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Recording dialogue requires a few basic tools, listed below. You can use any PC or Mac with a good sound card, or a stand-alone multitrack recorder. If you want to use a multitrack, get a digital one, and get a simple one (a four-track is fine). They're cheap and will give you better sound than cassette-based ones. A mini-disc recorder or DAT deck will also do just fine. I don't really recommend the micro-cassette or hand-held type voice recorders - they just don't have the features and dynamic range to controls the input sound. Later, you'll use a sound editor for cleaning up the files and combining takes, rearranging words, adding fx, etc.This is the REALLY fun part, and you can experiment with all kinds of options. The Recording Equipment Tools You'll Need: A good microphone A recording program or device (multitrack, DAT, cassette recorder) A Compressor (to get good even volume on the dialog) A small Mixer with EQ (under $100) FX processors are optional Microphone To start, get a good microphone (or two if you have multiple actors). An inexpensive mic can be had for around $60 at any music store - I'd go with the Shure SM57 or SM58. Or you can buy one at Radio Shack much cheaper (around $20), but as a pro audio guy, I'm not satisfied with the sound of a cheaper mic. But you can slap a bunch of fx gear on them and they sound "ok". As a last resort, use a computer mic plugged directly into your sound input. Depending on your skill and patience, you can get good results from this, and it can be useful for certain vocal fx. Recording Program or Device You'll also need either a good recorder or a recording program. There are many good ones to choose from. I usually use Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge for recording dialogue. It's a full-featured professional level audio program, and you may not need as many options if you're doing simple voice-over work. With that in mind, here are my recommendations for shareware/freeware recording software: Update: for both Mac and PC, I recommend Audacity as a free recording app. PC: Mp3 Audio Mixer by Acoustica Click the link to download this neat little application, right here from Posertrax! It's easy to install, and the learning curve is, well, there really is no learning curve! You can record and edit sounds, splice tracks and takes, and mix multiple files. I recently completed a tutorial for this application, you can find it here. There is also a brand-new Review for even more info. Mac: SoundApp by William Franke There are many, many more. Try a few out and find the one you like best. As long as it provides crisp, clear sound quality and you can save as a WAV/AIFF file, then you have all you need to begin recording. Compressor and Mixer A compressor is a unit that evens out the volume levels of an input source. This is good because it will control any sudden bursts in volume as you're recording the dialog. It can help with pops and clicks as well (when you make "p" and "b" sounds). You also could benefit from a very small but affordable mixer like the Behringer MX602A (under $100). The mixer will boost the signal and allow you to get a good even, equalized sound before it ever reaches the computer. Other Equipment Any effects processors, such as reverb, echo, delay, etc. are optional, and can be used for some interesting results. Reverb is useful as it can create a "room" - if your characters are in a cavern, or hangar, etc., you can add more reverb to make the room sound big. Echo is good for caves. A good all-around processor is the Alesis Nanoverb, under $100 new. One exceptional effects processor is the Digitech Vocalist. It's a harmonizer that will add background vocals to a singer's lead. But, it can be used as a single-voice synth with the right tweaking. Or, it's perfect if you want your character to have two different voices speaking at once! You can change the tone and timbre of your voice, as well as the pitch. It's rather expensive though, around $500 US. There are several models available, and you can always get a good deal on ebay! The Recording Environment A quiet back room in your house or apartment will do just fine. Hang some thick blankets on the windows to keep out undesirable sound. Turn off any air conditioners, fans, etc., as these create noise and will be picked up on the track. If anyone else is in the house, ask them to be as quiet as possible when you are recording. Use a mic stand, don't let them hold the mic. Set your microphone about 5-6 inches away from the actors' mouth. Set the height of the mic stand so they don't have to stoop or stand on their tiptoes. A music stand for holding the script is also a must. These items are fairly cheap and can be obtained at any music store. Also, don't staple the script pages together, because if/when they need to turn the page, you'll hear the paper rustle. Record a page or scene at a time, and save the file. You don't want too large of a sound file, nor risk losing 30 minutes of dialog when your computer crashed and you haven't saved yet. When they need to take a break, give them a break, and give them water. Now, just press record on your device or program. You may want to record only one line or scene at a time. You can edit this together later in a WAV editor or video editor. It's helpful to string one scene into a single WAV file for import into your video program. This helps keep the continuity and the scene flowing, and will give you an idea of how to time your animations. The key is to experiment, and get to know your recording equipment & software. With practice and patience, your editing skills will increase. I hope this article was helpful. Enjoy recording your voice actors! --Donnie