The Pros and Cons of Having Your Own Studio Setup

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    Join Voice Over Expert Doriane Elliott in her podcast, “The Pros and Cons of Having Your Own Studio Setup.” It’s more complicated than you may think! Doriane encourages you to consider the technical side with regard to audio recording equipment (and its use) in addition to self-direction… a must when working from home without the benefit of a director.

    Transcript of The Pros and Cons of Having Your Own Studio Setup

    [Opening Music]
    Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
    This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Doriane Elliott.
    Doriane Elliott: Hello everyone. This is Dorian Elliot and for those of you who do not know who I am, I’m a New York City casting director who casts for voiceovers and on-camera but mostly voiceovers for television and radio commercials, industrials, promos, and narrations. And if you want to know more about me and how and where I cast and how and what I teach, you can always visit my website at DorianeElliott.com.
    I think I said this in my last podcast but I’ll say it again and again and again and again, I am so blessed because I love what I do. When I cast for voiceovers, I love that I can close my eyes and either hear a piece of copy come to life and if not, if it’s a good actor, give direction to either adjust or tweak, if you will, that read to make it come to life. It’s the slightest little nuances that change a read from unbelievable to believable and it’s so cool to watch an actor’s eyes light up after giving these sometimes slight directions because they know they’ve now hit the read on the head, you know. They can feel it. It’s awesome which is great. My love for casting in the greatest city for finding the world’s greatest actors as far as I’m concerned led me to teaching voiceovers and now on-camera because everything I teach voiceover actors totally crosses over into on-camera technique which is pretty amazing, right, but I swear it does. Just ask all my students who are being sent out for both on-camera and voiceovers.
    Anyway today, I wanted to talk about the pros and cons of having your own home studio set up. Guys, there’s a lot more to it than you think. On the technical side, you got to find the right mic or mics that suit your voice and either have the ears to hear it when you’re trying out those mics or trust the ears of your peers or better yet professional engineer. Secondly, you have to become your own personal engineer who makes flawless edits volume-wise, timing-wise, and crackle-free. You also have to figure out which program to purchase, pre-amps, et cetera. It goes on and on and on and your sound itself, meaning the booth for starters and including everything I just mentioned has to compete with all the wonderful awesome state of the art recording studios out there, like where I cast at Phantom Audio. You can actually check out their website at PhantomAudio.com.
    Phantom is a state of the art soup to nuts audio production facility that casts for and produces thousands of commercials each year. I also teach classes right there in Studio A and produce demos for actors with Conrad, Phantom’s head engineer. And as a side note in here folks, when throwing down that precious money of yours, do your homework. I think I said this before in my last podcast but I can’t say it enough. I even say to website, you know, whether it’s for coaching or for your demo production, do your homework. Ask questions.
    There are a lot of money making machines out there who have no business coaching or putting your demos together and yes, I say this with a bad taste of my mouth because sometimes when people come to me, they’ve already spent a huge amount of money on crappy coaching and then walk out of there with a one poorly produced demo that I have to then dissect and piece little bits back together and add new material too. That’s just terrible. Really. I hate doing that. It’s just so much work and it just you know, makes me feel so bad for that person who just actually wasted all their time and money. Anyway, I digress. Ask my students how often I digress and they now just giggle and know I’m just going to give them a new chunk of information, but I digress a lot.
    Okay, home studios. So there’s the technical sound production side that you better become superb at and then there’s the self-directed side. Can you self-direct because most really great actors can’t. It’s really hard for most to step outside themselves which is why most actors’ booking ratio is greater when they’ve been directed by a casting director, by the way. I mean it’s not some strange phenomenon. It’s just that someone who’s outside of you, your body; your mind can give you better direction which is why I’ve actually come up with my own little helpful offer which was spelled that more clearly on my website. Basically if you go to my website and click on services, you’ll see the audition physician. Yes, Dr. Doer is in.
    If you have your own great sounding set up, was that a hint? Was that a hint? And you’ve got an audition you really want to book; you can send it to me for a listen for 10 bucks a listen basically. First of all, I’ll tell you if I don’t like your sound quality, if you need to boost something up or if you need a better – you know, like I’ll tell you hey, there’s room noise or whatever. And then I’ll e-mail you back with you know, precise redirects with changes and then you can either send it back for a second listen or more if you want or just send it on if you feel confident that you’ve, you know, hit it on the head. God, I know I just blabbed on and giving you a lot to chew on, much to ponder but your home studio is a huge decision if you want to do it. It’s huge and it’s going to cost you a lot of money. So you’ve got to compete with again, I think I had just said this, you’ve got to compete with all the really great sounding studios out there if you decide you’re going to go that route.
    And by the way, there are a lot of studios that offer audition time for a buck a minute from start to send for a great sounding setup for auditions and sometimes if you’re lucky enough, you’ll get an engineer who gives a hoot and who can give you good direction. I know I offer my services for a buck a minute in my studio, in other words, it’s a coached audition here. I won’t let anyone leave unless I really like the sound of your audition, you know. So look around and as always, do your homework. Do your homework. Over and out.
    Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts.
    [Closing Music]

    Links from today’s show:

    Doriane Elliott

    Your Instructor this week:

    Voice Over Expert Doriane Elliott
    Doriane ElliottDoriane Elliott has been a highly successful New York casting director for over ten years. Working at Phantom Audio, a state of the art audio production recording studio, Doriane

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

    6 COMMENTS

    1. Doriane is a very knowledgeable, talented actor, producer and casting director. She’s great to work with and one can only gain by what she has to say.

    2. Great Podcast Doriane! You really speak the truth.
      I support people who are trying to figure out this home studio stuff.
      Please visit my website and drop me a note if Doriane is speaking to YOU.

    3. This is one of the best podcasts that I have heard. There are definitely some very valid points. To someone like myself who is just coming into the industry I feel as though it was the best advice. I have a finished demo and it was one of the hardest things to do on my own. Self direction is difficult because you really have to listen for and talk at the same time. I am definitely going to be a user of the audition physician!!
      Thanks Doriane and Voices.com!!

    4. Wow. Doriane Elliott gives good podcast.
      She’s clear & concise, and MAKES SENSE. All the information in this podcast is usable TODAY.
      Now…I just need to figure out how to book LIVE VO classes with her…some 250 miles from my home base.
      I WILL find a way…I WILL!
      Thank you, Doriane!

    5. As a newbie to V.O. , It is great to hear someone tell me its not easy to set up a great home studio, because i have done it, and she is right, its not EASY because you have to learn how the program works that you intend on using in addition to a whole host of other things one must LEARN. What i found is that WORKING your own home studio can take you out of the creative process of acting if you are constantly having to learn how to technically get something done on the P.C.etc. So if you choose to do so make sure your bring an extra bag of PATIENCE with you on your journey and research what others are using ! Thank you Doriane Elliott for your upfront approach to V.O. I wanted your feedback on the idea of creating my own Home studio demo, then passing it on to a friend in the business for review before submitting it to an agency etc.. My friend is Pat Fraley and he has been doing this stuff for years and is a great person that will give honest feedback.
      Your comment on my Set- Up would be appreciated if you find the time.
      My studio SET-UP – (I will include some ballpark pricing for others thinking of creating there own studio )
      P.C. 2gb $ Retail – $500 – $1000
      mic – Russian Made Octava 319 condenser $700 ? (pawn shop-$80.00)
      Preamp – Presonus Tubepre – $130
      Program – Adobe Audition (formerly known as Cool Edit Pro) $300
      Sound Card – Delta 1010LT – 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio $250
      + Cables, mic stand etc.. $200
      TY D, look forward to hearing from you or anyone else reading this. Peace ~R.J.~

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