Skip to main content

Mic Technique and Studio Etiquette

Lesson 14 from: Voice-Over for Real People: Complete Freelancing Guide

Keith Harris

Mic Technique and Studio Etiquette

Lesson 14 from: Voice-Over for Real People: Complete Freelancing Guide

Keith Harris

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

14. Mic Technique and Studio Etiquette


Class Trailer

Welcome to the world of Voice Over




What Is Voice Over?


Myth Busting


Where is all the money?


Quiz: What Is Voice Over

The Voice Over Performance


A Conversation With One Person


Lesson Info

Mic Technique and Studio Etiquette

in this lesson, we're going to start moving from performance into what happens in the studio, specifically mic technique and studio etiquette. We will talk about how to actually set up your studio in the next chapter. This lesson is just going to focus on how to use the mic and a few tips on what is expected. If you get invited to record in a professional studio, let's start with mike technique first. The easiest way to explain how I use a mic is to show you. So I have with me today, my Sennheiser 4 16. It doesn't matter what kind of mike you have or if it is even the same shape as mine. The technique we discussed today will apply to all mix when recording voiceover projects. The basic placement for all recordings is about this far this space from your pinky finger to your thumb. Of course, you'll have a pop filter in front of the mic. So when considering the distance, I always mean the space from the microphone to your mouth, not from the pop filter to your mouth. Now, a common mistak...

e, new voiceover talents make is to get too close to the mic. Now, getting too close to the mic is a great effect and can be used for really intimate reads as it brings out the low tones and intimacy of your read. But for most reads, having your mouth too close to the mic creates too much boom and can even make your plus of continents pop way too much in the mic and way too easily. Now, even with a pop filter, if you're too close to the mic, you'll struggle with pops from your consonants farther away from the mic can also give a nice proximity effect for louder reads or if you want to sound like you're calling to someone from a distance. But generally speaking for most reads, if you're too far away from the mic, the signal will not capture all of the warmth and natural residents of your voice. Pinky to thumb, 99% of the time and you'll sound great. Next be mindful of moving side to side or front to back. This can be very tricky is we just spent a number of lessons freeing your body and getting you to act now. Yes, I am asking for all of that, all of that energy while keeping your head in one single place. The reason is if we move around side to side or front to back, our sound becomes inconsistent and the client will not be pleased with the final product. Part of the reason I give you all those exercises from earlier lessons is so that you do not in fact become stuck at the mic. The head needs to stay in a consistent location but the body is always to remain free and full of our acting energy. Those two skills combined will make fantastic reads and fantastic audio for your clients as a voiceover artist. You're quite likely to start your business from a home like I did. But eventually the more you do work, the more people get to know you and meet you, the more likely it is, you'll be invited as a guest into a professional studio and as such, I want to go over a few items that will make your stay as a guest in that studio much more pleasant. Number one, never tap or blow on the mic. In fact never even touched the mic. Studio engineers are very protective of their equipment and know exactly where to place the mic to get the sound they want, you sit in a comfortable place and they will bring the mic to you. If there are other technical issues, you don't need to worry because the engineer will also take care of those. All you need to do is enjoy your script. When asked for a sound check, read the actual script, a very common mistake new talents make, when asked for a sound check, is to say check 1234. The reason we don't do this is because the tone of the script is completely different from check 1234, the engineer doesn't need to know if the mic works, he's making sure the settings are correct for the script you are about to read. So when asked for a sound check, always start performing the script in your home studio, you'll have headphones and when recording, you can always take them off if you want, but in a professional studio you'll always want to keep the headphones on while recording because this is how coaches and engineers will communicate with you once you are done or if taking a break, never put the headphones on the mic stand, set them on the music stand or on your seat, but never on the mic stand itself. See a theme here, never touch the mic dress comfortably, you might want to make an impression and dressed to kill, but if your fancy new silk shirt makes noise every time you move, the engineer is going to be very upset, dress comfortably and more importantly wear clothes that don't make noises while you were acting and gesturing and finally, Never, ever, ever bring a cellphone into the booth, cell phones in the booth give the impression that you're not going to give the client 100% of your attention as well, even if your phone is on vibrate, the mics are so sensitive that a vibrating phone can ruin the recording, leave your phone outside of the booth while you're recording and your colleagues will really love you for it. There you go. That's the end of this lesson. My practice tip this time around is to mimic other actors, demos, do a search here on Fiverr for voice over artists and look at their gig. I spent a fair amount of time mimicking other actors When I was building my skills, this is a great way to see how others manage speed, volume and pitch. Keep practicing your reads and developing your acting skills. And next time we'll look at a few case studies, what have clients asked me to record and how did we get to the final product?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Audio Assignment
Tongue Twisters
Practice Scripts
Video Template (mp4 video)

Ratings and Reviews

Joe Wiese

Keith Harris is an amazing teacher. His coarse is timeless. Thank you Keith. Please come up with another coarse.

Matthew Longmire

Sabrina Lungen

Student Work