Podcasts Mission Audition Hiting the Character Target with Bertrand Ruffieux
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Hiting the Character Target with Bertrand Ruffieux

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Geoff Bremner
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What does voice over and slack lining have in common? Let Bertrand Ruffieux tell you all about it. Bertrand explores the importance of connecting with oneself, pacing, and editing in this episode of Voice Over Experts. You won’t want to miss it!

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During the recording, we are creating puzzle pieces and this is a job at editing to match them together so we could do mistake and retake, but it's also a question of how are we going to edit the text that define how we're going to record it. Welcome
Everyone to today's episode of Mission Audition. If you're new here, mission Audition is the voiceover podcast where we listen to real auditions from voices members and we get to hear feedback from world-class voiceover coaches. My name is Vanessa community Manager and I'm joined by my co-host Tara, senior Manager, brand communications.
Hi everyone. Today we have a truly captivating topic to dive into the pacing and the character with our October bilingual coach, Bertran Fu, born in France, but arrived in Canada 25 years ago where he found his passion for acting and made it a daily practice. He's had the opportunity to coach artists in several languages in several continents. He's worked with Google, Nintendo, Gucci, Chanel, speaking my language there, Toyota, Calvin, Klein, Phillips, Amazon, and Starbucks. Welcome
(01:14): Bertran. Hi,
Very pleased to be here today.
And also Gucci, Chanel, that is speaking your language, Tara, that is
Yes, for Tran.
Let's talk about that
After talk about, because I
(01:27): Am all
About that. We are so excited. We are
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This transcript was exported on Oct 24, 2023 - view latest version here. So excited to have you as our October coach, and this is the first time we're
Actually meeting
(01:37): Face-to-face
Via Zoom as
(01:39): Well,
But are we ready to get started?
Yeah, yeah, anytime.
Okay, fabulous. So let's get into the artistic direction. This public service announcement radio script is intended to promote the importance of energy conservation and sustainability targeting listeners who are interested in making a positive impact on the environment. This script should be read as a young adult with an informative and urgent tone. So as always, we're going to start with audition number one. We will get some feedback afterwards and let's take it away.
(02:15): Your
Choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet,
(02:20): Eco power
Solutions, empowering a greener future,
(02:23): Visit
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This transcript was exported on Oct 24, 2023 - view latest version here. Eco
Power.com first. The tone of that ion is perfect for me. Very deep profit. I think the expectation of the clients are rich because it's clear, very clean, and it push to a positive impact that the way the client expect too. The turn is good. The reason of course is fluid, the character as deep personality.
(02:50): Yeah,
(02:51): Agreed.
Yeah. Yeah. I felt the bassy voice I liked and I liked that his voice was very authoritative,
Which fit well with the description of the read.
Yeah, I totally agree. By the way, I thought also about the age of a listener, which is the target. I think it's more like generation X because in the different direction we're going to listen. I think the target sometimes a little bit different, the choice of the actor to decide to target one or another generation, but it depends of the needs of the clients and specifically it's not clear indication in the description, but it might help. I
Also, if you listen very closely to this audition, there's a little bit of a high pitched whistling sound when he talks. Do you think that this could maybe prevent him from getting the job with this client or booking this job necessarily?
In fact, it depends from the ability of this engineer to work after that on the voice. For me, sending voice, most of the time I prefer sending very raw voice. I'm not for adding equalizer sometimes my help, but I'll prefer let the san engineer of the client be free to add it, modify the voice, and if you are modify, it's like when you walk on picture as I'm photographer, sometimes you say it's destructive if you transform and then you send the file with all those modification and it's not easy to go back from that. And so that's a point I prefer when it's raw. And then to let the clients put them, add the collary once on the voice.
So the talent just to give the raw file and then basically the client to kind of add the spice to
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It? Yeah, that no needs to just format your voice or it's very too much of your sometime branding. We see, we can hear that sometime on the radio voices, each radio decide to have a specific tone. So for me as a coach, I prefer working on the meaning on the piecing and the character and let the clients add the final to.
Yeah, and is that something that is very common for you when you're listening to auditions? For example, like let's say a talent adds in a lot of sound effects or even music, is that something that you might even turn down? We have some coaches that prefer that, but we also have some coaches that don't really like the music in the background. They want the clean cut, just audio. I do find it's a really good blend. We do have some coaches that say, you can put in some of the extras, I'll say, and then some coaches that say, Nope, just give us your raw audio and let the client do what they with it.
Adding sound effects of music might help the actor, the voiceover, because sometimes it's easy to pull your voice on the rhythm, but I prefer seeing the voice as one of the instrument. The music is here to support the voice and not the opposite. So I prefer the rhythm of a voice without sound to see if the actor, especially during the live sessions, sometimes actor ask to hear, but just in the beginning to have a feeling about the rhythm. But I think it's better. It's an acting performance. It's not a proposal of a final product.
So the voice is basically the foundation and then if you want to add some touches, the music is okay, but
not the other way around. That's a good way to look at it.
As we can hear sometimes with the sound, it just sounds perfect, but when, because sometimes voiceovers two versions and sometime we're in the second version that it means something because the sound effect on it here, the rhythm of the music isn't here. And then it might show that life sessions might be difficult or take more time.
Okay, well that's some great feedback. For audition number one, we're going to head into audition
number two,
Your choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet, eco power solutions, empowering a greener future, visit eco power.com. Your choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet, eco power solutions, empowering a greener future, visit eco power.com.
Okay. I thought that was a great audition. I really enjoy his voice. I had that radio feel. It was a powerful
authoritative voice. How did you feel about it, Bertran? (07:55):
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I totally agree. The rhythm was excellent. I really enjoy no sound effect and the rhythm, the pacing for me, just perfect, nice fluidity. The implication of the listener, I think it's clear and I feel the institute to make a move to go and to click and to go to that company. Okay. I implicate. It's not too much authoritative, but it brings me to do something.
Yeah, when he said protect the planet, it felt very powerful to me. I was ready to take action. Yeah, super bright too. And by bright I mean the higher frequencies compared to the lower frequencies, did you find that his voice sounded bright?
Yeah, I don't, as I say, really the effect of the equalizer, it was a little bit metallic, but I think it's able to, Ascension is able to take that out or to maybe say, okay, it's good for the audition, but for the recording just don't add that effect. I think that the two proposal were similar. I don't see a real different, and sometimes I like if you give two proposals to give something with two different,
Two different takes, yeah, yeah.
Because when it's too close, I was listen many times say, what is a real difference between those? And I was not really, maybe it's because I'm French speaking, but it was close the click and the voice and the second version I hear more the, I say, okay, he did not use the clicker this time, but there was more something like that that just nos me.
We do hear that quite often with coaches where they'll say, if you do more than one take, make sure they are very different. And it's interesting that, I mean, we know it's common, but it's interesting and this is why we love this podcast because this always continuously gets brought up, but there are a lot of auditions where the second take sounds the same. It sounds like an exact replica. And we're like, maybe the talent thinks it sounds different to their ear, which is why we always say get a second opinion phone a friend. But yeah. What would you say in this sense, because the second take does sound the same, what advice would you give this talent to maybe in their next audition? Change that action of doing a second take, but doing it differently.
Maybe you have to think about the target and say, okay, I change the target and then it will change my sound or I dunno, it's really a different proposal of two other different proposal. You have to think about the product in a different way. So you're able to say, okay, this is my way for that proposal. I'm clear. I read the target and find another target to be able to add a different rhythm because it's not just to go faster or to go higher, you have to think in different way almost.
Do you ever read your scripts or your auditions to a friend, a family member?
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This transcript was exported on Oct 24, 2023 - view latest version here. (11:10):
Yeah, exactly.
To get their opinion.
Yeah, those are the example I proposed when I'm doing coaching the audience, it's an opportunity for me, the audience is because the audience define the way the character is going to express himself. Depending if it's a worker, a ca, or a client, depending of the degree of educations of the auditions, you, the audience, you have to adapt yourself
(11:47): For sure.
Just by changing that. Like we say before about the generations, this proposition was more for the millennials for me, and just by changing the generation, by changing the you are in, because sometimes it's very difficult during the position to know exactly what the product is about. For this proposition, it was clear something about acting for the environment and doing an action that you were able to do on your own. But sometimes it's so vast that you can even choose for yourself, say, okay, so the target is on your own to define. So as we say, for this one, it was for me clear, nice fluidity. The proposal were not as different as it could be, but global, it's nice, clear, and the objective and the charter is rich
And it flowed well for you. Yeah, it did.
Yeah. That's important for me because especially during the editing, this is a moment where you can add a little bit about the character and to clarify the expression by working on the science, by just being on the pacing to add an ice flow. Sometimes you make not long pose, but with the deep silence it brings for me attention to the character. Or it makes deep pose not too long because it's very difficult. Say, okay, when is going to restart? Just be in the right moment. And as we voiceover, a lot of the time when they're on home studio, they have to do with their own editing. And it's
(13:37): As
Important to perform good editing as perform good recording. And as I say, many times during the recording, we are creating puzzle pieces and this is a job at editing to match them together. So we could do mistake and retakes, but it's also a question of how are we going to edit the text that define how we're going to record it.
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This transcript was exported on Oct 24, 2023 - view latest version here. (14:07):
And so just on that point, as a client, that's probably why at times it's easier to have the raw recording because if you already have, from a brand perspective, if you already have that vision in your mind of what the piece is going to sound like, and you already have some sound effects, you already know the scene that the voiceover is going to be in. When you as a voice actor, that raw audition is best because if you add some sound effects and you add music, then it can almost take away, it can sting a little to the brand manager speaking as a brand manager, you already had a vision for everything
And voice is just one of those pieces that's supposed to mix together.
Yeah, that's a really good point. Okay, let's move on to number three, audition number three, your choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet, eco power solutions, empowering a greener future, visit eco power.com. Okay. For this audition, had the right amount of vocal fry. It's not overly that deep voice. Sometimes my voice does that, but it also sounded conversational. What do you think? What's your feedback for this?
Yes, because when we, it's nice voice, we feel implication, encouragement, the voices as we say believable, it's clean. But for me it's a little bit under the expectation of a client because you want something
Like it was almost too natural, too friendly,
Yes. Because we have to feel the urgent tone.
Yes. I felt like the authorit was gone. It was really nice and conversational, but I didn't feel like I needed
to take action after I listened to it. That's a good point actually. Yeah,
We can have the feeling that, yeah, that's a good thing that we could do that is nice move, which we should go. But it's a question of it's too soft for me. It's a nice voice, it's nice interpretations. It's the flu. The pacing was there, the character was not really present. Not as present because it's like the decision about what it is about has not been made. The voiceover could have had more details in the character because this is the role of the voiceover. There is a couple of indication when we receive the text, but it's the job for me for the voiceover to add a specific touch to the character to be able to deliver. The voice was nice, but a little bit too soft or might really works, but for another product in the same uni.
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Okay, so a little bit too soft. And for the audio quality, because we know that's really important in voiceover, what are your thoughts on the audio quality for this audition? Good, bad. They could have improved just right. Perfect.
The quality was there. It's just a little bit, it's more about the editing. It's sometimes just a microsecond
to add or to take out. To have a nice fluidity, a nice pacing. It's a little bit,
Okay. Yes, a little choppy. Choppy,
Yes. A little bit me.
(17:48): Okay. So
Pretty good audio quality, just a little too choppy and just maybe a little more authoritative in her sound. Less hanging out with a friend. Yeah, a little more. Take action. Yeah. Okay. Let's jump onto our last audition, audition number four,
Your choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet, eco power solutions, empowering a greener future. Visit eco power.com. Your choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet, eco power solutions, empowering a greener future. Visit eco power.com.
So when I first heard that car sound, it hooked me right away. I was paying attention, I was listening more intently. I found that one key decision that this audition made was a huge difference for me. I did find a very big difference in the two takes, which I also appreciated because with this podcast, we get anywhere from, I would say on average 50 to 75 auditions. And so if half of those talent are giving us two auditions, it can get a little repetitive and it's time consuming. I do appreciate that her two auditions were very different. What did you think of this one, Bertrand?
Yes, exactly. Adding a proposal with turn effect and without make your difference in that case.
And it was also interesting when it went from left to right, and
(19:31): That's when
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I was like, oh, okay, I'm actually going to pay attention now. It was like we were in a movie theater. I was like,
We're watching an
Action movie was like
This speaker on and
(19:40): That speaker
On. And it's different too because when you hear that, and that may not be the case for other auditions,
which is totally fine, but it definitely does
(19:50): Catch your
Ear a little bit more, which is nice. And then you want to maybe listen to the second take and then the
second take is different. So you want to keep listening
And then now you're
More intrigued. But anyways, what's your feedback on
This now? You know what we think
The sound from one here to the other one, because my mission was to hear the voice, so I was a little bit, okay, where are we? And the voice wanted the right, nice clean voice fit, perfect with the sound effect. And I want to talk about the target one more time
(20:27): Because
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This transcript was exported on Oct 24, 2023 - view latest version here. (20:28):
I just turned back after that. It's a question of the client's specification, but as you say, wants to hear sound of nature, any efficient appliance. Excuse me. So when I hear the son of a car and aa, I say, we're not on the target. The clients not,
(20:49): And then
The voice decide to add a switch in the text, which is not in the script to switch us in another universe, more spa and relax. But we don't find the origins in the tone too. The sound effect made the works for that voice. But I'm almost a hundred percent sure that those sound effects will not be used by the clients. So if you wrap all the sound effects from that voice, you hear that we more in the spa universe and it's very smooth and soft voice, which is not an urgent. That's why when you have the sound, it brings a universe, a complete universe. But for me, one more time, it's not the works of a voiceover to, and for me, it's like we say in French, it takes a lot of time. I don't know where on when they find the time to add all those sound and feeds. Well, it takes so many times, audition, audition, audition, practice, the voice, but the sound. But I totally agree with you. It brings us automatically in that universe.
So do you think that these sounds overpowered the audition?
Yes. And as when the voiceover tried to do the exercise of doing the voice without the sound effect on
the second edition, the voiceover try to add a feeling of emergency by going a faster.
So the second take was faster.
Yeah, faster doesn't mean urgent, it just go faster,
(22:35): More
Direct. The fact it tells me that that voice specifically when there are no sound effect, whe sounds a little
bit as it need to sound to sound right,
(22:48): Because
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It seems that that voice on the sound effects flew. The pacing was a good voice was on the tracks. And when there are no sound effect, maybe it's just a question of editing, it was more clack, clack and just rushed. And the intention of emergency taking an action was not there.
It's so interesting how the first two auditions were on par with the artistic direction. They were very authoritative. It was very take action now. And then the last two were almost the opposite, really. Where, I mean, I really enjoyed the sound effects, but I completely see where they did not fit, where the last two auditions were a little less take action right away. They were more friendly, more conversational, so it felt like they missed the Mark A. Little bit on that artistic direction.
And it all depends of the angle. The voice will decide to do the voice. And that's why sometimes it is really a bit tough because there are not a lot of explanation in the specification of the client. But for that time there were informative. And specifically for the sun effects about adding or not sun effect.
I think it's a question perspective on, and because it's about the environment, it's a lot about how I can be implicating that and what can I do for that and how I want to be, well, I want to pursue the client to do things. And it's really personal for each voiceover to implicate in that process. And I think it's two different direction, which are respectable. But if we stick on what the client expect, the two first, were in the target and the two others might be interesting for the client to say, okay, I want urgent urgency, but this is maybe the best way to give ins to people. To give
An incentive. Yeah, give the incentive. Give
Incentive to the people to go to click sale. Because sometimes pushing too hard, it's not the best way.
Yeah, yeah. Any final thoughts on that one, Vanessa? No, but I You're eager. You want to know I am eager. Yes. Because the whole point of this is that we get to pick a winner. Well, the coach has to pick a winner. We should, and they actually book the job. So this is why we love this podcast. It's always great to do this every month, but we're going to pick a winner. Well, you're going to pick a winner. So who are you choosing to book the job?
Okay. It was very difficult because of those four talents. Brings very interesting proposal to in the position of being an engineer and being, to work on that and to fit with the client expectation. So I will go with
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Your choices matter, conserve energy, protect the planet, eco Power Solutions, empowering a greener future, visit eco power.com, your choices matter. Conserve energy, protect the planet, eco Power Solutions, empowering a greener future. Visit eco power.com.
And that's a wrap. Thank you all so much for tuning into Mission Audition. We hope this episode has really helped you learn valuable voiceover tips from Bertrand. Bertrand, before we sign off, how can talent get in touch with you?
They can contact me by voices. I have a profile of coach and voices.
You're on our coaches page
And I have a Facebook page and also a website,
(26:53): Which is more
On my career, the photographer, artist, photographer. They can still contact me that way.
Perfect. That's great. If you're looking to enhance your skills, we offer a wide range of scripts for you to practice, including today's [email protected] slash blog. If you need any more resources from Bertran, please check out our coaches pages. You will find his profile there and reach out.
Amazing. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode of Mission Audition. I'm Vanessa and I'm here with
my co-host, Tara. We're wrapping up, but stay tuned for next month's episode.
See you next time. And happy auditioning.
Happy auditioning. And
Cut. Fabulous. Thank you so much, Fortran. What a fun episode. You.

Geoff Bremner
Hi! I'm Geoff. I'm passionate about audio. Giving people the platform for their voice, music, or film to be heard is what gets me up in the morning. I love removing technical, logistical, and emotional barriers for my clients to allow their creative expression to be fully realized.
Connect with Geoff on:
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