When setting up your home voice over recording studio, there are tons of items that are on the list and a variety of price points. However, there are the top 5 items to start with and then from there, you can slowly build up. The most important part is that you need high-quality audio recordings to not only get jobs but to keep booking jobs.
The equipment starts with the microphone. A high-quality microphone will get the best and cleanest sound. You want to make sure that it will capture your voice as it impacts the overall quality of the recording. And YES, there are a lot of mics to choose from! THIS is where you should spend most of your gear money!
There are two main types of microphones, USB and XLR. Professional voice over talent uses an XLR, they have a wider dynamic range and more sensitivity. USB microphones were created more for the everyday person who needs a mic for zoom calls. Although, the sound quality of these mics is improving constantly.
The better your microphone is the more sensitive it can be, which makes the filter a necessity. You want a sensitive microphone to give the rich texture and nuances of your voice. However, you do not want all voice noises audible.
A pop filter will help with the plosive and sibilant sounds that the mouth makes, especially the “P” pop and the “S” hiss.
Studio quality headphones matter. It gives you a chance to hear all the unwanted noises and sounds, including lip smacks and small noises from the home studio. Earbuds and headsets do not have the clarity of studio headphones. Nor are regular "music listening" stereo headphones a good choice either. Given that they do not produce a "flat" sound and "color" your voice too much. It is important that you can hear every little thing because the client certainly will when you send the recording.
Having a quality microphone will get you the best sounding noises, yet not all sounds need to be on the recording. When deciding on the best place to set up your recording area, think about the windows and outside noises. Consider what walls you are sharing with, such as the laundry room. If you live alone, then it makes some choices very easy, however, with roommates or family then you have to consider what they are doing in the house as well.
Before investing in a ton of soundproofing materials, a commonplace that voice-over talent finds has good recording is a closet, especially a walk-in closet. There is space to set up an area and it has decent acoustics being a small space full of soft clothing and not a lot of furniture for sound to bounce off.
And remember, the best mic in the world will yield a lousy sound if the space it is in is poorly soundproofed. So, make sure that space is "tight" with no echo or outside noise entering it.
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)
A digital audio workstation is the application software that is used for recording, editing, and producing audio files. There are many options available on the market, including free ones like Audacity. However, there are options that you must purchase like Adobe Audition that have all the plugins and editing options to produce quality audio files.
It is important to research the options and learn how to use the equipment, it is not enough to have the workstation; it is also about using it to create the highest quality recordings.
These are just the bare essentials of what you'll need. Research each area for greater detail.
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