Equipment for home studio

  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Hello, I am looking into buying my own VO equipment for a home studio. I know VO's are moving more and more into the home studio environment, but I'm finding it hard to pick which equipment to go for.

    Can anyone shed some light?

    I have a Mac Book Pro, have final cut which I can use well so not a tech phobe as such but don't want to buy the wrong thing!

    My space is quite airy with high ceilings which isn't the best environment but I am thinking with a good mic guard and also maybe a cardboard box for over my head (joke! although....) it may be ok.

    Would be fab if you can post some opinions on what you may use?

    Thanks in advance.

    Nats

    • 7th Jan 2014
    • 4496
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  • Adam Diggle

    Voice Over:English

    Hi Natalie

    I once asked a sound engineer about how to put together a home recording set up and he said the inside of a wardrobe lined with acoustic foam works really well. You want to eliminate the sound of the room and if you have high ceilings then positioning your mic inside a wardrobe/cupboard will help with that but you will need soft materials to cover any hard surfaces which will help to create a 'dead' sound. It also helps to have wall behind you that is treated (covered with accoustic foam, blankets etc) as you face the mic, this also stops it picking up the ambient noise of the room. As for the mic itself it needs to be a condensor, I know a guy who runs a e-learning company and he swears by Rhode mics, has three of them, they're only about £150 and they run so quietly, perfect for voice only stuff. Hope that helps. Adam

    • 7th Aug 2013
    • 1
  • Liam Gerrard

    Voice Over:English

    Sound on sound has some great advice and articles on building a home studio. MacBook pros are more than enough, basically our two main factors affecting quality of your recordings is going to be your mic, and ambient room noise. You can get a decent large diaphragm condenser mic for under £200 you don't have to have a U87 and you're right when you say room noise can be treated with simple things. Again, sound on sound has some great advice for this, you don't have to have an isolating floating booth installed. All you are inputting is a single source, rather than a 50 pc orchestra. Play around! You can get a good focusrite Safire 6 / rode Nt1-a combo for a coupe of hundred which would be more that adequate on eBay.

    • 7th Aug 2013
    • 2
  • Norman Gilligan

    Voice Over:English

    Hi Natalie.

    I have a very high spec laptop running Windows7, Pro Tools version 10, Digidesign MBox3 mini, an AKG Perception 220 Condensing mic.

    My "studio" consists of mobile coat rack with a single duvet draped over it and a mattress protector over the top secured on two mic stands.

    I deliver broadcast quality audio and have worked for some major clients.

    I aspire to having a proper recording booth but, quite frankly, I haven't needed one in the five years I have been a professional.

    Good luck.

    N.

    • 7th Aug 2013
    • 3
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Hello, thanks so much for the replies!! Loving the makeshift studio and at the end of the day it's all about what works I guess! And being out of vision is a big plus!

    Def got some areas to look at then so thanks for you helps guys! Ill let you know how I get on!!

    Nats

    • 7th Aug 2013
    • 4
  • Cameron Baird

    Voice Over:English

    Hi Natalie, I would say if you can get a Rode NT1-A Microphone, they are brilliant for recording voice, I have one and you really do feel like your in a studio, Saffire Pro 6, as Liam suggested is a great choice, you link that to your Mac (but make sure you have a FireWire card in your Mac first). One other essential is a Editor's Keys Portable Vocal Booth which really sorts out your problem of high ceilings. A good place to buy everything is DV247.com

    You can also ask them for help if your unsure.

    I wrote a guide for VoicesPro and it appeared in Casting Call Pro's New book so thought I'd pass on advice. Hope it helps and you don't have to resort to the cardboard box idea lol.

    Cameron

    • 8th Aug 2013
    • 5
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Hello, thanks for all these great tips! I'm going to sit on my computer and have a research based on what everyone has said! Great to hear what people are using and finding is working for them so a big thanks to you all!

    Congrats Cameron on your guide being published!!

    Have a fab wkend!

    Nats x

    • 9th Aug 2013
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    All good advice there, Natalie. Just thought I'd add (I'm a voice artist and sound engineer) always try to use the smallest room possible to record in (not the bathroom for obvious reasons!). Smaller rooms are easier to treat acoustically. You'll have much better results if you're after a dead sound working in a small space rather than, say, a big open lounge. A small 'box' bedroom is perfect.

    Hope that helps.

    Darren

    • 5th Sep 2013
    • 7
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Wise words!! Thanks for that Darren! It's now a case of taking the leap and hoping it works Ha

    :-)

    • 5th Sep 2013
    • 8
  • User Deleted

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    Norman's suggestion of the AKG 220 mic is a good one. I use one as my backup microphone to my Neumann and it really is a great microphone for the money.

    • 10th Sep 2013
    • 9
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks Paul!

    • 11th Sep 2013
    • 10
  • Will Harrison-Wallace

    Voice Over:English

    Valuable advice thank you.

    Just wondered if any of you had come across this device from Rode. I was working on a film yesterday and the sound guy used this simple-looking mic plugged into an iphone ( there is an accompanying downloadable app which costs £3).

    Anyway he swore by it...here is the link if anyone wants to know more. Would be interested to hear feedback from anyone who has used it for home recording.

    Cheers

    [ ]

    • 18th Sep 2013
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Will.

    I'm sure that mic will get a passable sound. It sounds great for recording whilst out and about. If you're seriously looking for a mic for a home set up then definitely don't buy this mic. It's a small condenser mic and you will not get the 'close in' sound you need. If you are a serious v/o by the way, you won't be searching for ways to record into an iPhone :)

    For a home studio you need a large diaphragm condenser mic. I use an SE Electronics Z 3300 A. Relatively inexpensive and superb quality. Shop around but the rule is, don't buy a clip on mic for v/o work.

    :)

    • 18th Sep 2013
    • 12
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks for all the posts. Great to see how and what people are using and sometimes you never know when you might need to use something like that. I'm always peering at the tech equipment to see what people use.

    I haven't managed to do anything yet but plan on researching all the suggestions on my next day off...

    • 19th Sep 2013
    • 13
  • Will Harrison-Wallace

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks very much Darren...I don't know about serious yet but I have ambitions to be !! I don't have means to record to a professional standard at home.

    Have had a variety of jobs this year (all recordings have been done in a studio) which I have mostly got by sending in my "audition" recorded on an iphone - I guess a mic like this should produce a better result for this purpose ?

    • 19th Sep 2013
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi,

    I only have done recording in a studio, but I would like to start my home recording too. One question: do you need a vast music library? Do companies ask for background music too or they are happy to get your voice only?

    Thanks to all for all the tips, extremely valuables!

    • 26th Sep 2013
    • 15
  • Liam Gerrard

    Voice Over:English

    It's handy to have your own music when making reels, demos auditions etc and there are loads of royalty free sites you can use. However, no company would ask you to put your own music on unless it's a service you personally offer as a composer/performer. Most companies want a simple clean recording (I find) with no post-production, mastering, compression etc (tho I always put a tiny squeeze on!) because they will want to eq, limit ect in the mix with their own sound engineer with the other sfx, music etc. sometimes people send me the music file and ask me to upload it and that fine but that's easy

    • 26th Sep 2013
    • 16
  • User Deleted

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    Yep, you don't need a library of music. The production company that hire you as a voice will be responsible for the finished project, and that means supplying music. What Liam said, basically. :)

    • 26th Sep 2013
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    Hi All,

    just a final check with you all. I am going to buy the following items and I will be using a Macbook Air. Just to know if i am doing the right thing or i could spend less with cheaper but still good items

    mike:Rode NT1-A

    Steinberg Cubase Elements 7 Music Production System

    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2x2 USB Audio Interface

    Fame Mic Reflexion Screen Pro Set Microphone

    Reflection Screen Set.

    Thanks again for the extremely valuable comments!

    Paola

    • 8th Oct 2013
    • 18
  • User Deleted

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    All sounds good. Is cubase costing much? You can use garage band if you have it free on mac?

    • 8th Oct 2013
    • 19