Vox Talk #19 – Harry Shearer, Walker Edmiston, Voice Actors United, Julie Williams, Adam Fox, Bobbin Beam


    Simpson’s Voice Actor Harry Shearer on US Politics, Voice Actor Walker Edmiston Passes Away, Voice Actors United Yahoo! Group, Julie Williams on Self Promotion for Talents, Adam Fox guides us through Compression and Recompression, and Bobbin Beam talks about VOICE Conference benefits in the VOX Box.

    Download Podcast Episode 19 »


    The Simpson’s, Harry Shearer, Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, University of California, Walker Edmiston, Ernie the Keebler Elf, Los Angeles Times, Voice Actors United, Julie Williams, Adam Fox, Bobbin Beam, VOICE Conference, Las Vegas.

    Transcript of Vox Talk #19

    Male: Episode 19
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hi! I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli, and you’re listening VOX Talk, the industry leading voice over podcast. We have Julie Williams, Adam Fox and Bobbin Beam on the show today, and I can’t wait for you to hear their segments – but first, the news!
    Male: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Simpson’s voice actor Harry Shearer, the voice of Ned Flanders and Mr. Burns, spoke at the University of California in Santa Barbara, sharing his thoughts about the US government’s current political policies. Also a part-time New Orleans resident, Harry hit on issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq and national security, using his humor and voice acting abilities to entertain the crowd as well as educate. To learn more about what was said, visit dailynexus.com.
    In memoriam, Walker Edmiston, an actor who was the voice of many cartoon and puppet characters, including Ernie the Keebler elf in television commercials, has died of complications due to cancer. Walker voiced many different roles and performed for over twenty years on a radio program called “Adventures in Odyssey” produced by Focus on the Family. In spite of his illness, Walker continued to work up until January 2007, passing away on February 15th at the age of 81. For more details, visit latimes.com
    To wrap up, there is a new voice acting chat group online at Yahoo! Groups. Voice Actors United, was founded by Jonithan Patrick Russell, owner and founder of Dream Realm Enterprises. The group launched on March 4th has 38 members and is growing hourly.
    If you’re interested in joining, just go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/voiceactorsunited
    Male: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in The Biz, Julie Williams of Voice-overs.com shares some very important information about marketing your talents as a businessperson.
    Julie Williams: As voiceover talent we all get work from our agents but talent who sit back waiting for the phone to ring, will be surly disappointed, no matter how good they are. If people don’t know about you then it’s very likely that another less talented person can get hired for a job simply because they market themselves and the client didn’t know about you. So, you need to do more than just wait for your agent to call, you need to put yourself out there.
    Now, I’m know I’m doing a recently amount of preaching to the choir here, given that you’re a probably a talent how has signed up on Voices.com, that’s awesome. But don’t stop there search the internet for sites that advertise voiceovers. They often have a talent pull they choice from and you can and you can submit to get on to that but be sure you check out their rates because there are some that advertise commercials for $50 and unless you’re a beginner. You’re more available than that, so don’t waste your time. It’s been my experience that low budget voiceover clients take forever to pay anyway and that cost you a lot of time and collections that’s not worth it.
    Send out press releases, I sent one out to a local magazine and several other places too. When I landed a segment that was going to air on HGTV and some infomercials that were airing on WE, Women’s Entertainment Television and the local magazine printed the story from the press release word for word. So, gather information starting with your local area on magazines, newspapers, business journals and regularly send them press releases. I usually e-mail them or mail them with a hard copy and a CD with the press release in word format and also a photo head shot on the CD. Always make sure you include a photo because that can make a difference in whether you get in or not because pictures make their pages more interesting.
    Given a choice with limited space, your story with the picture will be chosen over one without and don’t fall into that the trap of thinking, “Who cares that I got this job?” The truth is people are fascinated by what we do and everyone once to hear about the hometown talent who makes it big. Well, telling them about the big job you get feeds right into that and often advertising agencies, talent agents and other clients see this stories and their perception of you, put you a step above your competition because you’re good enough for the paper or magazine to write about you.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Julie, that’s great advice. You can never market your talents enough! Thanks for pointing that out.
    Male: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Adam Fox of DefiantDigital.com is back, answering your questions in Tech Talk.
    Adam Fox: Welcome to another addition of the podcast folks and of course to another addition of Tech Talk. Boy, so much is been going on lately in the Voices.com community, I’m just reading so much in the blogs about the sense of community and comparison between different voice casting agencies and just before you get to the text stuff, let me just weigh in on that really quick.
    I do really think that Voices.com cares. I mean its evidence by this podcast, right? It’s a full service company that really enjoys what they do. They really enjoy reaching out to the voiceover community and they’re trying to make it the best they can. So, to you Stephanie and the gang at Voices.com. Kudos to you.
    Now, on to the Tech Talk. Boy, I’ve really been getting a lot of e-mail and I got to you tell, I think I really a hit a cord with this whole thing about demos, there must be a lot of people out there who have demos that really want to make them sound better. So, I think I’m going to poll a question this week and it’s’ regarding the Sonic changes that happen when you down convert something from a WAV file to an MP3. So, I had someone ask me, what happen when you down convert that file? And let’s face it MP3’s are a great way for us to be able to spread our auditions overall the planet and it’s really revolutionize the way that we do out business, okay?
    So, why do this MP3 sound so great? Or without getting in to all the technical mambo jumbo, boy I like to use that term a lot, don’t I? Or without getting in all that, let’s just say that there’s a team of people that are constantly working on new and better ways to recompress data, just like DVD’s. Over the last few years, programmers are been able to compressed that data down into smaller and smaller pieces of information allowing them to put more a DVD, great for the entertainment experience, right? Well, it also works for audio and in the business that we do, boy that’s the real boom to us because it’s just make it easier and easier for us to be able to send higher quality, better resolution auditions and demos allover the planet with smaller file sizes.
    So, the point I’m trying to make here is they can be a wonderful, wonderful source of being able to distribute your auditions, they still maintain a really high quality of resolution. However, there are some drawbacks, now you can have a near CD quality MP3 and when you’re buying your tunes of like say, iTune when you burn those on to the CD, you barely even notice any change in resolution because of the technology that’s in place. But what happen when we bring that into our own home studios and our professional studios that we’re working with voiceover? What happens when we are the one that are actually producing the content and converting those files?
    Host production people will spend all kinds of time reworking this files and making sure that those algorithms are tune exactly perfect so that you never notice the difference when you burn it on to a CD but what is you don’t have the time? What if you’re cranking out so many spots a day that you don’t even have really the time except to set yourself a couple of preset compression algorithms and them rip.
    Well, here’s a real quick easy tool that I use. It helps me to prevent some of the signal loss that happens when you convert something from a WAV file to an MP3. Now, I know you’ve heard me talk about normalizing, as a matter of fact in the three part episode that I did on producing a spot. I took sometime to mentioned that when you get your final products sometimes it a good idea to normalize after you’ve done your file compression. Well, I’m going to visit this a little bit today.
    When you recompress that file, you’re changing the amount of information that stored and there for you’re cutting the resolution down, ever so slightly. Now, if you have your standard 256K MP3 you barely going to notice the difference but a lot of audio servers, a lot of business posting service will want you to do something in 192K because their players are setup a little better for that and there certainly nothing wrong with that but when you convert to a 192K from say either a way file or maybe you’ve got to make multiple copies and you step it down. You go from your WAV file to your 256K MP3 and then just step that one right down to 192K. It’s really easy to do with the save estimate, right?
    Well, what I like to do with my MP3 whether they are 256 or 192 or 128 or whatever they are, I like to run a normalizing pass on that. What that really does for me is I find it just kind the gives just a little something back to that MP3 and how knows that might be the difference that make it standout or not standout against your competition. Normalizing is just basically analyzing the signal at the RMS and the peak value.
    Now, RMS is root mean square which means it’s basically about 75% of your peak value and then of course where the signal actually peaks whether it’s negative 2 db or whether it’s really nice and hot up at 0 db and basically what the normalizing does it just gives that file back just a little bit that you may have loss by doing it in a WAV format or your final format for your original piece be it in the Pro Tool session or using the Sony Professional series. It really has a tendency to just kind the give just a little bit back to your signal and that might make all the difference between you’re getting the job and not getting the job.
    Well, folks that’s all for me today. You know you can always hit me with questions at the Voices.com website at adamfox.voices.com or you can contact me at my website at defiantdigital.com. Until then folks. Take care of yourself. Bye for now.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Adam, as always you’ve produced a stellar piece full of heart. It’s because of people like you, Julie and other selfless contributors to the industry that our community continues to thrive. Kudos to you too!
    Male: VOX Box, answering your voiceover questions.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: For today’s episode, I invited Bobbin Beam of BobbinBeam.com to prepare a short recording on the benefits of going to the VOICE Conference. Bobbin is a career voice talent who also happens to be working at the VOICE Conference in Las Vegas this month.
    Bobbin’s thoughts may afford you the perspective you need to make your decision as to if you’re going to attend. Here she is:
    Bobbin Beam: If you’ve been progress in eating, I bet there maybe all sort of reasons keeping you from attending like the expense. Well, you now have until midnight March 10 to save $100 and pay 497 for early bird registration. Of course every expense associated with attending is deductible of your schedules, see a tax time. This is an event for voice actors of all skill level, I’m a firm believer that you get out of something on what you put in to it and even if you’re a savvy pro that maybe can learn one new trick, technique, parole of wisdom, idea or meet one new person that will help make your voice business more profitable, efficient and last but certainly not least actually the primarily consideration.
    Make your clients more successful. It will be more than worth a cost in the long run and you can check your competition, knowing who they are, what they do and how they do it is key to any successful business plan. You do have a business plan, don’t you? A voice business is not unlike many other businesses except more of us work alone will have an opportunity to meet with our own kind. I kind feel that creative energy already. Get out of your cubes. Hope to see you in Vegas baby.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Thank you Bobbin for sharing your point of view with us. If you have something you’d like to say in the VOX Box segment, whether it’s feedback about the show or comments of another feather send your MP3 file to be featured on the podcast to media@voices.com. I’m your host Stephanie Ciccarelli – that’s a wrap!

    Links from today’s show:

    Harry Shearer on US Politics
    Walker Edmiston Obituary Los Angeles Times
    Voice Actors United Yahoo! Group
    Register for the VOICE Conference in Las Vegas
    Julie Williams
    Adam Fox
    Bobbin Beam


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