Whirlwind Voice Over Weekend with Julie Williams and Pat Fraley, Dan Levine intro to VO class in Exeter, NH, Voices.com Beta Testing, Julie Williams on Specialty Advertising, Colin Campbell Talks About Normalization, and Funny Voice Over Demo from Across the Pond Featuring Fiona Spreadborough.
Tahoe, Julie Williams, Pat Fraley, Workshop, Dan Levine, Exeter Adult Enrichment Course, Beta Testing, Voices.com, Specialty Advertising, Colin Campbell, Normalization, Voice Over Demos, Fiona Spreadborough
Transcription of Vox Talk #26
Matt Williams: Episode 26
You’re listening to VOX Talk, the voiceover industries number one podcast. Brought to you by Voices.com. It’s about voice acting, growing your business and sharing your knowledge. VOX Talk is a show that you can be a part of, getting involved is both fun and rewarding. It’s time for this week’s episode of VOX Talk with your host Stephanie Ciccarelli.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hi! I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli, and you’re listening to episode 26 of the VOX Talk podcast.
Matt Williams: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Want a great excuse to jet off to Tahoe? Consider attending the Voice-over Whirlwind Weekend in Lake Tahoe on June 23-24, taught by two instructors with 30 plus years experience each. Julie Williams and Pat Fraley team up to bring you the best of both worlds with forays into cartoon voice acting and proven voiceover techniques. An optional day of demo producing is also available to you courtesy of Julie Williams on June 25th, but you’ve got to sign up now.
To learn more about Julie and Pat’s workshops, check out voice-overs.com or patfraley.com
In related new, if you live in Exeter, New Hampshire we’ve got something for you. Want to get into the voice over business? Join Dan Levine for an evening entitled “You’re on the Air: How to Make It In Voiceovers”. Dan will explain an exciting, new way to get around the competition and turn voiceovers into a thriving business. Discuss opportunities, income potential, and more. Step up to the mic, do some practice recording, and hear the results. The One-night workshop is Tuesday, May 1st from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost is $20.
Learn more by visiting Dan’s website, Suchavoice.com
To conclude, Voices.com is looking for several voice talent to do some beta testing of the new generation of our website before the official launch in a couple of weeks! If you are interested in being a beta tester, leave a comment on the VOX Daily blog post calling for testers.
Go to blogs.voices.com/voxdaily for more information and updates.
Matt Williams: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in The Biz, Julie Williams of voice-overs.com hits on specialty advertising. You may remember a previous topic on VOX Talk that Julie covered on postcards.
Julie Williams: Hi, I’m Julie Williams. Last week we talked about using bulk postcard marketing and e-mail updates to keep in touch with the clients. Well, specialty advertising is another great way to get attention, creative director’s value creativity. That’s the nature of the beast. So, if you’re creative in what you send them, they’re going to remember you. One criteria that I’ve heard talent use to determine what to send it is make it useful and that’s – so that would include things they can use like pens and pads and stopwatches, I mean there always timing copy right? These are great because they’ll help you stay top of mind as the casting person goes about their day. I’ve also sent mugs and mouse pads, I like to send mugs to studios because when clients are there to record with other talent they go for coffee right? And they get remind of me because my mug is in the studio’s kitchen but what I send out most if chocolate and I’ll explain that in a minute.
Another criteria is person ability, take the time to find out what your clients like, their individuals. I try to find out what kind of chocolate they like obviously, one likes dark chocolate another really only likes white chocolate, so what I send them and they know when I sent that to them that I remembered specifically what they like and so it’s more personal that way. Now, I’m not telling you to send chocolate. In fact, I don’t want you too that’s my branding, Julie Williams voiceover chocolate, that’s why it has the impact it does. You need to come up with your own branding. How do you do that? Think about what unique and memorable about you. What differentiates you from other talent, your voice, your sound.
Kriten Udowitz has a different sound to her voice and she went with Nachos Average Voice and she has nachos allover he website which is nachoaveragevoice.com. It fit her so well. One Los Angeles talent, I walk to say – I don’t know if I remember this right, but I want to – seeing her name was Nagler, Kathy Nagler. Anyway, she got into voiceover because her husband work at ad agency and the joke was that she was so boring when she talked that she’d put people to sleep. Well, Dick Orkin showed me her demo tape a few years ago, it was a cassette back then and it was packaged in a cardboard box that look kind of like a medicine from the grocery store, sleep aid and it was called, Nagler and the box was so genuinely an imitation of a sleep aid box right down to the declaimers not to listen to the demo while driving and when you heard the demo, it was hilarious because she was so boring and she choose copy that really contrasted that.
Delivered in her boring style, you could see how she could sale your product. It was very funny. This approach worked for her because it fit, make sure your branding fits. I saw a demo once a guy spent thousand of dollars of these boxes with pipes and cats printed on it and box said, “This cat got pipes” problem was he didn’t. So, if a client didn’t need a deep voice, they’re not going to reach for that demo. When they did need a deep voice and heard the demo, well the guy wouldn’t be hired because he didn’t pipes. He was on the right track but he just didn’t think it through costly mistake.
In addition to your voice – your sound, your name can also differentiate you from other talent. I’ve seen people name Rich and Dollar and Jack and Bell and guess what? They use for branding, Dollar Bills, Bells, Cracker Jacks anything to get them to remember you whether it’s a name recognition or a voice description recognition. Or if you really can’t think of anything related to your sound or your name, a slogan and marketing concept that doesn’t really say anything about you but will get you remembered might work. The downside here is they may remember your slogan or your package but not remember you.
We all know of great hilarious commercials that were so entertaining but we don’t remember who the product was advertising, so it’s best to always use branding that connects to you, if at all possible. Although one lady in San Antonio had a great voiceover demo package, she said multi dimensional talent and has CD covers printed in 3D and she sent a pair of those cheap cardboard 3D glassed with each CD. Very creative and they didn’t get many of those, so it really stood out. What I don’t know is if the campaign work for her because it didn’t really say anything about her particularly. What it probably did do though is get her heard out of curiosity of nothing else and I bet it found a permanent home on a creative director desk that ensures they’re going to remember you.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Now, don’t forget, Julie has a killer weekend workshop coming up with Pat Fraley at Lake Tahoe this June. The spaces are filling up quickly, so if you want to join in, visit Julie’s website voice-overs.com to register or learn more.
Matt Williams: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Colin Campbell of Affordableannouncer.com guides us through normalization and just what exactly it is. Watch out for digital clipping.
Colin Campbell: Colin Campbell from Affordableannouncer.com on normalization and what it is. When you record things digitally on your computer, the computer software can only describe that audio in so many ways digitally. It describes audio with numbers. Well, at some point if the audio level is to loud, the computer runs out of number to describe it. Then you get what you called, digital clipping. Digital clipping is an ugly sound that kin to fingernail in a chalkboard, it’s a ripping tearing sound that no ones wants to hear.
So, try as you might, you record at a good audio level. Not wanting to approach the end of the road digitally where it does this digital clipping. Then when you’re done, you can use the magic of computer technology and audio software to normalize the signal. What normalize does is it takes the loudest peck in that audio recording and makes that 100%, the maximum possible audio level that it can describe with it’s digits at zero and ones and then raises everything else in the audio signal respectively. So, that the relative audio levels match the original. The only problem is if there’s any even hint of noise in that audio recording something in the background, a fan noise from a computer or maybe something environmental like a water pipe. It’s going to increase that as well and make it more apparent and more audible to the human ear.
So, if you have any noise what so ever, normalization can increase it quite a bit. I think the trick is that you record with the maximum level possible without approaching digital clipping and forget about normalizing but that’s a hard thing to do. So, people tend to use normalizing as a crutch. The trick is to get the recording from your microphone through its preamp or interface into your computer at the proper audio level and not have use normalize.
Unfortunately, it’s a tight rope, a fine line to walk to get it as loud as possible without approaching digital clipping. If you do it right, you don’t need normalize at all and the right way to do is get the right level in the first place and forget about normalizing. But I realize that it’s easy to just say, “Hey, just a little low, I’ll just normalize it” I understand that or maybe you will have somebody else recording or something you don’t have any control over or something that was recorded in some other way perfectly, it just a little low in level. So, normalize can be handy into those situations but I would caution should not to use it too much and not to relay on it as a crutch to fix some other technical problem with your audio levels.
Well, that’s normalize. Thanks, Colin Campbell from Affordable Announcer. See you next time.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: If you like Colin’s segments, let him know. Visit him at affordableannouncer.com and send him an email.
Matt Williams: VOX Box, cheering your audio feedback.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in the VOX Box, I’d like to put a call out for humorous demos. That’s right, you heard me. A week or so ago, I was browsing Voices.com and found one of the funniest audio pieces I’ve heard in a long time. The demo was recorded and produced by Fiona Spreadborough of the United Kingdom. I sent it to Kara Edwards and, as an avid gardener, she loved it – well, if Kara liked it, I’m sure you will too. Let’s listen to the first segment in Fiona’s demo “4 Crazy Women”.
Fiona Spreadborough: Oh, hello. I don’t really know what to say actually because I didn’t realize so many of you would turn up to see my garden. Yes, well – I mean I know it’s beautiful because I’m a gardener. Actually I’m a holty culture list, to be precise and I’m also organic. My garden is completely organic. In fact so much so that it’s provided for by George who is my goat. He does some organics composting and Fred my cat, he does live into composting as well and also Tarry, my husband, yes, well sometimes he sprinkles. Are you going so soon? Don’t go, please don’t go. I was just going to show you my Petunias.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: I loved Fiona’s voice acting. Her timing, anticipation, and ability to engage were fabulous. If you have a demo that has similar qualities in the PG humor department, send them in to Stephanie@voices.com. If you like to catch the rest of that demo you can go to Fionaspreadborough.voices.com.
Well ladies and gentlemen here we are at the end of episode 26. You can get a hold of me by e-mail at Stephanie@voices.com by dropping a line on the blog or sending in your audio feedback to be played on the air. If you missed some of the links mentioned earlier, catch them all at blogs.voices.com/voxtalk. I’m your host Stephanie Ciccarelli. See you next Thursday.
Links from today’s show:
Julie Williams Whirlwind Voice Over Weekend in Lake Tahoe
Pat Fraley Workshops
Dan Levine’s Getting Started in VO Class, Exeter, NH
Voices.com Beta Testers and Updates!