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Professional Home Voice Recording

Member for

21 years
I would like to make a professional voice recording of myself talking. I am a novice and have had a lot of bad luck trying to succeed in this endeavor. I need to know the following:
What would be a decent unidirectional microphone for voice?
What headset should I choose that is of good quality and wouldn't hurt my ears from wearing it a long time?
What recording device would you recommend for a single track, mono, yet of, high quality so that the recording would be pristine? In other words, the silences between sentences (and there are lots of silences) would be without shhhhh sounds or pops?
The recording device needs to be connected to my computer so that I can then edit the recording.
What sound editor should I use that is easy to figure out?
I need to keep the cost as low as possible without compromising the sound quality.
Any additional advice or techniques would be most appreciated as Murphy is working overtime on sabotaging my efforts.
I thank you kindly.


Member for

16 years

RemyRAD Wed, 11/07/2007 - 22:57
For an announcer, I would not recommend a Unidirectional microphonespace although I have used those on singers.

I would recommend a cardioioid microphone. Don't work the microphone too closely. Try to keep yourself at least 3 inches or more away from the microphone but not much more than that. Something like a Shure K. S. M. 32 would be the least I would recommend. Great price, good performance and lovely for an announcer. You might need to engage the low-cut filter? But you don't want to be much more than 3 inches away nor closer. This will give you beautiful results.

Vocal woman
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Thu, 11/08/2007 - 02:37
Welcome to RO, Rania:
You didn't specify the material, but from your description it sounds like you might be doing "spoken word" type media as opposed to the announcer ("voice-over") thing.
As Bent suggested, we don't know what you have now, but here are some suggestions:
A) A good mic. The KSM32 Remy suggested is $500+. Another option to that is the Electro-Voice RE-20, which I prefer because it doesn't pick up as much of the room, but still has a nice, big natural sound. $400.00. Too much$? The ubiquitous Shure SM58...$100. Voiced for the voice. There are tons of mics in between these prices (and much more, as well), but I'd stick to these. And nothing cheaper than the 58. A good cardioid (or "hyper-cardioid") mic will minimize picking up the reflected sound in the room.

B) You'll need some sort of a mic preamp (if not a mixer with preamps built-in), one that can interface to the laptop via either Firewire or USB.
M-Audio has a decent line of mic preamps/interfaces for this, starting at around $150, maybe less.

C) Cool Edit Pro works well as the editing software. Many voice-over talents use this in their "home studios" when the pro engineers aren't looking...Some may snub it because it isn't as sophisticated or expensive, but it gets the job done. Not Cool Edit...Cool Edit PRO. Check that out.

D) Headphones. This is a very personal choice. I love my Grado SR125 ($150), but their SR80 ($70) is a very good value. I like the "comfort factor" of the Grado line; it results in a lower fatigue level over time. The Sennheiser HD280 ($100) is another good choice. Try to stay away from Sony phones-they are too "hyped" a sound and very fatiguing.

Get going and good luck!

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 11/08/2007 - 13:52


greetings. RemyRAD's suggestion to use a Shure KSM32 and low cut filter is appropriate as well as the 3 inches away advise.

moonbaby suggesting Cool Edit Pro (CEP) is a good choice and although i don't use Grado headphones they ARE very comfy and yes Sony's are overrated, uncomfortable and not worth your money.

after reading your plea, i think you need to IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS on paper first. as previous forum members wondered; are you wanting to record an audio book (with absolutely no background sound or music)? or do you wish to voice-over music and sound; such as one might in a podcast? also, will you ever want to have the capability of doing both of these types of vocal projects later down the road? how much, if any, equipment and/or software do you have now? do you have a desktop or laptop? do you have a PC or a MAC?

i use different microphones for different applications. i have mics costing hundreds of dollars and i also record music projects using under-$20 dollar mics such as the Logitech Precision PC Gaming Headset which can found on the net from $15 to $30 (plus postage). mind you, this headset is NOT comfy long on the ears, but the mic is SUPERB for vocals. i use this headset specifically for online voice chatting and music production quickies.

as for software, Audacity [freeware] is very good (but doesn't visually LQQK easy to use) and the previously suggested CEP is a good choice too. i actually used CEP to record the following song using a 16-bit soundcard and a $59 ATI phantom headset mic back in 1996 @ AND later remastered the song using Audacity.

recently i bought a $50 program called Mixcraft 3 which is basically, GarageBand for the PC. You can hear a quick sample of something i threw together in about 20 minutes using Mixcraft and the $12 Logitech headset/mic @

i hope my comments and audio examples help you to identify your needs and make good purchasing decisions.