While waiting for my try-out mics to show up today, I got on the phone with Sweetwater, Vintage King, RSPE, and Soundpure.
I barked up the ladders until I got on the phone with someone who could tell me what the big sellers mic preamps were to audio post houses. I wanted an idea of what they were outfitting their voiceover rooms with.
For anyone who don’t know, RSPE is an avid giant, and responsible for equipping some of the largest post houses in the country. They said their sales records indicated BAE 1073’s were the most common VO and dialogue preamp in the majority of the non-music facilities they outfit.
Vintage King insisted this was not a very accurate depiction of their recent sales. I made sure I was specifically talking to the audio post sales director. He said that Grace and Millenia are a far more common preamp, and proceeded to tell me exactly what Universal studios and Nickelodeon had outfitted their rooms with. As well as what mics they paired with them, how many they ordered, what they paid for them, and why they picked them.
Soundpure for some reason seemed to think Avalons were still the go-to, but I couldn’t get a sense of weather I was talking to a guy who really knew the post market or a regular sales guy on the floor. He also seemed to think API’s were pretty common, but I’ve never seen or heard of a VO rider ever having an API.
Good ole Sweetwater. Used to by my DAWs through them because their tech support is pretty useful. Assured me I’d be happy with Manley or Avalon. But that wasn’t my question. It was if they knew anything about what was being used in some of those big production houses.
Here’s my conclusion of how this works, and its based on a fairly broad consensus. Someone is responsible for booking a room for a VO actor. That someone knows a thing or two about gear, but their knowledge is far more limited than a professional music producer. They go down your gear list, and look for at least one good mic, and one good preamp, as well as looking at your room to make sure you’re not going to be recording in a bedroom closet or an attic. So their definition of ‘good’ seems to be if they’ve heard of it before. One manager had never heard of a Blue mic before, so he went online, researched it, and called back and said he was excited to hear it and in a month or so would be scheduling some sessions. Seems odd to me after years of working with musicians. But hey… it is what it is. Right?