How to Get Started in Voice Over: Step 1 Get the Gear

There are so, so many products to choose from you will straight up lose your mind if you try to research them all. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to get it perfect your first go around. There is a healthy market for second hand audio equipment, so if you change your mind about something later on, you can sell it fairly easily. That said, if you are starting off on a super tight budget, consider searching the second hand market yourself.

Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash

What equipment do you need to start in voice over and audiobook recording? 

Voice over and audiobook narration requires quality production value. That means you need the right tools and the right space to record in. 

Recording Equipment

  • Quality headphones
  • Pop filter
  • Shock mount
  • Microphone stand
  • Microphone: Large diaphragm (meaning 1” or more) condenser mics are highly recommended for voice recording because they are better at capturing fine details.
    • XLR Microphone: uses analog signals. The industry standard because it provides better quality. XLRs require an *Audio Interface to work with a computer. 
    • USB Microphone: uses digital signals. Typically cheaper but lower quality. USB microphones can plug directly into a computer via its USB port (and therefore do NOT require an Audio Interface to work).  Not recommended for voice over work. 
  • *Audio Interface (AI) and XLR cables: The AI converts the analog signal from the microphone to a digital signal that your computer and DAW can process. The XLR cable  connects the microphone to the AI. Every AI will come with it’s own cable to connect it to your computer. 
  • A computer 
  • An extension cord or power source
  • Optional: an external hard drive for saving and/or backing up your work. SSDs (solid state drives) are recommended because they are quiet and fast. 

Editing Equipment

  • Recording and editing Software, called a DAW.

DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. It is the software that records your audio signal and allows you to make changes to it. 

Free DAW softwares that are good for voice over and narration include: 

If you are in the market to purchase a DAW, many professionals use
Reaper, which has an excellent library of tutorials on their website. .

Studio Equipment

  • Acoustic and/or sound conditioning material
  • Lighting for your space
  • A quiet chair
  • Something to hold up your script, tablet, or reading material 

These are the basics. As you hone your process, you can adjust your gear as you go along. For example, I added a small standing desk where I keep my laptop and a cup of tea during recording.

The important thing is to start, even if you don’t have your dream list of gear. So now that you have the essentials, it’s time to set up where you will record.

How to Get Started in Voice Over
Get the Gear 20%

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission or compensation if you click through and/or make a purchase. The opinions and recommendations expressed here are my own. 

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It’s not about what equipment you have, it’s about what you do with it.

― Aphex Twin

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