You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it in numerous posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, pretty much darn near EVERYwhere. The dreaded question “Which mic do you think is the best?” or “What mic should I get if I’m getting into VO?” and the WAVE of opinions and suggestions that follow. Now, it’s not the helpful suggestions that make me worried for those just starting out in the biz… it’s the elitist mentality and “put-down” nature that bubbles under it all.
I have seen it many times where suggestions are made, but then when folks, in good nature, suggest their less expensive microphones, you begin to see the snarky “That’s a beginner mic” or even meaner “You can audition with that mic but surely you don’t record final work with that, right?” I’ve seen it… and it always happens. I feel bad for those who own the mics and posted and got scrutinized but I also feel bad for those who read the comments and see their tools getting bashed by know-it-alls. Everyone has their opinion and they are entitled to it… but let’s not be jerks about our opinions either.
I admittedly work with a “entry level” microphone and do incredibly well recording from home. Yes, recording, not just auditioning. Truth be told, in my experience, your room treatment is far more important than your microphone, any day of the week. Now, I’m not saying you can make a living using a karaoke mic, but you don’t need to shell out $1000 bucks to join the “VO club”. A $250 Rode NT1 will take you very far if you have the right treatment in your space. Hell, even The Booth Junkie himself did a mic shootout with a Harlan Hogan signature series mic (VO-1) that did incredibly well and it’ll only run you about $300.
What It Comes Down To…
Just because a microphone is expensive and the studio standard, doesn’t mean you have to go and put yourself in debt to attain it. Everyone and their Uncle would love to own a Neumann U87, but I would never suggest it to anyone unless they’re making six figures and chances are… if you are… you probably already own the mic and a sick booth.
So… when you see those posts with someone genuinely asking because they’re unaware of what’s out there… do what I do. Suggest they go to their local music store and test out mics for themselves. For you NYers, head to B&H… they have a room with loads of mics for you to test out and see what you’d like.
You know what you want to sound like… your opinion should be the one that matters most.
Much love VO family.