VOICE Conference, Governator to Voice a Robot, Sean Bean from Lord of The Rings, Sound Alikes, Vocoders, and Kudos to VOX Talk Correspondents.
VOICE 2007, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Lord of The Rings actor Sean Bean, Sound Alikes, Adam Fox, Nikki Saco, Julie Williams, Anna Vocino
Transcript of Vox Talk #6
Male: Episode 6
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Welcome to VOX Talk brought to you by Voices.com. My name is Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-founder of Voices.com and your host for today’s show. VOX Talk is about you. It’s a podcast that helps you grow in your voiceover career.
Each episode will begin with news and current voiceover events in a segment called The Loop. Then we’ll explore business development and hot trends that will set you apart as a professional voice actor. Next up is Tech Talk, a segment where our team will review products and guide you through the technological landscape. Lastly, we’ll answer your questions and play audio feedback in a segment called VOX Box.
Now that we’re ready with Granny Smith Apple slices in tow, let’s move on to the news.
Male: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: VOICE Conference, the Voiceover International Creative Experience, is making its debut on March 27th through 31st in Las Vegas, Nevada and I’m pleased to announce that Voices.com will be there. VOICE Conference is the first of its kind, bringing all facets of the voiceover and voice-acting community together through education, technology and community, with a goal of discussing important issues, improving the craft, and elevating the profile of voiceover talent.
For more information about the conference, visit Voice-international.com.
In other news, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and filmmaker James Cameron are once again teaming up for the making of a new sci-fi movie “Saturn 3”. According to TheArnoldFans.com website, the California Governor will lend his voice to a robot in the movie. The movie will be a remake of the 1980’s cult film that starred Farrah Fawcett and Kirk Douglas.
Before this project, Schwarzenegger and Cameron have worked together on “The Terminator” and its sequel and the movie “True Lies”.
To wrap up, British star Sean Bean is shunning Hollywood glamour for his next acting project – narrating a medical training video for a British hospital. The Lord of The Rings actor will provide voiceover duties on a new medical DVD for patients who are preparing for hip and knee replacement surgery at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.
The Sheffield-born actor’s unlikely role came after staff asked Bean’s grandmother if he would help out. Surgery manager Andrea Watson explains, “It started off with a joke when we were looking for someone with a good Yorkshire accent. Someone said how about Sean Bean? Then someone else remembered his granny had been treated here. It’s amazing. He’s an A-list Hollywood star but he went into a studio and recorded it between films.”
If you have any news or a voice-over related item that you would like to send in, send it to media@Voices.com.
Male: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: This week in The Biz, we’ll talk about sound-alikes.
Being a professional sound-alike falls in the territory between celebrity impersonators and the real thing. Different altogether from traditional character voices, sound-alikes have the incredible task of recreating the voice and vocal mannerisms of another person.
Whenever you hear a sound-alike recreate a famous persons’ voice, you recognize and trust its authenticity, not simply based upon the total sum of their vocal qualities, but on the distinct similarities between the two voices. For instance, if a sound-alike for British Prime Minister Tony Blair were to address the public via radio, a listener in the UK would perceive the information delivered by the sound alike to be true, recognizing the voice that they hear to be both familiar and authoritative.
You can think of a professional sound-alike as an understudy. An understudy is a person who is assigned to a role as a backup for the lead actor, or in our case, voice actor. For instance, if Tom Allen was on vacation or for whatever reason unable to attend the recording session, a Tom Allen sound-alike, perhaps for example, Pat Fraley, would stand in to record the dialog for him.
There is a large market for sound-alikes and as Paul Warwick point out, there is also a market for the obvious sound-alike where the voice is a little different but captures the style, cadence and inflection of the original. Also, there is a market for replicating the voices of those who have left us, some favorites including Elvis Presley, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Patsy Cline, John Wayne, Marlon Brando and so on.
If you have a few famous voices up your sleeve, send us your audio recordings to be included in the VOX Box by e-mailing media@Voices.com.
Male: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
Adam Fox: Well, hello again everybody. You ready for your next segment of Tech Talk?
Okay, here we go. When I was growing up as a child, my father always had a pretty well-equipped studio around the house. I can remember being in his office and being absolutely mesmerized by all the flashing lights and the silvery knobs and all that old McIntosh two-gear that he had in his studio and just how much fun it was to play with those things and find out what sounds I could get by using this knob or that. It really gave me a basis for what would eventually become my career in recording and engineering.
I can remember we would take a normal acted signal and record it into tape machine number one. Them we’d kick that pitch wheel all the way up on machine number one and record that signal into machine number two that was running at normal speed. That way we’d get the same result that we discussed in our last segment except without the benefits of digital recording and plug-in effects. Boy that really takes me back.
So today, lets’ talk about another effect. Let’s talk about vocoders.
So what is a vocoder? They were originally developed in the 1930s to be used in code speech transmission. Its primary function was for securing radio communications where voice had to be digitized, encrypted and then transmitted on a very narrow voice bandwidth channel. Vocoder has also been exclusively used as a musical instrument and was developed widely in the 70s. So just what else was happening in the 70s with the vocoders? Well, I know I’m not the only person out there who’s an old school Battle Star Galactica fan. Come on people. Raise your hands. I know you’re out there.
So let’s look at how the vocoder gave us our favorite love-to-hate characters. Here’s a sample of a dry, acted voice.
“I think there’s something wrong with the inter-galactic drive.”
Now, let’s throw that magical vocoder on it and see what happens.
“I think there’s something wrong with the inter-galactic drive.”
I haven’t set to synthesize that particular set of tones but on any vocoder plug-in, there are a variety of different plug-in settings that you can use. You’re just going to have to play with them and see what they do.
Now, how do we separate actors? How do we use this incredibly powerful tool to give ourselves the appearance in our studios all by ourselves of having multiple persons acted out in a skit or for any production needs that we might have on a commercial nature? Our old friend the pitch shifter, that’s how.
Utilizing this technique of combining effects, in this case, a pitch shift and a vocoder can give you endless possibilities for your creative and professional needs. Well, that’s all the time I have in this episode, folks but I’d like to make an opportunity available to you. If you have a technical question or would like to see something in particular covered on these podcasts, just drop me an e-mail and let me know.
You can e-mail me either directly here on the Voices.com website at AdamFox.Voices.com or you can visit my home page at DefiantDigital.com and drop me an e-mail there. Well, thanks for listening folks and remember, this is your podcast. If you have any ideas for me, just let me know.
Male: VOX Box, answering your voiceover questions.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Earlier this week, we received a wonderful comment from Nikki Saco on the Casting Voices Blog about correspondents and audio feedback in episode five. Nicky said, “Today’s podcast was particularly good. Julie Williams and Adam Fox’s contributions rocked but what I really loved was Anna Vocino’s character voiceover demo. What a treat. These are fun to listen to and really helpful. Great idea. Thank you. Nikki Saco.”
By all means, if you’ve been waiting to send in an audio clip, there’s no better time than the present. Here’s a personal invitation from me to you to send in your MP3 file to be included in the VOX Box by e-mailing media@Voices.com.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Thank you for joining us today. If you’d like to learn more about our service and how we can serve you, visit our website Voices.com. See you at the VOICE conference. Bye for now.