2/20/2009 2:14 PM
Burbank, CA… In the world of advertising, the voiceover is frequently one of the most memorable qualities of the ad itself. From a strong, confident tone to one of reassuring calm, the performance behind the spoken word plays a vital role in conveying those qualities the advertiser seeks to impart to the target customer. Capturing the subtleties of the voiceover performance is critical and, for this, the choice of one’s microphone is equally important. That’s why for Peter McHugh, a well known Los Angeles-based voice talent, his choice of a Mojave Audio MA-201fet cardioid condenser microphone says so much.
Peter McHugh is a veteran voice of the advertising world. He voiced the fall 2008 campaign for Chrysler. Additionally, he is the voice of Cox Communications TV and radio as well as Valvoline motor oil, and has voiced spots for Epson printers, the Fox Movie Channel, and DirecTV. Equally impressive, McHugh’s voice can be heard on trailers for Focus Features’ Burn after Reading, Summit Entertainment’s Twilight, as well as narration for the forthcoming Warner Brothers / Paramount release Watchmen. With a track record like this, McHugh has worked with a number of the industry’s top-of-the-line microphones!
“I had been using a small diaphragm shotgun mic, which is quite common in Los Angeles for voiceover work,” explained McHugh, “but I was interested in finding a large diaphragm microphone, so I called my friend Dave Brow at Sweetwater Music and Pro Audio. Dave used to be an engineer at Buzzy’s Recording in Hollywood, which is one of the top voiceover studios in town. As a result, he understands my business. I asked about large diaphragm mics, and Dave suggested I look at the Mojave line. He explained that Mojave Audio mics are designed by David Royer, who is extremely well known for his work with ribbon microphones. I certainly knew the Royer name.”
“Dave introduced me to Dusty Wakeman at Mojave, McHugh continued, “and shortly afterwards, I visited their shop in Burbank. Dusty suggested the MA-201fet and was happy to let me try the mic. In no time at all, I was sold. While I could have gone with a more expensive German mic, there are a lot of other really good products out there and I’ve always taken pride in finding them. Make no mistake, the Mojave MA-201fet is one such gem.”
When asked about those qualities that he finds most beneficial with the MA-201fet, McHugh discussed the importance of the microphone’s proximity effect. For voiceover work,” notes McHugh, “the microphone’s proximity performance is very important. I commonly move in close for intimate reads and, in doing so, the proximity effect heightens the lower registers of my voice. I really like the fact that the MA-201fet doesn’t over-emphasize that sort of thing. Then, if I need to back off during the same take and raise my voice, the mic doesn’t end up sounding false—as if there are two different takes. It’s easy to move back and forth without sounding strange.”
McHugh added, “This mic delivers a big round sound. I like the fact that it cuts through the sound effects and music in an advertising spot as well as it does, while allowing my voice to project without any grating high frequency response or sibilance that some other mics produce. There’s a very natural sound quality with this microphone.”
With a studio at the rear of his home, McHugh spends a lot of time with his MA-201fet. “Even when you’re at the top of your game in this business, you’re always auditioning,” says McHugh. “I may do as many as fifty auditions in a single week. My studio can connect via ISDN to any other facility, so I do about fifty percent of my work right here. In the eight months that I’ve been working with my MA-201fet, it’s been absolutely bullet proof. This mic has a really solid, substantial feel to it and it helps me achieve what we in this business call a ‘signature voice’—one that stands apart from the stable of the available talent. I’m psyched to be using a microphone designed by David Royer. In short, this mic is spectacular!”
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. Additional information on the MA-201fet and all Mojave Audio products can be found online at www.mojaveaudio.com.