Join this month’s amazing coach Luis Garcia as he walks us through everything the pros do in the booth to make sure their audio quality is top notch. Not sure what equipment you need? Not sure how to get your audio to match the pros? Well Luis Garcia’s got you covered and he will give you inside industry secrets on how to be the best voice talent you can be.
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Amigos, welcome to Voiceover Experts, your monthly educational podcast, helping you take your voice acting career to the next level with insightful and very informational lessons presented by Voices VO coaches. My name is Luis Garcia, the Spanish voice guy, your featured coach for this episode. And if you couldn't tell already, I do Spanish voiceovers and English voiceovers with Spanish accent. I'm a full-time voiceover talent and coach and do television and news promos for Telemundo, one of the largest Spanish TV networks in the us. I also do commercials, narration, political e-learning, and i v slash on hold messaging for phone systems and some radio production for several stations around the country. I am so happy to be here with you today talking VO and hopefully give you some new nuggets of information to help you along your VO journey. A lot of people ask me what the difference is in doing Spanish voiceovers, and aside from the obvious language and cultural differences, the techniques are the same.
You have to use the same breathing techniques and make sure your pronunciations and enunciations are properly used, but the microphone techniques and recording and editing techniques are also the same and similar to English accents where a few words or sayings might be different between American, British, Australian or even South African English. So are Spanish accents different from South America, Europe and Mexico and the United States? Did you know that there are more Spanish speakers in the US than in Spain? There are actually more Spanish speakers in the US than anywhere in the world with the exception of Mexico. And did you know that the US Hispanic's annual buying power will surpass $2.6 trillion by 2025? That growth is double the rate of non-Hispanics, and that equates to a lot of advertising revenue and hence a lot of Spanish voiceovers. With that said, today my focus will be on home studio essentials and I will share with you the three things that I believe you need in your home recording studio.
Nowadays, in order to improve upon your success, I'm going to assume you already have the necessary equipment to record and edit, but if you can upgrade any of these three things, you're going to improve your odds of getting booked exponentially. First of all is having a high quality microphone. Second, your recording environment and the acoustic treatment that you use in your space. And third, your connectivity. And by connectivity I mean simply the way you connect online remotely with others. Now, assuming you have a working computer, whether it be a desktop or laptop, PC or Mac, either one will be a matter of personal preference. You may be used to working on PCs and there are some great doss or recording software compatible with PCs if you prefer Max, there are dos made just for Max and Doss compatible with both platforms. Having a desktop is great for home studio and home office, and the laptop is also good for home studio with the added advantage of the portability and being able to travel or take it with you wherever you may need to go.
If you have both, then you'll have even more recording options. So onto the first essential piece of equipment I mentioned, that would be a great upgrade. The microphone, a high quality microphone is arguably the most critical component of any recording setup. It captures your voice with precision, which will determine the overall audio quality of your recordings. There are various types of microphones, but for studio voiceover recording, we're going to focus on condenser microphones. Now, a condenser microphone is often the preferred microphone for vocals because of its sensitivity and ability to capture nuances in your voice. If you have a U S B microphone that plugs in directly to your computer, now is the time to consider an upgrade to a studio condenser microphone. You don't have to get rid of that U S B microphone if you have it. They are very handy when you travel and you don't want to carry that extra gear like an interface.
They're good for auditioning and getting audio recorded very quickly, and even though the quality of U S B microphones has improved dramatically over the last few years, they can't match the superior quality of a dedicated condenser studio microphone. If you want to compete with voice talents auditioning on professional studio quality microphones, then you're going to need to do the same and upgrade to a
condenser mic. I have heard many praises for U S B microphones and they're all true, such as the Blue Yeti that sound good and look great on your desk, but leave those microphones for their intended use in podcast situations or recording VOS for YouTube videos and social media, things like that. Those were great. Don't get me wrong. I love blue microphones. They're great brand to have. I happen to use the Bluebird on a daily basis. That's a professional quality microphone that won't break the budget at about $300, and I'm not going to get into the dozens and dozens of options you have in the low price range of about a hundred to $500, but to name a few, you could consider the Audio Technica at 2020, a great starter microphone.
The Road N NT one A is also a great starter and the blue Bluebird, like I mentioned, if you're using a microphone that's under a hundred dollars, you might want to reconsider. The quality of those is just not there technically. If you can invest in a higher end microphone, a little bit more expensive, my recommendations would be the Audio Technica ATT 40 50, the Neumann T L M 1 0 2, which I'm recording on, or the 1 0 3, the T L M one oh three is also a great microphone and the ever popular shotgun mic. Sennheiser, M K H four 16 are a little bit pricier but worth every single dollar. The second essential piece to your professional home recording studio needs to be the acoustic treatment. Creating a conducive acoustic environment is crucial for achieving professional sounding recordings. Acoustic treatment involves controlling the sound reflections and echoes within your recording space.
Basic acoustic treatment can include using foam panels, which are commonly found online base traps, diffusers, and even simple d I y solutions like hanging heavy moving blankets on A P V C frame to break up those sound waves. I've also seen people use plywood to create that frame and cover it with the foam panels or the moving blankets. An effective acoustic treatment minimizes those unwanted room resonance sounds and ensures that the recordings are clear and free from reverberations or reverb as we call it. So it's time to get out of the closet. Now, a lot of people say they're recording in their closet or with their clothes to dampen that sound, but now's the time to upgrade. If you really want to compete and get into a proper recording booth, whether it be a portable or handmade or top of the line whisper room or even that coveted studio bricks vocal booth, if you don't want to break the bank, go with the D I Y version with that P V C frame or the wood panels and the moving blankets.
Some are available already as online kits. You just buy the kit and you build it at home. You just assemble all the pieces. Make sure the top is also covered and find the quietest place in your home to record in. If you can invest a little bit more than I would say something like an iso vox is the way to go. It's a portable vocal booth that reduces ambient sounds and lets you record. In an enclosed environment. A more permanent solution would be a whisper room or studio bricks vocal booth. Like I mentioned, they come in different sizes and finishes and would undoubtedly elevate your recording game. They are pricey, but as I mentioned, this is an investment and you can expect a return on that investment by way of providing higher quality voiceovers at the top of the vocal booth. Pyramid would be a built-in booth, and this requires some construction in your home.
If you happen to be in an apartment, that wouldn't be so feasible, but if you're in your own home, it would be more permanent and fixed solution and will be the closest thing to a professional recording studio in your home. This is the option I personally went with and spend substantially less than I would have on a high-end vocal booth. My third and final recommendation to get yourself to the pro level is connectivity. You most likely already have high speed internet available to you with a wifi connection that is reliable. You don't want to be in a live recording session and have issues with the wifi or the internet, right? You want to have that stability if you live in a remote area and depend on satellite internet. Live sessions will be challenging if you have that signal that is spotty on your wifi. So what are the most common methods of recording remotely?
There are several options available, but the one your client requests will be the one that you need to provide and be able to use without any glitches. Right now, one of the most common methods is Source Connect. There are other options like I P D T L, which is very similar to Source Connect. There's Zoom and we all became familiar with Zoom during the pandemic. There's Microsoft Teams, WebEx and GoToMeeting and Skype and WhatsApp also allow for video conferencing, and those are especially popular with international clients. But the most popular way to connect remotely nowadays with recording studios and other VO talents is with Source Connect by source elements. They do have a free version for you to try and test out before you get hired for any session, and they also have a pro version, which is used by most studios. Source Connect Standard is the version that most professional talents have, and post pandemic, we discovered that it's very efficient to get work done remotely, and most commercials you see and here on TV and radio are with talent recording directly from their home studios.
So without the need to go into a studio, we're seeing this trend of recording via Source Connect. Almost all of the auditions that come in from agents Request Source Connect standard. Of course, some projects still require you to be present in studio and face-to-face to record, but if you are not connected via these platforms, you're missing out on the majority of opportunities. So those are the three things I would say you need to upgrade now if you want to be competitive in this industry. I also hope you found the information I provided useful and helpful in order to advance your VO career to the next level. While these three components that I mentioned are crucial, remember that a successful home recording studio setup involves a lot of other things and hardware and other factors such as your headphones and your studio monitors. A good pop filter. I go with the metal ones usually so they last a little bit longer. Microphone stands and
Your audio editing software, whatever you prefer to use, the choice of equipment should align with your recording goals and your budget ultimately contributing to the production of professional quality recordings. Remember that it's not the equipment that you use, it's how you use it. My name is Louise Garcia. You can find [email protected], as well as my social media handle at Spanish Voice Guy. Thank you for listening today. I hope you subscribe to the podcast and many happy recordings to you.