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Best Voiceover Setup I Discovered
Old 16th May 2019
Here for the gear
Best Voiceover Setup I Discovered

(see pics attached). Finally, I am in full production making video tutorials every day. It worked out that after consults with GIK Acoustics, I surrounded the desk with 6 free-standing bass traps, placed two traps on the front wall, and three overhead on the ceiling. There's also two Evolution PolyFusors (absorber/diffusor) next to the window in back, which butt up against the ceiling, and a couple bass traps on the side walls and in back. Using this setup, voice sound waves can bounce off the computer display but many will get cut off by the surrounding bass traps behind the chair. Those that do make it to the ceiling and bounce down will hit the diffussors and get spread out or hit the wall traps on the side.

I originally tried placing the Neumann U-87 Ai 45 degrees to the left of my mouth, but decided to place it about a foot from my mouth in front and up high. Speaking directly into a mic provides a clearer voice, whereas when the mic was 45 degrees to the left, there was a lot of mid-range to highs missing. Popping is also not a concern that much when the mic is a foot away.

The two gain knobs on the Focusrite ISA One pre-amp are set at 9 o-clock (30-60 button on) and 12 o-clock (+10 setting). The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Interface is set on Line, with the gain at 11 o-clock (which is the "pass-through" setting).

For editing I use MAGIX SoundForge Audio Studio 12.6 for (a) noise reduction, (b) Gate (Voice option), (c) EQ (custom voice settings), then (d) Dynamics (compression using default "vocal" selection). Employing the Gate filtering with the default voice filter really kills breath sound wonderfully, once the noise is removed.

It's taken quite a lot of tinkering to discover these optimal settings for voiceovers. The open space of the room still allows for a natural room sound, which is much better than a booth or closet that someone thinks is better if you foam all the walls. After reading research on room treatment, for voiceovers, the only thing that works are bass traps, since acoustic filters/foam do nothing. Using two diffussors in back also helps -- diffusors are almost a requirement anyhow.

With the above mentioned room treatment, there are no room echoes in the recordings at all.

Finally, for production, I can just pull the mic out of the box and drawer, attach and plug in the XLR cable, power everything up, plug the interface in the laptop and go - that's it!

By the way, I use a hard wooden chair with a pillow, because when I used a comfortable ergonomic leather chair with wheels, I leaned back and got too comfortable, and sounded sleepy or lazy. (This is why you see a lot of pro voiceover artists standing, because when you use core strength to stand, your entire body is energetic, which allows you talk faster and sound energetic.) When you slouch in a nice leather office chair - you sound sleepy and slow.

There's also a foam rubber pad placed between the laptop and the mic, to cut down on fan sounds.
Attached Thumbnails
Best Voiceover Setup I Discovered-gs4.jpg   Best Voiceover Setup I Discovered-gs1.jpg   Best Voiceover Setup I Discovered-gs2.jpg   Best Voiceover Setup I Discovered-gs3.jpg  
Old 17th May 2019
Gear Maniac
Fun to see and read - thanks for sharing!

Ray H.
Old 17th May 2019
Lives for gear

Nice setup, very rational and reasonable choices

Good luck with your voiceovers!

Old 19th May 2019
Here for the gear
Thanks @ ray H and @ michal !
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