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VO4TA: Audition Mic

Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at


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VO4TA: Audition Mic


So, before you lay down any cash for gear understand what you are trying to accomplish.  Do you want a mic set up to practice with? Or to audition with? Do you want to work from home?  Do you want to produce deliverable finished audio to a client?  


They are three really different things with three VERY different price points.


This is not the day for me to go into excruciating detail about the differences.

but I will say that getting set up to practice and audition from home isn’t that hard.  


Record (and ideally practice) in a room with naturally dead materials.  A bedroom or possibly a home office - never a kitchen or bathroom.  A walk in closet full of clothes would be excellent.  I actually have one in my studio apartment.  (Jealous much, my NYC readers?)


Right now - the Audio Technica AT2020 USB is still the USB mic of choice. $150.00 at Sweetwater.  Price of drinks and the cover in Manhattan.


Use a pop screen to filter out sibilants and plosives.  That’s about $20.00


And get headphones for monitoring (like I said on Tuesday). Spend about $100.00 for the Sony MDR-7506.


But if you are an absolute audio novice - you will need to practice.  And that means taking the time not just to learn how the gear all works. (It’s about as hard to set up as setting up a printer).  But it’s about being comfortable enough to record and direct yourself well.  


How much time to achieve that?  Well, I’m afraid to say it’s really up to you.  


Another note for the absolute beginner - the goal is to set your record levels as loudly as you can with nothing clipping or distorting on the recording. No red lines or square waves at the top of the tracks.  


Here is the NPR audio recording guide.  It is very helpful.   


This is really just the beginning - barely a primer.  But if you are reading this and are remotely serious - you really should take a good look.  Guitar Center has “try out” rooms.  I used to send my NYC folks to Tekserve, but alas, they are no more. Times change.


I remember a friend lamenting how he didn’t have to travel to an office to pick up sides for the next day anymore.  He saw it all as a part of the process.  Getting there, grabbing it out of a box, reading it on the Subway. He really missed it.


Ten years ago when I started in this business, only people who had major broadcast contracts were set up to record from home.  Now, nearly every talent who works can record audio.  And not just on their iPhone.  And actors miss going to casting offices too.  


Times change.

Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at


May 1st and May 8th: Commercial Critique Workshop  Details here!


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