Look What Harlan Hogan GAVE Me!
I've used a Sennheiser 416 microphone for nearly 5 years now and it's wonderful in most every way. Great for promos, imaging, commercials etc. However, my voice is not as deep as some other actors and occasionally I'm asked to "keep your voice in the lower register". That's all I needed to hear in order to SHATTER my confidence – as it had me "thinking" about how I sounded as I was recording, rather than being able to focus on the "acting" part...not good. Well, I know how to work the Sennheiser to get desired results, so that's not much of an issue anymore – sorta.
Recently I received the VoiceOver Insider from Julie Williams and, once again, there was a section presenting Harlan Hogan's Signature Series Microphone. I was already in the market for a second mic and was about to strike a deal with a friend on another make and model. I clicked on the link to learn more about the microphone and something caught my eye. I read some quotes by those who have used the mic...they were impressive. Then, I listened to the sample recordings and was even more impressed. Sure, I realize microphone pre-amps have something to do with sound etc, no voice is exactly like another and so on, but all things being equal, each sample sounded good to me.
So, what's a father of two and sole bread winner to do when he needs to be frugal, yet "care enough to buy the very best" (I believe Harlan's voice is the one in the commercial voicing the famous line "When you care enough to send the very best..."). Digging further on the site I found that you don't just get a mic when you order...it's not an a la carte offering, as many purchases can be. Nope, he doesn't stop with just a microphone, he adds a 15' mic cable, a pouch for the mic – Oh, can't forget a nice hard case to protect it while not in use! Wait, there is definately more! Harlan Hogan seals the deal with a high quality shockmount! UNreal.
Well, after reviewing the quotes, listening to samples, and reviewing what comes in the package, I was ready for some sticker shock....boy, there was definately STICKER SHOCK!! To the tune of $199 – the nerve of that man! Don't adjust your monitor, there is no "0" missing, huh uh, it's not $1099 as you might expect, it's ONE HUNDRED & NINETY NINE dollars.
The mic arrived just yesterday. It was connected and I had finished recording side by side with my $1,200 MKH416 within 30 minutes of getting back in the booth. The comparison proved exactly what I had hoped. As I mentioned above, I don't have the deep voice and there are times when I get work that calls for a semblance of that. The VO-1A from Harlan Hogan & MXL is superb quality and it fills a void in my arsenal very well. As a matter of fact, my plan is to now use the VO-1A for all narration & eLearning projects...it's that good. Promos and imaging will continue to be voiced through the 416, as it is a brighter sound (with my voice) and cuts through well with very little EQ in the production process.
A caveat. A new radio station imaging client uses NO production elements with their sweepers etc., it's DRY VOICEOVER only. You'd have to know the station to understand why the do that. It works very well for them. I emailed the station owner and told him I wanted to try out the new mic because I felt that, for his particular station and knowing the tone he is after, it may work better than the 416. As a matter of fact, we have been working on EQ settings to get just the sound he is after. Well, not really anymore. It seems as though a take I sent over using the Harlan Hogan Signature Series mic, along with the same EQ points he asked for previously brought this response: "This sounds good!!!" And just think, it only cost me a couple hundred bucks.
I can honestly recommend this mic to any and all voice talent, whether it be your everyday mic or for special projects...it's a slam dunk, hands down, no brainer of a purchase! If interested, email me and I'll send over two audio files which were recorded simultaneously using the 416/VO-1A and ask about the radio imaging sweeper file (that particular file has specific EQ and compression on it, but may be worth listening to).
Oh, NO, I receive nothing for writing this post, nor for recommending the microphone. I just wanted to share my experience in hopes that YOU will benefit in some way. Even if it's just to get the audio files for your own research. If you're looking for another mic, this one has a 100% money back guarantee!
So, this mic has already made a positive impact on my business and the price was so UNbelievable, I say to folks "Look what Harlan Hogan GAVE me!! If you contact Harlan, tell him you read about it here!