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  • Keith-

    You're generous to give us a peek behind the curtain. I had heard voice talents talk about using Skype in sessions but never got a full appreciation for how it works. How much danger is there for bleed through into the mic. I currently use headphones and a phone patch, but it looks like Skype could be a more elegant solution.

  • Really great stuff...very informative...many thanks!
  • Thanks for sharing with us Keith. You have a very nice set up and of course the pipes to go with it all.
  • Nitin, you are too kind!

    All the best,


  • its a great video for all ,helped a lot on skype and understanding for a live session ,many many thanks, YOU ARE JUST  GREAT.
  • Wow! Thanks for the short course in mic placement, Keith! I had some other projects I was supposed to be working on this morning, but I'm going to toss them aside and sneak into the sound booth (well, closet, actually) and try some of your techniques. Your image of "talking through the pickup pattern of the mic" was right on the money. I really appreciate the tips.
  • Mr. MacFadden!  I am so glad you asked. I get the impression that many believe the VO police will come knocking if you're not using a pop screen/filter.

    First, you have a good microphone in the TLM49 assuming it is complementary to the characteristics of your voice. It has a cardioid pick up pattern, which is the setting I use on the U87, and offers some sound rejection on the back of the mic.This means it won't pick up a lot of room sound if you are speaking in a relatively conversational tone... as long as you are projecting your voice through the pick up pattern of the mic. 

    Often when I go into a studio the engineer will place the mic about forehead height and use a pop screen. The placement is often to avoid proximity effect - the closer you are to the mic more bottom end, or low frequencies in your voice will be picked up. This can lead to a 'muddy' quality. The pop screen is used as a precaution because not everyone has great mic technique.


    I like to be able to 'work' the microphone depending on the type of read I am doing. If I am getting loud I can back off. If I want more 'presence' or intimacy I can get closer to the mic. That is why I have the mic placed where I do in the video.


    In a studio situation, I do not talk directly into a microphone, particularly a large diaphragm condenser. But, I am very careful to project through the pick up pattern. You are correct in what you described me doing in the video. I am about six inches away from the mic with it slightly off to the side but in front of me. In teaching this technique, I have seen speakers lean right past the mic so they are longer projecting throught the pick up pattern, but past it. So you have to be conscious of of staying behind the mics pick up pattern. This technique of working slightly off to the side and not taliking directly into the mic also eliminates 'popping' your Ps and other plosives and consanants as well as creating to much sibilance.


    This takes some practice. Get about six inches behind the mic with it slightly off to the side, then start speaking while slowing turning your head. You will hear yourself go 'off'mic' where you are np longer projecting through the pick up pattern and, conversely, when you are speaking right at the mic and hearing some popping or your 'esses' splattering.

    That is my technique. It is not for everyone and also not for every microphone.


    Note: If you go into a studio, let the engineer put the mic where he thinks best based on the type of delivery you are doing. Even if you think you know better. You don't want to do anything to upset your relationship with him. He is your best friend in a session. ;)

  • Pants, PJs or nothing :) long as the voice wears the expressions the clients want.... viola!
  • Well, Sandra, I was not wearing pants in this video.


    Okay, that was inappropriate... only kidding. Thanks for the comment.

  • Thanks, Sini. Here's to the clients that embrace modern technology... and those lovable ludites.
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