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Home studio advice needed.


I want to start a small home recording studio to record interviews and discussions with 3 -4 people. No music will be recorded, just speech.

I was considering the equipment below...
(1) [=""]Behringer DSP2024P Virtualizer Pro Digital Effects Processor[/]="http://www.zzounds…"]Behringer DSP2024P Virtualizer Pro Digital Effects Processor[/]

(2) [[url=http://="http://www.zzounds…"]Behringer XENYX 1204FX Mixer[/]="http://www.zzounds…"]Behringer XENYX 1204FX Mixer[/]

(3) [=""]Audio Technica AT2020 Studio Microphone[/]="http://www.zzounds…"]Audio Technica AT2020 Studio Microphone[/]

And of course other items like speakers, mic stands, etc. I am on a budget, but would like to produce recording with a excellent quality for downloads on the internet.

Can you guys please offer some advice to help.




ecc83 Sun, 04/30/2006 - 16:30
Hi Razorren. Idon't know much about the gear you listed,I will look it up later. I did a lot of voice recording many years ago (with ribbons and triode mixer!) It can be just as hard as music recording. The major problem is noise, that of the location and the mic/mixer.In the reviews i've read the Rode mics seem to have the lowest noise floor for reasonable cost.You do not say whether you are recording mono or stereo, the latter sounds nice, with each speaker in their own "space" but can be tough to get right. Listen to some BBC broadcasts such as Question time to hear it done right ( wont need anything below about 150hz.make some tables with mesh tops for scripts (hard surfaces cause wierd reflections) give each speaker one page at atime and dont let them touch it! NEVER ever let them touch the mic's.Guns are all but banned here but you must be prepared to shoot, kids,dogs cats all birds and a small ak-ak rigg would be useful! But seriously noises in or off are going to be your biggest problem. Be glad you don't have to deal with musicians as well.

RemyRAD Sun, 04/30/2006 - 18:56
Ren, first things first, spoken word recordings should be in mono. Its defeatist to do spoken word in stereo. Perhaps lightly panned left of center and right of center but nothing on extreme left or right.

The best microphones for recording the vocals that you want to record would be the venerable Shure SM58! One of the best vocal microphones ever produced. I wouldn't even bother with any cheap condenser microphones. Those will just enhance the low-frequency noise and the high frequency noise which does nothing for intelligibility!

You may want to consider purchasing one of the automatic Shure microphone mixers? They are designed to do what you want to do for recording voices. They have a priority feature that ducks the microphones that are not in use while leaving the person speaking with their Mike open!

If you want to multitrack them? Then any multiple microphone input capability soundcard would be the ticket. Such as many of the ones from Presonus and MOTU, along with M-Audio and others. Get some inexpensive boom stands and get everybody comfortable.

When all is said and done, I generally prefer to put some mild compression on any spoken word recording, while I am tracking/recording, as it makes for better intelligibility and smooths out the human voices' extreme dynamic range. Now putting a compressor on each and every microphone that are in close proximity to your other guests is not wise. Why? Because as the speaker is speaking and gain reduction is reducing the speakers level, the microphones of the people who are not talking will all go to higher levels of audio bringing up their " silent" microphones and causing a general nasty hollow effect. The only way to prevent that would be to put a downward expander or gate on each and every microphone. You would then have to meticulously adjust the threshold of each gate, so that the people who are not speaking, there microphones would be ducked. This can also be done after-the-fact in software or hardware. This is the only way to get nice tight big sounding vocals without nasty hollow effects.

Be smart and don't try to turn this into some kind of high fidelity smart ass recording thingy, it ain't. Take it from somebody who has recorded thousands of commercials for international advertising agencies and in major network owned and operated radio and TV stations.

Commercially satisfied
Ms. Remy Ann David