mic-oldGuys…I’m talkin’ mostly to you.  Some of us (ahem) tend to be geek/tech heads about voice acting (you know who you are!).  We can easily make the mistake of believing that a better mic/preamp/DAW/mic cable/mixer/shockmount/USB interface/yada/yada/yada will make us sound better.

That’s true up to a point of diminishing returns, usually reached quickly.

Comparing your AKG mic to so ‘n’ so’s Sennheiser, or to her Rode NT-1 to his Neumann is chasing the wind.  What works best for your voice, your studio, your audio chain, your DAW???

In that spirit, I’d like to humbly submit my 7 reasons why your present mic is good enough:

  1. Most mics will last a looooong time if you keep them fairly clean and dry.  That means covering it when it’s not in use.
  2. Only about 1/10th of 1% of anyone listening to your auditions is going to be able to tell the brand of the mic you’re using or how much it cost.  They’re just gonna want to know that your sound is clean, has a low noise-floor, it’s a good match for your voice, and you can get that same sound consistently.
  3. You’ve tried re-arranging your studio environment to better take advantage of your mic’s unique characteristics since you bought it, right?
  4. Get feedback on ways to improve your mic technique from someone like Dan Lenard, George Whittam, Dave DeAndrea, or Dan Friedman.  Send them a couple of auditions you did recently, and ask them purty-please to offer a little advice what you could do to make them better.  Then, offer to help THEM in some way.
  5. How are you addressing the mic?  Meaning:  how are you positioning the mic in relation (distance, angle) TO your mouth?
  6. Read up on how your audio interface/preamp/DAW is set to work with mics in general and your mic specifically.  Talk to someone else who has your mic…experiment with new ways to tweak the settings.  You might be surprised at the results.
  7. Is your mic hanging down, or sitting up?  Change it around, and see what happens. Adjust your pop filter’s distance from the mic. ADD a pop-filter.

….and the honorable mention reason why your present mic is good enough:  “Oh, so you have a few extra hundred dollars lying around to buy a new one?”

Oh, and BTW, do NOT use the mic pictured above for voice-acting.  🙂

CourVO

[this article reprinted from March 2012 as a reminder of all the good stuff packed into my upcoming book:  You Need More Than a Good Voice to Be a Voice Actor”]

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