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Everything You Need to Record Voice Over on Vacation

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Even when you have a fun, exciting job that you love (like voice over), you still need a vacation from time to time. But as a voice over artist, since your voice IS the business, taking time off can end up being more stressful than if you stayed home and worked as usual. After all, there is no accrued paid vacation time and telling clients you’re unavailable is never fun.

The bottom line is if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid.

Sometimes you just want to take your studio equipment with you and set up shop from your home away from home.

If you’re planning a working vacation this summer, or just want to be on-call for emergency projects for your best clients while you’re away, I’ve got equipment suggestions on working from the road.

Setting up a recording space while on vacation is similar to setting up your first recording studio on budget.

And there are many options that’ll work when it comes to selecting which items to include in your vacation VO gear.

Before I give you equipment suggestions, there are three important questions you’ll want to answer when preparing for your vacation.

1st – Will It Fit?

Since you’ll be traveling, it’s best if your studio gear takes up as little space as possible. Plan to carry only what you need to get the job done. Think about buying shorter XLR cables or how to protect your gear without big, bulky cases.

If you’re flying, you may want to make sure everything fits in a carry-on bag so you can keep your bag with you.

Extra Tip: If you’re planning to fly with a carry-on bag full of foam padded equipment cases, audio cables, and electronics, there’s a good chance your bag will be thoroughly searched at the security gate. Arrive early to allow for the time it takes to remove, explain and repack your bag.

2nd – Can I Afford to Lose it?

Years ago, I would take the gear from my home studio with me when I traveled. Not only was it a pain to break down and then set back up once I returned, but there was also the chance that my expensive gear could be lost or stolen. Depending on how often you travel, all the bumps and hits that go along with it will eventually take a toll on your equipment.

Now I’ve got a setup that’s only used when I travel.

3rd – Have I Considered the What Ifs?

Voice over is an internet business.

The number one thing you need to prepare for is – what if you don’t have internet access. Yes, the hotel, condo or house may say they have WiFi, but what will you do if you get there and it doesn’t work? Without a backup plan, you wouldn’t be working.

If you find yourself in this vacation disaster situation, here are two solutions:

If your phone’s data plan allows, you can setup a mobile hotspot and connect through it. You’ll want to test this before you leave to make sure it works.

Another option is to use free WiFi at a café or restaurant. You’ll want to locate these before you leave so you know where to go if needed. Look for places like McDonald’s or Panera. While you can’t record from that location, you’ll be able to download scripts, check email and send or receive files through the free WiFi.

Once you travel a few times, you’ll be better prepared for the challenges that tend to be recurring.

Now that you’re prepared, here are some suggestions on what to include in your VO travel bag

A Microphone

The Apogee MiC 96k is a small and easy to travel with microphone that has rave reviews. Since it’s USB, you won’t need an audio interface. If you’re using a mic with XLR, you can convert XLR to USB with a Shure X2u adapter which is very portable.

A Laptop

Any laptop or tablet with your audio editing software will do. The best choice would be one with an internal SSD as they are much quieter. This way you don’t have to worry about getting the mic far from a laptop’s fan noise.

Miscellaneous

Other things to include would be a small mic stand, extension cord, surge protector and short run cables.

The only other thing to consider is dealing with reverb in the room you are recording in. The best sound I’ve found is with a pillow blanket fort. Stack up pillows in front, blankets over your head and make a recording fort. You can also try a Kaotica Eyeball.

Remember to keep it simple and think about the questions above – so that working on vacation, won’t stress you out.

If you want more tips for recording on the road (including a voice over vacation checklist) check out this post on Recording Your Voice While Traveling.

About Jason McCoy

JaJason McCoyson McCoy has been a voice over talent for 15+ years and a Voices.com member since 2006. His voice has been used on projects for Dell, Walmart, Honda and many more. He specializes in voicing explainer marketing videos and corporate narration. Listen to Jason’s demos or check out his blog for guides and resources on topics related to voice over.

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Comments

  • Luigi Casaretto
    June 6, 2017, 7:35 pm

    I’ve done this and you can spend $150-$200 on a 2-4 channel Audio Interface. I use a PreSonus Audiobox with 2 inputs, I have a Macbook Pro and I bring my mini desktop stand and my smaller FET condenser mic(Sterling Audio ST51). It’s about $110 for that mic, an XLR cable, and a cheap pop filter guard and my cheaper headphones. It all fits in my laptop backpack. I would only encourage this if you have great audio engineering skills and can utilize some of the better features for mixing and mastering on your software. I use Propellerhead’s Reason software.

    Reply
  • R.V.
    December 19, 2019, 1:04 pm

    Thank you. Im looking for a setup using just a smart phone as it can do most that a laptop can do nowadays…

    Reply
  • 2le’y
    December 20, 2019, 6:48 am

    I am a recording artist I have all the suggested gear to record VO work according to the paragraph above. How do I get started?

    Reply
    • Tanya
      December 20, 2019, 2:00 pm

      Greetings!
      You can get started for free by creating a profile on Voices.com (click the sign up button) in the top right-hand corner of our homepage. There are also paid memberships available should you become interested in upgrading.
      All the best in your VO career,
      – Tanya

      Reply
  • James Brown
    December 26, 2019, 9:48 pm

    I am a single dad living in Los Angeles and I’m looking to do a voiceover career from home to have availability for my daughter. How do I get started? Do I take one of those voiceover classes? How do I make a reel? I have done some voiceover in the past I would like to start a career from hom.

    Reply
    • Tanya
      December 30, 2019, 8:02 am

      Hi James,
      Glad to hear of your interest in investigating a voice over career for yourself and your daughter too. Certainly, with voice over, there is a lot to learn – including recognizing and improving your VO skills, learning the recording tech, and navigating the industry.
      We have a number of articles and guides on the topic of getting started, such as this post on how to start a voice acting career:
      https://www.voices.com/blog/starting-voice-acting-career/
      And this recently updated beginner’s guide to voice acting: https://www.voices.com/help/beginners-guide-to-voice-acting
      Those resources should help to give you a lay of the land, so that you know what starting point is best for you (e.g. depending on your experience level, you may choose to work with a coach first to determine which skills to highlight in your demo, or skip right to creating a demo because you’re already aware of what area you’d like to get work within).
      In terms of getting started on the Voices.com marketplace, it all starts with creating an account. Here’s more information on the different account types, including our free guest account: https://www.voices.com/talent-memberships
      You can also learn more about how Voices.com works and how to get started as a voice actor by browsing our help section for talent: https://www.voices.com/help/talent
      And of course, if you have any additional questions, simply contact us (visit our contact us paeg) and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
      Hope that helps! It’s a lot of information, but many people have started right where you are, and have built their dream careers from home.
      All the best in your quest to launch a lucrative and flexible career 🙂
      – Tanya

      Reply