All About That Mic, 'bout that mic...

Updated: Sep 25, 2019


Choosing the right microphone to make your voice shine can be a daunting task. But there's one thing I want you to remember - NO USB MICS! I explain why, what's expected in the industry and a few great mics you may want to check out.


All About that Mic, ‘bout that mic… - 9:38

'Cause you know I'm all about that mic

'bout that mic

'bout that mic

no cellphone

I'm all about that mic

'bout that mic

'bout that mic

no cellphone

I'm all about that mic

'bout that mic

'bout that mic

no cellphone

I'm all about that mic

'bout that mic

Don't use your cell phone

Mm-mmm


Gabby: A little shout-out to my voiceover friends there that helped in the creation of the beginning of this video because we are indeed all about the mic, no cell phones. In case you guys don't already know it and haven't realized it yet, the equipment that we use in voiceover and the way we record our voice is pretty specific stuff, and we have to make sure that our recordings are of high quality and something that our clients are actually going to be willing to spend money on. Well, that's not gonna happen if you’re recording through a cell phone, or an iPad, or a USB mic. So let's get into today's video and talk about microphones.


Hey, guys. It’s Gabby. Thanks for joining me. If you’ve seen my other YouTube videos and you’ve followed my YouTube channel for a while, then you’ve seen me on mic in quite a few of my videos, and I get asked all the time what kind of microphone I use in my videos and also in studio. So I want to clear something up. First of all, please understand that when you see us filming, we’re not actually using my voiceover microphone. We’re using lavaliers and we’re using other methods of which to pick up my voice and make it more camera friendly. It’s a little bit different process. Even if you’ve seen me in front of my microphone that I use in studio, it doesn't mean it’s on when we’re recording video. It’s a little too obstructive and doesn't always make for the best shots. That being said, my day-to-day, my everyday workhorse is the Neumann TLM 103. It’s an industry recognized standard microphone for voiceover. Most people use that mic – I shouldn't really say most people but a lot of people use that microphone, a lot of personal recording studios use it as well. I love it. It’s a great mic for my voice, and I find it to be pretty universal and good for other people as well.


Now I get asked – I feel like this guy is like covered up. Uh-oh. We lost the spongy. I get asked all the time about voiceover microphones and to do sort of like a mic shoo- out and to help people figure out what mic they should be using, what mic they shouldn't be using. Here's the thing. There’s not a universal answer to this question because not every microphone is created equally, and certainly our voices are not created equally. We’re all different and we all have different sounds. So your mic should really complement the things about your voice that are exceptional and it should minimize the things about your voice that are not the greatest or that you want to kind of want to cover up, maybe any little blemishes that might be there. So microphone selection is going to change wildly from person to person. There are a couple of guidelines and some basic information I can give you that will help you in your exploration of understanding what you should be looking for in a voiceover mic and why.


First of all, number one thing, any microphone with a USB connector is not a professional voiceover microphone, period, end of story. I don't care what you've heard. I don't care what you’ve read. I don't care what you've seen in other resources. Unfortunately there is a lot of propaganda out there, and there’s a lot of companies that would like you to believe that all you need to do is plug in a USB microphone, and you can start auditioning and making money for voiceover. [Raspberry] No, you can't. That's not accurate. There's no truth in that statement.


There's only one type of microphone that is considered professional grade audio recording. And it's a microphone with this kind of connection. Ok? So this is an XLR mic cable three pin connection. This is what you’re looking for. If a mic doesn't have this, it doesn't even register on the professional audio scale. Ok? So all that USB nonsense, get rid of it. You know what it’s good for? Practice and scratch tracks. That's it, not for actual paid clients or work. Now even when we’re talking about mics with XLR connection, they’re not all created equally. So this thing in my hand, this is a Samson S1. This is considered to be a stage microphone and is the absolute bottom of the barrel, bottom of the line. You can buy these things for like $50 I think. Not acceptable for voiceover recording. Looks cool, [laughs] but not anything that you would want to use professionally for voiceover.


So what is acceptable? Well, there’s a whole bunch of different categories, and I'm going to run through some different mics with you. So top-of-the-line, without a doubt, there's two companies that lead the voiceover microphone game. The first is Neumann-Sennheiser. Neumann-Sennheiser has been around forever, German-based company, absolutely makes amazing products. The two you’re going to hear the most about are the Neumann U87 and the Neumann TLM 103. The 103 is my mic. Those two microphones, not cheap but absolutely worth every penny that you will spend in them, and you will have them forever if you take care of them. They’ll outlive you. They’re like collectors’ items that can be passed down.


Another company, again really, really high in the game is called Manley. Manley microphones are very, very expensive, and they have a reference mic that is just considered to be exceptional. It’s used a lot in the music industry, but a handful of voice actors use it as well very successfully, a lot of praise for that mic. You hear a ton about things like the Shure SM58, the Electro Voice RE20.This is a very popular broadcast microphone. It was actually my mic for many, many years. When I left radio and went into voiceover, I continued to use the RE20 and 27 line because the type of work I was doing was mainly working with radio stations and radio imaging, and it was a sound that they were used to and was consistent, and they’re great microphones.


The Sennheiser MK 416 is another one you hear a lot about. A lot of voice actors absolutely love it. The Sennheiser MK 416 is a shotgun mic. Shotguns are in a family all their own. A little bit sensitive, a little bit particular in terms of angling. You have to really get your angle and your placement right when you’re working with a shotgun microphone. That can make them a little tricky. Women don't prefer them not only because they’re a little bit more difficult to work with but because sound-wise they tend to do a little bit better for men. A lot of my promo voice actor friends swear by them, love them, will never go back to anything else.


The Audio-Technica 4040 is another mic that you’ll hear an awful lot about, one that’s kind of an affordable, sort of lower end, almost like a starter microphone. I use that phrase with a grain of salt because I don't believe there’s such a thing as a starter microphone. We have to have the high-quality equipment that’s going to allow us to do a quality job. We’re not going to be able to pass off a cheap or a low-end microphone as something it isn't. I’m always leery about this. If you’re looking for a mic that’s affordable, that’s gonna be a couple hundred bucks, that’s going to last you a few years, then it’s going to be the Rode NT1 or NT2. Very popular mics for this, and like I said, a lot of people consider them to be starter microphones. They’re not going to last you very long, not because they won't hold up but because you’ll outgrow them. You’ll outgrow those microphones very, very quickly, and when you go to sell them or get rid of them, they don't hold their value very well, so you’re gonna take a pretty big depreciation on them. And then you’re gonna want to move up in the ranks to some of those other microphones I was talking about earlier.


So I hope this video helps for those of you who have been inquiring about mics for some time on my channel now. My number one recommend for places to shop to buy microphones is Sweetwater.com, phenomenal company, amazing customer service, ask for Bart, tell him I said hey. [laughs] And apart from that, don't totally be opposed to used gear. I think used gear is OK if you can do a little bit of research on where it’s come from and who exactly was using it. eBay can be a good source sometimes. You can also occasionally pick things up at pawn shops or just like different auctions of studios that might be going out of business. A couple different ways you can get your hands on quality gear for a little bit less money. Thanks for watching, guys. If you want to know more about me, check out my website, GabrielleNistico.com and of course, be sure to check out the other videos on my YouTube channel.


704-674-8294 / GabrielleNistico.com / gabby@voiceovervixen.com


Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Success, Entrepreneur, Voiceover Coaching, VO Coaching, Voiceover Coaches, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, choosing a microphone, USB microphone, XLR cable, starter microphone, recording studio, recording booth, Sweetwater.com, Rode NT1, TLM 103, Neumann, U87

© 2020 Gabrielle Nistico

Charlotte, NC | 704-674-8294

Gabrielle Nistico, voiceover coach, voice over training, voice-over classes, voiceover lessons, voiceover books. Gabby Nistico the only voiceover coach that offers training in both radio imaging and TV Promo. She produces voiceover demos, creates voiceover websites and consults voiceover talent on their brand and marketing. Gabrielle is featured at voiceover workshops, seminars and conventions around the country and offers comprehensive training for voiceover beginners in the industry. She teaches you how to get started in voiceovers and how to have a career in the voiceover industry. Find voiceover work. How to book voiceover work.  How to make money in voiceover. Voiceover jobs. Voiceover training. Voiceover success. Make money as a voice actor. Make money with your voice. Voiceover careers. Get a voiceover agent. Find your best voiceover performance. Learn how to be a voice actor. Improve your voiceover career. Make more money as a voice actor.  Voiceover Demos. Affordable voiceover demos. Voiceover websites. How to market and promote yourself as a voice actor. Celebrity voiceover coaches. Radio DJ turned voice actor. Voiceover training online. Voiceover coaching in the Southeast. Voiceover coach in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, Columbia, Charleston, Greenville.

Let's gab