Vox Talk #21 – Ralph Hass, Microsoft TellMe, Commercial Demos, Colin Campbell, Jason McCoy, Oreo Cookies

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    Ralph Hass interview featured on YouTube, Microsoft and TellMe, Country Music Celebrity Birdhouses Auction, How to Tell if your Commercial Demo Needs Updating, Colin Campbell in Tech Talk, Jason McCoy and Oreo cookies in the VOX Box.

    Download Podcast Episode 21 »

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    Ralph Hass, YouTube, Buffalo Sabres, Microsoft, TellMe, Country, Singers, Dierks Bentley, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School, Grand Ole Opry, Opry, Celebrity Birdhouses, Commercial Voice Over Demos, Colin Campbell, Jason McCoy.

    Transcription of Vox Talk #21

    Male: Episode 21
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hi, I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli, your host. VOX Talk rounds up the stories, the audio features and the tips that matter to you. VOX Talk is a community podcast for voice actors and we’re proud of it. Before we hear Colin, let’s find out what’s been going recently in voiceovers.
    Male: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: If you are a fan of the Buffalo Sabres and watch the team on the MSG network, you are familiar with the voice talents of Ralph Hass, the imaging voice talent for the Sabres’ television broadcasts. A new video interview with Ralph is available on YouTube.com that highlights his vocal talents as well as presents you with a glimpse of his work behind the scenes.
    To watch the video, go to the VOX Daily blog at blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/
    In other news, Microsoft took another step into the speech technology and contact center market, acquiring Mountain View, California-based TellMe Networks Inc.
    TellMe provides voice services that include directory assistance, customer service and voice enable applications. Its mobile search service at 1-800-555-TELL helps users find local businesses, sports scores and movie times. Businesses use TellMe’s voice services and platform to provide customers with voice-access services ranging from banking to package tracking.
    To learn more about this acquisition, visit searchcrm.techtarget.com
    Interested in birdhouses? Country music celebrity birdhouses designed or inspired by the likes of Dierks Bentley, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban, are being auctioned off as part of the sixth Annual “The Birdhouse Thing” auction, benefiting the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School.
    Bidding for the auction on www.opry.com ends Sunday, March 18. All proceeds benefit the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School, a non-profit organization that has provided music education to thousands of low-income children who otherwise would not have been able to afford such instruction. To place a bid on the birdhouse of their favorite artist, visit www.opryauction.com
    Male: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Whether it’s just a bit of spring cleaning for you or if you’re in for an all-out demo overhaul, updating a commercial demo from time to time is necessary.
    Today in The Biz, we’ll be covering several indicators that you need to update your commercial demo.
    The lifespan of a commercial demo is determined by a number of factors.
    Common indicators that your demo or parts of a voice over demo may be past their prime are:

    • Dates and Times mentioned in the ad copy
    • Music Selections
    • Voice Age
    • References to Pop Icons and Events of Yesteryear

    First let’s take a look at Dates and Times.
    Marc Cashman received a question on Ask the Voice Cat about how often a voice talent should update their commercial voice over demo. Marc focused on the issue of dates and times, saying that if a product is mentioned to be older than two years, try to edit out the date or leave the dates out altogether when recording initially.
    And now on to music, Music often sets the tone for a voice over demo and helps to establish your personal branding style. Don’t let styles of music that have been shelved for too long give clients the wrong impression of your production or music selection skills.
    There are many royalty-free music libraries out there that you can purchase updated music and sound effects from to keep your demos current. Don’t worry there’s link on the blog to those.
    Now on to voice age, if you recorded your commercial demo in the 80s or even the early to mid 90s, the demo itself may not only sound aged, but your voice may have matured since that recording, too. Voices age, just like your body’s do.
    From what I’ve heard, men’s voices do not change nearly as often or as dramatically as women’s voices do. A woman’s voice will continue to mature until they are forty years of age establishing their signature sound in their vocal prime. That’s a lot of changing and readjusting to your voice and vocal technique in the span of a voice over career.
    And finally, we find ourselves again in ad copy refinement phase. I’m talking our References to Popular Icons and Events of the Past. If you have a spot that mentions a Beatles reunion with Paul, George and Ringo, it may be time to cut that bit. George Harrison passed away in 2001. If you have a reunion tour of a band or anniversary reference in the ad copy on your demo, make sure that it is still relevant or at least accurate.
    Now you have the tools to evaluate the state of your commercial demo. Take the time now to listen to your current commercial voice over demo and let us know what you dig up!
    Leave a comment at VOX Daily with some of your discoveries or always you can send some audio feedback to media@voices.com
    Male: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: And now, here’s some voiceover tips from Colin Campbell of AffordableAnnouncer.com.
    Colin Campbell: Colin Campbell from AffordableAnnouncer.com trying to explain the difference between balanced and unbalanced audio. The first basic difference is that unbalanced audio is something you find in consumer electronic gear down at your BestBuy and your home theater equipment. It’s a simple two conductor cable that runs between all of these pieces of equipment to carry the audio. It works fine and short lengths and in consumer electronic because you really don’t notice the noise when you’re not so hyper critical in because the cable length are short, they don’t have so much of an opportunity to pick it in the first place.
    In professional audio however especially with microphones that are working at suck a low level that it later amplified and with cable lengths that might exceed the short lengths of consumer electronics. Noise can be picked up easy if you only have these two conductors inside the cable. So, long ago they came up what it’s called, common-mode rejection or balance audio.
    Now, this is where it gets very technical if you’ve ever heard anything about phase relationships in audio, for instance if you have a set of stereo speakers and one of them is hooked up backwards where the red and black or the plus and minus are reserve, it creates a whole in the middle effect basically because the two empty come out of phase and when there are two signals that are equal and one is reserved in polarity, the two then cancel each other.
    So, what balance audio does is use this law of physics to advantage to cancel a noise. How it work is? On the way out an XLR or balance connector they have an extra third conductor not just two but three signal pass in inside the cable. The signal is applied to the two signal carrying pass equally but with one just slightly behind the other in time or out of phase with the other and if a noise gets on the cable the noise unaware of this phase relationship so with the far end of the cable the two signals are out back in phase to bring back the original quality of the audio signal but the noise then becomes out of phase and cancel itself. It’s an ingenious (scheme) and hard to understand without understanding phase relationship in audio but anyway I wanted to try to give it a shoot. And please people let’s not feed our high quality audio inter phase XLR connector with adaptors from Radio Shack down into the eight inch align in on our sound blaster in the back of our PC, this is fraught with problems.
    Another difference professional and consumer audio is that professional audio travels are plus four decimals or as louder or hotter than consumer audio that travel at negative 10 with all manner of cable adaptors trying to make professional audio equipment with consumer equipment as fraught with problems and just because you can buy the adaptors to make the connectors work it doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing electrically or technically.
    Well, that’s it trying to cover a highly technical subject in just a few minutes. Here I am again, Colin Campbell form AffordableAnnouncer.com. Thanks.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Thanks Colin, another great segment. If you found Colin segment to be particularly helpful why not send him an e-mail and let him now. You can e-mail Colin at his website AffordableAnnouncer.com.
    Male: VOX Box, answering your voiceover questions
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Earlier this week, I posted an article to the VOX Daily blog asking how you unwind after recording sessions and we’ve received some very interesting responses. For some of you, it may be eating food or enjoying a drink that you normally wouldn’t have before recording while others said that they preferred activities outdoors as a reward for a long day in front of the mic.
    For instance, Jason McCoy chimed in to say that one of the ways he rewards himself after recording voice overs is a tall glass of milk with Oreo cookies. Now, that does sound decadent! If you’d like to share what you do post recording session to relax or treat yourself, leave a comment on the VOX Daily blog or send in an audio clip to be played here in the VOX Box. You can email your MP3 to media@voices.com
    That’s it for today’s show. We’d really love to hear from you! Let us know what you think of VOX Talk and what this podcast means to you. If you’ve been waiting to contribute, I want to encourage you to be an active part of this community podcast. VOX Talk is what you make of it so be sure that you are giving back even just a little bit of what this podcast gives to you. I’m your host Stephanie Ciccarelli. Enjoy your weekend!

    Links from today’s show:

    Microsoft and TellMe
    Country Music Celebrity Birdhouses Auction
    Ask the Voice Cat
    Colin Campbell

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