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5 cheap voice-over microphones of high quality

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photo de plusieur micros statiques dans un home studio voix off

You've completed your training, practiced relentlessly and are ready to enter the voice-over market. You are about to prepare your demos, they will be the proof of your professionalism and will bring you customers.


The problem is, you need to set up your home studio but you don't know how to choose your microphone and you only have a small budget to invest for the moment.

However, it is out of the question for you to work with low-end products.




You don't mess with your reputation.


The customer must be able to trust you, and only quality recordings will help you do that.

Before we list the best cheap microphones available, let's talk briefly about the differences between the voice frequency of a woman and a man, as well as the vocal mechanism.





1 - Definition of the voice frequency


image dun visage de femme avec des ondes vocales qui sortent de sa bouche

This is the number of vocal cord vibrations per second.

  • Celle de la femme est généralement aigüe, elle se situe entre 170 et 250 Hertz.

  • That of the man is more serious and will rarely exceed 150 Hertz (between 75 and 150).

  • Children have a frequency that can go from 300 to 450 Hertz.

2 - What is the mechanism of the vocal sound ?


  • The air first passes through the lungs to enter the larynx,

  • This results in the vibrations of the vocal cords located in the larynx

  • These vibrations are then transformed into sound, via the vocal tract.

The lower the sounds, the more the larynx will move downwards, conversely, it will move upwards for high pitched sounds.


Do the test.


Use 2 fingers, position them just below your Adam's apple

(I see you coming, women also have Adam's apples), it is the larynx. Then make the sound "i" in the high range, then "A" in the low range, you will feel your larynx going up and down.


3 - How to choose a microphone ?


photo dune femme avec des points dinterrogation au dessus de sa tete

To be honest, there is no exact answer to this question.

Some mics will be more or less sensitive to a given sound frequency, but manufacturers do not predestine a mic for one gender more than another. On the other hand, each individual may feel more comfortable with a particular model. It is a question of feeling, but also of the specialty in which the voice will be recorded. A professional artist will not expect the same rendering from a microphone for an institutional voice as for a radio voice.

This is why it is best to either buy it directly from your local specialty store or from the Internet.






4 - So, dynamic or condenser microphone ?



photo de micros a condensteur et dynamiques

What is a dynamic microphone ?


It is used for both voice and loud musical instruments. It is known to be shock resistant and very used by singers during concerts.

Its composition:

  1. A coil of copper wire

  2. A membrane called "diaphragm »

  3. A magnet

How does it work ?


The movable copper wire coil is fixed inside the diaphragm, these two components encircle the magnet, which remains fixed.

The microphone operates under electromagnetic induction,

  • The movements of the diaphragm and the copper coil surrounding the magnet will create a vibration

  • These vibrations will pass through the terminals of this coil

  • To emit an electrical signal

  • And finally create a sound vibration.


Its advantages:

  • It does not need an external power source

  • It is robust

  • Its price is very affordable.

Disadvantages:

  • It is insensitive to low and high pitched sounds.


What is a condenser microphone ?


This is the type of microphone that is used for voice-overs.

Unlike the dynamic microphone, it needs an external power supply commonly called phantom power (+48v), it has no coil or magnet.


How does this type of microphone work ?


It is composed of two plates, one of which is a mobile membrane, between which there is a very small space, this assembly is the "capacitor". This capacitor, supplied with an external electric current (the interface), will vibrate the membrane when it comes into contact with the sound of the voice, making it easier for the electric current to pass.


Benefits:

  • High quality sound

  • Low ambient noise

Disadvantages:

  • Requires external power supply

  • Very fragile (sensitive to temperature variations and handling)


Its use in studio or home studio only, is strongly recommended.


Little advice: cover it after each use, or put it back in its suitcase (with delicacy) to avoid that dust gets inside.


5 - List of professional microphones at low prices


You will find mainly large diaphragm*, condenser and cardioid* models, which are highly recommended in the voice-over sector.


Audio -Technica AT2035 - 209 euros - 4,7/5 of satisfaction



photo dun microtechnica at 2035

Audio Technica AT2035


Large diaphragm condenser microphone


It handles high sound pressure levels very well and its exterior is quite strong. For all these qualities I classify it as very good value for money.


Its characteristics




Aston Microphones origin - 219 euros - 4,8/5 of satisfaction


photo dun micro  de marque aston microphones origin

Aston Microphones origin



Large diaphragm condenser microphone


It is not terrible aesthetically but remains nevertheless robust and its level of performance is excellent.

Whatever the frequency level of the voice, its rendering is very satisfactory, its precision is exceptional with good mids and pleasant highs.

It can boast the power to compete with much more expensive microphones.


Ses caractéristiques :



AKG C214 - 299 euros- 4,7/5 of satisfaction


photo dun micro akg c 214

AKG C214



Its performance is of high quality. It is an alternative to the C414 series, perfect for any voice actor.

Ses caractéristiques :

  • Frequency response : 20-20000 Hz*

  • Directivity : Cardioïde*

  • Phantom power supply : 12- 52v

  • Connecting : connector XLR 3 spindles

  • Weight : 280g

  • Suspension bracket included



Rode NT1- 229 euros- 4,8/5 of satisfaction


photo dun micro rode nt1 avec un filtre anti pop

RODE NT1



Large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone


It is robust, rather nice in design, and very efficient.

Like all the microphones proposed in this article, it is one of the cheap and efficient microphones.

It comes with high quality accessories.


Its characteristics :

Livré avec une suspension de luxe SM6 dont un anti-pop intégré, un câble microphone XLR et une housse de protection contre la poussière.




SE Electronics SE 2200 -219 euros – 4,6/5 of satisfaction


photo dun micro se electonics se 2200

SE Electronics SE 2200



Large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone


Amy Winehouse was one of the famous people to use it. With a refined, smooth sound and a beautiful design, it's perfect for voiceover work.

Comes with a metal pop filter and shock mount.


Its characteristics :



Here are the 5 microphones for which the sound result will be unstoppable.


Thomann pays me if you use my links for any order, it is an encouragement for me to see that you adhere to my work.


Microphone features glossary


Cardioid :

These are the most commonly used microphones for voice-overs in home studios because they are only sensitive to sounds coming from the front.


Frequency response :

It is the capacity that each microphone has to receive a low and high sound frequency.

For example: The Rode NT1 microphone can receive from 20 Hz of low tone to 20,000 Hz of high tone.


SPL: It expresses the capacity of the microphone to capture the loudest sound (in decibel).


Attenuator pad: : Allows you to attenuate the output level of the microphone.


Low cut filter : Consists in getting rid of too low sound frequencies.


Large diaphragm : The size of the diaphragm plays a role in the directionality. It measures between 25 and 28mm, while a small diaphragm measures between 18 and 22mm.


XLR cable : Power supply cable between the interface and the microphone

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