You are here

Microphone/recording advice for narration

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Microphone/recording advice for narration

Postby akateros » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:11 pm

So I have a gear problem, and I'm not sure if it's in a piece of the gear, the whole thing, or user error, because I'm not really a gear person.

I'm trying to set up a home recording space for audio narration and voiceover performance. I have a corner, a Macbook Pro, and a set of Stonehenge muffling panels I got off kijiji - so far so good. I'm mostly using Adobe Audition to record and edit, although I also have Audacity and Garageband.

I've been renting gear in order to figure out what I want before I buy it. I'm female, fairly low alto voice, significant sibilance in my diction, and I've found so far that mics with "brightening" boost in the high end are... not a great choice for me, they boost entirely the wrong things.

I was working with a rented Electro Voice RE20, a Steinberg UR-12 and a cloudlifter, but even with the cloudlifter I found I had to turn the gain up so high to get a passable recording volume that I also got an ineradicable hiss from the UR-12 that no amount of noise reduction would remove.

I traded the UR-12 for a UR-22, but cloudlifter notwithstanding it STILL doesn't seem to have enough power for the EV RE20 (which is a shame, as aside from the hiss, I like the quality of the RE20's sound otherwise). However, a $1000 audio interface is a bit beyond me at the moment, so I may have to abandon it (short of other suggestions?)

I just now rented an Aston Stealth and an Aston Origin for a couple weeks to compare. The Stealth seems fine volume-wise, but a bit harsher than I'd prefer on my voice (and also the quick-release mount feels very untrustworthy for a mic that costs that much). The Origin - also has volume problems? for some reason? but I thought condensers weren't supposed to?

Forgive me leaping in cold like this, and also forgive my general ignorance on the subject. I really don't know what I'm doing, and IDEALLY what I'd like to accomplish here is a setup where I can sit down, record and go on my way with maybe a bit of noise reduction and minimal other effects. Certainly not the amount of normalising, equalising and limiting I'm having to do now to get a sub-par result.

Suggestions for other mics that might be better choices for a voice of my type, in that same CAD $500-ish or below range, would also be gratefully accepted. I just need to make a decision and stop renting.
akateros
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:10 pm

Re: Microphone/recording advice for narration

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:02 pm

It might be helpful if you could post a sample of your recordings. I wonder if the issue is ambient noise rather than electrical noise? You need a very quiet space for voiceover work and a quiet sounding room is still far noisier than a properly soundproofed studio.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8746
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Microphone/recording advice for narration

Postby akateros » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:22 pm

I do have (sadly) ambient noise, but the hiss is definitely coming from the audio interface; I can reduce it by reducing the gain, except that makes the recording incredibly quiet. It's also not been present with the other mics I've tested, which I don't have to crank as much. (I can probably post a sample later if that would help, though.)
akateros
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:10 pm

Re: Microphone/recording advice for narration

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:37 pm

I'm a little surprised that the UR22 would have that much hiss but, if you want an alternative I'd suggest something from the Audient range as the noise on even the cheapest one is only a couple of dB away from the theoretical thermal noise.

A couple of other thoughts... have you tried a different mic cable and is there anything else connected to the interface or computer? I'm just wondering if you have a bad mic lead, a ground loop or a grounding problem.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8746
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Microphone/recording advice for narration

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:54 pm

The hiss also depends on the strength of your normal reading voice and how close you are to the mic. It can very much depend on the standards expected by the people you need to please. I worked in talking book production for many years and production standards can vary wildly. As James mentioned, an audio example from you would help clarify things greatly. Tim.
Tim Gillett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1951
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Microphone/recording advice for narration

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:26 pm

How close are you working the mic? Guidelines for singing and voice over are quite different.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8972
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users