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Please help with VO mic chain! Dynamic Microphones
Old 29th December 2010
Here for the gear

Please help with VO mic chain!

My wife is an independent VO talent and works from home. She has an RE20 mic, M-Audio Profire 610 preamp interface and runs Cubase 5 something or other. All has been ok, getting jobs with no problems and today a client's producer said her audio was unusable due to heavy compression/need for new mic and or other equipment. They loved the read but opted to use another talent due to audio quality.
My there a problem that is needed to be addressed right away or is this just a single client with a very particular ear? How does the profire 610 stack up against the comp? I know, lots more money = better stuff but what about vs. the same are the pre's in the profire?
Looking forward to all comments and suggestions.
Thanks in advance!
Old 29th December 2010
Lives for gear
uncle duncan's Avatar

Originally Posted by branima View Post
...her audio was unusable due to heavy compression/need for new mic and or other equipment....
Well, is the audio over-compressed? Post a clip.

With the gear you've got, you should be able to get decent audio.
Old 29th December 2010
Registered User
Is she using the compressor plugin in Cubase? I'm not a big fan of that - there are definately much better plugin compressors, if you need one.

For now, i'll assume that no compression was used - otherwise the solution is easy: don't compress. Learn how to automate tracks - it's very easy in Cubase. The volume levels can be adjusted manually - much better than smashing things with a compessor.

The chance that this client could identify the preamp/interface from a wave file is pretty remote. I'm guessing they didn't like the mic tone. The RE20 is a good vocal mic, but it doesn't have the air and presence of a condenser mic, if they are used to this (or if it has to sit with other vocals recorded with condenser mics). But if you get a condenser mic, you really need to make the room sound good, as it will not reject room sound like the RE20. You would also need to find a mic that works with her voice - and nobody can tell you from their armchair what mic will work. Maybe a U87 would work: maybe not! Maybe a cheap Rode mic would blow everything else out of the water: you won't know until you try a few.

There is a very real possibility that this guy is just a gear snob. Did he ask what gear you had before making his comments? If so - he probably won't be impressed unless you mention brand names.

A clip would let us hear if there is a real problem or not ...
Old 29th December 2010
Lives for gear
I do VO work sometimes as well as produce commercials for on air. I really like the great river pre, The ma5 will do a good job too. Mic wise the big standard is the re20 and we have 30 of them or so at the station by my house. U87 is great but way overkill even though most radio stations and production companies have 1 laying around. Re-27 is starting to show up a lot more and has a crisper high end some prefer.

sm7b has helped me out 9 times out of 10 where the re20 failed on some voices, especially some younger females, bad room noise or just too much boom. Never had any issues as it's one I know will always work in any situation with just about any voice regardless of noise, bad room or difficult voices. I say give it a go! If it's background noise,pops,clicks... sonnox plugs and the izotope restoration software has worked me out of some binds. The izotope can take that buzz or ground hum no issue with virtually no artifacts.

I had 8 clients doing VO one day and the re-20 worked on 6 of them great the rest had to be redone with a sm7b. One clients voice was so deep the re-20 just didn't help and the rest were some of the females with high pitched valley girl accents. I know pros who do stellar VO work on old mackie boards. I would look at the mic before a high end pre.

My normal Vo Chain is sm7b,great river,apogee rosetta.
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