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Lapianoman 10-13-2011 08:30 AM

Home Studio Discussion
I think it would be nice to have a sticky (or even a sub-forum, since it's not technically discussion about the acting aspect...) where we can discuss equipment, software, room treatment, acoustics, etc.

Sound like a good idea?

Foxwolf 10-13-2011 10:47 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Indubitably. We'll get that going. Remind me if I forget.

Lapianoman 11-03-2011 08:12 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Now that I have some free time... ;)

Here's the recording setup I use at home:

Mic: Audio Technica AT2035

I heard about this mic from a few professional VO's on another forum & decided it was worth replacing my Behringer C1 (which had replaced the Behringer dynamic mic that came with my Podcast Studio.) One of the people who recommended this mic liked it even more than their Neumann TLM103, so that speaks volumes! It is a "large diaphragm condenser" (LDC) mic & has some nice features, including a switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad. It also comes with a shock mount. Since this is a standard XLR mic, you can't just plug it into your computer (like a Samson C01U.) It also requires phantom power, so you'll need a preamp...

Preamp: Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC200

This is hands down the "weak link" in my signal chain, but any preamp in the sub-$100 category is going to have its limits. That said, it does the job I need it to, mainly, providing the phantom power (+48V) my mic requires. It also has a 20dB pad (which I switch on for screams or loud laughter), low cut & phase reversal. It also has an LED meter, which lets you know if your signal is too hot. One of the neatest features is the "Preamp Mode" switch, which allows you to color your sound by adding limiting and/or tube to your signal. (Personally, I like the "Valve" setting.) There are 2 inputs & outputs: (2) XLR and (2) 1/4" TRS.
Now, to hook into my PC...

Audio Interface: E-MU 0404 PCIe

Essentially a PC sound card on steroids, the 0404 is connected to my preamp by a 6' TRS patch cable. I used to have a cheap $20 Behringer USB audio interface & have to say this card not only removed a huge chunk of line noise, but also gave me a dedicated signal processor to add effects like reverb, echo, phase & flanger, etc. My biggest complaint is that it doesn't always play well with Windows 7, but I found a workaround I can live with.


I mostly use Audacity to record, but have played around with Raptor, which you can try for free & only costs $40 if you want to buy. Other things I consider "must-haves" are a pop filter & mic stand. I've also set up a PVC frame system which has moving blankets draped over them to mitigate room reverberation. Recording at night & turning off fans & the AC helps keep background noise down.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this! If you have any questions at all, post 'em & I'll get back to you.

Hendercrazy 11-07-2011 10:59 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Tech talk is always healthy! :D

Lapianoman 11-17-2011 08:10 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Getting advice from VO or audio experts is always a good thing. Getting free advice from someone who is both a voice talent and audio engineer is even better! Check out this 2 part interview with Dan Friedman, where he discusses mics, mic technique, room treatment & more.

The videos are presented by Bill DeWees (VoiceOverExpert). It's definitely worth subscribing to his YouTube channel, as he regularly posts useful & interesting information about voiceover.!

SCP21 11-17-2011 11:30 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
A good resource to check that has hardware and tips / tricks is podcasts. They have a TON!

Strife 11-17-2011 11:36 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Crispin Freeman has a toolbox section on his blog that talks about equipment. I'll post the link.

Lapianoman 05-25-2012 09:05 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Need to control some of the reverberation in your room? Tim O'Brien from was nice enough to post the plans & pictures for an easy to assemble (and disassemble) sound wall that can easily be used to build a booth:

Trami0501 11-10-2012 02:49 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
What the Neptune is doing is Home Record Studios at my house?

ZeldaZealot 12-15-2014 07:05 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Hello everybody! My name is Alberto Mares and I am just now starting to give voice acting an official try. I am looking to get a minimal home recording studio to audtion for roles, but I have absolutely no clue on what I should buy. This is all very new to me. If somebody could help me out, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Lapianoman 12-16-2014 08:38 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Hey Alberto! For a mic, I'd suggest the Samson C01U, which has been selling on eBay for around $40. Then, for the low price of free, you can download the recording software Audacity. If you already have an acoustically treated place to record & a computer to plug the C01U into, this setup should serve you well enough...for now.

ZeldaZealot 12-16-2014 01:48 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Thank you, good sir! I appreciate the advice! I actually downloaded the Audacity software a couple of days ago, so that's done with, thankfully. One more thing, would it be wise to invest in a pop filter as well?

Lapianoman 12-16-2014 02:58 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Short answer: Yes, invest in a pop filter.

Long answer: With correct mic placement & technique, a pop filter isn't strictly necessary. However, I still use one, since it's added insurance that you won't ruin a take with a random plosive. And if you'll be working the mic closely (say, for whispered dialogue) or recording a bunch of shouted lines, your risk of plosives increases. IMHO, it's worth the extra investment.

ZeldaZealot 12-16-2014 09:41 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Great! Thanks again for the advice(:

ZeldaZealot 12-26-2014 01:17 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
I have another question. When I ordered the Samson C01U Mic, it came with the Sonar recording software. Which would be better for me to use? Sonar or Audacity?

Lapianoman 01-03-2015 07:26 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
You'll probably find more tutorials & other help with Audacity, but it won't hurt to try both & see which you like better. I've never used Sonar, so I can't offer any opinions on it.

ZeldaZealot 01-03-2015 06:41 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Interesting. From your experience what is the difference between acoustically treating your room/recording studio and simply having a microphone isolation set up? That's what I'm looking to buy next.

Lapianoman 01-05-2015 06:40 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
The difference is apples and oranges. Isolation, or sound proofing, is what is used to keep unwanted external sounds out of your recordings. (No one wants the neighbor's lawn mower showing up on their audition, right?) Acoustical treatment is what you do inside your recording space to remove things like reverberation & resonance.

What is it you are looking to buy? Or more importantly, what problem are you trying to correct?

ZeldaZealot 01-05-2015 12:55 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
ah, I see the difference now. Thank you for clearing that up. Well, sound proofing wouldn't be an issue where my equipment is set up. I believe that acoustically treating my room is what I am looking to do. I saw this product on amazon which included a shock mount and 5 microphone isolation panels, and that seemed to be perfect for me.

Lapianoman 01-06-2015 07:44 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
I think I found the product you're describing. Alone, it probably won't fix all your acoustic issues, but if used with some additional treatment, you'll probably get decent recordings. Have a look at this article from Juan Carlos Bagnell, aka SomeAudioGuy.

Home Studio On A Budget

In particular, there's a picture at the bottom with a similar, mic mounted reflection filter, along with moving blankets hung on the wall behind. He goes into more detail in an older article here.

Take some time to read what Juan has to say in both articles...he's one smart dude.

ZeldaZealot 01-17-2015 01:31 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Thank you! I'll take a look at what he has to say!

Heisenberg991 04-14-2015 05:31 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Brand new to the industry. I have an Excelvan Condenser sound recording mic with the syba usb stereo audio adapter. I tested the mic out with audacity and it seems fine. Do I need the Innogear phanton power supply adapter for condenser mic or can I return that part. If I need anything else let me know. My room is pretty soundproof and quiet.

Lapianoman 04-20-2015 06:58 AM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Condenser microphones need phantom power to work. I don't know if you're using gear that supplies phantom power, other than the Innogear, so I can't say whether it's safe to return your power supply adapter.

Can you do some test recordings, post the samples to Soundcloud & link them here? Don't do any processing (compression, HPF, gating, etc.) and leave at least 10 seconds of silence at the beginning, so I can hear your room tone.

Kando 09-06-2016 05:35 PM

Re: Home Studio Discussion
Hello! My screen name is Kando, young voice actor, and I've barely got my home setup complete (almost!) I got my studio b1 condenser mic, preamp, macbook pro, home made ugly pop filter, reaper audio interface, and my giant cardboard box. I'm still waiting for my 3in pyramid foam. Can't wait for the delivery!

I'm curious to know if you guys had lots of trouble with your first mic.(?) I can't get reaper or audacity to pick up sounds from my mic. Not sure why when the software can recognize my preamp.. Thanks for reading!

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