Last time, I touched upon what equipment you might want to invest in when building your own voice over studio. Naturally, it all comes down to budget, and if you can afford to have a custom booth installed in your home with a dedicated external control room then go for it.
However, it’s worth noting that for many voice overs, the addition of a booth in one’s home really can come down to nothing more than vanity. Remember, the client cannot see you, and whilst a booth may give your sound a slight edge, many home built solutions sound good enough in which to record a broadcast quality recording, so experiment before diving for your wallet.
So, as promised, here is a short tour of my studio, and at the brains of the operation lies this:
This is Pro Tools from DigiDesign and it’s a software package powerful enough to have produced a large number of Grammy winning albums around the world. Granted, it may be a little excessive for one humble voice artist, but I love it, and it enables me to do some pretty cool things.
It’s all attached to this:
This is the Digi002 control desk. Traditionally, I used a much simpler interface to get my voice into the computer. However, when it came to adjusting volume levels and mixing more complicated tracks, I had to ‘draw’ my levels using the mouse and a lot of patience. Because I had been trained as a radio presenter, I knew my way around a console, so it just made sense to me to emulate that sense of control.
All of it links to this:
My microphone is a Rode NT1 and I have had it for years. People will ask what the best microphone is and the truth is, that like any piece of equipment, it’s a very subjective thing. There are mics that cost 5 times what the Rode costs that won’t necessarily do anything to enhance my voice. That said, I’ve worked with some glorious microphones worth twenty times what I have and they truly are a joy, and I’m sure that one day, I will take the plunge and invest in one!
The area I record in is treated with some Auralex foam on the walls behind me and right in front of the mic os the SM Pro Mic Thing, which acts as a mini vocal booth, trapping sound reflections and creating a ‘deader’ sound, and being in my loft helps, because the walls are at an angle, which means that the sound up here is really perfect for recording.
So that, in a nutshell, is that. I have an ISDN line so that studios around the world can direct their recording sessions live, as well as a basic phone patch set up so that clients without their own studios can listen in on their recordings too.
It’s a simple set up that allows me to turn around client requests quickly and with the minimum of fuss, and after all, making the client happy is what it’s all about!