It’s hard to know where to spend and invest in recording equipment especially when you are just getting started as a student or working professional. We hope this guide provides a decent selection of product options and how an increase in spending leads to a huge increase in quality. Keep in mind this is designed for students and newer professionals, and does not include the usual ultra high end professional recommendations, aiming at a range of between $500 – $1000, whereby you can assemble a competitive home studio setup.
The advantage of these bundles are their starting places: as your career grows you can upgrade item by item as needed, the interface and headphones will still work if you end up getting a better microphone down the road.
USB microphones are great for newcomers but don’t necessarily future proof you due to the all in one nature of the microphone and preamp.
If there is any USB microphone that comes within shouting distance of a regular mic + interface setup it’s this one. It’s the priciest USB mic on the list but definitely the best. I think the best thing about this mic is the mobility it provides since it can connect to a phone or ipad.
Condenser cardioid microphones are amazing for voice-over they give the performer a rich quality which is fantastic for animation and commercials. Just be aware that with a cardioid microphone you will want to acoustically treat the room really well to get the best sound possible.
An amazing microphone for newcomers to voice-over. I find that every at2020 has a slightly different quality but you get some that really do sing and sound great even amongst microphones 4 times their price. My one knock on the AT2020 is that it doesn’t come with a shockmount, just a basic stand attachment, which is fine for the price.
This is a great in between mic from the NT1A and NT2A, it’s incredibly well made with a low noise floor. It gives a rich vocal tone. My only knock for a mic of this price range is no shock mount included, just a simple ring mount. This means you’ll likely have to buy one which brings the price up to bring similar to the NT2A.
Based on the famous 47’ style microphones that have been a staple of recording for decades. This is a great alternative to some of the other $300 CAD microphones on this list at a slightly higher price point. Solid build quality, good parts, and most importantly a warm sound on vocals.
I have used quite a few of the 87’ style microphones and this one definitely stands up to some of the even more expensive alternatives. These have such a clean but distinctive sound that just pops on certain vocals. Definitely worth a look even though it’s the most expensive microphone on this intermediate level list.
Sennheiser makes excellent audio equipment and this cardioid microphone has a great tone and super low noise floor. Sennheiser’s part of the microphone market is generally very much on the high end so consider this microphone a kind of first step into their product line. This microphone will do good work for a newcomer into voice-over and probably handle any job you through at it.
Why choose a shotgun microphone for voice-over? The beauty of a shotgun microphone is the noise floor is incredibly low, which means recording voice-over at home or in an apartment even with the odd sound from neighbours, roommates, and family you can get a good record without worrying too much about having the perfect recording setup. My only knock on using a shotgun mic for voice-over is that they are very prone to plosives due to the directional sensitivity.
It’s really important to have a pair of headphone monitors that gives you an accurate representation of your voice and level when you record and when you listen to takes.
Sometimes it can be challenging to get a good feel for your reads through headphone monitors, this is where having a pair of studio monitors comes in. Don’t feel like you need to break bank on studio monitors, unless you are going to be mixing fully produced projects on them, a basic $100 – $200 set will allow you to hear your voice accurately outside of your studio.
I highly recommend looking for a floor stand with an adjustable arm as it will allow you to get the perfect angle for your microphone when you use it. Some voice-over professionals love desk clamp stands from companies like Rode because of the space saving but in most cases a floor stand is standard.
A music stand is an important addition for a voice-over artist, it helps you not lose takes due to paper ruffling sounds
I’m not going to list prices here since there are so many different subscription styles and such but I really put this up to personal preference.
It’s free, it’s easy to use, it does everything that’s needed for voice-over. Sure it could have more functionality and a cleaner ui, but it’s everything you need for voice-over at the best possible price.
Amazing functionality and pretty much the industry default DAW. Just be aware that it’s a challenge to make full use of this DAW without formal training. The big selling point of Pro tools is the amazing array of plugins that can be installed to allow for easy post production workflow.
Got a recommendation? Send it our way and we’ll add it to the list.
*Prices listed as an average price listed for major Canadian retailers in November 2020
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