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Shure PG58 - for speech?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by petevoiceover, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. petevoiceover

    petevoiceover Active Member

    Hi guys,

    I'm stepping into voiceover work and am considering options for recording at home. I already have a Shure PG58, but when testing with Garageband it doesn't sound too good. It's connected directly to my macbook via XLR female / standard jack male cable (quite long), then thru a 3.5mm adapter to the microphone line-in input.

    A few issues:

    - The sound volume isn't great.
    - Occasionally crackly (no pop guard or sponge at all, this is probably it)
    - At the end of words sometimes the sound fades/cuts off

    Is it worth pursuing an attempt at using what I've got? E.g. would a preamp or audio interface fix the problem and give good results? This would obviously be the cheaper option, but what I'm after is a professional sound. If I can do this and just get a few extra things (stand, pop guard, maybe something to deaden sound), that would be ideal.

    I've read mixed things about using this sort of mic for speech but it seems maybe I should be going for a condenser mic instead for this sort of recording - more natural, unaltered sound that picks up all the notes.

    Failing using the Shure mic, what would people recommend as a professional-sounding (condenser? presumably USB?) mic? Don't want to spend over £130 or so ($200).

    Thanks in advance for any help people can give.

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The PG58 is an adequate mic for starters for what you want to do. The poor sound you are currently getting is due to your feeding the mic into the computer soundcard and the jack adaptor splitting the mono mic signal between the L and R inputs. This will give a noisy, out-of-phase result.

    I would strongly recommend staying with a dynamic mic for entry-level VO work, as a dynamic is more forgiving of less-than-perfect acoustics in the recording space. To use a condenser mic for VO, you would need to spend real money on acoustic treatment of your room.

    Get a simple audio interface that has 1 or 2 microphone inputs and connects to the Macbook via USB. If at some time in the future you want to add a condenser mic to your collection, you will need the interface to supply phantom power (48V), so it's worth checking that any interface you buy now has that facilty (most do). Something like the Alesis iO2 Express is a reasonable but low-cost product. You will need an XLR-XLR cable.
  3. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    As a dynamic mic fan, I would strongly recommend staying with a dynamic mic period: ) .
    Aside from acoustic treatment you would spend much more on a quality condenser as compared to a quality dynamic.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I'll bet that well over half the professional VO work you hear in broadcasting is a dynamic mic. With the PG58, you have to watch for "plosives" and handling noise. It's really not a "professional" mic, but if you are careful and diligent in working the mic, it can certainly work. Be sure to isolate the stand/boom so that vibrations do not reach the mic, and use a windscreen to minimize the plosives.
    Besides the above recommendations ( all very good), proper mic technique will go a long way to minimize any artifacts. Try cocking the mic at an angle of about 30 degrees away from being directly "hit" with your voice. This will help keep pops and blasts from being so obnoxious.
  5. petevoiceover

    petevoiceover Active Member

    Thanks so much for your help guys - I really appreciate it.

    Any tips on improving the clarity and nuances with a non-condenser mic? Other than boosting the highs on the EQ I mean.

    Many thanks
  6. petevoiceover

    petevoiceover Active Member

    I forgot to ask - what do people think of USB microphones? Are entry-level ones not as good as using an audio interface in the chain? I take it most USB mics are condensers...?

    edit: i.e. the sort of mic that plugs directly into the USB of your computer
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    cut the lows to taste.

    the usb mics are all condensers as far as i know. not ideal. i think there are some adapters that go from xrl to usb, like the blue icicle. I think, for the price of a decent usb mic, yuo could get a used 'world class' broadcast (aka 'industry standard') mic. like the shure sm-7, electro voice re-20 both dynamics, both overwhelmingly used.

    honestly tho, your pg58 will be a fine starter, and a good one for your guest when you upgrade to pro standard. you need an interface before anything else. PreSonus AudioBox USB 2X2 USB Recording System | Musician's Friend this thing is probably ok too. Like the alesis it's 24bit.

    24bit is widely accepted, and something skimped on alot of usb mics. i've used the pg58, that + interface will suite you well, to start.

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