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Recording Voiceovers on the Mac

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Anonymous
September 1, 2004 11:08:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I've started recording voiceovers using my G4 Mac with an iMic for
input, an SM58, and GarageBand. Any tips on how I can improve the
quality of the recordings inexpensively? There tends to be a bit too
much high-end noise with this setup. GarageBand has a decent graphic
equalizer that helps remove some of the high-end noise, but what else
can I do to fine tune the recordings? Would investing in an Mbox
significantly improve the recordings?

Thanks.
September 2, 2004 12:46:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Protools is just one of many programs for you to look at. If you are
renting out to people that ask for protools then it might be a good idea
just because people know the name. Cubase and a few other programs are
much more to the liking of people that don't need to have a known name.
their is much more flexibility and the cost is often less.

In your case, it sounds as if you don't need some huge rock and roll
recording studio. There is a unit from Tascam US-122 USB Audio/MIDI
Interface. (link below) $199
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detai...
Features:

* EVERYTHING you need!
* 2 XLR phantom-powered mic inputs with inserts
* 2 line-level ins switchable to guitar level
* 16 channels of MIDI I/O
* Adjustable zero-latency monitoring
* Includes recording/sequencing software
* 2 line outs with level controls
* Headphone out with level control
* Self-powered through USB
* Rugged steel construction
* Full range of drivers

I copied it since I was actually cruising for stuff when I saw your post-

There are a host of mics for around $100 but for voice-over I like the
behringer pro2, marshall mxl v067g, or Oktava MK219 Cardoid Condenser.
Any of those will do. Behringer's mic has lots of settings and is 150,
the v67g sounds great 99 but has no settings, and the oktava sounds
almost as good but it comes with a roll off and pad and can be had for
less then 70.

hope that helps



Fleemo wrote:

> I've started recording voiceovers using my G4 Mac with an iMic for
> input, an SM58, and GarageBand. Any tips on how I can improve the
> quality of the recordings inexpensively? There tends to be a bit too
> much high-end noise with this setup. GarageBand has a decent graphic
> equalizer that helps remove some of the high-end noise, but what else
> can I do to fine tune the recordings? Would investing in an Mbox
> significantly improve the recordings?
>
> Thanks.
Anonymous
September 2, 2004 2:08:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Thanks for your input, gentlemen.

Danny, I read the reviews on the Tascam unit you mentioned, but they
weren't particularly positive. Think I'd stick to an Mbox if I was
going to plunk down some dough. But thanks.

Laurence, instead of an inexpensive mixing board, do you think if I
ran my SM58 into my old Tascam 246 Portastudio and then out to the
iMic I'd get a better signal?

-F
Related resources
September 2, 2004 4:02:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Finding out what won't work is just as important I guess:-)

There are also other sound cards and software to think about. I have
been looking into buying into protools. There are good reasons to do it
but most of that is based on the fact that people in general have name
recognition with it. If you don't need that, keep looking. you're likely
to save a bundle.

Good luck

Fleemo wrote:
> Thanks for your input, gentlemen.
>
> Danny, I read the reviews on the Tascam unit you mentioned, but they
> weren't particularly positive. Think I'd stick to an Mbox if I was
> going to plunk down some dough. But thanks.
>
> Laurence, instead of an inexpensive mixing board, do you think if I
> ran my SM58 into my old Tascam 246 Portastudio and then out to the
> iMic I'd get a better signal?
>
> -F
Anonymous
September 2, 2004 5:23:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

> For performance and price, you just can't beat the little Behringer mixer.

That does look cool. Forgive my ignorance, but how does it differ
from the Mbox, besides being a fraction of the price?

-F
Anonymous
September 2, 2004 7:03:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Art wrote:

> For performance and price, you just can't beat the little Behringer mixer.
> Look what you can get for sixty bucks:

And I'll bet it wouldn't be hard at all to add a little
daughter board somewhere inside that thing with 24 bit A/D
converters and an S/PDIF or USB interface chip.


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
September 2, 2004 11:06:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 2 Sep 2004 10:08:22 -0700, fleemo17@comcast.net (Fleemo) wrote:

>Laurence, instead of an inexpensive mixing board, do you think if I
>ran my SM58 into my old Tascam 246 Portastudio and then out to the
>iMic I'd get a better signal?

It will cost you nothing to try and see :-)

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
September 2, 2004 11:09:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Thu, 2 Sep 2004 11:25:11 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
wrote:

>Hmmm, I thought iMic was a third party device, not an Apple device.

So it is. As the name is so close to an Apple trademark (I assume
iMac is a trademark) I'm surprised a third-party supplier hasn't been
challenged for using it. Particularly as image is paramount in the
Mac world ;-)

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
September 2, 2004 11:09:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

everybody jumped on the iWhatever and eWhatever too for that matter. I
only wished that iJumped on it too :-)

Laurence Payne wrote:

> On Thu, 2 Sep 2004 11:25:11 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
>
>>Hmmm, I thought iMic was a third party device, not an Apple device.
>
>
> So it is. As the name is so close to an Apple trademark (I assume
> iMac is a trademark) I'm surprised a third-party supplier hasn't been
> challenged for using it. Particularly as image is paramount in the
> Mac world ;-)
>
> CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
> "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 4:50:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 2 Sep 2004 13:23:29 -0700, fleemo17@comcast.net (Fleemo) wrote:

>> For performance and price, you just can't beat the little Behringer mixer.
>
>That does look cool. Forgive my ignorance, but how does it differ
>from the Mbox, besides being a fraction of the price?

It's an audio mixer. The outputs and inputs are analogue audio. You
need an additional interface to get the audio in and out of your
computer. I suggest something better than the iMic, less expensive
than the Mbox. Does your Mac take standard pci cards?

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 6:37:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

> > Behringer mixer.
>
> And I'll bet it wouldn't be hard at all to add a little
> daughter board somewhere inside that thing with 24 bit A/D
> converters and an S/PDIF or USB interface chip.

Previous poster mentioned the fact that the Behringer is just the preamp
(probably cleaner than the Tascam combo, but serving the same function in
this case) and the other critical function is turning that analog into
digital.

One sad fact with most Soundblaster and clones sound cards; they do all
their work at 48k sampling. Super if that's what you're using. If you're
recording or playing any other rate, it's converted to 48k for throughput.
While it's darn near impossible for most people to hear, that conversion
does indeed create measurable distortion.

The two things you gotta do between mic and hard drive are 1) preamp and 2)
digitize. Both offer as many opportunities to screw up the sound badly.
They can be handled by 1, 2 or more pieces of equipment, like:

Mic > PC/Mac mic input > Soundblaster or clone in your PC
(Probably sounds fairly good with a decent mic, fine for auditions, but
filled with horrors; not ready for prime time.)

Mic > Behringer mixer for preamp and maybe phantom power > Soundblaster
clone in your PC
(Probably second cheapest, most cost effective, sound limited only by your
soundcard and its A-D section. Probably pretty good, maybe very good sound.
Maybe distorted and filled with hum and buzz and hiss.)

Mic > preamp/processor (like DBX 286a) > same old sound card
(More expensive, only as good as your ability to find the right setting on
all those knobs and the soundcard you're using.)

Mic > any preamp > buss-connected, USB or FireWire sound card
(Pro quality card makes sure it's not the weak link. At this point, you
need to remodel your studio to get any real improvement.)

Mic > USB Preamp/A to D (powered by USB connection)
(Simple, small, portable; couldn't be simpler, excellent products
available.)

I'd bet one of the best things to handle that last arrangement is the Apogee
MiniMe, which I think is near $300. They describe it as: 2-channel 24/96
A/D Converter, Mic-Pre and Compressor
with optional USB

I'm not sure if it's USB powered or has a wall wart. There are lots of
others; just search for USB Audio. That's the key to bypassing your built
in sound card quickly and easily.

I took out a SoundBlaster once and plugged in a great M-Audio multi-input
pro sound card. I was really disappointed when I found out all the great
things that SoundBlaster had been doing for me. I had no more Midi
playback, video games were shredded, old software had to be tweaked. Not
important if it's a full time audio production machine that never does
anything else, I guess. But I left the M-Audio for input, and went back to
the SoundBlaster for output to the speakers.
September 3, 2004 11:33:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <79a519dd.0409021223.2bd7b621@posting.google.com>,
fleemo17@comcast.net (Fleemo) wrote:

> > For performance and price, you just can't beat the little Behringer mixer.
>
> That does look cool. Forgive my ignorance, but how does it differ
> from the Mbox, besides being a fraction of the price?
>
> -F



This wasn't answered, so I'll give you my version of the Dummies Guide.
If it seems I'm talking down to you, please accept appologies here -
it's not my intent.

The Mbox is a USB input device - like the iMic, but better - heaps
better. It also comes with ProTools Software (which covers a fair bit
of the price). Protools is basically a better version of GarageBand
(or worse, depends on who is asessing them).

The Behringer mixer wll be like your Tascam Portastudio, just without
the tape deck. The cheap Behringer may be as better than the
PortaStudio, but how much ??? not much I suspect, but I could be
underselling the Behringer or overselling the tascam.

Your first post asked how to "improve the quality of the recordings
inexpensively?" Best bet is to run the SM58 through the PortaStudio.
This will improve the sound for free, if you need better, I would go to
the Mbox. I doubt that a Cheap Behringer Mixer will help all that much

BUT, I could be wrong...


PS welcomw to the world of home studio's - it's like having a heroin
addiction, but heroin is cheaper and has the good sense to kill you.

--
Charlie
--
my music is at:
http://members.iinet.net.au/~puffin/mp3.html
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 11:33:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Fri, 03 Sep 2004 19:33:23 +0800, Charlie
<puffinnospam@iinet.net.au> wrote:

>Your first post asked how to "improve the quality of the recordings
>inexpensively?" Best bet is to run the SM58 through the PortaStudio.
>This will improve the sound for free, if you need better, I would go to
>the Mbox. I doubt that a Cheap Behringer Mixer will help all that much

A small mixer will perform the same function of matching a low
impedance mic input to a line input, and allowing optimum levels to be
set. Probably a current Behringer will be rather quieter than an
older Tascam. You might also find it useful to specify a mixer with
phantom powering capability. There's a whole new breed of affordable
condenser mics that are nice to use but require powering.

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 11:33:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Laurence, thank you for clarifying the difference between the
Behringer mixer and the Mbox. Yes, my Mac does accept PCI cards.
Have one in mind that would bridge the Behringer and my Mac?

Charlie, you were hardly "talking down" to me. Your presentation was
excellent and helped me to understand clearly. Thank you very much.

>PS welcomw to the world of home studio's - it's like having a heroin
addiction, but heroin is cheaper and has the good sense to kill you.<

LOL! :D 

-Fleemo
Anonymous
September 4, 2004 1:15:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 3 Sep 2004 12:40:28 -0700, fleemo17@comcast.net (Fleemo) wrote:

>Laurence, thank you for clarifying the difference between the
>Behringer mixer and the Mbox. Yes, my Mac does accept PCI cards.
>Have one in mind that would bridge the Behringer and my Mac?

The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 is currently at a very attractive price.
I think it's OK on Macs. Check at
http://www.midiman.net/
Anonymous
September 5, 2004 2:39:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.voice-artists,alt.music.home-studio,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Art, I appreciate your input. Thanks for jotting that stuff down.

Wow, Laurence, that PCI card does look attractive. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

-F
!