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Advise me for equipments to make Audio Book & ScreenCasting Narration Videos

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by MGadAllah, Dec 9, 2013.


  1. MGadAllah

    MGadAllah

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Hello,
    Please I've been searching and would like to ask for a recommendation.
    • For audio book and screencasting and in case i am working in my bed room and not a studio ... which mic will be better?

    1. Heil PR-40
      or
    2. AKG c 214 ?
    • Also regarding the usb sound interface or mixer to connect the microphone to computer:-

    1. M-Audio Fast Track Pro 4x4 Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface with Preamps
      or
    2. Behringer XENYX 1002
      or
    3. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface
      or
    4. Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2x2 USB Recording Interface
     
  2. fnordlyone

    fnordlyone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    south Louisiana
    I plug both bass and microphone into a Line6 Tone Port usb interface, very old version. It preforms good. I have no idea what a screen casting is… Do you want to put music over video?

    fnord!
     
  3. MGadAllah

    MGadAllah

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Which model or which brand do you recommend ?
    Educational video tutorials called or named screen-casting.
     
  4. fnordlyone

    fnordlyone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    south Louisiana
    I've only used line 6 ux1. Very old as I said. Got it for free. I don't use my usb interface for its presets or effects, just a way to get it to garage band (or other recording program). That said, my line 6 does the job without any noise interference.

    f n o r d !
     
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  6. MGadAllah

    MGadAllah

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    ok.
    Regarding the original post, which one I should buy?
     
  7. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    With all the crappy, make-shift screencasts, podcasts and amatuer audiobooks out there today, having broadcast quality audio will make your product stand out. Therefore I am going to recommend some different gear than what you have listed so far.

    Industry standard broadcast mics like the Shure SM7B and EV RE-20 are in roughly the same price range as the PR40 and C214 (you can find them used fairly easily). Generally speaking a condenser mic is going to be less forgiving if your voice talent is inexperienced. Also, mics with extended low frequency response are going to be more sensitive to plosives and most of the low end below 100Hz is not desirable for spoken word anyways and gets filtered out.

    As far as interfaces go, if you are using a Mac I would suggest an Apogee Duet 2. If you are on PC a MOTU Track 16 or Focusrite Forte will give you excellent sound quality in a small package. For this application there's really no need to record any higher than 16 bit/44.1kHz so your interface should focus on quality A/D conversion and quality mic pres.

    You should also consider an analog channel strip (mic pre + compressor) as they add another level of sound quality and forgiveness with less experienced vocal talent. Plus tracking with moderate compression allows the vocal talent to "work the mic" with less chance of overloading the input signal at the computer.

    There are several screencast applications out there depending on if you're on the Mac or Windows platform but a couple that are available on both platforms include Camtasia and Adobe Captivate.

    And finally, audiobooks have a ton of punch-ins and edits so you need a recording software that not only has sufficient editing & processing capabilities but efficiently keeps track of all those files. You also need to be able to meet the loudness and file delivery specs of sites like Amazon and iTunes. Pro Tools is overkill but that's what most professional engineers use. Audacity, Reaper, and Garage Band are fine for podcasting and screencasting but their editing and processing capabilities will make audiobook recording more difficult and time consuming.

    As always, IMO, YMMV, OMG, XOXO
     
  8. MGadAllah

    MGadAllah

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Yes standing out is the main idea ... now we are talking.
    --
    You think I should drop the PR40 and C214 and consider one of the Shure SM7B and EV RE-20? please may you tell me (for my own information as I am new to professional audio world) why SM7b & RE20 considered better? especially that all of them were designed for vocal (This kind of knowledge and info equal a lot of $$ and a lot of time saving ;) .
    --
    You mean that I should get a condenser microphone instead of the dynamic microphone? honestly I thought the dynamic microphone will be a better option because the dynamic microphone pick up only the sound on the front of it while the condenser microphone picking up more background sound and noise and this was the main reason to consider using a dynamic microphone with a pop filter and a shock mount. But I will happy to find that I was wrong if that leads me to a better result :) .
    --

    Please I do not understand this technical part, please may you help with a little bit more explanations ?
    --

    I am on a PC and using windows 7 64 bit. Please what are the differences between the interfaces I've listed? The reason for asking is the price gap between them because I do not know if the sound result will be different or not, so I am really very much interested to know about this point, and of course I am after the good quality equipment and I do not mind if it more or bit expensive but it is a long term investment, but in the meantime I am not after expensive equipment itself but only the sound quality is my only concern.

    -

    Thanks a lot for this tip my friend :) and I will listen carefully to you :) ... and which interface of all listed above considered the best to achieve this quality for analog / digital conversion?

    --

    You mean Mic Preamp / Processor, so I connect the microphone to the Mic Preamp / Processor and then connect the Mic Preamp / Processor to the usb interface and finally connect the usb interface to computer through a usb cable or a firewire cable?

    --

    I am afraid that I do not understand ... please may you make it a little bit simple.

    --

    This part is not a problem at all as camtasia is the king and I am going to use it :D .

    --

    Since I start to search in these area I've found something professionals used to say ... DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and I have a little experience with sound forge but I do not know if it the best option for such things or I should use something else like FL Studio or anything else, so please advise for the one I should use to get the best result so I can go ahead for it.

    --

    Really much appreciated these wonderful tip and much thankful for you.

    --

    I can not thank you enough for all the amazing info I learned today and really as more I dive into this topic as I found more and more technical details and really you seem very talented and experienced with this area.

    Also please excuse my long reply or my poor English and I am very interested to know more and to know your recommendation for the best options for a gear for these particular projects as I am going to be in this career.

    Take care my friend and really thankful for your valuable time.
     
  9. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    There's nothing wrong with a Heil PR40 or an AKG C214. BUT, the SM7B and RE-20 are the two most common mics found in professional broadcast studios (at least in the US). So, if you want to sound like the pros, use what the pros use, especially if it doesn't cost any more $$.
    --


    Just the opposite. Choose a dynamic mic. Less experienced vocal talent will overemphasize the "P's, F's, and S's" and condenser mics are overly sensitive to these sounds when the source is close to the mic.
    --

    The frequency range of the male human voice is about 120Hz to 1kHz with harmonics extending upwards of 10kHz. Most studio condensers (and some dynamics) have extended frequency ranges that go as low as 20Hz and as high as 20kHz. Too much low frequency information will accentuate plosives and pick up structural vibrations and other noises. Too much high frequency information will increase hiss. So if your mic picks up 20Hz-20kHz you will end up using EQ to filter out the unneeded low and super high frequencies (usually in the form of high pass filters and de-essing with compressors and eq). It's much easier to start with a mic that sounds more natural so you have less to filter out.
    --

    Most of the interfaces you've listed are good, but they try to pack too many features and too many inputs and outputs. In this application, two good mic-pres and good converters are all you need.
    -

    Always happy to help and I'm glad you are taking sound quality seriously!
    --

    Correct.
    --


    The human voice has a tremendous range of dynamics and timbre. If you've ever watched a great vocalist sing on stage you'll notice they move closer and farther from the mic depending on the sound they want to achieve and to self-regulate their volume. The same principles apply to spoken word talent. They will move closer and farther from the mic to change the tone and to regulate their volume. If they are not experienced this will cause a lot of inconsistencies in the overall recording. Moderate compression will help with this but not too much. You can always add more during the editing & mixing phase.
    --

    Excellent.
    --

    SoundForge is an excellent application for this type of work. It supports VST plug-ins and the new version has iZotope plug-ins which are brilliant.
    --

    Cheers and best of luck in your new venture!
     
  10. MGadAllah

    MGadAllah

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Well, if you are comparing these interfaces fr this type of projects, which one you will pick up with no doubt?
    Honestly it drives me nuts with all these models and technical details.
    So please may you help me and tell me what makes a mixer or interface is better than another? I mean in case all providing almost same options?
     

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