If you're creating an online course then you'll likely need to record yourself live or do a voice over. Although it can be seen as a step down from live action video recording … voice overs foster a connection between you and your audience, promoting the understanding and retention of the information being delivered. And depending on the material you're trying to teach, it may be a better method than live recording.
While you can never disregard the importance of your tone and style of speaking while recording eLearning voice overs, the quality of the equipment you use is crucial. Obviously, your voice should be clear, professional, and non-threatening. But did you know that your recording position may also determine the quality of your voice overs?
Positions for Recording Voice Overs
The position you record your eLearning voice over in is critical because it definitely affects your tone, not to mention your health because you’re likely to be recording for long periods of time. Typically, you may either record your voice overs while sitting or standing. There is a lot of debate on whether it is better to sit while recording or to stand.
Let’s go over each …
If your recording material is extensive, the first choice would be to sit near the microphone for maximum comfort. Have a look at the pros and cons of sitting at the mic while recording eLearning voice overs:
- Optimal comfort and convenience.
- You can record for longer periods of time.
- Allows you to create a more intimate atmosphere and record with a soft, gentle voice.
- Limited freedom for hand gestures.
- Your voice overs may lack personality because body language isn’t possible.
- There are health implications for sitting for too long.
Some people may find it appropriate to stand at the microphone while recording voice overs. Here are the pros and cons of recording in this position:
- Your body language can be ‘heard’ in your voice.
- It brings more energy to the table.
- It's easier to make hand gestures.
- Breathing is more comfortable when you’re standing.
- You can get tired while recording a long-form voice over while standing.
- Certain medical conditions (if any) can get worse if you stand for too long.
So, should you sit or stand while recording your eLearning voice overs?
I've done both. In fact, I'm sure I've both sat and stood for recordings used in the same online course.
Standing is going to produce better sound and a better voice over. There's just something about not being hunched over that makes you come across better. In addition, you can be more animated while standing up. So I try to do most of my recordings standing up, but there are just some days where I admit, I'll sit.
I recommend you try both ways and see whether sitting or standing up works better for you. Make sure to listen to the end result before you make your decision.
Also, make sure you take regular breaks while recording whether you’re sitting or standing at the microphone.
Microphone Stand: An Essential Item
A microphone stand may come in handy while you’re recording your eLearning voice overs regardless of your position. Doing a voice over involves a lot of speaking and plenty of sitting/standing – you shouldn’t have to handle the mic on top of that!
Using a microphone stand ensures that your hands are free while you're recording. The position of your mic is as important as its quality. A microphone stand keeps the microphone fixed at one position, making your recordings sound more consistent and even.
With stands, you've got options. The main two types are microphone desk stands and regular stands.
I use a microphone desk stand now. Prior to that I had a regular microphone stand. I found that the stand was always in the way and I'd have to move it out and re-position it several times throughout my recordings. This made it difficult to get a good position or at least the same position each time (and that can make a big difference).
I highly suggest a desk stand. An adjustable desk stand allows me to move my microphone out of the way when I'm not using it and it's easy to pull it down when I need it. I can sit or stand with the desk stand since mine is adjustable.
Choosing the Best Microphone Desk Stand for eLearning Voice Overs
When it comes to choosing a microphone desk stand, there are tons of options – microphone boom stands, built-in mic stands, floor tripod stands, tabletop desk stands and more.
Here are some of the best microphone stands based on your sitting or standing recording position.
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.
1. RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
The metal body makes for the sturdiness and solidness of the stand. With its boom arm, it is capable of handling a mic as heavy as 1.5-2.4 lbs. it features a dual-axis swivel mount that makes it easy and convenient for you to record your voice overs in sitting position. Moreover, you can stretch its boom arm to record while standing at the mic.
- Holds heavy mics really well.
- Has a stretchable boom arm.
- Has a solid metal body.
- The joints of the arm may sometimes creek.
2. K & M Very Low Microphone Stand
If you’re looking for a mic stand that works perfectly for a sitting recording position, this stand may be the answer. This sturdy stand has a boom arm made from two pieces whose length can be adjusted to suit your needs. The tripod legs are made of high-quality material and are tough.
- Low height ideal for recording voice overs in a sitting position.
- The tripod legs are sturdy.
- Comes with an adjustable boom arm.
- A bit more expensive than the rest.
- Not ideal for recording in a standing position.
–> Shop K & M Very Low Microphone Stand
3. Blue Compass Premium Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm
This modern tube-style mic stand is characterized by an integrated cable system and internal springs. The state-of-art design and an adjustable boom arm make it ideal for recording voice overs. It is highly compatible with most microphones weighing 2.4 pounds and below. It comes with a 20 – XLR cable and pop cable and allows an amazing 360-degree rotation.
- Internal springs allow 360-degree rotation.
- The tube-style is perfect for recording voice overs.
- Not suitable for microphones weighing more than 2.4 pounds.
4. East-shining Upgraded Adjustable Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand
This microphone arm desk mount is known for its reliability and sturdiness. Featuring high-grade springs, it offers amazing adjustability and bearing capacity. This stand is perfect for mics with diameters of 4.5 cm. The boom arms ensure optimal safety and stability and guarantee no shaking or dropping of the microphone. It also comes with a mounting clamp, allowing you to clip it on the desktop for a hassle-free voice over recording experience. Made totally of zinc, this stand is lightweight and super easy to carry around. On top of that, it has a fold-able body and adjustable legs.
- Fold-able and flexible body.
- Offers a sturdy grip of the mic.
- Portable and noise-free.
- May not be ideal for mics with diameters exceeding 4.5 cm.
Regular Microphone Stands
1. On-Stage MS7201B Microphone Stand
Featuring a round stable base with a 10-inch diameter, this is one of the most popular mic stands among expert voice over artists. The base has a rubber coating to ensure reduced floor vibrations while you're recording. This stand has a zinc clutch that holds the upper shaft in place and allows for height adjustments. With a height range from 34-60 inches, it tends to work with all heights. This makes it ideal for both sitting and standing recording positions.
- Has a stable base.
- Allows height adjustments.
- The tube is powder-coated to resist moisture and dust.
- Lightweight and easy-to-carry.
- Some users may find adjusting the stand a bit difficult.
2. Atlas Sound MS-10C Round Base Mic Stand
With a round base and chrome-plated tube, this mic stand guarantees maximum sturdiness. It offers long-lasting durability and is perfect for eLearning voice overs. It is compatible with most microphones and comes with an adjustable tube, allowing you to adjust the height between 35-64 inches.
- Features an easy, noise-free height adjustment.
- Is sturdy.
- Comes with a chrome-plated tube.
- May not handle very heavy mics very well.
3. Hercules MS533B Hideaway Boom Stand
The Hercules MS533B Hideaway Boom Stand is all about offering maximum convenience when you’re recording your eLearning voice overs. This tripod stand comes with an adjustable 30.7 inch boom, allowing you to record at your desired height and angle. Moreover, the height of the stand can be adjusted between 42 – 94 inches. Not only is this microphone boom stand lightweight but it also comes with a Quick-N EZ adapter that ensures quick and easy sliding of the microphone.
- Lightweight and easy to move around.
- The modern adapter makes for quick setup and easy use.
- Allows for height adjustments.
- Not much.
In essence, choosing a high-quality and efficient microphone stand is as crucial as picking the best microphone for your eLearning voice overs. The stands listed here are some of the best out there that voice over experts swear by. Please leave any comments regarding microphone stands in the comments below.