You can make a basic voice over studio at home by getting a decent microphone and using your laptop. But you’ll want an audio interface, studio headphones, and a way to isolate your recordings for more professional results.
I’m Donovan, a home studio enthusiast, and lifelong musician. I love to write, record, and produce music as often as possible and have some experience with voice over work. I know through hands-on application what’s involved with a voice over home studio.
This post will show you how to set up a home voice over studio. I’ll give you some tips and tricks to help you dial in a good voice over setup while, while also providing some critical steps to make it all come together.
Let’s get to it.
- Key Takeaways
- Voice Over Studio Equipment
- How to Set Up a Voice Over Studio at Home
- Additional Tips
- Final Thoughts
- A very basic home voice over studio setup can be made with a good microphone, laptop computer, and recording software.
- Using studio headphones and an isolation booth can help deliver more professional voice over recordings.
- You might want to get several microphones if you do a lot of voice over work to help with various applications and projects.
- Many of the same factors come into play with voice over studios as with regular home studios, but you typically need less equipment for voice over setups.
Voice Over Studio Equipment
You don’t need much equipment to set up a voice over studio, but you do need some. You’ll need to be relatively self-sufficient and learn the basics of running a DAW, which you’ll use to go over your tracks and add lines where required.
A voice over studio is pretty similar to other types of home studios, except you don’t need as much equipment. If you already have a home studio setup, you’re probably ready to go for any voice over work that comes your way.
Let’s look at some of the equipment required for a solid home voice over studio. The exact products you use will likely be matched to your needs or preferences, but knowing what general equipment is required will help you get started.
Here is a quick list of the equipment you’ll need for a home voice over studio:
- Laptop or desktop computer
- Recording software or DAW
- Audio Interface
- A way to isolate recordings (such as an iso-booth)
- Studio headphones
- Cables to connect everything
- Mic stand
A computer is necessary to capture your recordings. A good laptop is the most commonly used option by most voice actors I know, and this allows for a pretty portable setup. But you can use whatever computer you are comfortable working with.
A good microphone, or even multiple microphones, is another requirement for voice over work. You can’t make professional-sounding voiceovers without one, and you’ll want to invest in a good mic that will last for years.
Recording software in the form of a DAW allows you to capture your recordings in a format that will be easily shareable or workable with the projects you are involved with. You should get comfortable with at least one commonly used DAW.
An audio interface will allow you to get much higher-quality recordings than just going directly to your computer. While you can use USB mics that don’t require preamps or an interface, you won’t get professional-sounding recordings with that option.
As with any type of studio, you need to ensure that no external noises are coming in when you are working. An iso-booth for your recordings will help make this happen. If you have a quiet studio space, you might be able to get away without this.
Studio headphones allow you to listen to any prerecorded material while you lay down your lines. They will also help you edit any tracks after you have made your recordings. Studio monitors are also nice, but you’ll need headphones for recording.
Cables are essential to connect your microphone to your audio interface and then to your computer. And a good mic stand will hold your microphone in place while you are doing voice over work.
Budget Voice Over Setup
If you are just getting started with doing voice over work, you probably don’t have that much money to invest in equipment. That’s fine because you can easily assemble a budget voice-over setup and still get good results.
A basic budget voice over setup can be done by excluding some of the equipment on the list above. These are the most essential items that you need to get started:
- Mic stand
The most significant costs here are your laptop and microphone. But you can make more budget-minded choices on those to cut costs. You can do the same for headphones.
You might not need to use a DAW, or you can potentially use a free one or a free version of a simple one. This will save you a few hundred dollars.
And you can get by without an audio interface by using a USB microphone that can be directly plugged into your computer. Keep in mind that you can’t plug just any mic directly into a computer, and need an audio interface for most of them.
You won’t get professional results with a basic budget studio. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few gigs and start building up some experience.
How to Set Up a Voice Over Studio at Home
Now that you know what equipment you need to get for building a voice over studio, let’s dive into the details of setting one up at home. These guidelines can work for any home studio but have a voice over focus.
Step 1: Get Your Equipment
If you don’t have any of the equipment mentioned on the list above, you need to do some shopping before your studio comes to life. Research what gear you want and get that on hand before you start your build.
You can always get more equipment as you go, but you’ll want the essentials so you can start recording after your studio is set up.
Step 2: Choose Your Studio Space
The next step to setting up a home voice over studio is choosing your studio space. You might already have a space in mind, but figure out where you want to record your voice overs if you don’t.
A small bedroom can work well for a dedicated home studio, but you can also use a closet or smaller room if you are just doing single-mic recordings and don’t need much space. If you are setting up a basic or mobile studio, the choice of space isn’t as critical.
Choose a room that is quiet and isolated from other sounds for voiceover work. Don’t choose a location next to a busy street or room that might result in unwanted noise on your recordings.
Step 4: Soundproofing
If you want to get outstanding recordings or at least have the best space to encourage this, you’ll want to spend some time soundproofing your studio.
You might not be doing a full build-out of a brand-new studio room, but if you are, you can use certain construction techniques to help soundproof the room. Floating floors and walls will help limit outside noise.
You can also use a vocal isolation booth or a DIY version of one. It doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant, and you just want to take some steps to ensure your recordings don’t get messed up by outside sound.
Heavy blankets and other common household materials can be used to help somewhat soundproof a room if you are going the budget route. This step is less important if you have a silent recording space.
Step 3: Set up The Studio
Now it’s time to start setting everything up. I always like to clean the room before hauling in my equipment. So start there if your studio needs a little sprucing up.
Bring in your recording desk, chair, computer, and all the equipment you are going to use for the studio. Set it up how you like it but don’t run any cables until you have things roughly placed where you want them.
Once everything is in place, power on your equipment and get your recording zone set up. Depending on your preferences, now is the time to inject some vibe into your studio with artwork or decorations.
If your microphone setup is located a ways from your control space, be sure to run cords so they are out of the way. You don’t want to trip on them while moving around your studio.
Step 4: Start Working
Once you have everything set up, you are reading to record. I recommend doing a test run to ensure that your equipment is working correctly and that you have things placed how you want before doing any paid or super important work.
If you run into any issues, ensure that all your cords are connected to the proper inputs/outputs and that everything is powered up. Take your time when troubleshooting minor issues so you don’t get frustrated.
If you are using expensive microphones, be sure to store them in their cases after you are done recording for the day. They can gather dust and potentially get damaged if you leave them out and plugged in.
Investing in a decent set of studio headphones is a must for any voice over actor. You can’t deliver quality recordings if you can’t hear things properly, and headphones will help you stay in the zone as you work.
You might find that you like things set up a certain way as you do voice-over work. You can tweak your studio setup, equipment, or anything else you want to cater to your needs and preferences.
Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how to set up a voice over studio at home.
What is needed for a home voice over studio?
You can make a basic home voice over studio with a decent microphone and laptop computer. You’ll also want to get an audio interface, studio headphones, and some recording software for higher-quality recordings. And an isolation booth is important for professional work as well.
How much does it cost to set up a home voice over studio?
If you just go with a basic setup, you can start a home voice over studio for $2,000 or less. This includes the cost of your computer. If you want a better setup with multiple microphones and high-quality equipment, it might cost $5,000 to $10,000.
Do you need an at-home studio to be a voice actor?
You don’t necessarily need an at-home studio to be a voice actor, but having one can help you out a lot if you are trying to get established in the industry. Well-known voice actors can get studio time paid for by producers, but this is rare for the average actor.
Can I do voice over from home?
It’s easier than ever before to do effective voice over work from home. As long as you have a decent microphone and some other readily available studio equipment, you can deliver professional voice over work from a home studio.
Can you be a voice actor with no experience?
You can be a voice actor with no experience, but it’s more challenging to find work without some connections in the industry. Having people reach out to you for work is part of the struggle when you have no experience, so you’ll need to network heavily to get started.
Do you need a PC for voice acting?
You do need some type of computer for voice acting, but it doesn’t need to be a PC. A laptop with the recording software of your choice can work just fine. You can’t really do the work without a computer, although it doesn’t matter which type of computer you get.
Setting up a voice over studio at home is pretty simple, and you only need a computer, microphone, and headphones to get started. A basic setup can be affordable, and you don’t need to do an expensive remodel or home studio build.
Isolating your recording space is important with voice over work. If you want to be taken seriously and get more opportunities as a voice actor, it’s important that you deliver high-quality recordings for every gig.
Have you ever set up a voice over studio at home? Do you have any tips for others? Let me know in the comments below.