My VO Signal Chain
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The Røde Microphones NTG5 is a versatile short shotgun mic that is as amazing in a booth as it is when making use of the whole location recording kit that comes with it.
Check out the details on the RØDE website here.
The Universal Audio Volt 1 is a powerful little entry-level audio interface that stands strong amongst its competition.
Check out the details on the Universal Audio website here.
The beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro closed-back headphones are incredibly transparent ‘reference headphones’ that are perfect for control and monitoring purposes.
Check out the beyerdynamic global information page here.
My go-to and absolute favourite DAW to use for virtually any purpose, REAPER by Cockos, Inc. is my primary audio recording & editing software.
It certainly has a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but once you’ve got it up and running it is incredible the amount of things you can do with it. By no means an expert in using it, Neth helps guide new users in the voiceover world in not only getting it set up for their needs, but also familiarising themselves with some of its settings and quirks.
For more information, check out the REAPER home page here.
I feel that it’s important to have several options available to connect with studios & talent around the world.
Remote recording options:
- Source-Connect Standard
- Source-Connect Now
- Others upon request
Remote meeting applications:
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- Others upon request
- TPG nbn – Fibre to the Premises (hard wired)
- 100 down / 20 up – stable (fixed) speeds (in Mbps)
- Processsor – AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz
- GPU – ASUS GeForce GTX 1080ti
- RAM – DDR4 x 60GB 3600MHz
Miscellaneous Gear / Specs:
- Booth Camera → Canon 60D DLSR
- Desk Camera → Logitech c922 Pro webcam
- Desk Mic → Blue Yeticaster Pro
One of the more well-known large diaphragm studio condenser microphones on the market, in part thanks to the explosion in interest in voice acting over the past decade and in part thanks to the global pandemic pushing sales of this model through the roof due to its price and solid reputation.
The RØDE NT1-A suits Neth’s vocal range, supporting those lower frequencies without blowing them out or leaving it sounding thin. For some that might not have a deep fundamental frequency, the NT1 or NT2 might be kinder as they are a little ‘brighter’.
For more information on the NT1-A, check out the RØDE page here.
Another staple in the voiceover world, especially so over the past handful of years, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen – along with the Solo model – can probably be found in the signal chain of many actors that got their start relatively recently.
A solid unit, the 2i2 offers the added benefit to voice actors to make use of an XLR cable splitter which allows them to record to two tracks in their DAW simultaneously, with the second input’s gain being significantly lower than the main, acting as a “backup track” in case of clipping / peaking.
For more information, check out the Focusrite page here.
While not necessarily as robust and comfortable for long sessions in the studio, the HD 300 headphones from Sennheiser are absolutely incredible for a whole range of uses.
Neth ended up buying a second pair after their first pair’s cable was damaged while working in the sound department on a tv set, which ultimately worked out well for Neth as they now use them in public to avoid aural sensory overload, their passive noise cancellation is just that good!
In the studio, they are fantastic for monitoring, but Neth has found them to be perfect as their booth headphones.
For more information, check out the Sennheiser website here.
(Link goes to the Australian site, but will likely update to your region when loading.)
Ah, Pro Tools. The “industry standard” DAW for so many audio post processing applications, from music production to ADR and even film dialogue editing.
Neth has a love/hate relationship with Pro Tools, having been initially introduced to it in the mid-90s and finding its interface and processes to be ‘clunky’ – but it didn’t help that Neth was a teenager with little patience to dedicate to learning more than necessary…
Now that Neth is working in the audio engineering department at Closing Credits, and recognised the need to develop a level of competency if they were to be at all helpful in assisting / running the ADR classes, Pro Tools Studio is now getting more use in Neth’s workflow – regardless of their personal hangups hahaha
For more information on the different versions of Pro Tools that are available, check out the Avid website here.
How I Typically Deliver Finished Audio
VO Post Processing (FX Chain) Options
I am quite happy to provide the raw recording of my takes, or even the whole audio file from our remote session (if necessary).
More often than not I’ll upload raw rendered copies to my Google Drive storage regardless – as well as the “finished” takes – in both WAV and MP3 formats.
The basic cleanup that I offer is essentially working on the removal of any intrusive sounds and troublesome frequencies.
If you’re happy for me to provide copies of the audio with my complete FX chain, you’ll find the general details of what it consists of (and I’ll soon provide here some examples of raw, basic clean up, and complete FX chain)
- High pass filter @ 75 Hz + several room tone frequencies attenuated. → Infinity EQ — Slate Digital
- Basic, subtle mouth de-click (if required). → RX Mouth De-click — iZotope
- Noise Floor tidy up & attenuation of unwanted intrusive sounds. → RX Voice De-noise — iZotope
- Subtle excitment of the mid and high frequency content. → Fresh Air — Slate Digital
- Low level & high level compression. → MV2 — Waves
- Medium-speed compression. → LA-2A Gray — Universal Audio (AUDx)
- Super-slow attack compression. → 1176AE — Universal Audio (AUDx)
- Light de-ess sibilance reduction (if required). → DeEsser — Waves
- -3 dB True Peak limiting. → Ozone — iZotope
Clients / engineers who use REAPER may also request a ZIP of my session files, so they can open everything up exactly as I had it – incl. my FX chain if requested.
Depending upon the terms in our agreement, I may have also placed named markers and/or regions around certain sections of the recording for editing purposes.
Home Studio Audio Examples
- Noise Floor Peak: -63.5 dB
- True Peak: -5.7 dB
- LUFS-I: -25.1 dB
- LRA: 9.2
Basic Clean Up Chain
- Noise Floor Peak: -77.5 dB
- True Peak: -6.3 dB
- LUFS-I: -27.0 dB
- LRA: 9.2
Complete FX Chain
- Noise Floor Peak: -61.4 dB
- True Peak: -3.7 dB
- LUFS-I: -22.3 dB
- LRA: 4.1
Images for easy "at a glance" review of my specs.
Click the images within the toggles to view / download full sized copies.
Booth setup photos & current details
Current setup, captured just before Neth recorded their 2023 Video Game demo voiceovers.
My ‘booth’ is a sectioned-off & sound treated corner of my room, measuring approximately 5 x 8 feet (1.52 x 2.44 meters) and features a convenient angled ceiling that helps with the acoustics of the space. The walls are lined with thick polar fleece fabric, and the active ‘performing corner’ of the space is treated with purple & grey Auralex foam panels.
Primary signal chain:
- RØDE NTG5 → UA Volt 1 → REAPER (left)
- Average Noise Floor → -65 dB
Seconary signal chain:
- RØDE NT1-A → XLR Splitter → Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen → REAPER (right)
- Avg Noise Floor:
- Track 1 → -62 dB
- Track 2 → -80 dB
- Avg Noise Floor:
Phillips 271V8 monitor, Canon 60D as webcam, my lil Stegosaurus booth buddies.
May 2022, featuring the arrival of a new interface.
Pre-May 2022 – nice and bright, with a borrowed monitor.