What do I need to do voiceovers at home?

British English Accent voice over artist Mike Beeston
Mike Beeston

I have a background in radio, albeit many years ago. A time when there where CDs, NAB Carts and yes, even vinyl. A time before automation where most broadcasts on radio where live with the odd pre-recorded hour on a reel of tape. After a few years away on other projects I’m now back doing the odd bit of radio and, as a result picking up voice work too.

In the past I would have to go into the studio to do a radio show or record a voice-over, these days things are much easier as you can do both from home. Easier from a time perspective maybe, as it cuts out travelling – but now the expense is with you as a performer to provide the equipment in your own home studio. So, what exactly do you need?

If you’re first starting out and trying to gain some basic work and experience the answer is surprisingly ‘not much’. A quiet room with a good quality microphone and digital recorder is pretty much it. Obviously a computer to edit your audio afterwards and some free audio editing software.

What, no mixer? Indeed, no mixer! Unless you are doing anything ‘live’ or perhaps recording ‘voicetrack’ remotely for radio then you don’t need a mixer. As good as the mixer may be, it gives the opportunity to introduce ‘noise’ to your audio. Consider also that the sound card on most computers are pretty basic (they are really optimised for outputting sound rather than recording quality). A good quality digital recorder is much better.

If you find you have the opportunity to do something live or voicetrack for radio then you will need a mixer – I use a simple 10 channel USB mixer just for this purpose, everything else is straight to the recorder then transferred to the PC for editing.

So, what do I need?

Soundproofing – some people can spend thousands here. Let’s make things simple – a quiet room with some basic sound insulation will give you a very acceptable solution. By insulation I mean an acoustic shield that will reduce unwelcome noise and give you a better ‘sound’. In the early days I even made an acoustic shield using a large cardboard box lined internally with acoustic foam and placed my microphone inside! It sounded just as good as the shield I use today, but now the box has retired I have heaps more room on my desk! The box is still great for when I need to record away from home – perhaps in a hotel, or even in the car! (yes, I get strange looks!)

Tascam DR-40X Portable 4-Track Audio Recorder

  • Built-in stereo condenser microphone
  • Stereo XLR/TRS mic/line input with phantom power
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC (up to 128 GB)

Rode Microphones RØDE NT1-A Vocal Pack

  • Large diaphragm capsule with golden membrane
  • Cardioid polar response
  • Internal support vibration of the capsule

RØDE DS1 Desktop Microphone Stand

  • Heavy cast base for stability
  • Extendable centre column
  • 5/3 thread
  • 1 x DS1 Desktop Microphone Stand

Neewer NW-1 Microphone Isolator Screen

  • Used to reduce ambient noise, create a closer, drier, more controlled vocal.
  • 5-Panel Design: 3 stationary center panels and 2 foldable end panels.
  • High-density sound absorbing foam.

Behringer X1204USB Xenyx 12 Input 2/2 Bus Mixer

  • Premium ultra-low noise.
  • 4 phantom-powered mic preamps.
  • 4 studio-grade compressors.
  • Neo-classic “british” 3-band eqs for warm and musical sound
  • Built-in stereo usb/audio interface to connect directly to your computer. free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins and ultra-low latency driver included

Special thanks must go to Wellington the Westie whose job it is to test the soundproofing – usually in the middle of a recording session. He does this with his vociferous requests to go out, or come in with frustrating regularity!

Thanks for reading this far, if you’d like to leave a comment or share your experience please do so below – thank you.

Wellington the Westie
Wellington the Westie on Voiceover duty

A few musings…

Why your employees shouldn’t record your company messages

What are IVR, Phone Prompts and Message on Hold?

What do I need to do voiceovers at home?


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Great IVR voice over and was delivered in 10 minutes, thanks!

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Fast delivery perfect all round, thank you

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So fast, great quality, highly recommended!

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I really enjoyed working with Mike for the first time and had a very impressive experience. He was professional, fast and produced very high quality recordings, exceeding expectations. I will definitely be returning for more content in the future.

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