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If you’ve ever watched a video with a visual presentation of some sort along with a person speaking, then you’ve experienced a voice over. Get more background on how to do a voice over and a voice over definition if you’re not sure what this style of recording is.
The importance of voice overs in eLearning is undeniable. The quality of your voice overs can be the differentiating factor between effective, engaging content and content that is hard to watch or listen to.
So, how can you ensure the best quality of your voice overs?
Careful selection of a voice over microphone is a great place to start.
Why the Quality of Your Voice Over Microphone Matters
A microphone captures the sound of your voice and is one of the basic essentials you need to record a good voice over.
If you’re thinking any microphone will do the job as long as it’s functional, you might want to drop that thought right now.
The quality of your microphone plays a major role in determining the overall quality of your recordings. While different mics come with their own list of features and specifications, choosing the perfect microphone for your eLearning voice overs may seem like a daunting task.
Choosing the Best Microphone for Voice Overs
Your choice of microphone decides the tone, quality, and character of your voice overs.
Microphones can be categorized into two basic types:
1. Dynamic Microphones
This type of microphone is ideal for recording when you want your voice to sound warm. The most common and perhaps the easiest microphones to use, dynamic microphones don’t require external power to function.
Typically, dynamic microphones are suitable for recording podcasts and audio books.
2. Condenser Microphones
Condenser microphones are the perfect choice when you want your voice overs to sound clear and natural. Unlike dynamic mics, they require you to choose a power-supplying audio interface.
It’s easy to see why condenser microphones may be the ideal option for recording your eLearning voice overs. The clearer the voice, the more effective the message is conveyed.
It’s important to note that condenser microphones are further divided into two categories. These are large diaphragm and small diaphragm condensers.
Large diaphragm microphones are popular for offering the most natural and clear voice recordings. Small diaphragm condensers give a relatively sharper sound by boosting the upper end of your voice.
How Do Microphones Work?
Have you ever wondered how your voice is amplified when you use a microphone?
A microphone is an essential tool for singers, public speakers, musicians, and even for recording sound. It converts sound waves into electrical signals that can be amplified and recorded. When a sound is created, it creates waves that travel through the air. The microphone has a diaphragm that vibrates with the sound waves and then converts those vibrations into electrical signals called audio waves.
As mentioned above, there are two types of microphones: dynamic and condenser microphones. A dynamic microphone is most commonly used for live sets and recordings. The diaphragm inside the microphone is connected to a coil of wire and a magnet system.
As the diaphragm vibrates, the coil of wire moves through the magnetic field, which creates a current. This current is then sent through a wire to the sound system, which amplifies it.
A condenser microphone typically provides high-quality sound and is commonly used in sound recording studios. The diaphragm is placed close to a solid metal plate called a backplate.
When sound waves vibrate the diaphragm, it moves closer and farther away from the backplate, creating changes in capacitance. The capacitance change generates an electrical signal, which is amplified.
There are also microphones like USB microphones. These microphones are used to record sound and connect directly to a computer via USB instead of an XLR cable. You can find these microphones in different types and designs with unique features, but they all work the same way as other microphones.
Finally, microphones can also experience problems due to feedback. Feedback is when a microphone picks up its own output sound, causing an unpleasant ringing or amplification of sound. This problem can be solved easily by adjusting the position or direction of the microphone and reducing the speaker’s volume.
Learning how microphones work may seem difficult but with this easy explanation, you can now understand how microphones operate. Remember that microphones enable us to amplify our voices and create beautiful sounds to listen to.
If you’re thinking about buying a microphone, consider what type of microphone you need, and ask a professional for some advice. Keep learning and exploring the incredible world of sound technology!
A USB microphone is a type of microphone that connects to a computer, tablet, or smartphone via a USB cable. A USB mic has an inbuilt analog-to-digital converter that turns the analog signal generated by the microphone into a digital signal that can be processed by the device it’s connected to.
USB mics are designed to be plug-and-play, which means that you can simply plug them into your computer or device, and they will start working right away.
How do USB Microphones Work?
USB microphones use an inbuilt analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to convert the analog sound waves produced by the microphone into digital data that can be processed by a computer or device.
The microphone also has an inbuilt preamp that amplifies the signal from the microphone before it is converted into digital data. Regular microphones require an external audio interface. On the other hand, USB microphones are designed to be plug-and-play. This means that they can be used straight out of the box without the need for any additional hardware or drivers.
Why Are USB Microphones So Popular?
USB microphones have become popular because they offer a simple and convenient way to record high-quality audio on a computer or mobile device. They are perfect for podcasters, YouTube creators, gamers, musicians, and anyone who needs to record audio for their content.
Unlike traditional microphones, USB microphones are designed to be easy to use and require minimal setup. They are also portable and can be used on the go, making them an ideal choice for anyone who needs to record audio from different locations.
- USB microphones are convenient – One of the main advantages of using a USB microphone is that they are very convenient. Unlike traditional microphones, which need to be connected to an audio interface or mixer, USB microphones can be plugged directly into a computer.
- USB microphones are easy to use – Another advantage of USB microphones is that they are very easy to use. Unlike traditional microphones, which can be tricky to set up and get working properly, USB microphones are plug-and-play devices that anyone can use with ease.
- USB microphones offer great sound quality – Another big advantage of using a USB microphone is that they offer great sound quality. Thanks to advances in technology, today’s USB microphones are capable of capturing audio with incredible detail and accuracy.
- USB microphones are affordable- Another advantage of using a USB microphone is that they are very affordable. Unlike traditional microphones, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, many high-quality USB microphones can be purchased for less than $100.
- USB microphones are versatile – Another big advantage of using a USB microphone is that they are extremely versatile. Unlike traditional microphones, which are typically only used for one specific purpose (e.g., live vocals), USB microphones can be used for a variety of different applications such as podcasting, gaming, streaming, and more.
- Compatible With Most Computers And Operating Systems – Finally, another big advantage of using a USB microphone is that they are compatible with most computers and operating systems. Whether you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac, there’s a good chance that your computer will have no problem working with a USB microphone
- Latency Issues – One of the primary drawbacks of USB microphones is that they can introduce latency issues. Latency is the delay between when a sound is made and when it is heard through the microphone.
- Limited Compatibility – Another downside of USB microphones is that they are not compatible with all devices. For example, if you want to use a USB microphone with an iPhone, you will need to purchase an adapter.
- More Expensive – USB microphones are also typically more expensive than traditional microphones. This is due in part to the fact that they often offer features that traditional microphones do not, such as built-in preamps and digital converters.
- Requires Drivers – Another potential downside of USB microphones is that they often require drivers in order to work properly. Drivers are small pieces of software that allow your computer to communicate with the microphone.
- Not as Durable – Finally, USB microphones are not typically as durable as traditional microphones. This is due to the fact that they often have more delicate components, such as digital converters and preamps.
Do you want to take your audio recording to the next level? If yes, then you need to get a good microphone. Not just any microphone, but an XLR microphone. XLR stands for Extended Linearity and Range, and it’s a type of professional audio connector that has been around for almost a century now.
An XLR microphone is a type of microphone that uses an XLR connector to connect to an audio device. XLR microphones are commonly used in professional recording studios, on-stage performances, and in broadcasting. Compared to other types of microphones, XLR microphones offer better signal quality and lower noise levels.
It works by converting sound waves into an electrical signal. The sound waves enter the microphone through its diaphragm, which is attached to a coil of wire. As the sound waves move the diaphragm, the wire coil moves in and out of a magnet, creating an electrical current.
This electrical current is then sent out of the XLR connector and into the audio device, where it is recorded or amplified.
- Improved Sound Quality – The first and most obvious benefit of XLR microphones is that they offer improved sound quality over their 3.5mm counterparts. This is due to the fact that XLR microphones have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio, which means that they produce a cleaner and clearer sound.
- Increased Durability – XLR microphones are also much more durable than 3.5mm microphones, as they are typically made with higher-quality materials. The connectors on XLR microphones are also much more robust, which means that they are less likely to break or become damaged.
- Greater Flexibility – Another advantage of XLR microphones is that they offer greater flexibility in terms of placement and connection options. For example, XLR microphones can be placed further away from the sound source than 3.5mm microphones, as they can be connected using longer cables.
- Better Power Options – XLR microphones also offer better power options than 3.5mm microphones, as they can be powered by either batteries or phantom power.
- Lower Price Point – Despite the many benefits of XLR microphones, they actually tend to be more affordable than their 3.5mm counterparts. This is due to the fact that XLR microphones are mass-produced and used in a variety of applications.
- Expensive – One of the primary disadvantages of XLR microphones is that they are generally more expensive than other types of microphones. This is due to the fact that they are typically made with higher-quality materials and components, which results in a higher price tag.
- More Fragile – Another downside of XLR microphones is that they are often more fragile than other types of microphones. This is because they typically have more delicate components, which can be easily damaged if the microphone is dropped or mishandled.
- Requires Additional Equipment – As mentioned above, one of the drawbacks of XLR microphones is that they often require additional equipment, such as an audio interface or mixer. This can be a problem for people who do not have access to this type of equipment.
- Can Be Difficult to Use – Another disadvantage of XLR microphones is that they can be difficult to use for people who are not familiar with them. This is because they often require the use of additional equipment, such as an audio interface or mixer, which can be confusing for people who are not familiar with it.
- Not Portable – Finally, one of the downsides of XLR microphones is that they are generally not as portable as other types of microphones. This is because they often require the use of additional equipment, such as an audio interface or mixer, which can be bulky and difficult to transport.
Steps To Pick Your Microphone
Step 1: Select Connection Type
One of the first steps to picking the perfect microphone for your needs is deciding which connection type is right for you. Whether you’re looking to record vocals, podcasts, or stream gameplay, there are a variety of different connection types available to suit your individual preferences.
One popular choice is the USB microphone, which offers plug-and-play convenience with no additional hardware required. Alternatively, XLR microphones offer a high-quality, balanced connection that is perfect for professional studio work.
Step 2: Choose Microphone Type
There are several different types of microphones to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. Dynamic microphones are durable and great for live performances, while condenser microphones offer superior sound quality for studio recordings.
Ribbon microphones are prized for their warm, natural sound, while USB microphones are convenient for those who want to record directly onto their computer.
By taking some time to consider the type of microphone that will best fit your needs, you can make an informed decision and ensure that you’re getting the right tool for the job.
Step 3: Choose Microphone Pattern
Choosing the right microphone pattern is essential to ensuring that your recordings sound professional and polished. With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is best for your needs.
When looking at microphone patterns, you’ll want to consider factors such as where you’ll be recording, what kind of audio you’ll be capturing, and what kind of environment you’ll be in. From cardioid to bi-directional to omnidirectional, there are many patterns to choose from, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages.
Take the time to research and experiment with different microphone patterns to find the one that suits your specific needs and recording style. By choosing the right pattern, you’ll be well on your way to creating exceptional recordings that truly stand out.
Step 4: Select Diaphragm Size
The diaphragm size of a microphone plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the sound it captures. It is important to select the right size to ensure your voice or instrument is captured with clear detail.
The two main sizes are large-diaphragm and small-diaphragm microphones. Large-diaphragm microphones are perfect for recording vocals or instruments that produce low frequencies, like a bass guitar.
On the other hand, small diaphragm microphones are ideal for high-frequency instruments like violins or acoustic guitars. By selecting the right diaphragm size, you can ensure that your microphone will provide the perfect sound quality for your needs.
The Best Budget Microphone for Recording Voice Overs
As an eLearning course provider, you should consider aiming for a balance between premium-quality microphones and low-end budgets.
Let’s have a look at some of the popular options you have to choose from.
Please note: Some of the links below are affiliate links which means I’ll receive a commission if you end up buying after clicking on one of my links. There’s no cost to you. I only review products I’ve used and believe could be useful to my readers.
The MXL 700 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is a top choice for voice over artists because it’s easy to use for amateurs and pros alike. This small diaphragm microphone has a cardioid polar pattern that makes it suitable for both single and multiple voice overs.
If you’re a beginner who has just stepped into the eLearning voice over world, MXL 770 may be the perfect choice for you. It’s not only super affordable and easy to maneuver, but also promises high audio quality for voice overs.
- Easy to use for amateurs.
- Offers clear, crisp sound.
- Is versatile with high levels of sensitivity.
- Is sturdy and durable for long-term use.
- Comes with a good-quality hard case and soft foam padding for maximum protection.
- Can catch background noises.
- The quality of the shock mount is not superior.
- Air can get into the diaphragm, leading to unwanted moisture and wind sounds.
- Its user manual lacks detail.
Pro tip: To prevent this microphone from catching background noises and wind, make sure that you use a pop filter for maximum effectiveness.
–> Shop for the MXL 770 Condenser Microphone
The MXL 990 condenser microphone remains one of the top choices of experts. It has a small diaphragm, which makes for its affordable price. Featuring a custom shock mount, it offers a sweet yet solid professional sound. It’s an ideal option for both digital and analog recordings.
- Perhaps the most versatile microphone in its price range.
- Comes with mount shock, a mic stand adapter, and supporting case.
- Favored by both beginners and experts alike.
- May not be able to handle high SPL sources.
- Can catch ambient noises when not placed correctly.
–> Shop for the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
If you’re just starting out on your journey as an eLearning course instructor, Blue Yeti might be the perfect microphone for you. It’s priced the lowest on the list but certainly doesn’t compromise on the sound quality.
It boasts great versatility by offering four pattern modes for you to choose from, including stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. While the cardioid pattern is ideal for recording voice overs, you may also use this mic for recording other kinds of audio. Moreover, this multi-functional mic allows you to control the gain of the microphone and mute the line. Not only this, but you may also connect your headphones with the mic.
- Very easy to set up and record, ideal for at-home use.
- Provides you with four different modes of pickup pattern.
- Is super affordable.
- Comes in multiple colors for you to record in style.
- Offers a rich, solid sound for voice overs.
- Picks up background noises.
- Flimsy controls.
- The mounting stand is a bit awkward, making mounting difficult.
USB microphones for voice overs often work well so we have an entire article dedicated just for them if you’re interested.
–> Shop for the Blue Yeti USB Microphone
This is the microphone I personally use in my home voice over studio. I purchased mine in 2017 and haven’t had any problems with it. For a mid-priced microphone (about $200 or up depending where you shop and if there’s a promotion) it gets the job done and my voice overs sound really awesome.
This microphone has a hand-built large-diaphragm cardiod capsule which results in rich sound. It’s perfect for voice over recordings.
- Outstanding sound quality that you expect from Blue Microphones.
- Uncommonly low distortion.
- Works great with home studio audio interfaces.
- Cannot be directly connected to your device.
- Mid-range price so it’s definitely not the cheapest microphone on the list.
5. Rode NT1-A
The Rode NT1-A is specially designed with a cardioid polar pattern and a large diaphragm to offer excellent sound quality. It comes with a special filter to minimize the number of ambient noises in your recording, relieving you of the hassle of extensive editing. In addition to this, it also includes a cable, cover, and DVD featuring helpful lessons on how to make good recordings. At an affordable rate, this microphone is certainly the dream microphone for most content creators and audio lecturers.
- Comes with a special sound filter.
- Allows you to record high-quality sounds.
- Offers complimentary cable, case, and DVD lessons.
- Can’t be directly connected to your device.
- Requires an additional sound card.
6. Rode NT-USB
That’s why we are here to introduce you to a gem of a microphone that boasts premium audio recording abilities but doesn’t come with the premium price tag: the Rode NT-USB.
The Rode NT-USB is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality microphone that won’t break the bank. Its sound quality rivals that of expensive microphones, and its plug-and-play simplicity makes it easy to use for content creators of all levels.
While it may not be ideal for recording in noisy environments and has some directional limitations, its built-in features make it a great all-around microphone for most recording needs.
- The Rode NT-USB is a condenser microphone that provides crisp and clear audio recording. It has a frequency response range of 20Hz-20kHz, which means it can capture a wide range of audio frequencies. Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or podcasts, the Rode NT-USB can deliver professional-level sound quality that’s comparable to higher-priced microphones.
- One of the best things about the Rode NT-USB is its plug-and-play simplicity. You don’t need to purchase any additional software or hardware to use this microphone. Simply plug it into your computer’s USB port, and you’re ready to record. The microphone is also compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.
- The Rode NT-USB may be budget-friendly, but it definitely doesn’t skimp on features. It has a built-in pop filter that helps eliminate plosives and other unwanted sounds during recording. It also has a headphone jack that allows you to monitor your recording as you go. The microphone’s volume and gain controls are conveniently located on the front of the microphone, making it easy to adjust on-the-fly.
- Due to its sensitivity, the Rode NT-USB isn’t the best choice if you’re recording in a noisy environment. This voice-over microphone picks up all sounds within its range, including background noise, which can compromise the quality of your recording. For optimal results, it’s best to use this microphone in a controlled environment with minimal ambient noise.
- The Rode NT-USB is most sensitive to sound directly in front of it and less sensitive to sounds behind it. While its pickup pattern is great for recording vocals and podcasts, it can be limiting for other types of recordings. If you’re looking for a microphone that can capture sound from all directions, you may want to consider a different model.
Overall, the Blue Snowball iCE is an excellent microphone for those just starting out or those on a tight budget. Its ease of use, directional recording capabilities, and affordability make it a top choice for podcasters, YouTubers, and musicians.
- Its price point makes it affordable for those just starting out while still delivering high-quality, clear audio recordings. This makes it an excellent choice for podcasters, YouTubers, and beginner musicians.
- It is a plug-and-play microphone – all you have to do is plug it into your computer’s USB port, and it’s ready to go. It also has a universal thread mount, meaning you can mount it onto a boom arm, tripod or stand, giving you more flexibility with your setup.
- The cardioid polar pattern means it picks up sound in a heart-shaped pattern. This makes it ideal for directional recording, meaning it will only pick up sound coming from a particular direction.
- The Blue Snowball iCE isn’t perfect, of course. One of the downsides is that it doesn’t have any gain control, making it difficult to adjust the volume of your recording. As such, you may have to do some post-production editing to adjust the levels.
- Another drawback of this microphone is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. When recording, it can be useful to hear yourself through headphones so you can monitor the audio levels and make adjustments as necessary.
- Without a headphone jack, this isn’t possible. However, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as it’s still possible to monitor your audio levels through your computer.
- The Blue Snowball iCE is a condenser microphone, which means it’s more sensitive than dynamic microphones. This makes it great for picking up quieter sounds, but it can also pick up unwanted background noise.
SE Electronics sE2200a is a budget-friendly condenser microphone that offers incredible sound quality for a steal of a price. Overall, the SE Electronics sE2200a is an excellent choice for anyone on a budget looking for a high-quality condenser microphone.
Its versatility, reliability, and affordability make it a standout in its price range. While it has a few minor drawbacks to consider, such as its sensitivity to handling noise and muted high-frequency response, these are outweighed by its many positive attributes.
- The SE Electronics sE2200a is an incredibly versatile and well-rounded microphone. This is perfect for recording vocals or acoustic instruments in a home studio environment, as it minimizes background noise and captures the true essence of the source material.
- The frequency response is also impressive, with a flat and neutral sound that accurately captures the nuances of the performance. This makes it an excellent choice for recording podcasts or voiceovers as well.
- Another pro of this microphone is the build quality. It feels sturdy and well-made in your hand, with a nickel-plated brass body and a large diaphragm capsule. It also comes with a shock mount and pop filter, which helps isolate the microphone from vibrations and plosives, respectively.
- Additionally, the sE2200a has a low self-noise level of 17 dB, which means it produces very little hiss or noise when recording quiet sources. Overall, the SE Electronics sE2200a is an affordable, reliable, and high-quality microphone.
- It requires phantom power to operate, which means you will need a compatible audio interface or mixer to use it. This can be a minor inconvenience for some users, but it’s something to keep in mind nonetheless.
- Another potential con is that the microphone can be sensitive to handling noise if not properly isolated. This means that minor movements or bumps to the microphone stand can be picked up by the microphone and lead to unwanted noise in the recording.
- Finally, the sE2200a has a somewhat muted high-frequency response compared to other condensers in its price range. While this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking for a brighter, more sparkling sound.
Best Mid-Range Microphones (condenser)
When it comes to voice-over microphones, there are so many options on the market that it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is right for you. That’s why it’s important to break it down into categories, like mid-range condenser microphones.
These types of mics are great for different situations, from recording vocals to instruments. They typically offer a higher level of clarity than their cheaper counterparts, and they won’t break the bank like the higher-end options.
9. Rode NTK
The Rode NTK is one of the best mid-range condenser microphones available in the market. With its superior sound quality, durable build quality, and compatibility with different recording interfaces and preamps, it is the perfect choice for podcasters, musicians, and YouTubers.
While it has limited connectivity options, investing in the Rode NTK will undoubtedly enhance your recording experience and provide high-quality audio output for years.
- The Rode NTK is renowned for its superior sound quality as it uses a large 1-inch capsule with a gold-plated diaphragm. The microphone delivers a rich and clear sound with minimal noise levels.
- With a superior build quality, the microphone is built with high-quality materials, which provides a solid feel to the microphone. This reduces the chances of any damage during transport or accidental falls.
- The Rode NTK microphone is compatible with a range of recording interfaces and preamps. It can be used with tube preamps for a warm, vintage sound or with solid-state preamps for a more modern sound.
- The biggest con of the Rode NTK microphone is its limited connectivity options. The microphone has no XLR or USB output built into it, meaning that you will need to buy a separate interface to use it.
- The microphone requires an external power source and cannot be powered by USB.
The Neumann TLM 102MT is a standout option. Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or podcasts, this microphone has a clear and natural sound that you won’t find in many other options. Of course, there are pros and cons to any microphone, and the Neumann TLM 102MT is no exception.
- One of the biggest advantages is the clarity of its sound. The microphone captures the natural tone of whatever you’re recording, whether it’s a vocal performance or an acoustic guitar.
- Made from high-quality materials, this mic is durable and built to last. Even when you’re using it regularly, it will still maintain its quality sound.
- One potential downside of the TLM 102MT is its price point. Compared to other mid-range condenser mics, it can be a bit more expensive. However, the sound quality you’ll get from this mic makes it worth every penny.
- Some people may find that the mic’s high-end frequencies can be a little too sharp. This can be remedied with EQ adjustments in post-production, but it’s something to be aware of.
- Another minor downside is that the TLM 102MT requires phantom power to function. This means that you’ll need to connect the microphone to a device that can supply this power, such as an audio interface, mixer, or preamp.
- One final note to keep in mind is that the TLM 102MT is primarily a cardioid microphone, which means that it’s not ideal for recording sound in stereo or omnidirectional patterns. If you’re looking to record in these patterns, you’ll need additional mics or a different microphone altogether.
Best High-end Microphones (condenser)
The Townsend Labs Sphere L22 is a powerful condenser microphone that has been winning over audio engineers and musicians worldwide with its unparalleled sound quality, versatility, and state-of-the-art technology.
One of the main features that distinguish the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 from other high-end microphones is its advanced modeling technology. The Sphere system emulates a wide range of famous vintage and modern microphones, giving you the flexibility to achieve the exact sound you want.
When it comes to recording quality, the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 delivers exceptional results. The microphone captures every nuance of your voice or instrument, from the subtlest details to the loudest peaks, with incredible fidelity and depth.
To sum up, here are some of the pros and cons of the Townsend Labs Sphere L22:
- Advanced modeling technology
- Dual diaphragm for accuracy and clarity
- Wide range of microphone models and polar patterns
- Easy to use
- Excellent recording quality
- Requires a computer or mobile device
- May not be necessary for casual users
12. Neumann TLM 103
This microphone is the go-to choice for most of the professional voice over artists. With an XLR mic, it requires you to use an audio interface for phantom power. It offers background noise as low as 7 dB to ensure clarity in your voice overs. Moreover, with a cardioid pickup pattern, it rejects all off-axis sounds for the best audio quality. The package additionally comes with a shock mount and a briefcase.
- A popular choice among voice over experts.
- Offers natural and clear sounds.
- Low background noise.
- Flat frequency response for natural audio quality.
- Very expensive.
–> Shop for Neumann TLM 103 Microphone
Best Dynamic Microphones
13. Shure SM7B
The Shure SM7B is one of the best dynamic microphones out there. Its versatility, durability, and clarity make it an ideal choice for a variety of recording situations. This dynamic microphone is great for recording vocals, broadcasting, or podcasting.
Its frequency response range enables it to capture voiceovers, singing, rapping, instruments, and sound effects. It’s a favorite among professional musicians, podcasters, and broadcasters alike.
The SM7B is especially great for recording loud sources such as drums and guitar amps because of its high sensitivity.
When it comes to recording audio, having a quality dynamic microphone is essential. And if you want the best of the best, the Electro-Voice RE-20 is the way to go. Not only does it offer an unparalleled frequency response, but its large diaphragm and unique humbucking coil design work together to minimize the effects of hum and electromagnetic interference.
Plus, the RE-20 also utilizes a unique variable-D technology that helps maintain consistent sound quality, even when moving around the microphone. All in all, if you’re a serious audio professional looking for a top-of-the-line dynamic microphone, the Electro-Voice RE-20 is the way to go.
15. Rode Procaster
Out of all the dynamic microphones on the market, the Rode Procaster has established itself as one of the best. This mic is specifically designed for broadcast and voice-over applications, and it truly excels in those areas.
It offers excellent clarity and detail in voice recordings, and it has a very low self-noise level, making it perfect for use in quiet recording environments. The build quality of the Rode Procaster is also top-notch, with its robust metal housing and internal pop filter ensuring that you get a durable and reliable microphone that will last you for years to come.
All in all, if you’re looking for a premium dynamic microphone that can handle any voice recording task you throw at it, then the Rode Procaster should definitely be at the top of your list.
16. Heil PR-40
When you’re on the hunt for a dynamic microphone, look no further than the Heil PR-40. This mic is the cream of the crop when it comes to capturing clear, crisp vocals. Whether you’re recording a podcast, interviewing a guest, or belting out your latest ballad, the Heil PR-40 will give your voice the warmth and depth it deserves.
Its frequency range, sensitivity, and sound pressure level ability are all top-notch, making it a favorite among professional radio hosts and performers alike. You’ll be amazed at the quality of the Heil PR-40 and wonder how you ever settled for anything less.
Accessories To Get the Best Out Of Your Microphone
In the world of audio recording, we often focus on buying the best microphones for optimal audio. However, microphone accessories are equally important. Here are several items that will enhance your audio.
We often focus on buying the best microphones, audio interfaces, and soundproofing materials to improve audio quality.
However, we often overlook a critical component that can make or break the audio quality – the microphone stand.
It plays an essential role in supporting the voice-over microphone in place, reducing vibrations, and improving the overall clarity of the audio recording.
Types of Microphone Stands
Tripod stands are the most common and widely used stands that come with three legs to support the microphone. They are ideal for stationary recording and are available in different sizes and heights.
Boom stands, on the other hand, are more versatile and have an adjustable arm that extends out to hold the microphone. They are great for recording vocals, interviews or podcasts, or drum overheads, where a more flexible positioning is required.
Desk stands are best suited for desktop recording and come in various sizes and shapes, from a simple tabletop stand to a more advanced one with built-in shock mounts, pop filters, and swivel mounts.
While choosing a microphone stand, it’s important to consider the material composition as it can significantly affect the durability, stability, and resonance of the recordings. Microphone stands are made of different materials like plastic, aluminum, and iron.
Cheap-quality stands made of low-quality plastic can be flimsy and wobbly and may not withstand the weight of heavier microphones.
Aluminum and iron stands are more durable, robust, and sturdy and can significantly reduce the vibrations and resonances that can impact the recording quality.
Importance of Microphone Stand Placement
Microphone placement is critical in achieving high-quality sound. A poorly placed voice-over microphone can lead to a muffled sound, hissing noises, and unwanted echoes.
Using the right microphone stand can help position the microphone correctly, which can reduce unwanted noise and improve the clarity of the audio.
For a vocal recording, the microphone should be placed a few inches away from the singer’s mouth and slightly below their nose level for the best results.
Similarly, for an instrument recording, the microphone should be placed right in front of the instrument to capture the best sound.
Best Microphone Stands on the Market
Choosing the best microphone stand can be a bit overwhelming as there are so many brands and models available on the market.
Based on our research and recommendations from industry experts, here are some of the best microphone stands that can enhance the quality of your recordings:
- The K&M 210/9 Microphone Stand
- The On-Stage MBS5000 Broadcast/Webcast Boom Arm
- The Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
These are just a few of the many popular brands and models available on the market that can help you take your audio recording to the next level.
While microphones are essential for producing high-quality audio recordings, they are not always enough to ensure crystal-clear sound. There are many factors that can affect the quality of recorded audio, including background noise, feedback, and distortion.
One of the most common problems in audio recordings is “popping” or “plosives” – the harsh, popping sound that comes from sound waves hitting the voice-over microphone too hard. This is where pop filters come in.
What is a Pop Filter?
A pop filter, also known as a windscreen or pop shield, is a device that is placed in front of a microphone to reduce the impact of plosives or explosive consonants such as “p,” “b,” and “t”.
When we speak, these consonants produce a sudden burst of air that can cause the diaphragm of the microphone to vibrate too much and create an unpleasant “pop” sound.
A pop filter is essentially a thin screen made of either nylon or metal mesh that acts as a barrier between the speaker’s mouth and the microphone, effectively diffusing the air and reducing the likelihood of pops.
How Do Pop Filters Work?
Pop filters essentially work by absorbing or deflecting the airflow that comes from the speaker’s mouth. When air is blown through the filter, its momentum is dispersed over a larger area, preventing it from hitting the microphone directly.
Some pop filters work better than others, depending on their construction, placement, and the type of microphone being used. Generally, metal mesh filters are more effective than nylon ones as they offer greater resistance to wind and have a smoother surface that can create less diffraction of sound waves.
Why are Pop Filters Important for Audio Recordings?
Pop filters are essential for getting the best out of your microphone and ensuring clean, professional-sounding audio recordings. Without them, the “pop” sound can be noticeable and distract listeners from the recording quality.
Pop filters also help reduce noise from other sources, such as wind or air conditioning, which can cause unwanted sounds in your recording. By using a pop filter, you can be confident that your audio will be of the highest quality possible.
How to Choose the Right Pop Filter
When it comes to choosing a pop filter, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, consider which type of microphone you are using, as some filters are designed specifically for different types of microphones.
Secondly, think about the filter material and the level of noise reduction you require. Finally, consider the size and mounting style of the filter, as you will need to ensure it fits your microphone stand or boom arm.
There are many different types of pop filters available. Some of the best pop filters include:
- Dragonpad USA Microphone Pop Filter
- Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter
Did you know that the microphone is not the only factor that determines the quality of your recordings?
In fact, how you mount your microphone plays a crucial role in delivering a crisp, clear, and professional sound. And this is where shock mounts come into play.
What is a Shock Mount?
Before we delve into the benefits of a shock mount, let’s first define what it is. A shock mount is a device that isolates your microphone from vibrations and shocks, such as drumbeats, footsteps, or even the rumble of an air conditioner.
It does so by utilizing elastic bands or a suspension system that provides a cushion for the microphone, thus enabling it to pick up only your voice or the intended sound.
Best Shock Mount Models
Now that you understand what a shock mount does, let’s look at some of the best models on the market.
The Rode SM6 shock mount with a pop shield is a high-quality shock mount that is compatible with most Rode microphones. Its pop shield eliminates plosives, and the shock mount protects your microphone’s delicate diaphragm from damage.
Another excellent option is the Samson SP01 shock mount that fits most condenser microphones. It is equipped with a standard thread mount and features a locking mechanism that keeps your microphone secure.
Benefits of a Shock Mount
Still not convinced that a shock mount is necessary? Here are some benefits that may change your mind.
Firstly, a shock mount helps your microphone deliver a cleaner, crisper sound by avoiding the distortion that vibration can cause.
Secondly, it helps extend the lifespan of your microphone by protecting its delicate internal components. Lastly, a shock mount also adds a professional look to your recording setup.
As an audio recording enthusiast, one knows the importance of having a great microphone and how it affects the overall quality of the recording.
However, did you know that wearing the right pair of headphones when recording can make a huge difference in the quality of your recording too?
Investing in a good pair of headphones will not only help you record high-quality audio but also provide maximum comfort during long recording sessions.
We will discuss some headphones with exceptional audio quality and durability, which makes them a wise investment.
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro – This model is popularly known for its high-quality sound reproduction that is specially designed for studio-grade recording.These headphones come with an over-ear design that offers maximum comfort for longer recording sessions, and the closed design offers great noise isolation so that you can clearly hear the sound that is being recorded without any background noise.
- Sennheiser HD 650 – These headphones are among the most widely used headphones in recording studios. They have a warm sound signature and an open-back design that creates a natural soundstage.The ear cups of the HD 650s are designed to fit comfortably around your ears, creating a tight seal to eliminate sound leakage, allowing you to hear exactly what is being recorded without any external noise.
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50X – These headphones provide a balanced and clear sound that is perfect for recording. The over-ear design provides good isolation, while the superior audio reproduction makes them an excellent choice for bass-heavy music.The M50Xs are also designed to be very durable, saving you money in the long run.
- Shure SRH1840 – These headphones are designed for audio engineers and are renowned for their neutral and flat sound signature.The SRH1840s come with an open-back design that creates a natural soundstage, and the comfortable ear pads ensure that you can wear these headphones for hours without any discomfort.
Even the best microphones won’t be able to reach their full potential if they aren’t paired with a high-quality preamp. A preamp is a device that amplifies the weak signal coming from a microphone and prepares it for processing.
How Does It Work?
A microphone preamp is an electronic device that amplifies the signal coming from a microphone. Microphones produce a very weak electrical signal, which needs to be amplified before it can be used for recording or live sound.
This is where a preamp comes in. The preamp takes the weak signal coming from the microphone and amplifies it, making it stronger and more usable.
Why Do You Need a Microphone Preamp?
If you’re looking to get the best out of your microphone, then a preamp is essential. A preamp not only amplifies the signal but also adds warmth and depth to the sound.
Without a preamp, your recordings may sound flat, lifeless, and lacking in clarity. With a preamp, your recordings will sound richer and more vibrant, with a wider range of tones and frequencies.
What to Look for in a Microphone Preamp
When it comes to choosing a preamp, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you’ll want to think about the type of microphone you’re using and whether the preamp is compatible with it.
You’ll also want to look at the preamp’s frequency response, which will determine the range of tones it can capture. Additionally, you’ll want to look at the preamp’s gain, which is the amount of amplification it can provide.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the preamp’s overall sound quality, which can vary from model to model.
Top Microphone Preamp Models
There are many preamp models on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Two popular options are the Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
The Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII is a high-end preamp with premium sound quality and a range of connectivity options. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, on the other hand, is a more affordable option that still provides excellent sound quality and a range of features.
Other popular preamp models include the SSL Alpha Channel, the Grace Design M101, and the Art TubeMP Studio V3.
An audio interface is a piece of equipment that can enhance the sound quality of your microphone, providing crystal-clear audio.
What is an Audio Interface, and How Does it Work?
An audio interface is an external piece of hardware that connects microphones or instruments to your computer. This device has specialized circuitry that captures and processes audio signals from your microphone to your computer, providing better sound quality.
The interface functions as a bridge between your microphone and your computer, bypassing the computer’s built-in soundcard, which may not be designed to pick up certain aspects of sound quality.
A good audio interface ensures that your microphone will capture all the nuances of your voice or instrument, and you will have clean, crisp audio.
Interface Models in the Market
With numerous models and brands in the market, it can be a daunting task to pick the right audio interface. Here are some of the best audio interface models in the market:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
- PreSonus AudioBox USB96
- Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII
- Apogee Element 24
- MOTU M2
If you are working with audio recordings, then you know the importance of having a good microphone. But did you also know that the cable you use can greatly affect the quality of your sound? This is where an XLR cable comes in.
One of the main advantages of using an XLR cable is that it helps eliminate noise. XLR cables have balanced connectors that have three prongs – two of which carry the audio signal and the other that carries a ground signal.
This means that there is no need for additional grounding wires, which can cause unwanted noise when transmitting the audio signal. With an XLR cable, you’ll be able to achieve a clean and clear sound.
Another advantage of an XLR cable is that it allows for long-distance transmission. It can easily transmit audio signals up to 100 feet without any loss in quality.
This feature is especially beneficial if you need to move around while recording or if you want to run your microphone farther from the source of the audio.
Acoustic Panels for Noise Reduction
One of the most effective ways to improve your audio recordings is by using acoustic panels for noise reduction.
Acoustic panels are sound-absorbing panels made of materials such as fiberglass, foam, or mineral wool. They are designed to reduce unwanted sound reflections, improve the clarity of sound, and reduce reverberation in a room.
Acoustic panels work by absorbing sound waves that come into contact with them and converting the sound energy into heat.
Types of Acoustic Panels
There are different types of acoustic panels available on the market, depending on the size, shape, and material used. The most common types of acoustic panels are:
- Ceiling Panels: These are hung from the ceiling and offer excellent sound absorption properties.
- Wall Panels: These are mounted on the walls and provide effective noise reduction and sound control.
- Corner Bass Traps: These are designed to reduce low-frequency sound and are particularly useful in small rooms.
- Freestanding Panels: These are portable, and you can move them around the room to improve sound quality where needed.
The Best Acoustic Panels for Noise Reduction
Several brands and models of acoustic panels offer excellent noise-reduction properties. Here are some of the best acoustic panels for noise reduction you can consider:
- Auralex Acoustics Studiofoam: This is a popular brand of acoustic foam that offers excellent absorption properties for mid to high-frequency sounds.
- GIK Acoustics 242 Acoustic Panel: This is a high-quality panel that offers excellent sound control properties and is available in different sizes and colors.
- ATS Acoustic Panels: These are affordable panels that offer excellent sound absorption properties and are available in different sizes and shapes.
- Primacoustic Broadway Panels: These are high-density fiberglass panels that provide excellent sound reduction and absorption properties.
So, which voice over microphone are you thinking of getting?
There’s no definite answer to which of these microphones is THE best. Considering the unique needs and budget that you may have, you should consider evaluating the pros and cons of each and go for the one that best suits your needs.
In addition to these, you may want to take a look at the best USB microphones for voice overs.
That being said, each of the microphones mentioned here is among the best mics for voice overs so you’ll be fine with any. If you’re a beginner and don’t want to let a microphone break your bank, you’ll probably want to go with one of the less expensive options on the list. If you’ve got the money and don’t want to compromise on quality, you can definitely go with one of the more expensive options on the list.