Recording voice overs isn’t as simple as it seems. I’ve been working on getting the audio set for Antarctic Tears: The Movie, and it’s been a long haul getting audio correct. As all still cameras now have video capability, learning better audio to present your video and still work is worthwhile. The Nikon D800 records amazing film, as well as the Canon 5Diii. Photographer journalists are now virtually expected to produce good video as well as compelling stills.
Apple would have you believe you can just hook your ear buds into the computer, click the Record Voice Over in Final Cut Pro X and everything will be good. Only if you want room noise, the dog next door barking, and lots of static hiss to ruin your otherwise good film.
How about the built in microphone on your Macbook Retina? Only if you want to record fan noise, your keyboard strokes and who knows what else.
No, you have to go to some effort to get good audio and a great deal of effort to get excellent audio. People spend a lot of money on it! How do you make a basic voice over that sounds decent?
- Buy a great mic
- Buy an awesome audio recorder
- Build a sound booth [you’re an audio engineer, right?]
10k later, you’ll be set for your first audio book. Maybe.
- Buy a pretty good audio recorder: Zoom H4n
- Buy a good starter microphone: Audio Technica AT2035 + XLR cable
- Hop in your car/truck, get a few blankets, and make a recording.
Don’t believe it? Here are 2 audio samples of what you’ll get if you chose
A bad recording location: Wood floors, cathedral ceiling, lots of windows. This was recorded directly into a Zoom H4n into the stereo mics
You can hear the room echo. It’s terrible and makes the voice over difficult to hear.
You can hear the voice, it’s clear and there’s no high or low frequency echo. Would this be better if it were recorded on a Schoeps CMC641G microphone? Sure! But you’ll be set back $2000 or more just for the microphone.