Voice actor, producer, podcaster and Audient iD14 owner, Dan Lenard maintains that when it comes to gear, it’s best to keep it simple. “I believe in minimalism. To record clearly and properly only a short audio chain is required. It consists of the mic directly to an excellent interface like an Audient iD14 to my Mac mini using Adobe Audition as my recording software,” he says.
“iD14 is simple and has some cool features”
A recognised industry expert, co-hosting Voice Over Body Shop, a weekly webcast covering all aspects of the voice over industry with an emphasis on home VO studio technology. He has no problem sourcing content, having started in the industry back in 1975. “I like to quip that I’ve been doing this professionally since the Gerald Ford Administration. Essentially, [I’ve been doing it] since I graduated from High School,” he chuckles.
With countless voice overs for e-learning, commercials, corporate, medical and religious narrations to his name, Dan has every reason to know what he’s talking about. “To me an interface should be simple plug and play,” he clarifies. “The iD14 is simple and has some cool features that can assist you with your podcast. I like the big knob that mutes the monitors. It sounds smooth and has a great output amplifier for my studio monitors. The VU meter is easy to see which makes setting levels a breeze.”
“sounds smooth and has a great output amplifier for my studio monitors”
Following his own minimalist advice, he records everything in his own home studio, which he describes as “essentially a walk-in closet acoustically treated to be a sound rejecting and non-reflective acoustical environment.” He continues, “The home we bought in Sherman Oaks, California had a recording studio built into the separate garage already by the former owners. It took a little reconfiguring to make it a voice over specific studio with a green screen television studio set up as well. My vocal booth was the former drum isolation room. My former studio in Buffalo, NY was definitely a smaller closet. I learned a great deal about small booth acoustics from that little booth.”
Indeed, “always be learning” is advice he would happily share with his younger self, as well as a gentle reminder that success does not come overnight. He has certainly put in the hours and was a very early adopter of podcasting, his name appearing in podcast feeds as far back as 2005, years before they became ubiquitous.
Dan also offers valuable, no-nonsense insights into how to put together the ultimate voice over studio under his mantle of the Home Studio Master, drawing on his over 30 years’ experience behind the mic to help clients with everything from acoustics to what gear to use. “I use a Sennheiser 416 mic. I have a few other mics, but I firmly believe that my voice will sound like me no matter what mic I use. Gear geeks will disagree, but gear geeks don’t hire voice talent.”
“The VU meter is easy to see which makes setting levels a breeze.”
Read more tips and insights from the voice over master and godfather of podcasting himself, by checking out Dan’s articles on acoustics for podcasting, how to sort out audio levels for your podcast and key thoughts on mic technique on the Tutorial Hub – have a look around!