Thursday, 15 January 2015

#BLOG ALERT Best voiceover microphone

 I think I am about to open up a can of worms with this blog.  The very best microphone to buy for your vocal performance is ... the one that suits your voice.  If that sounds a bit glib it is not meant to be.

Human voices come in all sorts of different tones, pitch and delivery and I am not just talking about your vocal chords but the way you pronounce words, your accent and delivery.  So it's worth trying out a number of different microphones until you find one that suits you.

At the moment I am baby sitting a Neumann TLM 193 it's been around the block and I guess it is at least 20 years old but still works well.  I like the naturally warm sound and I have to do less processing to get a pleasing sound from the TLM 193. 

I think you can look at microphones the way you might look at a car,  so I am going to compare car with microphone and see if you can find one that fits your vocal style.

The Fiat 500 - The Blue Yeti silver edition

The Fiat 500
This nippy little well-designed car has a retro look.  If offers a great deal of bang for your buck, you can buy a sporty Abarth version as well as a modest 1200 litre model.

The Yeti
This is a nippy little well-designed microphone with a retro look.  It offers a great deal of bang for your buck, you can get an XLR pro version as well as a USB - plug it in and off you go.  Four polar patterns including cardioid for vocal work and stereo for recording live music.  It gives you an awful lot for about £100.00

The Ford Focus - The Rode NT1-A
The Ford Focus
A safe pair of hands, sturdy if a little mass produced, the Focus gives you a quiet ride and though its quite a bland car delivers a lot of extras at modest cost
The Rode NT1-A
A safe pair of hands, sturdy if a little mass produced the Rode gives you a quiet response and though it has quite a bland sound you get a lot of extras at modest cost.  Pop shield and shock mount and a cable for £120 ripper mate!

The Audi A5 Saloon - The Audio Technica AT2020 USB plus
The Audi A5 Saloon - a sophisticated family saloon car, but has a sporty look to it. It handles well but is an expensive buy.

 The Audio Technica AT2020 plus - has a sporty look to it.  Handles well and is NOT an expensive buy, it comes with a high quality A/D converter and a headphone jack allowing you monitor without delay.  So this is a microphone that punches above its weight.

The Mercedes A Class - The SE Electronics X1

The Mercedes A Class - A smart and stylish a top end family car that still looks good and performs well. Again expensive but you get a great interior that exudes luxury.
The SE Electronics X1 studio bundle is smart and stylish a top end performer with a bargain basement price.  I like the sintered grill that does a great job with plosive sounds.  This whole bundle will cost you just £180.  It's a phantom powered XLR so you will need an audio interface to connect to your computer, but like the AT2020 it punches way above its weight.

The BMW 3 series - The Neumann U87
The BMW 3 series - a car that has an upmarket image and great driving dynamics  make this beautifully engineered German baby purr.  Reliable and versatile with great specs this has a refined and comfortable feel. But you do pay £££ for all that engineering skill.
The Neumann U87 - a microphone that has an upmarket image and great driving dynamics make this beautifully engineered German baby purr.  Reliable and versatile with great specs this has a refined and comfortable feel.  But you do pay £££ for all that engineering skill.

So there are plenty of great microphones at equally great prices but for top of the range results always choose a Neumann microphone it should never let you down. 

For equally good sonic quality Audio Technica and SE Electronics turn in a good product. 

For cheeky price and great quality and polar versatility the Yeti stands out as the best entry level podcasting mic.





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