Why Recording Voice Overs in Train Stations is a Terrible Idea
Recording voice over at a train station might seem like a creative idea, but the reality is quite different. The amount of noise would make it nearly impossible to record clean audio. Even with a high-quality microphone and audio equipment, the background noise would likely drown out the speaker's voice.
Recording on an actual train may not be much better, as the sound of the moving along the tracks could create unwanted rumbling and vibrations that could interfere with the audio quality. Additionally, there may be other passengers talking or making noise, further contributing to the audio challenges.
To make this work, the best option might be to find a quiet location nearby, such as a park or a quiet side street. Alternatively, recording in a soundproof studio or using noise-cancelling technology could also help. This still presents other challenges as well and might not be ideal.
Challenges of Being a Voice Actor who Likes Trains
As someone who often records trains and does voice over, it can also be tricky to balance filming with other obligations. There are times when I receive audition requests with a very short turnaround that require me to act (and submit mp3s to my agents) quickly.
The solution may seem simple: "Just bring your mobile rig with you." However, this is not always practical given the recording environment. The equipment used for capturing actual trains may not necessarily be the best fit for recording voiceovers. And while some microphones are more forgiving, such as the Sennheiser 416, bringing additional items on these trips may not be ideal. Additionally, setting up my equipment on an open platform can be challenging, especially when there is no shelter or canopy available. It might even seem suspicious to bystanders, and it would be uncomfortable to approach a stranger to request their car as my personal studio.
In situations like these, time management is key. That's why I prefer to schedule filming early in the day, allowing me adequate time to return home and prepare for any incoming auditions later on. It saves me every time.