Acting : What mic is best for you? by Samuel Estes

Samuel Estes

What mic is best for you?

This gets asked quite a bit on here - found a really nice list (pretty comprehensive too) from this site: Enjoy!

Choose the Right Voice Over Microphone and Recording Equipment | Edge Studio
Choose the Right Voice Over Microphone and Recording Equipment | Edge Studio
The Z5600a II from sE Electronics is a large-diaphragm tube microphone that gives you a uniquely modern sound with a classic tube vibe. If you're looking for one stellar studio microphone that can cap…
Joe Braden

The best mic for you might not be the best for me. Check your local retailer for "open mic day" and hear how your voice sounds. Compare with friends and peers in the business. I have two mics on this list but am still open to finding my best match.

Brad Venable

What Joe said is right on the dot. Adding to that, the type of VO you predominantly do may end up pushing you towards one mic or the other. Personally, I have two solid choices, the Sennheiser MKH-416, which is my workhorse these days, and the Neumann TLM-103. I would, of course, suggest them for myself, but for you? It's a solid 'it depends.' The 416 is a shotgun mic, usually used on film sets and inside the big parabolic reflectors on NFL sidelines. They're highly directional, and without good mic technique, can be frustrating to work with, but these days, you'll be hard pressed to find a serious studio without one. It's the mic of the network promo folks, although there are some notable exceptions. The 103 has gained ubiquity over the last few years due to people wanting to own a Neumann mic. It's understandable, but many of the people I know drop the cash for a 103 and are disappointed at how unforgiving it is. There aren't any tubes in the mic to warm up your sound, and to some, it is a very harsh mic. It just happens to love my voice. I've owned a Rode K2, and that is a very solid mic. I have no idea why it isn't on the list, to be honest. Comes with its own power supply and multiple pattern selection. Warm tube mic, and it was the first real studio-quality mic I owned. Sold it to help pay for the 103. If I ever need a third mic, I'd be hard to convince to pick up something else. When picking a mic, you need to find one that makes your voice sound good without processing. Use your ears. If something sounds off, then likely it will to others. Also, many people will say that the pairing of a mic with a good mic preamp is important, and I believe that. And the mic pres out there have aural qualities just like mics do. So, if you plan on getting both a mic and pre, audition them in combinations, so you'll have a good point of reference. Anyway, asking about the best mic is like trying to pin down the single best way to succeed in this industry. There's no catch-all answer, and it always differs from person to person. The best way to decide is to just go and experience them yourself.

Samuel Estes

100% spot on guys! I personally bought a apex 460 and did the c2 mod with really great results for not a lot of $$$.

Ned Faulkner

Rode NT1-A here. I'll be honest, cost was a major factor. It was my hobby at the time so spending 'real dollars' on hardware was not advisable. As I develop my craft I'll find different tools for the different jobs.

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