Hardware & Software Recommendations
August 7, 2020 at 10:41 am #15497Edge StudioEdge Studio Staff
Need a little advice on picking out the right mic? Or, having trouble finding the DAW that works best for you? This is the perfect Forum to ask other members of the community their advice! See if they know about a product that may be a better fit for your voice and technical skills.
Remember, this is a community forum that is centered around positive reinforcement – it’s not a place to criticize other people. Please do not post negative reviews of other products or services; let’s keep things positive!
November 29, 2020 at 9:21 am #58445touzetParticipant
December 1, 2020 at 1:09 am #58573
Thanks, touzet! I will check it out!
November 21, 2020 at 3:18 am #58124motarhama22Participant
When you’re getting started, and don’t have the financial ability to build a home studio, how does one do Voice Overs? Is it even possible, or am I just out of luck. There are no cheap options for me, as I live in a very hot climate and the building uses window ac units, which are very loud. I can’t afford to completely restructure the AC situation.
Pretty sure I already know the answer. It’s just not something I can do without waiting a very long time do find some other way to make money, then change my living situation. But I’d love to hear creative options that have worked for others, if such things exist. Thanks.
December 3, 2020 at 1:04 am #58748SmorknordleParticipant
You are right be be concerned about the quality of your space. There may be no easy solution, or one of many possible fixes might be to put removable but tightly fitting soundproofing baffles tightly into your window spaces. From your description, most likely it will require a variety of measures, each reducing the ambient sound further.
Start by researching the h**l out of the subject. There’s tons of guidance from other VO people, materials suppliers and other sources. Don’t bet the farm on any one source’s advice, but you’ll soon get a comprehensive understanding.
As a start, it is VERY important that you understand the difference between Soundproofing (preventing sound from entering your space and from being created within it (as by a computer fan)) and Sound Conditioning (reducing reverberation and/or controlling sonic qualities within your space). And note that conditioning a space for music is very different from conditioning for VO.
So if you become a well-trained, qualified voice artist, window air conditioners are probably not an insurmountable obstacle to fulfilling your dream. But know that it may take some significant investment (partly depending on your do-it-yourself skills, and will require knowledgeable planning.
Maybe even adjustment of your daily schedule. Air conditioners run all day and night, but some noises are occasional. Some genres (e.g., Promo) require very fast turnaround. Depending on a talent’s soundproofing strategy, the talent may not be able to promise same-day delivery. Once when I interviewed an established voice artist by phone, I apologized for my taking so much of her time. She replied, that’s okay, I can’t work right now anyway — they’re mowing the lawn.
November 22, 2020 at 5:42 am #58161
I am currently in the Edge VO Education Program, and at the moment I do not have a dedicated space myself (or a lot up front financially), but that has not stopped me from moving forward with this dream of mine.
I understand your issue is with the AC unit, and some of these may not help in your case, but I will still pass on the ideas that I have watched, or heard about, to help with noise and/or acoustics.
On Youtube, there are videos of DIY “booth” projects — I saw one that entailed taking PVC plumbing and using shower curtain clips, sound reduction curtains, or maybe heavy duty moving blankets. Another made a space in the corner of his living room, with a curtain partition, and attached studio acoustic foam on the walls.
A couple of other ideas is to get a pop up outdoor changing tent, or even a couple of room dividers (creating a “room”, and then putting an acoustic foam panel over the top), and then attaching acoustic foam panels on the inside. I thought about doing the latter with the room dividers. It’s not like they couldn’t be used in the future for what they are actually intended for.
I have even heard of taking chairs, and making a blanket fort, to cut down on the room acoustics.
If you have a closet, that works, as the clothes will naturally help with acoustics.
They do have “isolation chambers” for mics (surrounded by foam, and then an aluminum shell), to help with indirect sounds (such as echoes and noise from fans or air conditioners) and made for spaces (homes, hotels, offices) that are acoustically untreated. This could be an option in your case.
I am just starting out myself, so hopefully others can chime in with how they began their home “studios”.
I will tell you that when I started my coaching sessions, my coach asked me if I had any recording equipment, and I said that I did not. And she was like “good, do some research on equipment before you buy.” I have, and then emailed my education advisor, who in return asked the studio engineers their feedback, because they have tested a lot of equipment.
Many starting out in the VO program, upload their homework to the feedback forum as a recording from a voice recorder on their phone. But, you will need recording equipment, and a sound test, before you can make your demo.
There are studio equipment bundles for around $250 – $450. It’s a great way to start. That is how I am doing it. If you have not already heard of them, Sweetwater and B&H are great websites for equipment needs when the time comes. Some kits vary as far as included equipment, like shock mounts, pop-filters, headphones, mic stands, or software, but they all have an interface and mic.
I would recommend signing up for the Home Studio 101 webinar. You do not have to be enrolled in the VO program to take the webinar. Dan, the instructor/engineer for this class, will go over price ranges for equipment. At the end, you can ask questions.
As I like to look at it, one has to start somewhere. Where there is a will, there is a way!
One step at a time.
November 18, 2020 at 12:33 am #57961
Currently I am using Audacity for my DAW software. I have heard mixed reviews about it. I don’t want anything with a lot of bells and whistles starting out, so is there another simple, free, DAW software other than Audacity that I can try? Or is better than Audacity? I have done a little research, mainly with the software that comes with recording bundle kits, but they seem more elaborate than needed. Any recommendations from my fellow voiceover artists?
November 8, 2020 at 11:36 am #57369Jim56reeseParticipant
I am beginning the process of finding my sound,auditioning mics and room treatment.
With an RE20,I find annoying sibilants addressing the mic on axis while the rest of the voice sounds smooth and full.
May I address off axis and enhance with EQ?
November 25, 2020 at 11:49 am #58324jamestdawsonParticipant
@kfvoice I am not surer what interface you are using, but if you happen to be recording using an iPad, Focusrite offers a free app called “Tape” which is a simple and easy to use as I have seen. The GUI (graphical User Interface) resembles an old tape machine.
@Jim56reese There are de-esser plugins that can assist with the sibilance. But it is best to try and get the best sound before processing. Are you using a Pop Filter?
November 25, 2020 at 2:29 pm #58328
Thanks for the recommendation!
When I first started, I was uploading my homework using Voice Record Pro on my iPhone.
I don’t have an iPad at the moment, and I see that app you recommended is no longer available on iPhone.
A couple of weeks ago, I started using a Yeti Blackout, adding a pop filter a week later, and recording on my laptop with Audacity (already had it). This was to get used to recording with a mic/filter.
I’ll use the Yeti for video/voice calls, but, I have a Audio-Technica USB mic, recommended by Edge, arriving today. I will be getting a Rode interface bundle, soon, which comes with Ableton Live Lite. I’ll give that a try.
November 25, 2020 at 4:21 pm #58333jamestdawsonParticipant
I am not familiar with Ableton enough to advise. I did work for Apple for 6 years and prior to that established an internet radio station and audio visual lab for the students at a private college. Often what I would do is set up a template for the students. Essentially, configure the software for just what they needed. By stripping it down it was less distracting and they would just reuse it by doing a “save as.”
There may be some info online to do the same with Ableton. With all the options it is so easy to become overwhelmed. I always thought the best software or operating system is the one you are most comfortable with. I am sure you’ll do fine once it becomes familiar.
I recommended the Audio Technica for a friend as it is an excellent choice!
November 25, 2020 at 9:43 pm #58346
What a fascinating career!
I definitely want to use something that is simple; am comfortable using, and not so overwhelming. I do like technology (although not an expert), but this is a whole new world for me. I like trying out different things, though, and learning.
What I do know, is that Ableton Live Lite is stripped down from the Pro version. I did not know of this software in my research until I found the Rode bundle on a different site than where I was looking, and it was included. Since I am planning on getting the bundle anyway, it’s a bonus.
I did try to download the free version of Cubase, but ran into an issue.
I am looking forward to using the Audio-Technica!
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