It’s Not The Equipment. It’s How You Use It.

Hey there, hero!

One of the most commonly asked questions I get these days is, “What camera do you use to shoot these videos? They look great!”

(Which recently supplanted, “What’s your microphone?”.)

And it’s a great reminder about the importance of what or which, but the much more important how and why we use the tools we use.

Hope this helps!

David

Responses

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  1. Yeah, playing a 1910 Steinway Model B doesn’t make me a concert pianist if I’m just banging out “Chopsticks”! I think the number one eye-opener to voiceover newbies is telling them that VO is about *acting*. And if that’s a turn-off to someone, then he probably should seek creative expression elsewhere, and I consider that I have done him a service in opening his eyes.

    1. I used to sell guitars for a living, and I can’t tell you how many folks were searching for the Holy Grail as far gear was concerned so they could sound like their idols. The theory was, if I get an X Guitar, a Y amp, I’ll sound like Whoever. It doesn’t work that way. I’ve got the same basses Paul McCartney used in the Beatles, but I still sound like me when I play them (I resisted buying them when they were in stock, but they sat so perfectly in my hands, I couldn’t say no. I still use them, and they still sit perfectly in my hands). Once I got comfortable with that reality, I really got cooking. THAT’S the hard part: being comfortable sounding like yourself. There are other examples I could site, but this is the most personal one.

      1. Great advice. I’d like to get a ukelele in 2020 and I keep looking for the “best” one but there is a lower-cost one that feels really nice to me. It sounds good too. My mic isn’t the most expensive in the world but it is a really good one and it sounds good with my voice. I just upgraded to an Apollo and I’m excited to make it work for me in my space. In the end, it will be all about how I use and work with these tools.

  2. My first voiceover coach taught me a lot of good techniques and some of the VO basics, and I thank him for that. However, he was something of a gear-head, and pushed hard to get me into the “right” equipment. That included Pro Tools (yuk!), a Digidesign MBox 2 Pro, a set of Waves plug-ins, and (yep) one of those mic brands you mentioned in your video. It wasn’t a situation of his being an affiliate for the products; I purchased everything locally, mostly through Craigslist. I struggled with Pro Tools for quite awhile before finally getting straightened out by George Whittam about how Twisted Wave might be a much better choice. And I never did understand what half of the Waves plug-ins were for.

    Sadly, I followed in my coach’s footsteps, and have slowly acquired more equipment. But it all gets used, and I’m learning new stuff every day. Pro-Tools, the Mbox, and most of the other early setup are gone…but at least the mic still works well.

    Hey, and speaking of working well, your new videos look great! Um…what camera and lights are you using for those? ;>)

    1. Ha!! Did I not mention that in the video itself? The lights are inexpensive LED panels (lots of brands to choose from, all just fine), and the camera is a Panasonic Lumix G7. But…more importantly…the lens is a 20mm prime lens that achieves a flatter plane and smaller depth of field, putting me in focus while putting the rest of the elements out of focus, for a more cinematic look.

      But…again…it’s not the equipment, it’s how you use it.

  3. Excellent topic. I ‘used to be’ an equipment snob, always thinking more expensive is better. I’m doing moderately well in audiobooks with a total of about $350 in equipment – mic, headphones, daw, etc.