I’m looking to start offering voiceover gigs soon and I’m looking into equipment I’ll need for them. I have a Mac with garage band. I’d love to know if that would be a suitable software and what hardware I should go for. I’ve read that miss with usb connectors aren’t ideal because of sound quality but I’m open to suggestions.
USB connected microphones have come a long way in a short period of time and can offer a much more affordable alternative to XLR microphones.
When creating a new gig, or entering a new market, ideally you want to minimise your outlay. Then, as/if the gig picks up traction and looks like a ‘goer’, you can upgrade equipment accordingly.
Personally, as an intro microphone for voiceovers, I’d recommend the “Blue Yeti”. It’s USB based and a simple “plug and play” solution. I also own a “Yeti Snowball” which is a cheaper USB mic from the same company but the blue is far superior in many aspects (for one, it’s not on a plastic stand).
The Blue yeti is around $100, whilst the Snowball is around $60 - although often both are on sale in marketplaces such as Amazon.
If you are looking to jump straight in and bypass the USB option, you’d then be looking at an “XLR Microphone”. Unlike a USB, this does not plug directly into your computer and requires an “Audio Interface” to act as the middle man.
The XLR mic connects to the audio interface via an XLR cable, and the audio interface connects to your Mac via USB.
The XLR microphone I personally use is a Rode NT1-A (around $200) with a Focusright Audio Interface (around $100). Some users however opt for other mics as they find the Rode too sensitive for spoken word (picking up all background and sub noises - such as mouth sounds). This comes down to personal preference and how you use it.
I would say however, in general XLR microphones are much more sensitive than USB which can sometimes be a hinderance. This is because you could probably record a ‘dry voiceover’ with a USB and clean up the audio a little (Audacity is good for this), whilst an XLR in the same environment may pick up too much noise - making the clean up a lot harder, so you’d then need to think about sound proofing etc.
I personally own all the mics and equipment mentioned above - so I hope that helps with a bit of feedback rather than just recommend ones I’ve seen.
TLDR; Start with a decent cheaper mic (such as a Yeit USB) and upgrade as the gig picks up more orders. Your USP (unique selling point) for that service is your voice, not the quality in which it’s delivered (that can always be cleaned up by another gig), so start small and see if your USP connects with your target audience first
That was really informative, thank you! And it makes a lot of sense too. I’ll check out the two cheaper options for now and see how it goes from there
You’ll also want to make sure to lessen the fan noise of your computer. If it’s a laptop, consider shoving it under the desk while utilizing the long microphone cord to keep it farther from you if applicable.
Even the house AC or a nearby fan should be turned off temporarily , especially if there is any hissing of noise in the background.
If necessary consider getting a p-pop filter (isn’t that what it’s called?) to eliminate some mouth noises that come in too loud on mics like XLR mics. Its very much worth it with one of those.
And if you have the weird problem I have … you may want to record some dead silence and then “normalize” that audio to see if you’re picking up a radio signal… I have no idea why … but my mic has feedback sometimes and its often a local football game or some 60’s music … very eerie 60’s music… To be fair the studio has tin walls that I’ve sound proofed a bit… but still… it may be an issue that could drive you nuts