Microphones for voice over
Which microphone to choose to record voice overs? What type of mic to use for your recordings? In which price range and for which result? Find the mic that suits your voice and matches your budget.
Indeed, while choosing your gear to make professional takes, the choice of the mic is key and you should give it the greatest importance.
But how to deal with the hundreds of options available on the market? With all the different technologies you can find and the huge differences in prices, it is easy to get lost when you are only starting with voice over.
This article will guide you in your choice of a microphone to record voice over. A mic that will meet your expectation in terms of sound quality and depending on your budget.
The microphone offer is pretty much like a supermarket shelf. There are many possibilities to meet what seems to be the same need: recording voice overs.
Indeed in this article , we will focus on vocal takes and, therefore, mention mic models dedicated to this purpose. We will not, for instance, consider recording gear meant for instruments.
The ideal type of microphone to make voice over takes: Dynamic microphones or Static microphones with large diaphragm?
A microphone’s purpose is to convert air vibrations (the sound of your voice) in an electrical signal. Several technologies allow this result, and the two main ones, regarding vocal takes, are :
- Dynamic microphones: These mics are resistant, not so responsive and they are mainly used for live performances.
- Static microphones : These are much more responsive mics and more fragile too. They are able to capture the smallest details and frequencies of your voice.
So this is no surprise, professional studios use almost exclusively static mics to record voice overs. This way, your performance is recorded with the highest fidelity.
Now we already know what type of microphones we want to look at, that’s one good news. But, as explained earlier, you will find hundreds of products on specialized sites, even if you forget about the dynamic ones. Some static mics will cost about a hundred euros, others more than a thousand!
So how to explain the shift of prices that can reach thousands of euros between microphones that seem similar at first glance? You can compare this to the difference between a high-end vehicle and a city car. The quality of each component, the level of crafting and the brand image all have an important impact on the final price.
Then, how much to invest in a microphone to get a descent quality? We are about to give you some hints!
For a budget between 100 and 200 euros:
Consider this amount as a minimum to be able to record voice overs with an acceptable result in termes of sound quality.
- Audio-Technica AT2020
- SE Electronics X1
- Rode NT1-A
For a budget between 200 and 500 euros:
That range is what we consider a good basis to get started seriously with voice over. It would be more of a middle-range mic.
- Rode NT-2A
- AKG C214
- Audio-Technica 4040
For a budget between 500 and 1000 euros:
We are getting to the upper range. All these microphones allow a very good result of professional quality. This is now premium gear.
- Neumann TLM 102
- Lewitt Authentica LCT 640
- Neumann TLM 103
- AKG C414
For a budget over 1000 euros:
We are reaching the top range category. These are the microphones used in most professional studios.
- Neumann TLM 49
- Audio Technica 4060a
- Neumann U87ai
A closer look to the Neuman U87 : The king of voice over mics.
The Neumann U87 has been a reference in the industry for 40 years, for voice over as well as singing. It is a safe bet, the vast majority of recording studio are equipped with it. Now you are thinking, maybe you only have to spend the amount of 2500 euros to get pro studio quality.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple…
The acoustics of your recording environment as well as the rest of your gear are as important as your mic to reach a professional quality.
Indeed, keep in mind that your final result does not depend only on the mic you are recording with. It is only one of the elements in the chain your sound goes through. You cannot record a voice over with the single mic. You will also need a soundcard, headphones, wires and many other accessories. But have no worries, we cover this subject in another article, explaining the importance of making coherent choices for your recording gear.
That’s it! We hope we gave you enough information so you can choose knowingly the right microphone for your needs, no matter if you are starting with voice over or if you want to invest wisely in your home studio.