I settled on the Vintech X73i out of my batch. Reason, it just sounded fantastic. Nice, clear, warm and upfront. I have used it with several mics too. Pearlman TM1, AT4060, Shure KSM44, RE20, AEA R84 and more.
I've done dozens of voice overs on a Blue Kiwi > Red 7 at a nearby studio. It's a good combination for my voice. At my home studio I've been using an Avalon 737 for several years but have a Red 7 coming in next week to demo with my U87 and 416.
Two of the trailers (Mummy & Complicated) on my website were done on a U87ai > 737
TTTE was done on a TLM103, (? the pre) which was the house mic at the studio we recorded at.
Joes was done on a 416 > Avid Pre 8, which was surprisingly good sounding. Again, the house rig
at a nearby studio.
I was involved in a VO mic pre shootout in the mid-90's for the production co. I worked for. The contestants were Focusrite Red, Avalon M5, Grace, and Massenburg. The Focusrites, to my ears, were the clear loser. But my boss went with the Focusrites anyway because they were, well, red.
That said, I went on to work with 'em for the next five years and they were fine.
I have used many pro level and boutique preamps for VO work over the years, but I seem to keep comming back to the Red-7 as my main VO preamp. It always sounds great, the compressor is very good, and even the De-esser/exciter is usefull in may situations. It just works well with any voice and mic I have encountered. It that wasn't enough, it's also a quite beautiful thing to look at.
I did loads of stuff on my showreel in various studios through the classic combo (in Europe at least) of Neumann U87 and a Focusrite Red.
But to be honest I think anything half-decent with a neutral sound and plenty of clean gain is going to work well on V/O. I'd venture to say that my own current set-up of a Gefell M930 and an Audient ASP-008 can hold its own against the above at half the price, and a number of TV & Radio commercials here are tracked through relatively modest SPL and TC Electronics preamps.
If I didn't already have the Audient I'd probably be looking at a simple 1 or 2ch clean unit like Grace or Hardy; mind you that SafeSound Tracking Toolbox looks quite sexy for V/O!
Choice of mic is (obviously) much more subjective than pre-amp on V/O, but even there, given plenty of clean gain, a decent talent should be able to make an SM57 sound passable at a push!
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