Sound for Video Session: Dynamic Microphones for Voice Over and Narration

This week talked about the advantages of using dynamic microphones for voice over - Things like the Electrovoice RE20, Shure SM7B or even the humble Shure SM58.

Because many of us record voice over or narration outside of formal recording studios, a dynamic microphone can actually be an advantage over the more sensitive condenser microphones we typically use. This is because homes, offices, and other locations are generally not acoustically treated or designed. The result with a condenser mic is that you often end up with the microphone capturing every little nuance, especially when that room is particularly reverberant.

Dynamic microphones with their less sensitive, un-powered capsules pick up less of that reberb and other noise. The only downside is that dynamic microphones need a lot of amplification in your pre-amp to produce a strong enough signal. So you either need a good solid pre-amp/recorder/audio interface with plenty of gain, or you might want to add an additional amplifier to your signal chain. The Cloudlifer and Fethead in-line amplifiers make this easy - you just need to plug them in between your mic and recorder and you'll have plenty of gain to work with in most cases.

And here are some of the microphones and amplifiers we discussed:

Shure SM58
Shure SM57
Audio Technica AT2005
Audio Technica ATR2100
Shure SM7B
Electrovoice RE20
Cloudlifter CL-1 (adds 25dB gain to amplify your dynamic microphone if your recorder or audio interface doesn't have enough gain)
Fethead (similar to the Cloudlifter, slightly less expensive)