This article presents the second part of our comprehensive guide to creating the ideal voice actor travel kit. If you haven't read the first part yet, don't worry, it's available for you to check out! The previous segment looked into the items that should be left behind when traveling. We achieved this by examining the advantages and disadvantages of each equipment piece. We concluded that our guide primarily aims to maintain superb quality without sacrificing convenience, a task that requires some balance. In this guide, we'll reveal what to pack. At the core, excluding the laptop (which is a given), your travel kit needs nothing more than a microphone and a USB cable. But wait, is that it? Optionally, you might consider adding a pop filter and headphones to the mix.
The marketplace brims with an abundance of excellent microphones. However, our article focuses on marrying quality with convenience, which leads us to explore the best USB microphones in the marketplace. The difficulty arises as many USB microphones are not specifically designed for travel. Voice actors must remember there won't be a microphone stand during their travels, buying a self-standing microphone is an essential feature. Moreover, each microphone has its own unique characteristics, so it's crucial for voiceover artists to consider which microphone will enhance their vocal quality the most.
A plethora of microphones are available to choose from, and the consideration of which one to buy requires a careful thought process as it is somewhat of a balancing act. For instance, the Shure MV51 is equipped with an adjustable leg at the back, enabling it to stand independently, regardless of the location. Another great choice is the Apogee Hype MiC which comes with a compact stand and an attachable pop filter all in a compact carrying case. Both these diaphragm condenser microphones are fantastic options among the multitude of available microphones that don't require an external stand. It's up to you now to discover your ideal travel microphone.
Headphones can be large and bulky, so can you opt in for compact in-ear headphones for your setup? Although that is a possibility, it's really not recommended. The issue with in-ear headphones remains the same, whether you're on the go or not: the microphone might pick up audio bleed. Luckily, many over-ear headphones are designed to fold neatly, saving space and providing a superior audio experience without occupying too much room. Best of all, they don't cause audio bleed.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a great example that folds up tidily and comes with a handy travel case. The Shure 840 not only folds up, but if a component breaks, you can simply order that specific part instead of having to shell out an extra $100 – $150. Just like with the microphones, these are merely two fantastic headphone options that offer quality and convenience. Ultimately, your purchase will depend on your personal preferences, but it's reassuring to know that you can achieve both quality and convenience in one compact package.
Pop filters, which handle plosives, can be found in stores and online. Some microphones might not require a pop filter as they could have integrated technology to manage plosives during recording. Other microphones might include small pop filters just like the Apogee mentioned above. The aim is to avoid a bulky pop filter and instead find one that can fit snugly into your bag without consuming too much space. Lastly, you'll need a USB cable to connect your laptop to your microphone.
Note: Your headphones' jack will plug into either the microphone or the laptop directly. You might need a jack re-size accessory, but these are generally affordable and easy to find. This accessory simply fits onto the end of the headphone jack.
So there you have it! Your travel kit comprises a free-standing microphone, compact foldable headphones, a USB cable, and potentially a small, space-saving pop filter. All these items deliver exceptional quality without occupying too much space. Take your time in choosing the equipment that best suits your voice and purpose. If you're uncertain, peruse product reviews or ask the manufacturer for a product trial.
The Essential Travel Kit for Voice Actors Part 2 by Alan Shires