Today I decided that its about time I talk about Voice Over starter kits for those interested in starting their own home studio.
As a few of you might know I have a daily routine of reading through my Gadget blogs and voice over articles and whatnot… and one of the interesting new products that Engadget wrote a blog post about was by M-Audio
Right now, we have three Pro Tools Essentials packages for you, including: the Pro Tools Vocal Studio USB condenser mic (includes a stand and a case for $99), the Pro Tools Recording Studio comes with a Fast Track 2-in / 2-out USB audio interface with mic / line / instrument inputs ($129), and finally Pro Tools KeyStudio 49-key MIDI keyboard (bundled with M-Audio USB Micro soundcard for $99). Of course, for prices this low you can’t expect the full-blown ProTools treatment, but even the streamlined version here should be sufficient for most would-be Johnny Marrs: 5 GB of instruments and loops, 60 virtual instrument sounds, and the usual reverb / chorus / delay / flanger / phaser / compression / EQ effects. To be released mid-September
So what does that mean for ye fledgling voice over artist… well for one thing you can get your hands on a USB condenser microphone (untested so I can’t vouch for the quality of the mic) along with one of the most advanced audio editing softwares for around $220. That’s pretty darned affordable…
Lets look at a few other packages.
I saw this youtube video floating around since back in 2008 when it was first posted. The kit is sold by http://www.vomasterclass.com/ the video puts the price at £199 + VAT and shipping. When I went looking for his website to figure out how you can order from him… I found out that the price has jumped to £249 plus vat and shipping … this translates to about $407 or so without shipping. I would personally just go to Home Depo and make my own screen using acoustic foam from www.foambymail.com and cut down on the price. This also does not include any software so you’re still in need of that.
Moving right along
Kit #3, 4 & 5
About a year ago I decided that I needed to build my own voice over studio at home. Which meant that I had to do some research for the best equipment to price ratio. One of the more helpful sites I went to that provided a comprehensive set of Voice Over Kits was http://www.bhphotovideo.com. There I found no less than 3 voice over kits available for sale from 3 reputable audio brands:
which can be found here http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/342255-REG/Electro_Voice__Voice_Over_Microphone_Kit.html
Electro Voice Voice-Over Microphone Kit
- RE20 Voice-Over Microphone
- Electro-Voice 309A Shock-Mount
- Pop Filter
- XLR Cable
which can be found at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/342252-REG/Rode__Voice_Over_Microphone_Kit.html
Rode Voice-Over Microphone Kit
- Complete Kit
- Includes Broadcaster Microphone
- Includes Pop Filter and Cable
which can be found at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/342247-REG/Shure__Voice_Over_Microphone_Kit.html
Shure Voice-Over Microphone Kit –
- SM58 Handheld Microphone,
- On Stage Desk Stand
- XLR Cable
Ran out of Options
I spent quite some time trying to find a “VoiceOver kit” without much success other than the items you’ve already seen. Then it hit me that Podcasting might be a little more popular than being a professional voice over. When I searched for that… I found a whole bunch of kits available with price ranges from $99 to $300.
and quite a few websites talking about how to build your own podcasting setup.. like here:
http://digitalaudio.consumerelectronicsnet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=38585 (this one is pretty good actually)
here’s a podcast kit from Alesis:
And that’s it folks… if you have any leads on any good voice over starter kits… post them in the comment section and I’ll place them in this article. Ultimately you’ll have to look for the right microphone for your voice (I prefer my MXL’s natural deep sounds) but that suits your practical needs (I prefer my Audio Technica’s low self noise and decreased pickup range). For women look for a microphone that increases the warmth of your voice if its too high or one that adds a little treble if you have a warm alto (whatever works for you).
Read up on these kits before you dish out… ask professionals and last but not least have fun.