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Gear Review: The Best Microphones for Recording Voice Overs
“In a world filled with undecided buyers and critical audiences, voice over artists must strike a balance between high-quality microphones and low-end budgets.”
If you read that in your deepest 80’s-movie-trailer-voice, you’re probably ready to become a pro voice over artist. But before you dive into your best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression or cue up your laugh track sound effects, you have to get the right gear. Unfortunately, microphones are extremely technical and deciding which one to invest in can be a bit of a headache—which is why we went ahead and did the research for you!
Microphones come in many shapes and sizes, but what matters most when deciding what microphone to buy is what you’re going to record. For this list, we’re focusing on the best microphones for recording voice overs—in other words, a microphone that is sensitive enough to pick up the subtleties of the human voice. Generally, the best mics for this are condenser microphones. We’ve listed a few of our top picks, plus a USB mic for good measure, all of which are sure to get the job done on any budget.
#1: Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Any mic is better than no mic, and if you’re just starting out, the Blue Yeti is perfect for you. It is the cheapest mic on the list, but it certainly doesn’t sound that way. However, it is a USB mic, which means you won’t get the widest dynamic range or the richest tones—but for the price, you can’t beat it. It offers multiple pickup patterns, making it more versatile than most, and it’s very easy to set up and start recording. Plus it comes in several colors so you can record in style.
#2: Sennheiser MK4
A step up from the Blue Yeti is the Sennheiser MK4. This mic offers a wide dynamic range and a very bright tone for the price. It’s built like a rock with a 24 carat, gold-plated diaphragm and metal housing—making it durable and long-lasting. It connects through XLR cables, so you’ll need additional equipment with phantom power for it to work, but the sound quality is worth the extra setup.
#3: Rode NTK
A professional sounding mic at a mid-range budget, the Rode NTK stands out amongst others at this price point. Rode has a long-standing record of producing high-quality audio equipment and is a staple in the industry—so it’s no surprise they made a microphone that’s excellent for voice over artists. It can pick up a large range of frequencies making it suitable for any type of voice.
#4: AKG Pro Audio C414
If you’ve been saving up and are looking for a mic that can handle everything you need it to, the AKG C414 is the mic for you. It’s well-built, versatile, and produces professional-level sound. It features 9 effective pickup patterns and several low-cut filters, giving you more control over your finished product.
#5: Neumann U87
If you’re serious about voice over acting, check out the industry standard Neumann U87. Used by professional recording artist from around the world, the Neumann U87 will make sure your voice is heard in the best quality possible. This large condenser microphone doesn’t come cheap, but you’re sure to get the sound you want.
Before You Go
Before you start recording, there are a few extra steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the most out of your mic. Afterall, a microphone is only as good as the conditions it records in, so modifying those conditions can take your sound from good to great.
Here are a few tips to help your mic record to its highest potential:
– Soundproof your room with absorption panels or thick blankets to reduce echo and unwanted noise.
– Place a pop filter in front of your mic to smooth out those P’s and S’s.
– Get a shock mount that fits your mic to prevent small bumps and bangs.
– Make sure you’re close to the mic when recording.
No matter what your budget is, there’s a microphone for you. With these mics and tips, you’ll be on your way to recording studio-quality voice overs in no time. And if f you want to add an extra bang to your recordings, consider spicing them up with some royalty free sound effects.
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