’m just starting out, should I invest in a $1500 mic so I can book more work?” (I’m looking at you Neumann). My answer to that would be a big fat NO. I (like a fool) thought I needed the best equipment and went all out before really researching, thinking that more money = better quality = booking more work.
It’s not that a $1500 mic won’t sound great, but if you’re recording in a poorly treated space, that fancy high quality mic is going to pick up all of the lovely noise you DON’T want. All of the echo, reverb, boxiness (if you record in a small space), room noise, cars driving by, LAWNMOWERS, etc… Now all of this can probably be fixed in post production, but that’s extra work and as a voice actor time = money. Perhaps you aren’t interested in the engineering aspect which means you need to hire someone for your edits (meaning even less money).

Your recording space arguably makes a bigger difference than your mic. For a lot of us, that means a closet densely filled with clothing which isn’t a bad thing. I’ve seen some top voice actors in the industry record nationwide commercial spots in a hotel pillow fort. If you’re one of the lucky few that has an entire room to dedicate to your voiceover business, do a bit of research on proper audio treatment and buy some acoustic panels/bass traps and optimize your space to reduce reflections. There is such a thing as too much treatment, which can leave your recordings sounding dead, that’s why it’s worth your time to do some research.

Acoustic treatment is a lot cheaper than a fancy mic and makes the biggest difference in your sound (in my experience). Most auditions I see prioritize background noise and overall room tone over what type of mic you use.

Well, was this helpful at all? Thoughts? Feel free to drop any questions or comments, I’m always happy to help.

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