Our Recommended Home Recording Setup for Voice Actors

Remote or satellite recording gives producers the freedom to create shows with a global cast – and gives you as a voice actor the chance to audition for and play characters from the comfort of your own home.

As a remote/satellite voice actor, the ability to perform and bring a character to life isn’t enough. If you have less than ideal audio quality, a producer will struggle to blend your lines in with the rest of the cast, and that might cost you a part.

The problem with remote/satellite acting is that so many voice actors are using so many different recording setups. Over the last couple of years we’ve tried many different microphones and many different recording techniques to find a sound quality that we’re happy with. For the past year we’ve been using the Shure SM58 and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 combo, and we’ve been delighted with the results.

What do I need?

  • A Computer/Laptop/PC/Mac (With Audacity)
  • A USB Preamp
  • An XLR Microphone Cable
  • A Microphone
  • A microphone Stand
  • A pop shield
  • Sound Dampening to reduce reverb/echo

We’ve been asked our opinion many times on affordable, quality home recording setups. So for what it’s worth (and this is just an opinion, one you’re welcome to disagree with) this is our recommended equipment to get you on the road to recording quality lines that producers will be dying to use in their shows.

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The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB preamp – This connects to your PC/Laptop/Mac through the USB slot, and gives you control over the volume (gain) of your recording. Using a preamp like this is much better than using a USB microphone that plugs directly into your computer.

The Shure SM58 microphone – This will connect to your preamp via a microphone (XLR) cable, which we’ll cover below. These microphones are affordable, quality, and practically invincible.

The Planet Waves XLR Microphone Cable – This connects your microphone to your preamp. Avoid using cheap/budget XLR cables as these can drastically reduce your sound quality. For more information on microphone cables check out this article.

What about the rest?

You can record your vocals through Audacity, which is a great free piece of audio editing software.

You will also need a microphone stand – avoid handling the mic whilst recording as this will put unwanted noises into your recording. You can find these cheaply and easily online, or at your local music shop.

A decent pop shield can be bought online for around £10/$15. This will easily attach to your mic stand and will save you loads of time retaking every single word that begins with P.

Use sound dampening techniques to reduce any reverb/echo on your lines. You can do this quickly and easily using the duvet from your bed.

Finally, you should try to avoid handling a printed paper script whilst recording, as this can also create unwanted noise in the recording. Use a music stand to hold paper scripts (available cheaply and easily online, or at your local music shop), or read the script from your tablet, kindle, or even your phone.

3 thoughts on “Our Recommended Home Recording Setup for Voice Actors”

  1. Shure sm58 needs a minimum of 54.5 db of preamp gain to work at its best. But focusrite preamp has a maximum gain of 46db which is wayyy low. You need a triton audio fethead or cloud lifter cl1 to get extra 20-25db of ultra low noise clean gain from it. So the signal chain will be sm58 –> fethead –> focusrite 2i2 –> laptop or computer. So fethead will give you 20 db of gain and still you will have to crank focusrite preamp gain to 3 o clock to get required 54.5db of gain.

  2. And Reaper is a wayyy better DAW then Audacity. Reaper is free for first 30 days but you can still use it afterwards by clicking on still evaluating and it will keep working for you.

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