Every Voice Over Artist Needs GREAT Equipment & Resources. Here's what I recommend!
When I first started building my home studio, someone recommended I speak to a famous voice actor for recommendations. It was arranged, and we got on the phone. He told me if I spent LESS than $25,000 on my home studio, that I'd never be taken seriously. When we hung up, I cried! And then, I set out on a journey to prove him wrong. AND I DID! Below is my deeply researched list of equipment. It's EVERYTHING I USE! I spent years putting this list together, researching prices, finding GREAT deals, saving money - AND, ended up building an extremely successful studio right in my home. I'm currently the voice of McDonald's, Zales, The Weather Channel's PATTRN, Realtors dot com, Toast, Smart Water, NY Lotto, MD Lotto Holiday Season, Walmart Cold & Flu Season, was the voice of the US Female Gymnastics Team for the summer Olympics - AND SO MANY MORE (this list is just a few of 2021's bookings!) and I recorded every single one of them using the equipment below! I never want anyone to feel how I felt, so I am more than happy to share this list. Do all your research too, but know that I live by what's listed below! ***For upcoming intensive students, I have a handy dropbox link to send you. This will help walk you through putting it all together & we will work together to make sure it sounds GREAT!
All of the photos below are hyperlinked for ultra convenience! Click on any item to learn more or add to your cart!
Below you'll find both single elements of equipment (for those that already have things they need) AND, bundle deals for those that are building their studios from scratch! Here are your MUSTS:
A Condenser Microphone w. XLR Cable (NOT A USB MIC!)
A Mixer, Headphones, Pop Filter, Foam Shield, Mic Stand & Desktop Speakers!
This is the AKG Condenser Mic that I use
In this first segment, you'll see the Condenser Microphone I've sworn by for almost a decade. Condenser Mic's come with XLR cables that can only be plugged into a mixer. Your mixer has a USB that plugs into your computer, allowing you to record into your DAW.
(A DAW is a Digital Audio Workstation, like GarageBand, Audacity, Or ProTools. (I have used GarageBand for years!)
You will see singular links, and, bundle links. Remember - it's a VERY smart move to upgrade your equipment about every 4-5 years! So if a bundle package applies to you for the savings, but you already own something in it - consider the bundle for purchasing backup equipment!
This is your audio mixer! It's called a Scarlett Focusrite. The first pic/link is a Scarlet "Solo" that comes with a bonus XLR cable. This could be handy because sometimes XLR cables get old & finicky. The second Scarlet comes with a bonus XLR cable AND a great pair of headphones.
(The reason it's called a Solo is because it can only plug in ONE mic, which should be all you need!)
Here's my trusty pop filter! This protects your mic from bursts of air, spit, your makeup, your fuzzy beard particles & who knows what else! Word to the wise, if you've been using yours a while, it might stink! These are $6-$10 a pop so it's easy to replace. Keep your face fresh!
In the bundle package to the right, it comes with a STANDING mic stand. This is a link for a SEATED mic stand. When students ask me if it's better to stand or seat when recording, I tell them it's up to YOU. And if you're not sure what you prefer yet, it's VERY handy to have both (very affordable) options! The one above comes with a few fun extra features too!
This is a package bundle. It has my OTHER fav mic, an Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone with XLR Cable, Spider Microphone Shockmount & Isolation Shield! Be sure to keep scrolling down to see a lot of these elements sold separately, in case you're only buying or replacing a few things here & there!
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Nobody puts baby in a corner. But you're definitely going to shove your mic right inside this shield so that you can record ANYWHERE YOU WANT IN YOUR HOUSE! This is the fantastic foam shield! THIS is what puts your microphone in a foam closet, so that YOU don't have to record in your clothes closet!
If you're standing while recording, how are you going to see the script?! This fantastic gooseneck is perfect for having your copy on your phone, clipping it onto your stand and recording while properly positioned on the mic. For on camera actors, I also use mine when filming auditions in hard to reach places! lol
Headphones are super important to replace every 4-5 years. Over time the cords get old and the sound gets muffled. I've worked with SO MANY STUDENTS that think their headphones are working great, but don't realize everything they're missing. Be sure you are taking care of your headphones so they can take care of you! These Sennheisers are the newest pair I own.
$10 for the slick saver!
$17 for the moderate saver!
It's SO important to have desktop speakers. This is a game changer, because this is the only way to hear your work THE WAY CLIENTS WILL HEAR YOUR WORK! Producers will never listen to your audition through a pair of headphones. They hear your work in surround sound! There are things like nuance or white noise that are impossible to hear on your headphones. When you play your work back on your final check before submitting an audition or even a paid gig, you ALWAYS do your final listen on your desktop speakers! Here are some fantastically affordable options. I own the $10 pair, and they're wonderful!
$50 for the fancy pants!
GAME CHANGER: YOU MUST HAVE DESKTOP SPEAKERS!
$29 for the elegant saver!
Voice Protection // Throat Remedies // Throat Care // Voice Luxury!
If you have a scratchy dry cough happening in your throat, OR, are looking to PREVENT that from happening: It's time for Singer's Saving Grace. Coveted by every professional Voice Actor in the field that's been doing this a long time. And - every Opera Singer at the Met! This is the spray that saves! (ESPECIALLY during long animation voice over sessions, trust me, I know!)
I always have multiple boxes of throat coat tea at my house. It's not a gimmick. I don't know what's in here, but it's the only tea I've ever had that's actually helped my throat! And - it's delicious! This is great for the cold season, for emergencies, to bring with you in a thermos if you're going to a sound studio - but no need for that! Most sound studios keep this on hand for their visiting voice actors. But now that most jobs are done from home - this is a must have!
This is the best brand, the best price, and the BEST thing I do, 2-3 times a week for my voice! I simply add a little bit (with a splash of lemon, my green matcha, or my Emergen-C powder drink) & I drink it up. I stay hydrated, I don't ever have vocal clicks or mouth friction on the mic. I know that Bragg's ACV is one of my all-time secret weapons!
And now for the splurge: This is $32, but it's the BEST price for the LARGEST amount of true Eucalyptus oil to have on hand. When I have an early morning record, OR, simply when I want to open up my nose, throat and voice for the day - I stand in a hot shower, spray some on my hands, rub them together and inhale near my face. HOLY SMACKS, BATMAN! This is no joke!!! AND - to top it off, it's a gorgeous aromatherapy smell-scape for your bathroom (and your house) when you're really just feeling like treating yourself to a spa-like shower or bath.