Verbum Domini joins SQPN, Don LaFontaine’s Oscar Experience, VOICE Conference coming up, Julie Williams reviews Pat Fraley’s Greatest Cartoon Voice Tricks Ever Smuggled Out of Hollywood, Colin Campbell hits on surfaces and interfaces, and Brian Haymond Rants on Rates in the VOX Box.
Verbum Domini, SQPN, Brian Noe, Father Roderick, Oscars, Don LaFontaine, Gina Tuttle, Happy Feet, VOICE Conference, Julie Williams, Pat Fraley, Colin Campbell, Brian Haymond.
Transcript of Vox Talk #17
Male: Episode 16.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Welcome back to VOX Talk, the voice over industry podcast that celebrates voice actors around the world. I hope you enjoyed our special podcast episode last week honoring the finalists and winners of the 2007 Voicey Awards. Now that we’re back in the swing of things, let’s kick this show off with the news.
Male: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hearty congratulations’ are in order to all the winners of the 2007 Voicey Awards! Award winner this year include Kara Edwards for Best New Voice, Rachel Robinson for Best Female Voice, Adam Behr for Best Male Voice, Bruce Barber for Best Personal Branding and Derek Partridge winner of our Lifetime Achievement Award.
To listen to the Voicey Award Show, go to voiceyawards.com or check in with the previous episode of VOX Talk
On to our next story, this past weekend was a whirlwind of podcasting bliss for several hundred attendees of PodCamp Toronto held at the Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University. Highlights included a lecture by Peter O’Connell of Audio’connell, meeting Elaine Singer and a presentation by Donna Papacosta as well as some fabulous networking with colleagues in the podcasting field.
If you couldn’t make it to PodCamp in Toronto, go to VOX Talk blog to find some links on how to get there. You can also watch video from the sessions including Peter O’Connell’s presentation on how to make your podcast more listenable.
To wrap up, Marc Cashman received an Earphones Award from AudioFile for an audiobook he narrated entitled “Ship Of Ghosts” by James Hornfischer. AudioFile has also prepared a brief review on Marc’s narration skills, which we have republished with Marc’s permission on the VOX Daily blog. Congratulations Marc!
To read the review, go to blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/
Male: The Biz, Helping you grow your voiceover business.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: This week in The Biz, Johnny George makes technology accessible in a business state of mind with commentary on how to setup a professional home recording studio.
Johnny George: Hi, I’m Johnny George from Indianapolis with the advent of so many voiceover people building their own home studios and many having others do it for them. There is never been more opinions and styles of how to do it. Well, I’m not going to get it in to all the real techie types of equipment to build and utilize, that’s not my point. But just a taste of some good common sense items that you should be thinking of about your studio that may have gone right over your head when you first setup your studio a month ago or several years ago.
The old kiss principles of keep it simple, stupid. It has never been more important than it is today or your studio pulled together by old broadcast equipment perhaps Cool Edit software and a mic plug into the back of your computer or did you pull in a professional studio engineer who built your room from the ground up or no matter what the answer is the principle of simplicity is also important.
Here are just a few items that you should take in to consideration as you look around your studio today. Are you using software to record your voice tracks, Pro Tools, Double 01, Double 02, Inbox Adobe audition that kind of thing? Are you using any unnecessary out board equipment to help process your voice to make you sound bigger or louder or in your opinion better? Do you first of all have a quality microphone, the most popular moderately prices once are made by Rod, AKG, Sennheirse, EV, MXL and many others and are you utilizing an FTP setup to make it convenient for your clients to download your finish voice files?
Well, these are just a few questions for serious voiceover people to think about. Investing in yourself and your studio are very important as an example, if you’re running an ATX expresser and EQ Curve and DiviX unit to drive your voice when you record auditions. Well, that might be all right but if you’re chosen as the talent to complete the job and they ask you to send a raw AIFF wave or high quality MP3 file with no processing, you’re not going to sound like the guy they hired. It’s best to give them the real you and truly deliver a clean, unadulterated sound.
I was really surprise when I heard a TV spot with my audio on the air onetime but my voice sounded terribly thin, surely it didn’t sound like that one I send it to him, I thought to myself. Well, the fact was, I had to utilized a compression and limiting plug in that work against me when they finish their processes. I turned it off and now my work sounds it louder and cleaner on the air. Who would have known? As you probably figure out by now, a purest attitude will pay of for you in the long run. Use a great mic into a very good digital editor and finish with good habits and processing or lock there of. Conversion of your file into the correct format with the correct bit rate and you’ll improve the sound and quality of your voice every time.
If you’ve run into any of these problem yourself write me and let me in, on some of your observations and solutions. In the meantime, thanks for listening. I’m Johnny George.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: If there was ever a topic that deserved to cross over from tech to business, this is the one! Thanks Johnny for sharing your expertise in this area, much appreciated.
If you would like to be featured in this segment, email your MP3 commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org
Male: Tech Talk, Walking you through the technological landscape.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Here’s Adam Fox with more on storytelling in your demo, focusing on the sonic quality of recordings.
Adam Fox: Hi, folks. I guess that last episode was something that hit the sweet spot because the flood of e-mail about it really tells me that there’s a lot of you out there wanted to cover this kind of thing and since this is your podcast, I’m going to shelve the topic that I was going to cover this week and we’re going to expand more on what we were talking about last time.
So, we talk about the impression you’re trying to make on producer and how telling a story with your demo can be a great way to do just that, so how about the actual sonic quality of the recording? Well, you’re absolutely right, it’s super important. Lots of the demos I get either for evaluation or once that I get from people that want me to put something together and produce something of a professional nature for them, often have the same set of circumstances, so let’s look at why this happens.
I get demos that might pick at the proper level meaning that the hottest signal in it is at 0.0 db but the rest of the spot or series of spots, depending on the case are low volume and don’t have a whole lot of consistency to them, so to explain that in different terms. You’re driving in your car and you’re listening to your radio and one up tempo song comes on and it’s really loud and you have to turn the radio down because it’s too loud then a slow song comes on and you have to crank it up because the volume is just so low that you have to crank it up just to hear.
Now, this can happen both with one single spot that has high and low parts in it or when you put all your demos spots together like we were talking about in the story last week and you have your hot demos mixed in with your softer, more emotional reads and then that overall volume for the whole demo doesn’t seem to match, so how do we prevent this?
Well, it goes back to production, always back to the basics, right? So, mixing a spot with music and background sound as well as your voice track is more than just getting the track from picking and clipping. A lot of people will put spots together and they’ll say, “Well, it’s not picking, it’s right up there at zero db” but you know what the whole volume isn’t up there, the whole volume may jump between, I don’t 15 and 20 decimals from point in the spot. It involves taking in each individual track and you have to treat it with its own set of audio parameters.
Now, you do that track by track and when you add in the next one, you’re checking it against the prior track to make sure that by adding in that next track that doesn’t either pick the overall volume or that it’s not too soft or too loud to be heard against the track you just finished.
Now, if you’re new to this, it can take you sometime to try and find your sweet spot and once you do it becomes a very quick, smooth and efficient process that allows you to hear everything in a very even and normalize fashion, where the overall signal is maybe in that negative two to zero db range but it stays there. It doesn’t drop depending on the field of the track, your softer and more emotional read doesn’t mean that you’re overall volume drops to negative 20 db.
Well, I hope that helps folks and as always you can drop me an email with any questions at adamfox.voices.com or hit me at website at defiantdigital.com. So, take are people. We’ll pick this up next week, until next time. Bye for now.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Adam, you’re absolutely right. This is your podcast everybody, so if you want to hear about a particular subject or have suggestions for the show, let your voice be heard! Just shot us an email at email@example.com.
Male: VoxBox, answering your voiceover questions.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: I’d like to share a special message with you from Voicey Award judge, Nancy Wolfson.
Nancy Wofson: Hey, this is Nancy Wolfson, President of Braintracks Audio and one of your judges on this fabulous contest. Congratulations to all the winners. It is such a pleasure to honor and show respect for a group of people, not just for the pipes they were born with but really for what this talented individuals have done with them.
Thank you to Voices.com. Fantastic contest, it’s so nice to celebrate people this way. I believe the future of voiceover really belongs to the self starters and the talents on the Voices.com and the winners who lead this pack here have really set the gold standard for everything that’s necessary to win. Respecting the value of proper training, top toward demos, all of it wrapped up in the kind of the graphic branding that’s on par with the standards of Fortune 500 companies.
I feel like everyone involved in the ceremony really celebrates for this industry is going in the super way. I just have to give a special shout out to the Braintracks graphics guru who was the creative hand behind the branding of the image that’s so wonderfully stumps Bruce Barber’s artwork, Jason Sikes. The (Clio) always goes to the ad agency, so I feel much to the credit on that amazing branding does go to Jason for kneading the portrait of Bruce to sound so brilliantly.
So, to Kara, Bruce, Derek, Rachel and Adam Behr, job well done you guys. See you next year on the Virtual Red Carpet.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: And with that audio treat from Braintracks Audio, we conclude the 16th episode of VOX Talk. If you have a voice over friend who is not yet a listener of the VOX Talk podcast, send them an email with a link to the show! Remember, those who aren’t listening don’t know what they’re missing out on – it’s your job to help spread the word! Keep subscribed and we’ll see you on Thursday!