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When recording voiceovers, do you wear headphones?


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Personally, I used to, but then I realized it's just (for me) one more thing to watch out for, cables, setting levels, possible bleed, etc. It was a bigger problem when I used a condenser because the cable would make noise that my 414 picked up, but now I use my SM7b - I recently got an SE Electronics DM-1 Dynamite, which does the same thing as the Cloudlifter, and it's just so much more useable with the added gain.

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12 hours ago, precords1275 said:

Personally, I used to, but then I realized it's just (for me) one more thing to watch out for, cables, setting levels, possible bleed, etc. It was a bigger problem when I used a condenser because the cable would make noise that my 414 picked up, but now I use my SM7b - I recently got an SE Electronics DM-1 Dynamite, which does the same thing as the Cloudlifter, and it's just so much more useable with the added gain.

Yeah, the SM7b is a gain hog for sure. I also used to wear headphones when I record VO, but now I hardly ever do because of the same reasons you mentioned, but the main reason for me is so my head doesn't get fatigued when voicing for long periods of time. Even the most plush headphone pads will get uncomfortable after a few hours of being continuously on your head. So I usually just use headphones for when I am mixing and producing audio like a radio commercial or a podcast intro and go between my near field monitors and my cans. I usually have my cans hanging on a hook in my booth with the ear cups folded open and if I turn the headphone volume up, I can hear the playback enough to get my VO recorded and edited and it doesn't get picked up at all by my 416. Yeah, the SM7b is a gain hog for sure, but its quite a versatile mic! 

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I use a closed set of cans to monitor my recordings since that gives me immediate feedback on how the actual recording sounds. In my small booth, speech is quite dampened and isn't an accurate depiction of how it sounds when picked up by my mic. It also allows me to notice any of the annoyingly imperceptible mouth sounds I make so I can immediately do a retake. Powerful and sensitive mics are as much a blessing as they are a curse. 😅

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1 hour ago, precords1275 said:

Izotope RX9!

You use the Elements, Pro or Standard? I still use the Elements version. The De-click works pretty well for me so I haven't been in a hurry to upgrade to standard. I'm sure I will be blown away when I do upgrade, but I keep waiting for the right upgrade sale! 😂

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It really depends on the product and session length. I usually operate as follows:

No headphones when:

  • Dubbing of big films
  • Small commercials and VOs that require no timed sync on my own studio

Headphones on when: 

  • Dubbing of TV/platforms shows/small movies (only one can on, the other ear remains free). This does vary depending on the dubbing director and character I'm dubbing. Sometimes headphones become too distracting and I end up not using them.
  • Commercials on other studios (to communicate with clients/sound engineer)
  • Audiobooks
  • Commercials that require timed sync on my own studio

That's pretty much it!

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