There is some standard equipment you will need as a voice talent if you plan to do any voice work from home. There are many variables to each piece and many combinations of equipment will work very well together. Of course, all of that depends on the budget you have and how serious you are about recording your voice at home.
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You will certainly need a microphone. They come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges from under $100 to thousands of dollars. If you are just starting out, you may want to begin with a less expensive microphone to get familiar with the process of recording and editing so that you can be sure this is something you want to do before spending more money.
Notice that I did not say a “cheaper” microphone. There are many manufacturers on the market today that produce very good quality microphones specifically designed for voice work. You can spend less that $100 and then if you find that you are comfortable with the process, you can upgrade to a more expensive model later.
It is also not a bad idea to have more than one mic so that you can give your voice work a bit of flexibility and variety. Most studios have multiple microphones because not every mic works well with every person. I would take that even further and say not every mic works with every style of performance. A certain brand may work well for a soft, intimate read, but sound terrible if you are voicing a hard sell commercial.
With that microphone, you should also have a pop filter, which will prevent you from blowing air into the mic as you speak those very common “B”s and “P”s, also know as “plosives”. Just the sound of the word implies that it would be a bad thing for a mic to have to encounter. An incredibly valuable tool that you should not be without if you doing any kind of voice work.
A microphone preamp will make the connection from your microphone to your computer.
You can use a USB microphone and bypass the preamp, but I recommend the preamp because it will allow you more control over the level to your computer. It may also allow you to plug your headphones into it and monitor you voice before it reaches the computer. Many preamps will also emphasize the qualities of you mic and bring out it’s best.
But again, the range of prices and purposes is extensive, and if you are in the beginning phases of recording your voice at home, you might want to kill two birds with one stone and use a USB microphone until you are comfortable adding more pieces.
You will need a computer. Most everyone has a computer these days, but if you don’t, you may be getting in over your head if the first time you are buying one is for the purpose of doing voice work.
You will also need some kind of software for your computer that will allow you to record and edit your audio and get it ready to send to your client.
A pair of headphones and a pair of speakers so that you can hear what you are recording and playback what you have recorded.
And of course you will need the necessary cables that will connect everything together as well as a mic stand.
One more thing that I highly recommend is a website. If you want to get immediate exposure for your voice work, there is no better way than having a website. Your own website will take you a long way in establishing credibility for your craft. Today it is easier than ever to create your own website and have complete control over your content. You can build and host your website here for free and start getting your voice out there for the world to appreciate.
I will elaborate more on these as time goes on, but these are the basics of what you need to get started.
As always, if you have any questions about any equipment, please leave a comment below and I will be glad to help you.
This article has 8 Comments
Very nice web site.I am an amature when it comes to recording but I do make some Garageband recordings as I am a multi instrumentalist. I am trying to improve my vocals as they were sometimes hard to hear.
I use Mac book pro with Garage band. I have a Presonus 8 track interface and each chanel has a preamp.
I have an XLR condenser mic that is Guitar Center’s cheap brand,(what I can afford.)
I recently had several of my songs mastered at Fiverr and it did bring the vocals out.
I have downloaded Audacity but have not used it since I’ve been so busy with web building.
I have a song on my about me page and any comments would be appreciated.
Thanks for your interest in recording sound to your computer. About your vocals being hard to hear. Are you using a compressor? Vocal are a very dynamic “instrument”, meaning the volume level is all over the place from consonant to vowel and it needs to be tamed.
Compression will certainly help with that, then you’ll be able to bring the vocals up in the mix without having the problem of some areas being too loud and some areas being too soft. You can obtain a nice even level and then bring the vocal up without popping out too much. It will also bring out more of the areas of voice that make it more intelligible and easier to understand.
I will check out your music and get back to you. Maybe I can help you further.
You have a very interesting website.
You certainly seem to know your stuff, because you describe the content of the information very well.
It is very clever how you describe all the equipment that is needed for doing voice work from home, which then leads your reader full circle back to the beginning about how you did this by creating a website for free here at WA.
Hi Geoff and Jane,
Thanks for your comments. You certainly can’t beat a free website!
I like your website.
Thank you sir,
It is a pleasure to get your approval, I hope to add much more content that will surely keep you interested.
Is Audacity an example of good software for voice recording?
Yes, Audacity is a very good recording software if you can’t afford anything else. It is a perfect program if you are just starting out because it is free, and it has many great tools for recording and editing. But it does have some limitations that other programs that you would buy easily overcome. I will be doing a full review on Audacity soon.