Voice Over / Voice recording - general poll

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Raventhornn, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2014
    So been digging around for a while here [and yes I have visited gearslutz.com] - but wanted to see if anyone here has done a fair amount of voice recording.

    I'm not talking singing or a live stream podcast type - more the audio drama style.

    Been looking for further guidance and 'sounding board' for some of the recording/post production work with doing this. My wife and I have already done our first series - Hermes & Hekate Roadshow [http://hhroadshow.libsyn.com/]

    Have started the second series and have done some upgrading of the recording gear, just looking for some people/resources to research/ask/follow regarding this style of audio work - which is different than music recording/postproduction.

    So having said that, please feel free to post any experience and advice.


    [Gear used for the first series]
    MacBookPro / Garageband / Blue Microphone Snowball

    [Gear used for the second series]
    MacBookPro / Garageband / Focusrite 18i8 / (2X) MXL 770 & (2X) Rode NT1A Microphones
  2. ChrisA, Feb 22, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Good mic upgrades. I like the sound of the NT1A but a bought a used AGK that I like too for

    One thing that I found I like is a Waves compressor/limiter. The software models an older tube based unit.

    If I have the money I'd pick up a real hardware box with real vacuum tubes and transformers inside and set up a few dB of compression. But lacking that the software works and has the advantage that you can re-adjust in it post. Try this or one of the other CLA2 clones http://www.waves.com/plugins/cla-2a-compressor-limiter I think it works well on spoken word recordings

    Try and see if you like it. It likely helps me more than you as I'm not very good and need the compression. A more skilled pro may have better technique
  3. Raventhornn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2014
    So I have personally stayed aware from using compression, so far. As we tend to record scene by scene, and I usually manually balance the level:

    During recording I balance the gain on the mic for each 'voice', in cases where we have an excited character [i.e. 'yelling'] I usually do a couple of captures with the gain turned downed and they do just the yelling parts.

    During post production... well this is more involved...
    I go thru each track [each voice gets captured as a single track], cutting any voice bleed over from other 'actors', then run thru all the tracks lined up for the scene & balance the output levels so all the voices are about the same level.

    I then go thru and build the sound effects & background sounds & manually balance those levels.

    Yes this is a more involved effort, but I feel the effect is generally better sounding/more natural. Any time I go thru and use a compressor [which I only really have used in 'default' plugin that came with Garage Band], it introduces a mechanical/synthetic effect, which bugs me.

    I may look into your suggestion regarding the CLA2 plugin, though.

    I'll also probably walk thru this over on Gearslutz and ask their collective, regarding this workflow.

    Regarding the Microphones, I also picked up a Studio Projects B1 & a CAD GXL3000 - however I didn't really care for the sound pickup on the GXL3000, it came across too tinny for me and the room [the room is worthy of it's own topic... Ahh to have the space to dedicate to recording... next house...] I found the B1 a fair middle of the road for sound. As for the MXL 770's well, I have heard people say they really didn't care for them, however Amazon had them on sale for basically $70, brand new - which was a hard price to not move on. I find the MXL 770 work pretty well for my male actors, and the NT1A are pretty good with the female actors. I have since picked up 2 more [total of 4 MXL 770’s, so I have 2 spare mics]. I picked up the 4 different mic's since I had zero chance to hear them, and figured it would be a bit of a bake off.

    Well that was long winded...


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