The short answer is no, you don’t need to spend a a fortune on a microphone to become a voice actor. A budget of around $250 dollars is enough to purchase a microphone that will allow you to record professional sounding voiceover.
In time you’ll want to upgrade to achieve broadcast-quality recordings but for now, let’s get you set up so you can start recording.
Table of Contents
- What is the most important piece of equipment a voice actor needs to buy?
- The 3 options voice actors have when buying a mic
What is the most important piece of equipment a voice actor needs to buy?
A microphone is arguably the most important piece of equipment a voice actor needs to purchase, since it’s the tool that captures your voice and delivers it to your audience. But buyer, beware! Just because a mic on Amazon has the word “professional” in its description, does not mean it actually is a professional mic.
Basically, there are three options for voice actors when it comes to choosing a microphone:
- Save money and buy a cheap mic
- Spend a bit more for an entry-level mic
- Invest in a professional-grade microphone
Each choice has its pros and cons, so let’s look at them in more detail….
The 3 options voice actors have when buying a mic
Option 1: Save money and buy a cheap microphone
Some aspiring voice actors opt to save money and purchase a cheap mic. Sure it’ll get you up and running, but this option isn’t recommended because the quality of the recordings will be unusable. Why? Low-quality/cheap microphones will almost definitely have a lot of self-noise, some inherent distortion, and poor clarity – making it impossible to produce good, clear broadcast-quality audio, which is what you’ll need if you plan on actually booking work.
Option 2: Spend around $250 for an entry-level mic
The second option for voice actors is to invest in an entry-level microphone. This choice is ideal for beginners who want to build their skills and practice their craft without breaking the bank. The Rode NT-USB is an excellent example of an entry-level microphone that’s affordable and delivers good quality sound.
The Rode NT-USB has a cardioid polar pattern, which means it picks up sound from the front of the microphone and rejects sounds from the sides and back. This makes it great for voice-over work, because it minimizes background noise. It’s usually sold as a package and comes with a pop shield to reduce plosive sounds (like Ps and Ts), which is a common problem in voice-over work.
Option 3: Buy a professional-grade microphone
The third option for voice actors is to invest in a professional-grade microphone. This option is suitable for experienced voice actors and it’s crucial if you want to produce broadcast-quality audio. Professional microphones like the Neumann U 87 and the Sennheiser MKH416 are the industry standard for voice-over work. They do cost several thousand dollars each, but they’re built to last and deliver superior sound quality.
The Neumann U 87 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that delivers a warm, rich sound. The Sennheiser MKH416 is a dynamic microphone that has a flat, wide-range frequency response and excellent bass roll-off. It’s a popular choice for voice-over work and podcasting.
The answer is, no – you don’t need to spend a lot on a microphone to become a voice actor.
But if you want to take your voice-over game to the next level and start booking national TV commercials, it might be time to invest in a professional-grade microphone, some voice coaching and a strong voiceover demo.
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