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Need advice an affordable voiceover mac-based setup

Hi all,

I have a quad processor imac that I would like to use to record voiceover work. I hope to one day convert a closet to a home vo studio but right now I have neither the time nor the space to do so. I need to keep it simple and cheap.

What is the bare minimum of components I need to start immediately doing voiceover? Obviously I need a mic and something to soundproof the recording environment. I've noticed people selling foam boxes that go over the mic stand. Does this work? I assume the standard sofware used to record voiceover is Garage Band. When I use GB, my imac fan runs which might cause noise interference.

Does anybody have any experience working in voiceover with mac? Any and all advice is appreciated in terms of the actual set up and what products are quality and inexpensive for a newbie like me.


Watch Those Blinking Lights
Hamilton, ON
Hi Olympia,

Those portable foam boxes are ok for voiceover work on a budget, but quite frankly you can line the interior of a quiet closet in your house and use that just as well (walk-in closets full of clothes and carpet on the floor are awesome voiceover booths on the cheap). Where you really want to spend money wisely is getting the best microphone you can afford. I suggest going to a local music store that has a decent recording audio selection, and audition a few mics they have to find one that really suits your voice. Get a pop filter while you're at it.

Although all-in-one USB mics are available, their selection is rather limited to the cheaper voiceover-type mics. You'll find better selection of mics that plug into a separate mic preamp that in turn gets plugged into your computer's USB port. Get a decent mic stand and shock mount. Finally get a decent set of headphones that plugs into the same mic preamp/interface box (or the headphone out of your computer) so that you can play back your recordings, and/or listen while you record.

You don't necessarily need to use garage band, though many do. Give Audacity a try, see if that keeps the fan from spinning up. Otherwise you can remotely locate the mic, preamp, and keyboard/mouse away from the computer so fan noise is not an issue.


Here's some suggestions to get you started, though these are from Sweetwater for convenience sake, go support your local music store with your pocketbook, I'm sure they'd appreciate it!

Lots of mics to choose from (this is where you want to spend a good portion of your money, but audition them first before spending $$$):

Preamp/computer audio interface options if you don't go the USB mic route:


Stands (depending on whether you do this at a desk or freestanding):

Other accessories you might find useful:

Hope this helps!


This is great. Thanks so much for all the resources.

I would love to convert a closet to a studio but where I currently live has only one closet and it's teeny, tiny. In fact, I had to buy an armoire to store most of my clothes. I hope to be moving eventually to someplace that has more closets. I want to be able to start recording vo's as soon as possible and not have to wait till I move to a larger place and have more money to build a more sophisticated studio so it looks like I will have to set it up at my desk for now. If you can recommend a foam box that does a decent job of blocking unwanted noise, that'd be great. My biggest concern is noise that might seep in from household appliances. I have a loud refrigerator in addition to the imac's fan.

Thanks again for this! I'm a complete novice and am totally on my own so your post is definitely valuable information for m.e

Watch Those Blinking Lights
Hamilton, ON
reply to Olympia
Here's a few portable voiceover booths:


Get yourself as close as reasonable to the mic, and as far away as possible from the noise sources. Distance and separation are your friend when it comes to noise. The booth might cut the noise down a bit, but not completely.