Cindy C. A. Pereira

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Basic Microphone Set Up

Do you hate wires? If not, awesome, carry on. If so, boy can I relate. But (bird by bird baby) we can break the task down.

So if you are a novice as I was and are wondering why not just plug in a USB mic, the answer is you can... but a good analog mic sounds so much better. I am not an audio engineer but a large diaphragm condenser mic simply makes you sound more professional and impacts your recording. You also want to be able to say that is what you are using when asked because it signals to people that you take your sound seriously.

You have a wide selection of microphones. Edge Studio has a page on their site that goes over a great deal of information. Check it out here. Ultimately you will have to make the choice that best suits your voice. This might be a question you could ask at one of the classes you take or if you are recording a demo, when you have access to an audio engineer.

After frankly not much ado, I opted for an AKG Perception 820 tube amp mic. My reason is not technical... my husband bought it for me.  However about a year later we ended up buying a Shure because the sound seemed less brassy. My Shure is an SM7B with a switchable response regulator that cost about $350 at Musician's Friend. I got a Daking pre amp for $599 here. Note that when I was using the AKG it didn't really need that preamp, not all need more than an Apogee audio interface, which I will describe next.

If you do get an analog microphone and need to connect it to your computer. Since mics are analog and computers are digital you need another gadget to serve as an interface. A popular audio interface that works for both Mac and PC is the Apogee Duet. Check it out here.

Okay so the microphone connects to the preamp, the preamp connects to the Apogee and the Apogee connects to the computer. You can search YouTube for unboxing videos (like this one) on any of these for explicit details on the hook up.

Depending on what software you are using, you will need to make sure that in your sound preferences you are indicating where you want the sound to come from. Typically once you've installed the Apogee it will show up as an option.

Okay so if you have been following along you have thus far done some research, sought out a class or two, prepared an environment conducive to recording and now you purchased the items you will need to record.

Pat yourself on the back. You've already gone beyond where most aspiring voice actors throw in the towel. See you next week for more.