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I'm currently looking for a great voice over microphone, I have around 1500 - 1800 dollars to spend? Suggestions? It's for a job but I need to now record them on my own now I'm moving away from the studio...

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There are a ton of great mics for under that price range, and some of them have been mentioned already. Before I started working on Game Sound, I worked exclusively in Pop Music production. Those studios and production teams have every kind of Mic imaginable, and they all serve a purpose depending on the Vocalist and Intention of the producer.

One thing to keep in mind is how important the right Pre-Amp is to the scenario. A John Hardy M1 Pre for instance is incredible. I have used those Pres to make an SM58 sound like gold.

Among too many others to mention, I suggest looking into the ECM-47 Tube condensor made by Gauge. Its inexpensive enough that you could also get a great Mic pre and stay in budget (or just another mic).

That ECM-47 (or something like it) with a great Pre-Amp will sound better than a U87 through a bad pre. And, the U87 is more like $2,500.00 on its own.

Try one of these Pres, to really get a great sound. 1. http://www.transaudiogroup.com/daking/mic-pre-one.shtml For about $600.00

  1. http://www.true-systems.com/p-solo.html For about $600.00

  2. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Solo610/ For about $799.00

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I have a friend who does a lot of VO recording for games. Next to the U87, he really likes the Blue Kiwi, which you can find in your price range if you shop around.

I've used a Sennheiser 416 shotgun on VO in the past and really liked it. The Shure SM7 dynamic mic is popular on VO/Radio and can be had for far below your budget.

Keep in mind that one mic won't work for everyone so you might want to try renting some and see what works best on the voices you'll be recording.

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Its all depends of character of your voice and environment. Really, Sennheiser MKH 50 is good, but also Shure SM81 and others. But for VO I'd suggest to buy also a good VO-channel, say, APHEX 230 Master Voice Channel, DBX 263 or another of your choice. My suggestion.

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I have the transformer balanced Blue Mouse (the black one) that sounds great for VO, but it is the model of the the MIC before they went through all of the legal trouble with the guy in Latvia who was making their capsules and some of the electronics. The Blue Mouse that is on the market post their legal split uses a different capsule which I have not heard.

If you google around about the blue stuff from years ago you'll find lots of ridiculous threads out there. It was quite a dramatic fight.

If you can find one used from before 2005 it would be worth it.

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I'd go for the Sennheiser MKH 50 in both vocal- and fieldrecording.

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If you're looking into the neumann U87, check out Michael Jolys's mod of the Rode NT1A at www.oktavamod.com

  • Octava is good, but I prefer Neumann )) My favorite is Neumann 67 - lamp mic from 60's. I had 3 of those. Unnormal beautiful open sound - rich clear impulsive live 300v for the lamp. But now they go up to +$3000 I suppose. – tobto Jan 15 '11 at 14:51
  • @tobto Oktavamod is the name of the company because originally he only modded oktavas, but i'm mentioning the mod of the ROde nt1a. He does many many other mics now. – Filipe Chagas Jan 15 '11 at 15:40
  • PS i have no doubt that the 67 sounds beautiful. – Filipe Chagas Jan 15 '11 at 15:43
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AT4050.

We've A/Bd it against the U87, and the resemblance is striking. The difference is in the extreme low end, but midrange and top are very very close.

  • The AT4050 is really good value and sounds great, unfortunately clients expect to see a U87. – user80 Jan 15 '11 at 16:39
  • We've got a few at work, and I'm always impressed buy how versatile the 4050 is. – Shaun Farley Jan 15 '11 at 19:19
  • I am using low-end brother of this mic AT2050 and I am very satisfied. I heard AT4050 on some records and result is amazing... Of course I agree with Iain McGregor, business is sometimes about impression and U87 looks superb. – Tomáš Bílek Jan 15 '11 at 19:40
  • How did you do these A-Bs...........? ;-) – Utopia Jan 15 '11 at 22:09
  • @Ryan - We set up the mics side by side and ran into John Hardy M1 pres. Matched levels, switched all filters out, and recorded one performance by John Wells (it was his u87). Listening tests with John and 3 other engineers commenced, along with spectrum analysis, etc. Again, the main differences were in the extreme low end-which John's voice has tons of, and in the way the mics captured dynamics. Both differences were pretty darn small considering the price diff. Also, the 4050 is deadly quiet. – Rene Jan 16 '11 at 6:16
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I'd suggest looking at the new Brauner Phanthera. Nobody makes better mics than Brauner for this sort of work imho. We're using U87s and Brauner VMAs for VO where I work and the Brauner almost always wins.

If you're recording just one voice, it really pays to demo a bunch of mics on the voice talent. You'd be surprised, sometimes a mic just fits a specific voice. An SM58 might even win.

  • now there's a glowing review for ya! I haven't heard this mic before, care to post a sample? – Rene Jan 17 '11 at 15:29
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There is no 1 perfect mic. I would start with the AT4050 as mentioned above with a really good mic pre-amp such as the Aphex 230, which was also mentioned above.

At a later date I would buy a large diaphragm dynamic (Shure SM7B or EV RE-30) and then you should pretty much be ready for anything. It really is down to having a choice of mics so that you can get the best out of each voice.

The slow ballistics on a large diaphragm dynamic can really smooth out a staccato voice and the fast ballistics on a cardioid can make a drawl sound slightly cleaner.

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