Voiceover Gear I Love | What's in my Home Studio!
My must-have items for my home recording studio! I have also listed some tips on how to choose the right gear for your specific needs, and included some budget-friendly options for microphones, headphones, and audio interfaces.
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The Neumann TLM 103 is what I use for my voiceover work and I absolutely love it! It's travelled quite a bit with me and never disappoints. It really captures every detail and nuance of your performance, especially with animation!
If you are just starting out in voiceover, don't feel you need to shell out over $1,000 for a microphone. For newbies on a budget, the Rode NT1-A or the Apogee MiC Plus are great options. If you have the money to invest in a higher-quality microphone, the Neumann TLM 103 or the Sennheiser Professional MK 4 are fantastic choices. Then of course there is the 'gold standard' which is the classic Neumann U 87!
I'm still rocking the first generation Apogee Duet, however the much newer model you can get is the Apogee Duet 3. It's so easy to use! Interfaces can range from around $100 to over $1000 depending on their features and specifications. Even the most affordable interfaces sound great and provide the basic features, so don't feel you need to break the bank on this! Two other options that come highly recommended are the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
I still have my OG headphones from like 15 years ago, and believe it or not they still work! I think they were a pair of Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones. Right now I'm using the AKG Pro Audio K271 MKII Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Professional Studio Headphones as my regular studio pair. My only complaint is that they fit kind of big if you have a narrow head like I do.
There are lots of different types and brands of headphones on the market, so it's important to find a pair that's comfortable for you to wear for long periods of time. You'll also want to make sure that the headphones don't leak sound, so that your recordings are as clean as possible. A few tried-and-true headphones for voiceover actors are the SENNHEISER HD 559 Open Back Headphones and the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Monitor Headphones.
I bought a new iMac in December 2021, and I love it! I chose the following model: 24-inch Silver iMac with 4.5K Retina display
Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
16GB unified memory
1TB SSD storage
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Two USB 3 ports
Magic Keyboard with Touch ID - US English
The upgrades added a bit to the price tag, but if you get approved for the Apple Card, you can pay 0% interest for 12 months. I really love this iMac and have noticed a huge increase in my productivity as it is SO FAST.
I bought this Porta-Booth Pro back in like 2010 - it has lasted me through many trips and even international moves! Really durable, high quality design and materials. It's a great option to take with you when you are traveling as it is lightweight and helps make most spaces (like hotel rooms, etc.) sound great!
Keep in mind that while this will provide some acoustic treatment, it is obviously not meant to 'sound-proof' a space - you will still need to be wary of room noise like fans, air conditioning units, electric hums from appliances, etc.
There is also a more affordable version called the Porta-Booth Plus, but I have not personally tried this one. This one might be a better option for traveling by air, as it fits into carry-on luggage!
Lastly... a few office essentials... these pens are perfect for marking scripts and color-coding your notes for each take!
There are a lot of audio nerds out there... so you're going to find a ton of conflicting opinions on what equipment is the very best for a voiceover actor's home studio. I have included my personal recommendations above, but the truth is that the best studio equipment is what works for you and your budget - not someone else's.
If you have any questions, please reach out and I am happy to point you in the right direction!
And don't forget that the most important piece of equipment is YOUR VOICE! Make sure before you invest in a ton of expensive gear that you are continuously perfecting your craft! :)