Voice Over Recording Studio in London
- the studio
- the hardware
- the software
The Best Value Voice Over Recording Studio in London?
Quite possibly........ Our London based voice over recording studio is equipped with the latest, cutting edge Avid Pro Tools HDX system. That, combined with over 25 years of professional experience and expertise, is designed to guarantee that you complete your session with the ultimate in professional voice over recording.
Check out our equipment list in the HARDWARE tab above.
Pro Tools 12 HDX Recording Studio
At the heart of London Voice Over Studio is our Avid Pro Tools 12 HDX system. This allows recording to a full 128 tracks of 24 bit audio compatible with all industry film editing programs like Apple's Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premier. Our Pro Tools system is clocked by a rock-solid Apogee Big Ben synchroniser and complemented by a selection of top quality microphones and pre-amps.
Unlike London recording studios offering only Pro Tools LE or Pro Tools HD Native, this HDX system allows true minimal latency monitoring as well as vastly increased processing power to run our substantial collection of AAX plug ins. Of the London recording studios offering Pro Tools HDX, we undoubtedly offer some of the best recording studio rates for such a highly specified system - a system used by AV professionals in similar studios the world over.
Digidesign C|24 Mix Control Surface
Coupled with our multi computer Pro Tools set up is a Digidesign C|24 control surface. We truly believe that this piece of equipment, with the tactile feedback it allows, helps produce better sounding mixes as it encourages the engineer/producer to rely more on listening rather than staring at a computer screen - and that can only be a good thing. Being a highly engineered piece of Digidesign equipment, you won't find this in any studios that rely on anything other than Pro Tools HD as their Digital Audio Workstation of choice.
Acoustically Treated Recording Booth
Our acoustically treated and insulated 2m x 3m vocal booth is of state of the art Studiobricks construction, both fully ventilated and daylight illuminated. It's one of the largest such booths in the UK. The directional LED lighting is adjustable to suit the voice over artists' taste and the booth is big enough to accommodate several voice actors at a time. Up to eight pairs of headphones can be used simultaneously, all with individual volume controls to allow personalisation of monitoring levels.
The booth can be both completely private (with no window to the control room) or with direct line of sight to the engineer if desired. This means that if a voice over artist wants to assume their own favourite method acting pose whilst performing then no one else will see! We will, however, hear and record - and the results can be spectacular!
You can see more pictures of our booth and studio here
London Voice Over Studio Microphones
We have a carefully chosen selection of top quality microphones to suit all voices and styles, from valve condensers, a ribbon mic and small diaphragm capacitor mics through to dynamics. Our favourites are:
- Neumann M149 Tube mic with custom, ultra high quality Vovox cable - one of Gearslutz.com's top 10 mics
- Twin Lewitt LCT 940s - these new mics can offer either valve or FET operation, or a blend of the two - fab!
- Sennheiser MKH416 - a favourite with visiting US Voice Over Artists, this has a classic sound
- Sontronics Sigma Active Ribbon Mic - unlike modern condensers this gives a darker, retro radio sound
- 3-Zigma Master 4 x 10 Toolkit - a host of classic FET condenser mic emulations (C12, U47, U67, ELAM 251)
Pre-amps by Slate Pro Audio (the new, fabulous FOX being our latest addition), Broadhurst Gardens, Oram, TL Audio and Digidesign handle the audio inputs to our Pro Tools HDX rig.
Check out our microphone list and pre-amps under the HARDWARE tab above.
London Voice Over Studio Plugins
Every Pro Tools based voice over recording studio has its prized selection of digital plug-ins for enhanced processing and we are no exception. Our already highly specified system is, of course, complemented with a wide range of plug-ins (both the essential and the more esoteric) to ensure that you get the perfect professional voice over recording. As well as those by Avid, we have the latest plug-ins by Antares, Aphex, Brainworx, Eventide, Massey, MsDSP, Sonnox, Sound Toys, Source Elements, Synchro Arts, Wave Arts, Waves and Izotope (including the new RX4 Advanced for complete audio repair and enhancement, dialog de-noise, de-click etc ). RX4 Advanced, in our opinion, is an absolute essential for all voice over recording - every studio should have a copy!
Check out our plugin list in the PLUGINS tab above.
Running a Pro Tools HDX rig, our plugins are all AAX. However, due to the wizardry of Blue Cat Audio's MB7 and Patchwork, we are able to run VST plugins in our DAW as well, so please let us know if you have any special requirements in that area. It could be that you have a favourite VST plugin which hasn't made it to the AAX platform. If that's the case we should be able to run it!
Digital Audio Recording Equipment
Avid Pro Tools HDX 24 bit 128 track system
AvidHD I/O Pro Tools Digital Audio Interface
M-Audio M-Track Plus Digital Audio Interface
Apogee Big Ben 196k Master Clock
Digidesign C|24 Desk with Total Pro Tools Integration
Slate Pro Audio Fox Quadtone Dual Mic Pre-amp
Broadhurst Gardens No.1 Dual Mic Pre-amp
Oram Octasonic Precision Octal mic pre-amp
Aphex Dominator II 720 Peak Limiter
Audio+Design Compex 2 Compressor
TC Electronics Finalizer+ & Master Fader
TL Audio Stereo Valve pre-amp
Neumann M149 Tube Mic with custom Vovox Cable
Lewitt LCT 940 x 2 - a dual valve-FET pair - fabulous sound!
Sontronics Helios Tube Mic
Sennheiser MKH 416 - a favourite with US Voice Over Studios
3-Zigma Master 4 x 10 Toolkit - classic FET mic emulations
Audio Technica 4030 Large Diaphragm Capacitor Mic
Rode NT2 Large Diaphragm Capacitor Mic
Oktava MK-012 Capacitor Mics Matched Pair
Dynamic & Ribbon Microphones
Sontronics Sigma Ribbon Mic (for a retro radio sound)
Electrovice RE20 Dynamic - a US Voice Over favourite
Heil PR-40 Dynamic - another US Voice Over favourite
Shure SM58 Dynamic
Monitoring & Playback
Genelec 8040A and 7060B monitors
Sennheiser & Beyer Headphones
Custom built mid field monitors
Avantone Cube Speakers
Sonifex HY-02 Digital Telephone Patch
Skype Patch into Studio & Recording Booth
Technics SL-1200 turntable & DJ mixer
Revox B77 Mk2 half track tape recorder
Sony MDS-JE530 Minidisc Recorder
Tascam DA20 Mk2 DAT
Apple 8 Core Intel Xeon with 16Gb RAM
2 x Apple 4 Core Intel i7 with 16Gb RAM
PC i7 Intel with 12Gb RAM
PC Dual Core Intel with 4Gb RAM
Apple Mac Mini 8Gb RAM
iPad 4th Generation 64Gb RAM
Digital Audio Workstation
We currently use Avid's Pro Tools HDX Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for all our voice-over recording, editing and processing.
Why? The reason is simple. It's the industry standard for all professional post-production studios; that includes voice over facilities.
There are several reasons for this:
- Pro Tools is the most feature laden DAW available
- Pro Tools 12 HDX now comes with the much faster off-line bounce - saves clients studio time and money!
- Multitrack audio editing - applying edits to multiple tracks simultaneously - saves time
- Workflow: It is simply faster, easier, and more productive
- Superb quality, dedicated hardware - both consoles and interfaces
- The standard platform for recording ADR due to its video integration
- Works on both Mac & PC - take your session to any Pro Tools studio and it will load seamlessly
Audio Clean Up and Restoration
We have a number of plug-ins that address the problem of sub-standard voice over audio recording which is brought into the studio by clients desperate for a fix. Pops, clicks, location recording noise, mains hum, mouth noises, plosive hits and breaths can all be intrusive.
The Waves Restoration bundle (part of the studio's top Waves package, Mercury) includes the useful Z-Noise, X-Noise, X-Hum, X-Click, and X-Crackle, and their De-Breath processor can certainly be a time saver. Izotope Nectar's Breath Control module can also be helpful as can Wave Arts Dialog.
However, we find the most useful software bundle by far to be Izotope's RX4 Advanced. This is really excellent at many aspects of audio clean-up, restoration and repair:
- Dialog De-Noiser - restore problematic vocal recordings in real time
- Spectral repair - visually isolate and remove unwanted sounds
- Intelligent Leveler - sets levels to optimum gain, thus saving time
- Loudness - ensures compatibility with international broadcast standards
- Ambience Match - matches the environment noise of recordings from different locations
- EQ Match - matches the sonic differences of audio from different locations
- Dereverb - removes unwanted reverb from recordings
- Denoise - Adaptive Mode allows fast, efficient audio repair on the fly
- Declick & Decrackle - eliminate clicks, crackles, pops and digital impulse noises
- Hum Removal - eliminates electrical hum and line noise
- Declip - can rebuild distorted audio, both analog and digital
Remote Session Direction
For clients unable to attend sessions in person, we offer a very cost effective alternative to the usually expensive and outdated ISDN link-up. Remote direction via Skype and telephone is now an inexpensive or, using Skype, free option.
Both our telephone patch and Skype link provide a direct live hook up to the studio engineer, other attendees and the voice-over actor. As communication is two way you can both monitor the session as it progresses and give feedback to the voice artist - just as you would if you were present in the studio. We've had telephone patch, Skype and Source Connect all running simultaneously to the USA, Canada and Europe without problem.
For those on slightly higher budgets, we offer Source Connect Pro link-ups to suitably equipped studios around the globe at no extra charge. Both Source Connect and, to a slightly lesser degree Skype, produce generally excellent quality audio monitoring and are to be recommended over the lower quality standard telephone patch.
Specialist ADR Software
Want to make the ADR process as seamless as possible? When it comes to dialog replacement, it can sometimes be a challenge to replicate the timing, nuance and expression captured in the original location recording and then recreate it in a dubbing session.
Revoice Pro can automatically and instantly transfer the timing, pitch, intonation or loudness features from one signal to another. This is perfect for syncing ADR. We unreservedly recommend this application for dubbing voice to picture.
Autotune, Autotune-Evo, AVOX 2, Harmony Engine
Aural Exciter, Big Bottom Pro
AmpLion Pro, STAPhaser
bx_digital V2, bx_dynEQ v2, bx_XL V2, bx_optoPedal, bx_refinement
Pheonixverb, R2, Excalibur
ARC 2 Advanced Room Correction System
d2 Equalizer, d3 Compressor
Alloy 2, Insight, Nectar 2, Ozone 5, RX4 Advanced, Trash 2
PCM Native Reverb Plug-in Bundle
Everything Pack 6
All Melda Production plugins
Character, Vocal Enhancer
Quiet Art Wave Rider 3, Defaulter
FG-X Virtual Mastering Console, Virtual Mix Rack, Virtual Tape Machines
Dynamics Compressor, EQ Equalizer, Inflator Loudness Maximizer,
Fraunhofer mp3 Pro-Codec,Transmod Transient Modulator
All Soundtoys v5 plugins
Source Connect Pro, Source Live, Source Talkback
Mercury & Studio Classics Bundles