There’s nothing better than having your own vocal booth so you can easily create professional voiceovers at home. Have a look here, this is how I built mine.
Having your own home studio enables you to be very quick and efficient but what about when you’re away from home? Do you shut up shop, pop a sign on your website and not complete any orders until you get back? I think not!!
Technology is getting better all the time, and now we have the ability to record top-quality voiceovers from all manner of places, just by using a little imagination!
In this blog post, I’m going to review what I do to create killer voiceovers on the road.
Use your home kit on the road
The reason why you wouldn’t want to use your home setup on the road is it needs to be as portable as possible. Imagine taking the following;
- Big condenser mic
- Audio Interface
- Desktop Computer
- Acoustic Tiles
Plus, you would need access to a power supply, so if you were in your car it would be problematic, space would be an issue too.
You need something more portable, these days you can get some pretty great USB condenser microphones. The benefit of this is they simply plug straight into your laptop, so no need for an audio interface.
The other benefit of a USB condenser microphone is the size of them, these can be much, much smaller than ‘normal’ condensers but pretty much sound as good.
A while ago the general consensus was that USB mics were of poor quality and not studio-grade. Not the case anymore, these day’s a good USB condenser microphone holds its own against a Phantom Powered Condenser. In fact, scroll down and listen to some of my voiceover audio comparisons.
You can even take things one step further and use a lightning to USB connector and use an iPad to record. Twisted Wave is a fantastic piece of iPad software and makes recording a breeze. You also benefit from super quiet operation using an iPad, plus great battery use.
I love using the iPad but I really miss Adobe Audition, so it’s swings and roundabouts really.
There’s plenty of other options for voiceovers too, such as the blue yeti which is another fantastic USB microphone. In my opinion, they’re all pretty good.
But I’ve stuck foam to the wall to prevent reflections?
Getting the right condenser microphone is only 10% of the battle, we also need to think about room tone. If you’re out and about in the car then recording directly into a USB microphone might work pretty well. Cars have great acoustics, and they’re designed that way to prevent noise from outside coming in.
If you’re in a hotel room then you need to improvise. This is the fun part, you can set up cushions, quilts, blankets, etc to try and create your own vocal booth. Be creative, it’s trial and error at this stage and you’ll find that you can get some pretty good results.
A question often asked is whether to use a reflection filter or not. I don’t particularly like them, they surround the rear of a mic, which is the dead spot so are pretty ineffective.
I do however like the Kaotica Eyeball, this fully surrounds the entire microphone to prevent reflections, it’s not perfect but it helps.
Below are 2 short audio clips of me using the Apogee in the car, one with the Alctron PF8 and one without. The question is can you hear the difference?
Yes, I call it a Kaotica Eyeball in the audio above, but it is the Alctron PF8, about 10% the price. I’m sure from listening above, it’s not perfect by any stretch but the improvement by using the Alctron PF8 is pretty impressive!
Nothing beats a professional recording space at home, click here for my Pro Home Studio Build Blog post. But, to keep your business going during time away, and not having to be within arm’s reach of your home studio 24/7 is a benefit. I would give some serious consideration to having a portable set up as discussed above.