"I love the flexibility this mic gives me. I can use my full voice without having to pull back, so the mic never interferes with my performance. The sound is just luscious. There’s nothing tinny or twangy, never any reverb or echo, and it really shows my voice in its best light. The sound is bright without being sharp, warm without being dull. Also, knowing that I have an open line of communication with the person who actually built it, gives me a level of confidence in my purchase that I would never get from a big company. The customer service has been exemplary."
-Julia Whelan (Julia Whelan has narrated over 150 titles, won multiple Earphones and an Audie. Most notably, she narrated Gone Girl and was named Audible’s Narrator of the Year in 2014. So she definitely knows various recording setups and has done the rounds in various studios.)
"Like many other professional narrators in the Audiobook industry as well as the professional voice over industry, I have seen the writing on the wall. The future (and actually a lot of the present) is “self recorded home audio booths”. I have been a professional narrator for more than 17 years, and have more than a hundred (I stopped counting a while ago, but my books used to only be available on tapes, and many have gone out of print) audiobooks. I’ve worked for all the big companies (Recorded Books, Scholastic, Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster- to name a few), have won 8 AudioFile awards to date for my work (including Best Voices) and have always enjoyed the quality sound from professionally engineered recordings. The NUMBER ONE reservation I had when deciding to bite the bullet and have the ability to record at home, was the price and choice of a professional mic.
I, like many of my colleagues accustomed to working with microphones costing in the 3000+ dollar range (industry standard Neumann U87), being put through a post processing audio system that could cost more than the mic, before it even reaches the computer. But the microphone, of course, is THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of equipment a Voice artist can own. Computers, DAW’s, even studio booths will come and go, but the Microphone can be the signature sound of your voice, and the difference between good effective professional work, and amateur sound. A $3000+ mic is prohibitively expensive for most consumers, and for almost everyone I can think of starting out in this industry. Enter Sebastian Zetin’s unique, and brilliantly crafted “Z87”.
Sebastian, a well regarded and in demand audiobook engineer/ editor/ director with over a decade of experience (whom I’ve worked with a number of times) has created a microphone based off the industry standard U87 sound profile, that specifically targets the needs of audiobook narrators (while also being an incredibly articulate piece of recording equipment for other vocals and instruments as well.) His well honed ear and his skilled hands have crafted a microphone with a level of alchemy that deserves notice. He has packed into the internals of his microphone (the Z87,) components that act as a high pass filter, as well as a circuit mod essentially eliminating the “tinny, bright” sound of the industry standard (which audiobook companies usually take out during post processing, or with other in line equipment.) This eliminates the need for a channel strip in the home studio (saving hundreds of dollars,) while still sounding like a finished version of the standard!
I was a skeptic myself, but within moments of hearing the microphone, and definitely after doing a side by side comparison of the U87 and Z87 (plugged into nothing but an M-Box -no post processor, exact same volume), what I can see for sure is that the Z87 gives me a sound that is akin to the sound of the professional audiobooks I have done AFTER they’ve been put through the mastering and processing ringer. And that is the sound just through an M box and without any other processing equipment (channel bars, gates, or other sound fatteners.) It is an amazing piece of equipment. It is a professional microphone at a PROSUMER price, geared directly at the needs of the audiobook narrator. It is ideal for use in the home studio for all voice work. It is clean, articulate, clear, and quiet (it doesn’t pick up every sound in the room - I work in a well padded closet, and this was very important to me.) I feel quite lucky to have stumbled upon this piece of equipment, and I know my professional colleagues, who were lucky enough to be among the first to also buy a Z87, are also extremely satisfied. It is my choice for the microphone in my personal booth. I highly recommend this microphone as an investment to any professional audiobook narrator looking to create the best possible sound in a home studio. It’s that good."
-Ramón de Ocampo (who has won a TON of awards for his narrating skills. He definitely knows what his voice should sound like coming through a proper mic.)
"My favorite thing about the Z87 is the warm yummy tones it picks up in my voice -I didn't actually know microphones made such a difference until I left my long time job where I had only ever worked on Neumann U87's ... and suddenly, I was talking into a lot of different mic's that all had one thing in common - they made me sound
Flat, dry, strained, tinny - bäh. ... and then, Sebastian's mic came along. It's brilliant - and has given me back all the things I was missing from my long ago love affair with the Neumann U87."
-Christa Lewis (an amazing narrator who has been in the business for a long time and has used some of the best mics available.
More to come soon...