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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2012 :  05:26:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  [Reply to Topic]  | [Reply w/ Quote]
What are you using for your pre, eq, and compression - and what mic are you using for your voiceovers? I've been looking at the various gear that ART is selling along these lines and feeling tempted once again to maybe buy some of there stuff. To tell you the truth, I can't remember anymore if I've already bought their stereo tube pre. I was looking all over the place to see if I had it, and so far, I'm not seeing that I do. I know I looked this over very closely a long while ago, but I can't remember where I ended up. Maybe I didn't buy it. There's nothing worse than a hoarder lossing his memory!!! Anyhow, I'm thinking that VLA-less tube compressor of theirs looks nice to me now too. Then they've got an older unit that has just a mono mic channel, and I guess an updated unit that adds a few more things along with a USB interface. I'm just looking at the tube models, not their solid state unit. I'm just a sucker for tubes. I've got a very nice solid state unit in a Presonus that Scott had recommended.



Edited by - otto on 12/13/2012 05:33:33 AM
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garrigus
Moderator

USA
14514 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2012 :  09:51:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit garrigus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the PreSonus Eureka is a really solid piece of gear. It's one of the few pieces of outboard gear that I still use...
http://digifreq.com/?Eureka

Scott

--
Scott R. Garrigus - http://www.garrigus.com
* Cakewalk SONAR Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottGarrigus?sub_confirmation=1
* Author of the Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge Power book series: http://garrigus.com/?PowerBooks
* Publisher of the DigiFreq music recording newsletter: http://www.digifreq.com/
* Publisher of the NewTechReview consumer tech newsletter: http://www.newtechreview.com/
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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2012 :  5:54:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I bought the ART MPA II Reference Series. A dual channel tube pre with better tubes than the stock MPA II. Now I'd like to get 2 other pieces of gear of theirs. The tube compression box, and their tube mic channel strip. MF just had too good a price on the thing for me to resist.
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dirtysteve
Gold Member

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  04:57:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit dirtysteve's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Otto, sorry for the delay in replying. Just got back from a week in the Hawaiian islands. It's late so I'll reply tomorrow.

Aloha!!!

Always fly high
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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  06:46:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lucky you DS! The ART MPA II that I bought is a limited edition version made for MF that has upgraded tubes - which is what most people complained about with the stock MPA II. So MF calls it their "Reference Series" - marketing hype. I also picked up a BBE Max Comp unit, and a separate BBE 882i as well; though the Max Comp has the Sonic Maximizer built in. The ART Tube Compression unit really looks nice - the more I've studied up on it. Eventually - I'm going to pick up their Voice Channel unit too - but that can wait. I've been slowly collecting stuff to support my collection of mic's that I've been amassing over the past 2 years. I want to use the 882i for a huge cassette transfer project I've had waiting to do. After that, I'll hook it up to my rig heading out to Mackie powered PA's.
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garrigus
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USA
14514 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  09:31:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit garrigus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hawaiian islands? Man, I'd like to go to Hawaii right about now.

Scott

--
Scott R. Garrigus - http://www.garrigus.com
* Cakewalk SONAR Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottGarrigus?sub_confirmation=1
* Author of the Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge Power book series: http://garrigus.com/?PowerBooks
* Publisher of the DigiFreq music recording newsletter: http://www.digifreq.com/
* Publisher of the NewTechReview consumer tech newsletter: http://www.newtechreview.com/
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dirtysteve
Gold Member

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  3:53:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit dirtysteve's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh my god Scott, it was so amazing. Can't even begin to describe it.

Otto, its too bad you settled for a BBE box, you could have gotten a RNLA from FMR Audio for about the same price but much higher quality and functionality.

The 882 might be fun to play with but I've found Voxengo's Elephant to be a really fantastic miximizer that doesn't f up your signal like a BBE box can.

Same thing with the ART Pro VLA II you're considering. Don't bother man, really. It's ok for some things true, but overall you'd get a lot more functionality over a wider range of applications with an RNC or RNLA. I sold my Pro VLA almost a year ago because it just didn't have the dimension I was looking for.

EQ - for VO work you can use Boot EQ, Nasty CS, Nasty HF & LF...all freeware and very very cool. Voxengo's Gliss EQ is pretty nice also but honestly the EQ built into Sonar X1 is fantastic, I love it. So easy to scroll through and find trouble freq's to notch out.

I don't really EQ any more with my VO work. I limit on the way in with an RNLA, using an Alice mic amp'd by ZED pre's. Then use Elephant as a Maximizer on the 2 Buss for the final mix. I've also gone back to a dynamic mic I love so much, the N/D 767 from EV. The bas is warm and tight, the mids are smooth and solid, and the high's are clean and sweet without any sibilance.

Here are some links to some of this stuff:

http://rekkerd.org/bootsy-plug-ins/
http://www.fmraudio.com/
http://www.voxengo.com/
http://www.scotthelmke.com/alice-mic.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/166392-REG/Electro_Voice_16033313_N_D767A_Supercardioid_Dynamic.html

Always fly high

Edited by - dirtysteve on 12/16/2012 9:09:04 PM
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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  7:30:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks DS - I'll check all these suggestions out. Thanks very much for the detailed reply. I know you are up on this kind of thing. I don't mind owning multiple different brands that do the same job - just to compare. I've been a longtime fan of Voxengo's software. I own some of their stuff, but not sure if I bought Elephant or not. It would have been a number of years ago - it's been out for a while - right?
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dirtysteve
Gold Member

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2012 :  01:17:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit dirtysteve's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I finally had to come to the understanding with VO work that its a lot simpler than we think.

The end goal should be to present the talent in a way that flatters the voice in a basic and essential way that is not hyped.

The talent should already have a "way" with vocal presentation; should already have a quality that seems to satisfy the listener and entertain them. So just record the performance as simple as possible.

Also, the message the talent is presenting is 50% of the equation here. The material is something that must be compelling to the listener.

My clients simply want to hear my voice speaking to them about things that are crucially important to them. The material is half the power. The voice is the other 50% and must contain a quality that is interesting and "effective" for whatever purpose the message serves. The voice and the message go hand in hand.

Always fly high
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garrigus
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USA
14514 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2012 :  09:17:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit garrigus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Otto... yeah, Elephant has been out for a while.

DS... I agree. As as long as you can get a good recording, minimal processing is involved. I work that way when I create video tutorials...
http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/videos.asp

Scott

--
Scott R. Garrigus - http://www.garrigus.com
* Cakewalk SONAR Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottGarrigus?sub_confirmation=1
* Author of the Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge Power book series: http://garrigus.com/?PowerBooks
* Publisher of the DigiFreq music recording newsletter: http://www.digifreq.com/
* Publisher of the NewTechReview consumer tech newsletter: http://www.newtechreview.com/
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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2012 :  11:21:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Where I'm coming from is this: I've bought a lot of nice mics, but I'm realizing that when I hear recordings, what I like about them isn't just the mic, but the quality of the process of the mic signal. Even just on broadcast radio - I'm realizing that have the right pre's, the right compression and eq; it makes a huge difference; and also - I'm on a tube kick these days.
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dirtysteve
Gold Member

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2012 :  1:37:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit dirtysteve's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Otto, another thing you can do to noticeably bump up your VO game is to create a vocal booth. Part of VO sound is removing the room from the picture. But you can't actually remove the qualities of your room in the mix. The qualities of your room are in the capture and you're stuck with that. So to get that tight, close-up, intimate sound that's so much a part of what you're describing, you have to start with a well-treated room or booth. Even if it's just a walk-in closet, that will help.

Always fly high
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dirtysteve
Gold Member

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2012 :  2:33:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit dirtysteve's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Another thing to consider Otto is you've been in this game for a long time now so your skills at this point deserve something far better than just an ART box or BBE box.

You have a lot of cheap gear sitting around that you could auction off on ebay, then take that money and buy yourself a really nice single channel pre like an ISA One, or a UA 610 or 710. The Daking mic pre One is fantastic as well. Something with nice transformers, maybe even the WA12 from Warm Audio or the fully modified version of the GAP Pre 73 since you have a penchant for tubes right now.

In the end though at this point you deserve to be working with nicer boxes with quality transformers if you want some heft in your signal.

Always fly high
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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2012 :  6:53:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are so right that I'd have been better off saving up the money and buying just a few really high end items. I'll look at the things you mention. I'm not up on any of this gear, as this has been an area I have neglected till lately. I lived for years with just a Shure SM58. That was it. So even some of this Chinese-made stuff is probably going to still be a step up. A lot of my gear is somewhere on the border between consumer/semi pro; yet, I see this stuff being used by pro groups to my amazement. Sometimes DS, I have just gotten to the point of being lazy. I look at the auto-setting on the BBE MaxCom, and I think - plug and play - easy.
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Jim Sturm
Moderator

USA
716 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2012 :  08:59:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At this point I feel like chiming in...

I pretty much agree completely with DS, otto, on the VO topic. I'm gonna harp in on one of the latter comments. You need to dump a boatload of the low-end stuff you have sitting around an buy a bit of quality gear. I have a couple of unsolicited suggestions.

It's no secret I'm a fan of UA and Peluso. The recommendation of a 2-610 is hard to beat. Almost without exception, when someone is ready to make a move to a 'better' preamp, I recommend the 710. Yes, it's a bit gimmicky. Yes, its a bit of a construction lightweight when compared to the tank-like UA product line. But it works very, very well. From clean to grungy and everything in between. And periodically, you can pick it up bundled with a free UAD2. Not bad for around $800.

As for mics and preamps, dump the Chinese stuff, unless you have a couple of SE's you insist on hanging on to. You can afford to do better. My general philosophy is that a really high end preamp (Avalon and beyond, etc...) will just define all the shortcomings of a crappy mic. A crappy mic deserves a crappy preamp to help hide the stink.

All preamps fall into two basic categories. Colored or colorless. Colorless give the best representation of what the mic and source sound like. Colored add a new dimension that you may like or hate. Color is the instrument and you have to learn how to play it.

I think anyone is better off with a few good, varied mics and a couple of good, versatile preamps, than they are with a ton of cheap stuff.

Don't ever knock the SM-57/58. They have been around forever for a good reason. One of those is ALWAYS the first mic to buy.

Just FWIW, when someone is just starting out and asks me what to get, I tell them a UA-710, an SM-57, and a C414-whatever they can afford in the series. That combo will always work for anything. After that, go with what you need/can afford.

That's a whole new thread...

-Jim




Old Dog... New Tricks!
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otto
Platinum Member

2737 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:06:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At some point, I have ended up with at least 2 SM57's to join my SM58. I might have more than 2 of the SM57's - I just have lost track. That C414, I had a friend going on about that mic if I recall it right. It's a large diaphram - yes? It's was the gold standard if I recall - years ago. This was back probably in the 80's. We had cassette multitracks at the time we had this discussion. I'll have to research some of what you talk about. I've got some huge UAD-1 bundle that I've never installed yet. PCIe card. It came with something like $4000 worth of stuff. Of course, now - who would even want it; but I paid something like $1000 for it. I guess I should install it - huh? See what's in it. It had pretty much everything up to a certain date that they'd put out. Some mega-bundle.

The other thing - and why I bought a bunch of cheap stuff. I'm going to turn a lot of this over to the kids here soon - in a few more years, and for them to start out - I didn't want to care what happened to the stuff. If they wreck it - it was cheap to begin with.

Edited by - otto on 12/18/2012 10:11:50 AM
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