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Voiceover Microphone Shootout

Brandon Drury —  May 30, 2008

I woke up today and decided I had to get away from my computer. I really wanted to do a vocal mic kind of shootout, but it’s just me and the dog here at home today. It wouldn’t be pretty. I can’t sing at all and Panzer only sings when he is sad.

The Competitors
I pulled out most of the big guns for this one and a few surprises. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the little voiceover microphone shootout, so I used most of the mics in my collection.

Shure SM57
Royer R121
Soundelux U99
AKG 414
MD 421
Audio Technica AT 4033
MXL V63M
Sennheiser PL-20
Shure SM7
Behringer ECM 8000
Audio Technica AT 4050
Oktava MK012

The Point
Not all of us are doing voiceovers that often. I can’t remember the last time I was paid to do a voiceover. It happens, but it’s a rare gig for me. With that said, there is much to be learned by studying the sound of the microphones in this test. Obviously, this is not a perfect test. It’s not scientific by any means. I don’t say the words the same way each and ever time. However, you can clearly hear the character of each microphone in this test.

No Accounting For Proximity Effect
Maybe I was lazy on this one, but I did not account for the proximity effect in anyway. Each microphone is 12” from my face. It’s clear that this really thinned out a few of the microphones, but that is a lesson in and of itself.

Member’s Only Shootout
If you want to hear this one, you need to join Recording Review (for free) and head to Voiceover Microphone Shootout

Brandon Drury

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Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of RecordingReview.com and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.
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3 responses to Voiceover Microphone Shootout

  1. What? No RE-20? That’s the voiceover standard!

  2. the shure sm7b tapeworm the cut of serious activated during the test? sounds as if had ecualizacion and very flat, without body, the mine sounds large and with a lot of body , not likr the one that listens itself in the test
    (sorry for my bad English)

  3. the shure sm7b tapeworm the cut of serious activated during the test? sounds as if had ecualizacion and very flat, without body, the mine sounds large and with a lot of body , not likr the one that listens itself in the test
    (sorry for my bad English)

    This due to the distance. In the old days I used to attempt these “scientific” type of shootouts (which I no longer believe exist 99% of the time) and I wanted to keep all mics at an equal distance. While this makes it more scientific, it makes it less scientific because the damn mic wasn’t used as intended. The proximity effect of dynamics is pretty damn intense. Get super close and the low end goes WAY up. Back off a foot and it goes WAY down.

    So that explains why the Sm7b sounds different.