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Hi to everyone

As I mentioned in the title, I need to record some speaking voice/narrations with male and female talents for audio book/educational CD with lessons for the foreign langauge. Since the budget is pretty tight (as usuall), the narrators would be teachers; not proffesional voice over talents.

The preamp would be ULN2+DSP with SafeSound Audio P1 compressor / limiter on the insert. From acoustical tretment point of view, I have preety good recording/tracking room (although small and I just added the SE REflexion filter for minimising already silent room and for that extra dry sound).

On my disposale, I have SM7, RE20, MD 421 and AT 3035 mics. Which mic should I use for such purpose with emphasise on the fact that I'll record non professional narrators ?

Many thanks in advance.



moonbaby Mon, 09/11/2006 - 06:25

Hello. All of those mics are decent and serviceable. I believe that the RE-20 is your best bet from the standpoint of "neutrality". It is a smooth, even-tempered mic with minimal proximity boost, yet with the slight top end rise that povides a nice presence. That lowered proximity effect yields a less boomy quality for those who get too close, the large dynamic diaphragm design means that a deeper voice won't "bottom out", and the presence rise works well on genders without hyping sibilance.
The Sennheiser MD421 works well, but is more prone to boominess. The SM7 is definitely a mic that needs to "eaten" to get the character, and the AT 3035 is the only condenser you listed. A mic like that will be prone to pick up "the room" more than the others, which may not be desireable.
You might notice that the RE20 is by far the most popular in broadcasting studios around the world. Their relatively neutral character works best on ALL types of voices. Good luck!

anonymous Mon, 10/09/2006 - 08:06

Just to share my newly acquired knowledge:

Like Teddy G suggested, I tried them all when talents arrived to my studio (it's not quite professional but I bite the bullet and explain my intention to the client), and to my suprise, the overall winner is Shure SM7 !!! On the female talents (and I was very scared to put SM7 in front of the female talent) the SM7 mic (with the windshield and through the clean and transparent preamp such as MH ULN2) behave like a true champ. Very smooth and detailed and in other hand without some artifacts like sibilance, harsness or some plosive problems.
32 hours of recording non prefessional narrators without a problem and now they sound pretty professional to me.

And I was ready to bet on RE20 :)

Anyway thanks to everybody who helped me.

PS to Teddy G

My intention wasn't to showing off with my (modest) mic closet or to bugging anybody-I asked because I was in a hurry and simply tried to "buy some time" 'cause I supposed to be ready and set literally next mourning after posting my question here in forum, and at that moment didn't have much time to try for myself.