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Best voice over mic/recorder?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Leith, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    My first tutorial video was made and the sound quality wasnt amazing (I used a crappy Sony recorder which I use for lectures which I got for £25).

    I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions for a good mic to record voice overs for videos? It must be good in quality, easy to transfer to my PC and overall fairly affordable.

    All replies appreciated!
     
  2. metra

    metra Junior Member

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    Hi Leith,

    You might want to look into getting a headset with a microphone if you're going to be recording on the computer. This way you can demonstrate your actions in the video and record a voice over hands-free.

    Here are a few I found through a quick search:
    Code:
    Logitech USB Headset H530 with Premium Laser-Tuned Audio - $58
    Daotianfu 703 3.55MM Stereo Multimedia Microphone Black - $10
    0.14" Hands Free Clip on Mini Lapel Microphone - $3
    Soundmagic SF-910 Condenser Sound Microphone - $8
    
    Some of those may seem cheap, but they're average quality.

    Sennheiser PC360 (I recommend Sennheiser audio equipment) is also a nice headset with microphone (they're a top-notch headset/mic/audio company, but more pricey! [$150+] I have a few pairs of headphones from them currently, as well as a separate mic).

    All in all, as long as your computer has a microphone input (or if you purchase a mic with a USB input), you should be set :) I'm currently recording with an average mic (has some background noise and it was cheap, going to start using my Sennheiser) through Camtasia and it works great.

    Hope you find your 'destiny-mic' soon!

    Best,
    - Metra
     
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  3. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for the detailed response Metra. I have tried headsets before and the quality still isn't to my likings yet.
     
  4. Known

    Known Regular Member

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    The MIC makes all the difference, you can use something like audacity to record the sound.
     
  5. Panther28

    Panther28 Elite Member

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    Hey Leith, get a condenser MIC mate, like a samson c01 condenser mic, which i use. The quality is crisp and perfect, and there is no comparison between a shitty headset mic. This is the type of mic that voice overs, and animators use. They usually have a few settings, and once you play around and do a few tests, you'll get a puurrrrrfect sounding recording.
     
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  6. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Do you recommend any good models with good audio quality?
     
  7. Aaric

    Aaric Elite Member

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    While try to get best voice clarity using external mic also change settings from your audio drivers software to get better noise filtration and sensitivity.This is also available in windows 7 recording devices>mic menu.
     
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  8. Furious George

    Furious George Supreme Member Premium Member

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    My macbook pro does well. Although, I'm sure a cheap headset would do much better.
    You could also make a cheap screen to get rid of the popping noises your mouth makes. - (this makes a HUGE difference in the sound quality.)
     
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  9. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I have tried noise reduction before with no luck. That's why I hope at least with a good mic I won't have to spend much time removing background noise from the sound waves.
     
  10. Furious George

    Furious George Supreme Member Premium Member

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    You could always outsource the work.
    I met a guy who did this kind of thing for a living. His voice was really something to behold.

    You don't really realize how much talent a voice over artist has until you meet one in person.
    It's like everything they say is well pronounced, rehearsed, and just perfect.

    The guy who did the famous movie preview voice... forget his name... "In a world... blah blah" would do a voice mail message for a fairly cheap rate.
     
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  11. metra

    metra Junior Member

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    Condenser Mics are top-notch studio quality, so this would be awesome :)

    The good ones are pricey though.. one cheap decent condenser I've seen is the AKG Perception 120, the Samson c01 also seems decent. You also have to remember that the good quality condensers don't use a normal mic input, but rather XLR input. You'll need to buy an audio interface in order to hook it up to your computer (another $100+). Cheap condensers do use USB though, such as the Perception 120 :)

    So if you really want some quality, definitely worth checking into condensers, Leith ^

    Best,
    - Metra
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  12. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks. I'm looking into the Samson now.
     
  13. gypsyr0ad

    gypsyr0ad Regular Member

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    idk, my built in mic on this Asus laptop (once I set it right) works very well.
    Even recording me playing guitar inside my van, came out very nicely.

    In my experiences, its not just the mic that matters, its the software behind the mic as well.
    I use Audacity to further tweak recordings when needed, but usually my system alone, creates decent recordings and at most,
    I may use Audacity just to boost the sound higher.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  14. metra

    metra Junior Member

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    Ok, sounds great!

    Just don't forget to look into audio interfaces / the setup as well. It isn't difficult, but its good to know what's going on :)

    Code:
    "Like any condenser microphone, the C01 requires 48 volts of phantom power for proper operation -- power provided by most mixing boards and USB or FireWire audio interfaces. A handy blue LED indicates whether phantom power is running."
    
    Quoted From
    http://www.zzounds.com/item--SAMCO1
    
     
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  15. boombap

    boombap Junior Member

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    I've used the Samson CO1U in the past before upgrading to proper condenser mic's and as a foot in the door it's good and the sound quality is a big step up from your cheap pc mics. One thing to note though is that you won't be able to monitor yourself while recording (this isn't an issue for everyone) and also USB mics can be laggy but this sint really much of an issue for voiceovers as you can just move the audio back or forward a bit in your editing software.
     
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  16. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Sent you a PM.

    Ive looked into Samson and it looks good although some people have reported hisses. If you guys do have other mic models then me know.

    Secondly, another question, what tools do you guys use to record the audio and the video? In my case I will be simply recording the slideshow, with my voice over and then merging them in Camtasia. Does anyone recommend another video editor?
     
  17. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I just purchased the Samson PAK and it should arrive soon. Hopefully there should be a HUGE difference in the audio/voice quality in my next SEO tutorial video.

    Does anyone here recommend any good tools apart from Audacity to record my voice? What software can you use in order to "smoothen" your voice after the recording and to add the final "finishing touches" to make it crisp and clear? Also wondering if you guys had any suggestions for a video editor too so that I can import the video + voice over and compile them together. Im currently using Camtasia to do this.
     
  18. r4d10

    r4d10 Newbie

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    Although you have already ordered a mic maybe this will help anyone else who is looking...

    I have been doing freelance voice overs for a few years now. When I have time and have earned enough rep for lengthy posts I will publish a method here.

    Condenser mics are great and you can get a really decent one for around $100. Currently I have an MXL 900 that works well for me. Each persons voice and style are different so if you are able to try out a few first it really helps as far as deciding what to go with. If you choose a condenser mic you will almost always need phantom power unless your high end sound card is equipped to handle that type of microphone. When it arrives if you don't get decent input levels look up Audio Buddy or something similar. They will only set you back about $50. You will also need adapters if you are going from an XLR to standard sound card input jack. Don't skimp on these by going to Radio Shack. Guitar center or any other music store should have the good ones.

    If you want to save some time and money pick up a Snowball USB mic. It is really good quality for the price and I know a few people who use them for podcasts, voice overs etc. Around $100 new but I've seen them as low as $45 and that is about the best sound quality you will find for the money.

    For an all purpose mic the Shure SM58 is still one of my favorite standbys.

    Audacity is the single best free sound editor that I know of. A bit of a learning curve but tons of great features.
     
  19. bryanmoneey

    bryanmoneey Regular Member

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    You might want to check Yeti USB microphone which costs around 150$.
     
  20. 12inchpianist

    12inchpianist Junior Member

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    I have a samson usb and a logitech usb. I was amazed at how the samson worked but i was even more amazed at the logitech. I recorded a sample using both and the logitech was clear and didn't seem to have anymore background noise than the more expensive samson.

    Here's a tip: Make sure when you record that you're computer mic is not actually recording. When I first started out I thought I was recording using my headset mic and it turns out the built in microphone in my laptop was actually picking up my recording. Of course the background noise was horrible and my recordings sounded like crap and no amount of noise reduction would help.

    Good luck