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December 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm

I am starting out at this business and would appreciate some help with where my set up is and what else I need. I have various mics and currently using a condenser mic (MXL V63M)  with phantom power that heads to the back of the desktop.

Previous mic use was for a radio show that was recorded from home via a phone line and a ‘magic box’ that took both phone lines in, separated them and recorded in stereo. I did a few commercials for the show/station too.

What I don’t have right now is a designated recording space – just the study. The main issue, I suspect will be insulation and I came across a simple desktop thing on Amazon Axcessables Isolation Shield.

I read somewhere that a good way to isolate was to put the mic in a different room to the computer – sounds great but how do you start/stop the recordings when you are in another room??????

Any thoughts as to if the mic is suitable and how you absorb random noise would be appreciated.



December 23, 2016 at 5:05 am

Hi, Kate.  Congratulations on your start-up.  I’m sure everyone has opinions and reviews of microphones, there are certainly a plethora of them to choose from.  I’d say the MXL V63M mic is a good a place as any to start, from what I’ve read it’s a good mic for those on a budget.

Yeah, computer noise is an issue.  I solved mine by moving the computer into the room right outside my studio.  Everything else is in the studio with the mic – keyboard, mouse, monitor screen, monitor-speakers.  It made a huge difference, and I can start/stop recording at the mic, read copy from the screen, and do my editing all in the same room

The other things is making the room as sound-dead as you can.  Until you can create a more dedicated studio space, the isolation shield is a good start for absorbing horizontal echoes, but don’t forget echoes from your desk and ceiling – use something like carpeting on the desk and either acoustic panels on the ceiling, or an improvised “roof” for the iso shield, like some foamboard with acoustic foam stapled to it and laid on top of the iso shield so it forms like a baseball back stop that curves back toward you like a roof overhang.

However, as soon as you can dedicate a full-time space for the studio, invest in some good-quality acoustic foam to line the walls, along with some bass traps for the corners.

The computer noise and echo absorption are your first priorities here.  Get those problems licked early, and you’ll be making strides in no time.  Take care, and best of luck on your VO career!

Joe “Zunardo” Jankowski

  • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar of Joe Jankowski Joe Jankowski.

December 29, 2016 at 1:32 am

Hi Kate.  I thought I’d reply just to share my setup with you.  I record in our walk-in closet. It really deadens  the sounds and makes for a great quality recording.  I keep my computer right outside the door. I hit record then shut the door. I’m running Adobe Audition on a Macbook. The Macbook is quieter than a pc but it when the fan starts whirring, its noticable on the recording.

Best of Luck!


January 3, 2017 at 9:39 pm

Thanks for the input guys – I did read somewhere that folks are doing successful voice over auditions from ipads/iphones – is that really a good option? Seems atmospheric contamination from the mobile unit would be an issue not to mention mediocre sound system. What are your thoughts on that?

January 3, 2017 at 10:02 pm


I’ll defer to others who have used iPad as their computing device – from what I understand, many voice actors use one in their studio.   I’m not familiar with Apple audio recording apps, plus I think you would need a USB mic or mic converter to go into the iPad, which would reduce the audio quality to a degree, but it could certainly be within tolerance – and it also depends on the talent and how well they edit.  I would think the iPad would be much quieter, but you wouldn’t have as much room for file storage.

Successful auditions using an iPhone?  Possibly, but probably not often, IMHO.  If it’s all you have at the time, or if you’re a known quantity and have to give a brief sample for a client, just enough for them to get a sense of your voice, sure.  But I certainly wouldn’t want to use one as my full-time recording platform unless I absolutely had no other option.  I’m not sure how much tweaking, EQ’ing or editing you could do with an iPhone, but if you’re in an echo-free room with a good-quality mic, you could probably get do some acceptable work in a pinch.  Just hope the CB’ers don’t break in on your take!

I was at the Midwestern Voiceover conference in Columbus this past May.  Joe Cipriano, the voice of Fox and CBS network promos, was one of the keynote speakers, and he showed us how he did his evening promos while on the road his first day in Columbus.  He arrived too late to locate an open studio locally, and ended up recording his promos on a USB mic connected to his laptop – in the passenger seat of a car – in the pouring rain!  His driver found a closed gas station with an overhang, parked it there so the rain wouldn’t hit the car roof, and he proceeded to nail his nightly performance there.

Joe showed us photos of him doing this, then played the final edited promo back so we could hear.  It was amazing. When the network called him to ask where he was, he told them “I’m in my studio!”, which was true at that moment.  Not for everyone, of course, but Joe Cip is a pro through and through.

January 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm


To piggy-back on my last “tl; dnr” post, and to further answer your question about recording VO on an iPhone, I’m posting a link to a story about Joe Cipriano and how he can record on a moment’s notice anywhere using his iPhone with Apple GarageBand software and an Apogee MiC, and get acceptable results – enjoy: