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Voice-over Recording Technique for newb?

Hello all,

I'm a complete novice when it comes to high end microphones and audio recording. I'm familiar with recording on USB microphones which basically do most of the work for you.
However, since I do video production, I've decided to step up my audio game for voice-overs.

I'm also new to this forum, so I'm not quite sure if you can view my equipment, but I'll go ahead and post it here as well.

Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone
Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
Sony MDR-7506 Dynamic Stereo Headphones
Windows 7 Machine

I've recorded a few audio voice-overs for a few videos already with this setup, but I want to improve my technique.

My primary audio needs are for podcasting, real-time software tutorials with voice-over, and also general voice-over.
My current problem is that either my levels are too low during recordings, or if I bump up the gain, I start to hear a lot of background noises and movements.

How do I combat this?
Is there a way to record proper levels and leave out background noise?

Any tips are appreciated.
Thank you.


Boswell Wed, 04/17/2013 - 04:31

It would be worth your having a look at [=""]this other [/]="http://recording.or…"]this other [/]forum thread, as there are several features in it that are relevant to your situation, viz. an SM7B feeding a Scarlett 2i2. Beyond that, there are things you could do such as try to work out whether the "background noise" is actually all acoustic sounds or if it's that plus electronic noise from the interface.

Interfering real acoustic sounds are normally dealt with by careful positioning of the microphone and by acoustically treating your existing recording environment or moving to a better one so that pickup of external noises is minimized.

If the electronic noise (primarily hiss) is a problem, this is likely to be the result of the 2i2 having barely enough gain for a low-output microphone like the SM7B. As I suggested in the other thread, a signal booster such as the [[url=http://="http://cloudmicroph…"]Cloudlifter CL-1[/]="http://cloudmicroph…"]Cloudlifter CL-1[/] could be the solution here.

mberry593 Thu, 04/18/2013 - 10:15

If your problem is acoustic noises, check out Dolby CAT43 cards. I understand that many Hollywood dialogue mixers refuse to work without them. They are very expensive but there are reasonable plug-in emulations. One is the Waves W43. Another is the Wavearts Dialog. The nice thing about these plug-ins is that you can do a free demo to see if it works for you before you buy.

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk HD

2bar Wed, 04/24/2013 - 20:20

Thanks for the help so far guys.

I ended up upgrading to the Scarlett 8i6, but that too doesn't have enough gain. I'm looking for a well built pre amp or audio interface for less than $500 that has enough gain for the SM7. Any suggestions?

I'll also look into the cloudlifter. Maybe that can make my Scarlett 8i6 useable.

GZsound Wed, 05/01/2013 - 23:32

I do quite a bit of voice over work. I use an RE20 through a Symetrix 528 channel strip. Gate, compression, EQ and tons of gain which the RE20 needs.

The other thing that's important is do create as dead a space as possible. I know a guy that does quite a few commercials and he records all his voice over work in a closet. At the very least try to create a well isolated space.