If you’re new to my website and my blog, welcome. I’m glad you’re here. This blog is a more detailed explanation of the lower half of my “About Me” page. Shortly, I am going to show you the best USB microphones for voice acting when you’re first starting out.
For years I’ve been told; “You have an incredible voice”. I’m sure all that time in the military helped to enhance it, yet I never did anything with it. Then one Christmas morning in 2017, my family gave me my first studio USB microphone, a Blue SnowBall iCE. It didn’t take me long to set up shop inside a closet and start recording all sorts of auditions. Within a year our business grew and we upgraded to a better microphone, a CAD Audio M179. (Which also required an XLR interface that I’ll discuss in a subsequent blog.) After four years of continual growth and recognition, we upgraded to the industry’s broadcast standard, the venerable Neumann TLM 103.
Whatever your creative aspirations are, don’t wait. Embrace them now! The world is certainly looking for expressive storytellers, and in the entire world there is only one you!
Voice Acting is more than a Voice
In the months and weeks to come, I’ll be launching my own voice acting for beginners course. I will be sharing much of what I’ve learned from techniques, to time and money-saving advice and pitfalls to avoid. But for now, let’s start with the basics.
The bare minimum that you’ll need to start becoming a voice talent is:
- a microphone (USB or better).
- a digital audio workstation (DAW);
- a quiet place to record, and
- auditions, both for practice and submissions.
For now, we’ll just talk about the best USB microphones for voice acting. Then I’ll cover each of the items listed above in later blogs. My recommendations for beginners help you get your feet wet, without breaking the bank.
Breakdown of the Best USB Microphones
Blue Snowball iCE : I’m going to start with this USB microphone. Not only because it served me so well at the beginning of my voiceover career, but also because it continues to receive high ratings across the industry year after year.
Audio Technica AT2020: Audio-Technica’s quality is known throughout the industry. Their consistent standards for quality set this USB microphone apart from other microphones in its class. The perfect microphone for creators, its broadcast-quality sound is ideal for musicians, podcasters, and voice actors alike.
Apogee HypeMic: With a studio-quality analog compressor this easy-to-use USB microphone delivers a high-quality signal with low noise. Furthermore it comes with a pop filter, desktop tripod, and carrying case for travel.
Shure MV7: The preferred USB microphone of many podcasters, this broadcast-style microphone delivers professional-quality sound. One major benefit to this microphone is that it has both USB and XLR (external line read) connections, so when you’re ready to upgrade your studio and introduce an audio interface or pre-amp, you won’t need to upgrade your microphone. Well, at least not right away.
RODE NT-USB: Rode’s world-class studio microphones are well known for their incredible sound quality. The included pop-filter, which is attached to the microphone base, reduces popping sounds or plosives. The unique cardioid polar pattern further reduces room noise delivering crystal-clear, professional audio.
Blue Yeti: Designed for absolutely worry-free setup, the Blue Yeti is a professional podcasting, streaming, voiceover USB microphone that defines the term; “Plug and Play”. With studio controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute and gain adjustment, it is indeed a miniature recording studio that’s ready to roll.
Gordon Ramsay didn’t learn to cook at a Michelin Star restaurant. Neil Armstrong didn’t learn to fly in a Mach 2 Interceptor. And Eddy Van Halen bought his first guitar from Sears for $70.
Point is, don’t be fooled into thinking that the more money you spend on your first microphone the more successful you’ll be in voice acting. In truth, as an amateur, a more expensive microphone will just expose more of your flaws. Start small within your budget, learn to crawl, then walk, and then run.
Check back here for my voice acting course on how to navigate the world of voiceover.
Disclosure: We may be entitled to a small commission from the sellers listed herein at no additional cost to the reader.