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Tip #2: Choose a microphone that fits with your voice tone.

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  • Paula Hernandez #971945224

    SM7B is great for screams!
    For clean voices I like Miktek CV4 and CV7, I feel like their sound is very rich.
    I also like a lot of Neumann such as M137 or M147, I do NOT like the M149 (this is my personal taste though)
    On the other side we cannot forget vocal mics for live sound. The one that never fails of course the SM58 and the Sennheiser e835 (I like the e945 better).
    I've heard that the Telefunken M80 is also great for live performance but I personally have not tried it.
    Finally I never recommend a ribbon mic for vocals since the sound tends to be dark and eventually we need those high freqs to stand out the voice

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  • Angela Serrano #830202147

    Thank you Paula! Super interesting feedback you gave us there!

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  • Charles Paquin #1131257024

    Love my condenser mics.

    Neumann TLM 102
    Sennheiser MKH 416

    Got both for about half their retail price on Canadian equivalent of Craigslist (i.e. Kijiji) and they were in a pristine condition. Paired with my Zoom H5 recorder, a repurposed walk-in pantry, loads of thick moving blankets all around me, I can achieve noise floors well under -60 dB to keep Mr. Bunny happy.

    Now I only need Mr. Bunny to give me a chance and send me work :) British English jobs are scarce, sadly. Got loads of demos and the collection keeps growing to hopefully increase my chances.

    Happy recording!

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  • Angela Serrano #830202147

    Awesome, Charles! 

    The Neumann TLM 102 is awesome! I love the 103 personally. I used it in college and it gave my voice such a crisp and nice balance. My voice is super squeaky so I was just mesmerized at how much body that gave me! Haven't tried the Sennheiser tho! How's the response? I'd love to know :)

    Sales are awesome! We don't have a Craiglist in Colombia but we have tons of Facebook groups were people sell equipment for awesome prices! I've gotten a few things for my place like that and it's great! 

    You're certainly in our radar, Charles! Don't give up <3 We're here to help and, hopefully, we can help you land a lot of great work!

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  • Charles Paquin #1131257024

    The MKH 416 is a legendary mic much like the TLM 103. It's a supercardioid shotgun mic with a very narrow beam of sensitivty offering superb off-axis/side rejection therefore you have less liberty to move your head around, but it comes with a very rewarding attenuation from the sides and back. Its sweet spot is quite easy to find so technique shouldn't be too big of a challenge.

    The 416 has been used for decades, most commonly used on boom poles and seen by many as the industry reference and no 1 workhorse for dialogue in films, TV series and shows, etc.

    Frequency response is quite even across the spectrum (as it should, in my humble opinion) but because it's designed to be used quite far away from the subject, it was given an extra boost in upper mid and high freq to restore a bit of that sharpness that is otherwise lost as you move away from the source.

    That said, many VO artists (including big names like Joe Cipriani), are using this mic for VO work, perhaps also somewhat helping those who struggle to have perfect acoustics in their booth.

    I love how 'even' it sounds a bit more forgiving than my Neumann but no less precise in the definition. I have a medium-low voice and I find that this mic is excellent to keep a clean and crisp sound. Sybillants are not overly emphasised in the context of a VO usage and it is an absolute treat when you want to leverage the proximity effect to get more of that low-end juice — perfect for whispering when pop filter of foam bonnet are used and mouth is in front of the mic but aiming just a few cm away from the capsule to avoid those nasty plosives to hit it directly.

    I tend to record everything with my two mics on separate tracks and chose the one that I like the most depening on the context. It seems like I'm more prone to chose the 416 for more energetic VO scripts like advertising, podcasts, corporate, lively eLearning and IVR... and the TLM 102 for anything that requires more texture and definition like soft-spoken/intimate commercials and documentaries, but this is not a hard rule. I often contradict myself and go with the opposite of what just mentioned. :-P

    If you look up "Booth Junkie" (aka Mike DelGaudio) on YouTube, you will have an idea of how this mic sounds on a deep bass male voice. He often compares mics and one of his go-to mic is the MHK 416, alongside the CAD E100S and the TLM 103. He is an incredible resource for anyone serious about microphones and setups for VO recording.

    Hope you find this review helpful.

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  • Bridger Conklin #1242851864

    Thumbs up to Paula's and Charles' comments.

    My two primary workhorses are the Miktek CV4 and Miktek C7, which are phenomenal mics for nearly all voice types. I have a bass-baritone voice, and the clarity of the low and lower-mid frequencies using these mics is remarkable (especially the tube-based CV4). I've used other mics that make my voice sound thick and muddy by comparison. At the same time, the Mikteks have great, smooth-sounding high frequency response. My 10 year old daughter, who records audiobook voices using them, doesn't sound shrill or brittle at all. As an added bonus, both mics respond well to equalization, but most of the time I don't even need to apply any EQ, and if I do, it's very, very light. In the mixed blessing category, both mics are super sensitive, so you get tremendous voice detail (the good and the bad) as well as any extraneous environmental noises. For that reason, you should have a really quiet acoustical environment if you use these mics.

    At a lower price point, I'd strongly recommend the Sennheiser MK 4 mic. It's extremely versatile, sounds great on most voice types, and at ~$200 in mint used condition, is a steal. Its sound isn't quite as smooth as that of the Mikteks, but it sounds as good as or better than many $400-800 mics, and better than every sub-$300 mic I've ever heard.

    I'm intrigued by the setup Charles described in which he routinely records his VO into two different mics simultaneously and then compares the recordings to decide which works best for a particular project. There are times when I wonder if a dynamic mic (EV RE20) would be a better fit for a project, but the tedious and time-consuming process of swapping mics in and out often deters me from trying it out. With two mics recording in parallel, I wouldn't have to worry about swapping mics out.

    Also, I'd echo Charles' enthusiastic recommendation of Mike DelGaudio's YouTube channel, Booth Junkie. Mike offers really practical and helpful insights into the VO process that are great for beginners and seasoned pros alike. Also, I use Reaper as my DAW, and his Reaper tutorials are outstanding and aimed squarely at simplifying and automating the recording process for VO artists. 


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