Show 173 – Ultra Cheap Voiceover Mic Comparison and more!

Our guest this week is Jordan Reynolds.
This week we compare a bunch of super cheap mics for commercial voiceover – cellphone, laptop, ipad, $1 store mic, ‘High end’ Radio Shack mic, EV 635A, SM57, AT 2020
In the comments section we talk about DAW choice, subwoofers, studio monitors, music theory and songwriting, and more.
We also talk about the VOICE 2012 conference that Jordan attended last week.

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11 thoughts on “Show 173 – Ultra Cheap Voiceover Mic Comparison and more!

  1. Ryan, I seriously laughed so hard when the “who” sample played. Just know I dig your sense of humor. So I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind elaborating exactly the set up, steps, and all that’s involved making the home recording show. Did I hear correctly from previous episodes that John is via WebCam when you guys track a show? If so how does that work? can you maybe elaborate on that subject. I recently read a article in musictech magazine about on line collaborating…. Jesus Christ man!!! I had no idea on some of the things you can do via the Web!! Giggady!!

  2. I forgot to also tell you something I thought you guys might find interesting. I was listening to this latest episode in the Gulf of Mexico on one of the largest drilling rigs in some of the deepest water in the gulf. I work in the oil and gas industry and you guys have no idea how much I look forward to a new episode when I’m offshore. Hearing you guys talk of preamps, microphones, and interfaces gets my mind off of drill pipe, Blowout preventers, and the coworker who speaks with the most disgusting redneck accent who chews tobacco that makes his breath smell like hot garbage. This guy sucks beyond belief. And lucky he only works for the same company I do (Halliburton) and don’t have to work with him daily.
    When I was searching the market for my sennhizer MD421 mic, I kept having thoughts of this guy… Correction.. (satan’s creation of total filth) burst in to my project studio with overalls on but no shirt underneath and a fresh wad of tobacco in his cancerous mouth demanding I record him singing his favorite Travis tritt songs. And that everyone on swamp people were somehow related to him but were all a bunch of pussies… (he really did once say that) I pictured him picking up my beautiful MD421 and the globs of seliva mixed with tobacco just covering my new jem. And in consequence he gave my microphone aids….

  3. Jon, when you were having problems with your guitar overloading the input of the focusrite 2i2, what was your actual guitar volume set at? As long as you don’t have active pickups, you should be able to dial back on your volume and get a good signal w/o peaking out the inputs. And while changing the guitar volume certainly affects tone going into an amp, a passive volume should not affect tone going into the pre. Just wondering.

    Now, on a much more important note, every time i try to write a comment, I get a pop-up telling me about an executable from drop box wanting to run. My anti-virus has alps has quarantined no less than 2 instances of a Trojan trying to be down;loaded from your website since I have been here tonight as well as 10 instances of unclassified malware. The file name of the trojan is Trojanware.Win32.Injector.sbp@281376821. This all started as soon as I start entering my email address. Are you aware of this? What gives?????

  4. GSAA

    My t-shirt rig is silk screen. Ive got a wholesaler that i use to get my shirts and depending of the shirt cut and materials you can make them for about $4-5. We sell them at different prices at different times and do things like couple a CD and shirt for like $20. When we went on tour our t-shirt sales were the only thing that kept us from losing our asses on income because they would buy the shirts cause the liked the design. I got mine from and they sell starter kits and have all kinds of great info on their site about how to do it for the DIY’ers

    The mic shoot out was great. I’m still working on teaching my ears what sounds good and what doesn’t and this show helps point it out. Learning what should be in a recording and what should not be (i.e. line noises etc.) has been the biggest hurdle i have had to cross. I know I’ve been getting better at it cause Ive been picking up on stuff that i never did before in broadcasts and the like. BTW out of the various pod casts in my feed this one definitely sounds the best.

    Jordan rocked it! i think yall should keep him on retainer to do dramatic readings of some of the posts 🙂


  5. GSAA.

    Been listening for 6 months, and finally completed all 173 episodes for my diploma. When are those arriving 🙂

    Jordan gave a very consistent performance. Thanks for getting a pro to help demonstrate each mic.

    As you mentioned, the 635 is more of an interview than voice-over mic. I liked the sound of the 635 as an alternative to the usual 57 on snare drum (from the HRS#110 shootout). Something in how it shaped the top-end of the hi-hat while facing the snare.

    Found this video of the late Earl Scruggs (in 1965) with what looks like a single EV 635 and 6 players who know how to play and LISTEN! If it’s really that one mic, it’s pretty impressive.

    Now I just need to save up $100…


  6. Guys, Google is telling me you have malware on your site. Same for Audiogeekzine. FYI.

    I bet if I write/type/compose a message with slashes in it, Ryan will read the sentence as though the slashes are spaces and not say “slash”.

    Most importantly, I’ve taken the brushed-off ideas of making a YouTube version of the podcast and run with it. Please see the Home Recording Show Video Podcast Supershow at

    Consider this chicken having done been rode.

  7. Ryan – why would you use a 57 for voice over when you could use a 58 with its built in pop shield, given it’s the same capsule?

  8. I’m really getting addicted to this show. It’s going to take some time, but I’ll eventually get through ALL of them.

    In your discussion of an interface for a beginner, you left out a couple of things about the Presonus options. First of all, as WAS mentioned, Studio One is a pretty good DAW. Both of my Presonus interfaces came with around 4G of samples, EZ Drummer lite, basically enough to get you up and running without having to buy anything else. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

    The real reason I LOVE my Presonus interfaces (Firestudio Project and Firestudio Mobile) is that you can chain them together. Granted, these require a Firewire connection, but if you HAVE that, the scalability is a definite selling point. I have both a desktop and laptop environment, and I can use both interfaces on either for a total of 10 mic pres and 6 line ins. I’m not sure if other interfaces have the expandability, but this was critical to me in my selection of the Firestudio Project (the first one I bought), and made the Firestudio Mobile a no-brainer.

    For questions not covered in a specific show, should we email you, or post in the comments section of an unrelated show? Got a few requests, either for topics of discussion or maybe to point me to an episode where it may have been covered…

    TFAGS again!

  9. Really enjoyed this show. I was keen to hear your thoughts on the AT2020 and you didn’t disappoint.

    I’m a radio host and I chose the AT2020 for home use because we upgraded to the 2020 from SM48s and 58s in our work studios. I loved what my co-host and I were getting in the show from the 2020 and I wanted to create a similar sound from home.

    My wife is doing VOs now and my 4 year old son and 6 year old daughter are providing workparts and character kid voices for commercials as well.

    I’ve found the same issues in the top end as you found but we’re all using it, loving it and making money off it. We’ll upgrade one day but it’s singing for us right now. It’s a great mic.

    Thanks heaps Jordan for stepping in for this ep.

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