What mic should I choose? What’s best for a female voiceover? Does price really matter? Time for a blind mic shootout!
All good questions and ones that I see A LOT on voiceover forums – especially from beginners. The dizzying choice of mics from £50 to multiple thousands of pounds can make your head spin. And once you scratch the surface you realise that everyone has a different opinion, every voice is different (and therefore suits a different mic) and every studio has different acoustic.
Arrrrghhhh! Maddening right? I know it drove me nuts when I started.
So, I’m adding this blog to the already over-crowded field of info and options on mics in the hope that it will help someone.
The wonderful Rob Bee (sound engineer, studio whisperer and all round good guy) came to see my at my home studio recently. He brought a whole heap of mics in the £50 – £500 bracket for me to try. I was pretty happy with my current mic, but it’s always good to see what else is out there. And it’s SOOOO easy to fall into the self-doubt trap when so many other voice artists talk about their mics and you wonder ‘Is mine as good at theirs’.
So, anyway, here’s the video I made. Have a listen and see what you think. Obviously it’ll make a difference how you’re listening. Watching on your mobile phone with cheap headphones is never going to reveal some of the subtle differences as well as decent speakers in a sound studio.
Here’s just the sound file:
So, what did you think? Did you have a favourite? Was it the same as mine? I’d love to know.
I could clearly hear a lot of mic noise on some, a thin sound on others, some sounded cheap and others just didn’t sound good/different enough for me to warrant buying a new mic.
WARNING!!! Do not read below this line unless you want to find out what the mics are.
Watch the video first.
The mics (and rough prices)
- Rode NT1a – £130
- Focusrite CM25 – £50
- Aston Origin – £200
- Sennehiser MK4 – £250
- Lewitt LCT540 – £500
- Sonotronics STC3X – £250
Both Rob and I preferred the Rode NT1a.
It’s quiet, clear and clean and suits the middle part of my voice so perfect for a general mic. It’s cheap too! And it’s my current mic. Winner!
So, was it a waste of time? No way! I’ve tried a few mics and realised again that the combination of voice, environment and purpose should dictate mic choice and not brand and price. I really can’t stress enough that every mic is different, every voice is different and every studio is different. Just cos we preferred the Rode doesn’t mean the other mics are no good. The Rode is right for me in this studio at the moment. I will be trying some more expensive mics when I can get my hands on them to see if they are worth the investment. And, as I age and my voice changes, I’ll change mics again I expect!
Thanks for reading and watching and get in touch if you’d like to find out more or if you have questions.