Basics of Building a Voice Over Recording Studio


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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


    1. Dan
      Great informative piece!
      This is a great starting place for folks thinking about a home based recording solution for pro work and for continued skill development.
      Even though I have some serious equipment here, I often just pack up my ibook, an m audio interface, and a basic mic to track stuff away from the studio.
      I’ll add that when a Voice Actor is looking for an equipment retailer, that retailer’s technical support department is every bit as important as the retailers pricing. Owning a large studio I have dealt with many, but Sweetwater has been my consistent fav.
      Again, thanks for the great info! I will suggest your podcast to our clients here at Voice Coaches.
      David at Voice Coaches

    2. Thanks for your presentation. I’m teaching too as well as performing live/acting. What’s a good resource book for beginning studio musicians? I’m thinking of my students et al…
      Best Wishes

    3. Neil,
      I find the books too detailed! As I keep telling people in my blog, keep it simple.
      Having a beginner invest a great deal of valuable capital on a home studio without the knowledge of how to use it is pointless. A simple home studio set up like I described in the podcast is all they will need. I’m getting more and more convinced to have people just buy a USB powered condenser mic and use Audacity on a Mac or PC to learn the BASICS of multi-track recording or even single track recording.
      I would suggest you give your students a demo of how easy it is to set up a USB mic on a laptop so you can “de-mystify” this process. Even though I’ve been working in a studio for over 30 years, It ain’t rocket science!
      Now the subtleties of how to use a mic are something you have to develop a feel and ear for. Books can explain it, but I suggest just doing it and busting through the “sound” barrier.
      The fact is, and I keep saying this on my Blog; “Master VO, Demystifying The Home Studio,” home PC technology has made a $250,000 recording studio of 10 years ago a $1000 or less toy today. Its not the equipment as much as it is how you use it. That’s the beauty of what this industry has become. Anyone can try it cheaply and see if it is a viable career option for them.
      I’m always available here at for any specific questions about studio set-up.
      Master VO Blog
      Also, an internet search of “How to build a home recording studio” will open a whole world up.
      The important thing to note here is that the great multi-track recording programs and equipment on the market today are complete overkill for what we do, which is, at a minimum, record dry voice and at the most, adding a music track or a sound effect or two. Programs like Sonar and Pro-Tools or CuBase are for Musicians and bands. They work great for that and are wonderful for experienced VO artists. It takes years to master them. The basics are all that are required of beginners. That’s a simple hands on and simple explanation routine.
      It isn’t the equipment that makes a great voice artist.
      Anybody want to add to that or disagree?
      Dan L.

    4. Dan
      I have been trying to find a standard for noise floor. It seems that all the organizations that are involved with setting standard want to sell the book rather than post information.
      Here is what I’m looking for and maybe you can help. What is the standard for noise floor regarding broadcast radio or television? Also if you know is it pegged to “A” weighted or is it based on ITU-R 468 weighted scale.
      Also this do you know if there is a broadcast standard for decay time in a studio. I hope you have some idea. Otherwise I think I will use information for one of F. Alton Everest books.

    5. I found this to be very helpful. I have been researching this venture for a couple of weeks. When you are on information overload it’s good to find information that supports some of your findings. Confirming some decisions and obtaining additional helpful hints was a relief.
      Thanks So Much!

    6. thank you dan for making it simple. i guess i’ll have to move up just slightly from my sennheiser mic which are just 100 dollar dollar headphones with a mic, which are good quality, to a real condesor mic.
      i use a pc. my options are limited, but i keep plugging away everday with auditions.
      i wont quit. i love it!!!

    7. Hi Dan I very much appreciate your expertise and knowledge that you took the time to share with us about setting up a studio. I do not have the ability to set up a studio in my current residence which is an apartment. Any thoughts about what particular space would be best for me that I could possibly rent as a studio?
      Thanks Dan Best Wishes Bill Cannon

    8. Thank you for sharing this podcast on voice over recording studios! I’m trying to set up a studio for my personal recordings and this was really helpful. I find that keeping out excess noise is the hardest part of the process, so I’d like to look into some electronic solutions. Do you have any links to further information on this?


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