The equipment used for voiceover within user-generated content (UGC) differs massively from a traditional voiceover setup. Before delving into the details, check out our article that provides a comprehensive overview of the powerful relationship between voiceover and UGC. This two-part overview focuses on the tools necessary to effectively carry out a UGC project. The role of timing due to lighting conditions and the choice between natural and specific backgrounds are critical considerations we will explore too.
In the UGC context, a lapel microphone replaces the large diaphragm condenser microphone typically used for traditional voiceover work. But size doesn't determine quality! Many esteemed companies, such as Rode, Sennheiser, and Apogee, manufacture magnificent lapel microphones.
Lighting is a non-negotiable component, with a ring light usually sufficing for most requirements. However, supplementary lights might be necessary depending on the specifics of your project. Backdrops, particularly in grey, blue, or green, are also vital. It is worth noting that the green screen becomes almost indispensable alongside the blue or grey screens. Lastly, you'll need software, a topic we will explore later for sure. For now, let's examine microphones in a bit more detail.
In the realm of UGC, subtlety reigns supreme as the camera captures every detail. Lapel microphones must subtly complement your outfit and it is important that it blends in with your visual presentation. While visual discretion is important, the quality of sound remains paramount. A lapel microphone that delivers clear, crisp sound and comes with wind protection is ideal. Additionally, consider the cable length when choosing a microphone.
Wireless lapel microphones, available from numerous manufacturers, are an excellent choice. As long as a part of the equipment plugs into your camera or phone, and the microphone is connected to another component, you're well-equipped. This system, using a transmitter and receptor, operates similarly to a mobile phone network. However, a long cable with a strong signal can serve just as effectively, provided it doesn't interfere with your performance.
While lighting rarely matters in traditional voiceover work, it's crucial for UGC. A standard ring light can typically hold most recording devices, but ensure it comes with appropriate attachments. To avoid shadows on your backdrop, consider using two diagonal lights. For a more sophisticated setup, a flood light positioned behind you can highlight your form against the background, adding depth to the visual presentation.
In the next part of this article series, we will discuss software, devices, and backdrops. It's vital to establish a strong setup before starting to record UGC projects. As you await the delivery of your equipment, consider experimenting with different locations, lighting conditions, and performance styles.
Voiceover Equipment for UGC Part 1 by Alan Shires