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    Best microphone for recording studio voice overs? Sennheiser vs Neumann

    I am in the market for a microphone dedicated to recording voice overs and narrations in a controlled setting.

    I was looking at either the Sennheiser MK8 or a Neumann TLM 102, 103 or 107.

    Does anybody have any experience or wisdom they can share regarding capturing great vocal audio?

    I already own a Sennheiser MKH50 for use on my boom pole. Its a great mic for that purpose, but using it as a voice over mic, its very sensitive to the slightest "plosive" and I'd rather have something that does one thing, and does it extremely well.

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    Senior Member BrianMurphy's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa
    Why not the Shure SM7B ? Great V/O microphone, Made in the USA and used in studios everywhere. Or the Electrovoice RE20, another great microphone also made in the USA. Just saying'.
    Brian Murphy
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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    When you say “controlled setting”, how controlled? Proper VO booth?

    If you’re in an actual voice studio or isolation booth, then the TLM series are pretty widely regarded in the VO world. On the less-expensive end, the RØDE NT-1A is a respectable performer (my go-to).

    If you’re not in a completely neutral and properly teated room, then the dynamic mics mentioned by Brian may be a better bet.

    Regarding your MKH-50... it could work. Grab a pop screen, and speak across it at a 45º angle and that should do away with plosives.
    Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

    Instagram @sonolocus

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    Senior Member
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    Feb 2005
    Washington, the state.
    Another RE-20 fan. I had tried multiple mics for my home studio VO needs and they all hated me. Tried the RE20 and was immediately happy.

    If you are in that controlled environment you might consider a LDC. I went with a pair of middle of the road, AT-4050 which has a switchable pattern, sounds excellent for voice or music, and didn't break the bank (Sweatwater on sale).. There are lots of economy models that are surprisingly good like CAD and a bunch of others. Of course there are lots of high end models as well like Neumann.


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    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Lowestoft - UK
    For me it's sometime an ev320 which I like better than the 20, or my 414 on duller voices. I hate my sm7b just doesn't work for me, too dull and American DJ from the 70s. However, loads of people love this sound, so it's just me.

    Condensers in close need pop protection. That's perfectly normal. The foam thing supplied with 414s takes the bit off them, especially if you have the old velvet covered ones, the foam version isn't quite so nice. A popper stopper works for me, or as I did last week a covid mask is really good at stopping these noises.
    Last edited by paulears; 10-22-2020 at 12:51 AM.

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    A friend of mine found a cheap online rental for microphones and tested three or four of them.

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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Planet X
    I would audition as many mics as possible and choose the one that sounds best on your voice, one size does not fit all. In any case, a great mic is not a substitute for lack of talent.

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    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    La Petite Roche
    I have been doing professional VO work for over 40 years, using a s#it ton of different mics.
    That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a properly placed MKH-50 along with Alex's suggestion of adding a pop screen.
    Unless of course you have money burning a hole in your pocket.

    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
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    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Detroit & SF
    The Heil PR40 sounds similar to the RE20 but with better clarity and a higher output. It, like the RE20, can also handle really loud sounds like people screaming. It seems to work pretty well with many voices, American made and about 1/2 the price of the RE20 (or was when I bout one).

    Scott Koue
    Web Page
    Noiz on Noise

    “It ain’t ignorance that causes all the troubles in this world, it’s the things that people know that ain’t so”

    Edwin Howard Armstrong
    creator of modern radio

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    Not what you asked but I got a KM185 for a solid deal and I am absolutely over the moon with it, if you can find one locally to test out.

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