Read about microphone techniques that can help you get the very best results from your next recording session.
Whether you are recording a voiceover or providing an audio translation for a company video, or you’re creating a podcast for your own start-up, there’s a lot to learn when it comes to making things sound good. Low quality audio just won’t cut it in today’s high tech world. Instead, you have to master that microphone, along with all the other gear and recording software to perfect the process.
To help you get a head start on your voice recording project here are some expert microphone techniques to ensure you achieve the best possible results:
Use The Right Equipment
It might sound obvious, but any great techniques you apply to your vocals won’t make a difference if the microphone is wrong. The choice of microphones for recording high-quality sound is vast. Cardioid pattern types tend to be the most popular, but there are so many choices you might feel differently once you have read further into it.
Consider A Pop Filter
Whilst you are looking into equipment you might want to invest in a pop filter. They help to deal with the air that leaves your mouth, stopping it causing popping and other noises you don’t want in the recording. You can get similar products to help with the same issue, if they suit your budget more.
Get The Microphone Level Right
It is all too easy to get a poor audio recording if your microphone is not set up properly. If you introduce too little gain you will get a hissing sound when you mix the levels; if you introduce too much you could overdrive instead. Try speaking into the microphone until the meter is listed as around -10 decibels, which should give you a great balance of sound from the start.
Maintain The Right Distance From The Mic
The further away from the microphone you are, the more echoey your voice will sound. The closer to the microphone you are, the fuller the sound is. As a general rule, it is better to be about 20-30cm from the microphone. However, if you hear your breathing or saliva noises your microphone could be extra sensitive so you will need to move further away. But watch out for reverberations if you are too far away. Ideally, the sound you create will be the same as it would be in a conversation. Audible, and a comfortable volume without any extra sounds that wouldn’t be noticed in a conversation.
Speak At A Volume To Suit Your Voice
Depending on your natural volume you have to position yourself at the ideal distance from the microphone to suit your voice. The key is to maintain a consistent level of volume rather than going from shouty to whispering, all at the same distance from the microphone. If you do switch volume regularly, practise moving away from the mic for louder moments and moving in for hushed moments, just like you see professional singers doing. Remember that practise makes perfect and even talented actors can mess up voice over roles sometimes. It isn’t as easy as it looks.
Play With The Angle Of The Microphone
How the angle of the microphone affects the quality of the voice recording is a complex business. But it is an important one to understand when it comes to producing a professional result so check how you sound with the mic at different angles.
Place The Stand At The Right Level
The microphone stand has to be at the most comfortable level for the voice over artist. If it is not positioned well, your artist may have to lean or stretch in a way that causes them to produce a voice over that isn’t as great a performance as it could be.
Keep The Script Separate
The script should be placed on a music stand in front of the person recording the voiceover, rather than them holding it. Holding it can cause rustling and other issues with the sound, detracting from the voiceover and producing faulty results.
Using A Professional Voice Over Artist
As a start-up business or an amateur in any recording project with a small budget, you will have to learn the ropes when it comes to microphone techniques. However, if you have budget to spare on the project and you want to get the most professional recording results consider employing a voice over agency to source the best voice artist for the project.
They will have contacts with voice artists who are well-acquainted with microphone use, as well as using professional sound engineers, great equipment and software. It could be worth considering for a successful outcome first time.