Corey Burton on the UT FET47 mic for voice acting

A-list Voice Actor Corey Burton on the UT FET47 for Voice Acting

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Corey Burton on the UT FET47 mic for voice acting.

Corey Burton is a decorated voice actor with 10 industry wins, 22 nominations, and an acting resume 484 works long at the time of this writing that includes film, TV, and games.

Corey was kind enough to devote some time to answering a few questions about his take on the United UT FET47... and trust us, this guy has been around a lot of microphones.

It is, of course, funny that someone as personable and generous as Corey has found himself so frequently cast in villainous roles - his powerful, expressive voice is responsible for a veritable one-man rogue's gallery of unsavory characters.

Some of the scoundrels portrayed by Corey include: Captain Hook, Count Dooku, Cad Bane, Hugo Strange, Lex Luthor, Dracula, Megatron, Brainiac, and... Dale? Of world-famous chipmunk duo Chip and Dale?

Wait. Dale's not a villain.

OK. The guy has range. And a whole lotta experience. Let's hear about it.

Hey Corey! Tell us about the UT FET47 microphone for voice acting.

I can’t overstate how thrilled I am with how precisely you've replicated the classic FET mics I worked with for over a decade during my stint at NBC Burbank's On Air Promo facility. Not only does it have a nearly identical sonic profile, but in my estimation, it’s better, punchier, more dynamically muscular, and articulate in low-end response.

It truly has that brassy swagger as captured on seventies/eighties vinyl LP pop recordings that's gone missing for the most part over the past three decades. You don't hear that kind of full-throated instrumental "bite" on multitrack synth-infused extravaganzas. That’s fine, but real instruments recorded with great mics like this have more enduring qualities of magic that you feel compelled to revisit time and again.

What makes the UT FET47 a good mic for voice-over?

There is something very special about it, aside from the expected quality. Something unmeasurably compelling in how it imparts character to the living vibrancy (especially voices) it captures. The UT FET47 has a distinct personality that makes it especially compelling. It compares to only a couple other all-time favorites I have; like my AEA 44C hand-crafted "museum quality" ribbon mic.

The FET47 has the fullness and dramatic impact of an M-7 capsule (and I don't know how the hell you matched my Microtech/Gefell UMT-70's PVC diaphragm M-7 capsule "thumbprint" so closely) - but damn! A little precision EQ tweak running side by side, and it was a challenge for even my ridiculous Aspergers'-fortified "golden ear" to tell them apart!

Would you say the UT FET47 is more old-fashioned… in a good way?

United is producing what doesn't just look and sound close to the original - it's a freshly minted example of the real thing. It’s the same approach I take in performance of classic character voice roles I've been entrusted with maintaining, carried over from some of the original past era performers - many of whom I knew and some I was lucky enough to have worked alongside. 

Anyway… those classic style character voices, many handed down from Vaudeville performers, carried over to Radio, then feature and TV Animation… they all maintained authentic character color and resonant expression with the sonic fullness of those great seasoned voices as captured by those great classic microphones. So now, with the UT FET47, I have a fine representation of all the mics needed to lend essential authenticity to those past-era and vintage character roles I'm regularly called upon to perform. It's deeply satisfying and tremendous fun to be able to carry on a whole array of classic and traditional character roles that inspired my now fully mature 50+ year career - with the sound and qualities of authenticity that bring so much joy to everyone on the production and audience sides of the studio experience.

Do you find that other “modern” mic designs are lacking somehow?

Contemporary lackluster "average person" characterizations, both sonically and emotionally, just don't resonate in a satisfying way that bears repeated listening like those professional "bigger than life" classic character voices do. And that's what makes a rare few microphones like this so special! 

It’s also why I've grown to resent the rise in popularity of modern era TLM-style mics and the dreadful shotgun mics I was faced with in production studios all over Hollywood during the past couple of decades. They simply don't cut it for capturing extraordinary density and force of distinctive timbres in the traditional radio/animation "character voice" performance craft with fully expressive fidelity. 

Modern updates to classic mic designs often lose the original version's "magic," despite advances in precision technology and with "new and improved" specs. The elements that “modern” versions of some classic mics “corrected” are in fact what produced the original U87's uniquely enhancing distortion artifacts that seasoned professional character dialogue performances with extraordinary qualities of tone and texture. These “imperfections” were clinically eliminated in the process, apparently, because they're no longer present in recordings made with newer mics. Voices are somehow "bland" and conventional in recent years, where they used to captivate your attention with compelling, distinctive, better-than average human qualities of tone and texture.

Thanks to you especially, that doesn't matter. Because your UT FET47 has that authentic vintage pro quality "magic". It's the same ultimate Studio quality of NBC On Air Network Broadcast Promo VO "polished" timbre I was advantaged with during my time there. ...and to all those "fix it in the mix" engineers and room producers who don't believe the microphone makes a difference...

Any closing thoughts on the UT FET47 mic for voice over?

Well... more than sentimental… it's so good that if I wanted to work remotely from, say, Costa Rica, a single FET47 is easily the best "Desert Island" all-purpose mic choice I'd need to take. And of course the Twin87 could be added, if some critical Disney gig really needed a specific U87 character presence to seamlessly drop into scenes with other performers' tracks, which traditionally are done with 87s or something similar...

It’s hard to imagine any single microphone currently in production so universally well-suited to capture virtually any vocal and instrumental audio source with. I recommend the UT FET47 without the slightest hesitation. If it sounds good in real life, it'll sound at its Classic "Studio Quality" best when captured by a FET47. As a 50+ year journeyman Industry veteran (and lifelong obsessive "golden ear" microphone fanatic), I think that says it all. 

Heartiest congratulations and celebration of your remarkable achievement with the UT FET47. I appreciate its thoroughly premium build; beyond exceptional performance standards! 

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