EQ and Compression can be fickle, and funny mistresses. It's probably not a bad idea to learn a bit more about them. If you want to hear the difference in treated versus untreated files, I can send you a little primer.
As for the U87...it's a mic I have talked on in virtually every studio I've ever walked into. For the longest time, my 416 was my go-to mic, but I wanted to have a U87 in my mic kit, so I could have the same sound I was getting in every studio I walked in.
For my purposes though, the U87 was still a bit finicky on the sound...it required a bit of playing around with it to get it to sound the way I wanted it to.
But now one of my clients wants me to use NOTHING on the chain...no eq, no compression, nothing at all...so that mic sounds a bit weird to me.
But they're able to make the sound I send them sing on the other end...so it works fine for me.
But a U87 ( any mic really ) will benefit from a judicious amount of compression, eq, or a really high quality mic preamp.
I just ordered a John Hardy M1 preamp, which is supposed to be super clean and transparent, which will be a nice change from what I currently have...
I'm hoping it'll make my changing from session to session, need to need, a bit easier to deal with.
Sorry about that on the M49...it's a nice mic, it really is...but to be honest, I don't think you'd be finding any radical difference between it and your TLM 103. It's a bigger capsule, and it does have a bit more "depth" to it, but I don't think it's worth the money necessarily...you'd likely find a bigger change in sound going the shotgun route as you seem to be leaning in that direction.
As for the NTG-3, it's a really great mic. It's shockingly similar in sound to the 416, but not quite the same. It's got a bit of a wider pickup pattern than the 416, not MUCH wider, but wider nonetheless. This is nice in that if you suddenly shift off-axis a smidge while recording, you're likely not going to get a noticeable drop...which can happen if you get too far off-axis on the 416.
For my money, if you could find a used ( carefully used ) 416 on ebay or elsewhere, I'd probably shoot for one of those first...but even used, they often still go for just north of $800. I bought my first 416 used on ebay several years ago. It blew the capsule after about 6 months...I sent it to Sennheiser, and a minor flat repair fee and shipping costs later, it came back to me just like it was a new mic. They even touched up the paint on the logo!
I still have that one in use in my home studio, and I purchased a second one, new, when it was on crazy sale at Sweetwater...like just under $800. I couldn't pass it up.
Anyway, if you can't or would rather not swing the dough for a 416 ( and I can't blame you...that's alot of cash to part with ), and you want a shotgun like, NOW, you can hardly go wrong with an NTG-3. Heck, for the price, you could get two...one for home, and one for the road.
But here's something I learned after many years of buying mics that were "almost" or "just like" what I really wanted in the first place...I always wound up getting whatever that actual mic was over time. In other words, I bought 3 different big capsule mics before I wound up finally just biting the bullet and getting a U87...had I just saved the money I blew on the "almost" mics, I probably could've gotten the U87 quicker.
So, if your heart is set on a 416...hang on until you can get one...if you're itchin' to get into a shotgun mic, the NTG-3 isn't a bad one to have, and later if you pick up a 416 somewhere, you can feel confident in using the NTG-3 as a backup or a road / travel mic, and have little discernable difference in sound.
I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to thank you. I find all of this very interesting--being that I've been a Star Trek fan from its inception.
I've noticed that you're not shy about asking and answering questions on Voiceover Universe. I've just created a group on Facebook called Voiceover Central, a question and answer forum for voice actors, and in the last couple of days membership has exploded to almost 100. Problem is, everyone seems to be a little hesitant to speak-up and ask questions. I need someone who can get in there and get people talking. I think that's your gift. If you have a Facebook account would you mind joining my group? Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/home.php?sk=group_159979897367788&ap=1
See if you can get your Dad in on it, too.
Thanks again for answering my Star Trek question, and I hope to see you at Voiceover Central. :) All the best, Dan Bailey
You asked on another page on VU how to enroll in my webinars: First, my entire schedule, one per month, is on my site. Click on the "Webinars" tab at top of homepage. And all webinars are hosted through the site http://www.voiceoverxtra.com, so you always sign up on their site. But on my site there is indeed a link you can click to go through to where you sign up. My site is http://www.voicesvoices.com
There are as many was to market (advertise) your services as you can imagine. What have you done so far to get the projects you have done? Is your Dad a voice actor too? Do you have business cards and demo CDs made up and available when someone says "My, but you have a nice voice!" It's good to always be on the "lookout" for new opportunities...
Quickshow is a software package that could help any company get the "message" out to potential customers. It COULD work for VO marketing, but I think there "simpler" products out there for us to use ourselves. I've been voicing Quickshow projects for the past few years, for the likes of the US Army, the US Postal Service, Costco, Red Lion Hotels and Harley Davidson.
Thank you for your kind words! Hope you have a great day!
Alexis, just a note, if you have signed up to receive Edge Studio's emails you already received this message, but if not, you might want to go to their website and look for this upcoming free teleseminar (information pasted below)... it's for kids' voiceovers. It might be worth your time.
Best of luck!
Talk With A Pro
FREE VOICE OVER ADVICE, FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS
Tonight, Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 9pm-10pm ET,
Edge Studio sponsors a Free Tele-Forum on:
Kid's Animation, Talking Toys, and More!
ONLY the first 100 callers can participate.
NOT ABLE TO GET ON?
Hear a replay Thursday here.
Have you heard of Noelle Romano?
o Just in case you haven't, her bio is below.
o And tonight, she will give a FREE "Talk With A Pro" tele-forum to the FIRST 100 callers!
If you've wondered:
o What the opportunities are in kid's work...
o What do casting agents want on kid's demos...
o Can adults who sound like kids get work?
Then dial in!
1. Dial 1-641-594-7078
2. You'll ANONYMOUSLY be connected with other callers.
Only the first 100 callers get through, so dial in early!
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You're right, there is ALOT of stuff on the Edge website. The trick is to narrow down your browsing to what you have questions about. There is fantastic stuff about commercials and equipment and such, but my searches focus on audiobooks. The fun part is, it's alot of recordings, so I can download it on my iPhone and listen to it in the car, or waiting at the dentist's office or whatever. You will really learn alot.
I wish you much success! And your family too!
PS, thanks for the compliment about my little doggie. on my website www.hersmoothvoice.com you can click on the photo of him to hear a narrative about his breed. Just a little fun something I did for kicks!
Alexis, you have so many great questions... I must tell you about an invaluable organization whose free teleconferences and podcasts and other resources have helped me IMMENSELY. It's Edge Studios. Here is a link to their resources. Go back through the archives and listen to some of the discussions. They are very helpful. http://www.edgestudio.com/answerseries.htm
I wish I was a wildly successful VO artist, then my endorsement would be much more valuable. But educating yourself is of the utmost importance in this industry and Edge really helps with that.
"Are you marketing yourself in the U.S. ? " - not enough. I guess that's one of the reasons I'll be coming in June to VOICE2010, to learn more about how to promote myself. I have made many great online friends through this site, but I know that the power of this will be nothing compared to actually meeting many of these folks.
I should post a query on Dan's group about how a British vo can find work in the US... it's just turned minight here, so I'll sleep on that now, tonight, and post it in the morning.
Your dad must be proud of you - VU is a great place to develop your vo knowledge, and you're obviously taking that seriously :-)
Thanks William is the best - he'll be 4 next weekend :-)
Has SaVoa helped me get work?
You know I can't give a drect answer to that, because no-one has made the statement I booked you because I saw your SaVoa badge etc...
However... my response must be positive as (1) it has boosted my self-perception and marketing confidence - remember my situation is a little different, you can find out more about that on my blog. (2) The amount of bookings I've received since joining has increased dramatically. (3) Some producers seem to have changed how they see me, and understand better thatI am very serous about this business (see point 1)
Your dad should join! Right now its a growing organisation, but I believe within a few years it will become very influential, as professional voiceover artists will find it beneficial to show their independant accreditation, and hopefully this will be good for us all as the competition continues to grow. If you have been regularly booking work too then you are also a professional, maybe you should think about it too.
I do know that the folks on the SaVoa board are all great people (I'm looking forward to meeting them at VOICE2010) so if you have any questions they'd love to help you (maybe you could negotiate a discount!)
I've never used Craigs list, but as a British vo it is a frustrating reality that most of the work here goes to American voices! Crazy fact. I'm sure that's true in most countries outside Europe.