Recording with Audacity? Set Your Audacity Preferences

girl on micIf you record with Audacity Recording Software you notice that each time you record certain file specifications are used.  And when you export certain specs, such as the bit rate for your MP3s, are used.  And you may notice that these specification choices are all wrong!  Not to worry!  Audacity Preferences to the rescue! Continue reading

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Doing Pickups? 3 Hints to Match Your Sound!

Listen to pickups to sound match

Listen carefully to your pickup recordings to make sure the sound matches the original

OK, you finished a long, involved business narration.  You’ve done the slicing and dicing and sent the client flawless edited files.  Maybe you underbid this job a little but you stuck it out and you finally uploaded the files, invoiced the client and breathed a sigh of relief.

And then the dreaded email arrives.  They love the delivery and the audio quality is spot-on but… you mispronounced several words and the company name.  (I’m not going to nag you and tell you that you should check ALL pronunciations before you record).

No problem!  You’ll fix the mispronounced words with “pickups” of each sentence and replace the faulty sentences.  You record the first sentence and…  it sounds completely different than the original!  OMG!  Now you have to re-record the entire job! Gasp! Continue reading

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Eliminate Noise in Your Voice Over Recordings

Noisy recording

Eliminate Noise from your Voice Over Recordings

What is Noise in a Voice Over Recording?

Trying to define noise is like trying to define a “weed”.  A rose can be a weed in a vegetable garden.  Many a lawn-care expert spends much energy defeating the dreaded dandelion and yet it is one of children’s favorite flowers.

And so it is with “noise”.  Pop music may offend the ears of classical music listener and a loud television may be noisy to someone taking an afternoon nap.

But the definition of noise in a voice over recording is simple to define.  It is any sound in the recording that is not your voice. Let’s look at various sources for these spurious sounds and some hints at how to reduce them. Continue reading

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6 Tips for Choosing a USB Mic

Blue Yeti Pro and YetiOnce upon a time audio engineers dreamed of a digital microphone.  With the advent of the USB mic that dream is now a reality.  This type of mic requires no mixing board or interface box.  You simply plug it into the USB port of your computer and voila!  The mic appears as an audio input device on your computer.

The first mics were primitive–just a mic and a USB cable.  Gain was controlled in the  sound panel of your computer.  And because the digital output had to be processed by the computer, there was a noticeable delay when you monitored the output.

But USB mics have matured and the latest generations have made them a good choice for voice over home studios.  Here are six tips on what to look for in a USB microphone. Continue reading

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Should You Use Brand Names in Your Voice Over Demo?

The “brand name” controvery

brandnames

If you research voice over commercial demo production on the internet, at some point you will be confronted with the “brand name” controversy.

It goes like this:  Should I use real brand names in the copy for my demo?  Why is this a debate?

There are some industry pundits that advise not to use brand names for the following reasons:

 

  • Some argue that copy with actual brand names will violate copy or trademark laws and can get in legal hot water.
  • Others argue that you will be compared to the voice over talent that performed the original commercial.
  • In a similar vein, some argue that, by using existing commercial copy and brand names, you will be confusing agents or clients who will assume you recorded the actual aired spot. Continue reading
Posted in Auditioning, Commercial Demo, Marketing, Professionalism, Voice Over Demos | 1 Comment

“Yes! I have a Phone Patch! in my Voice Over Studio!”

Improve your jobs and earn more money faster with a “phone patch”

autohybrid_01If you’ve done any jobs from online casting in your home studio you may have experienced the “do it again” syndrome.  This occurs when the client fails to give you precise direction for your original take.  And after you’ve recorded, edited and uploaded your masterpiece s(he) comes back with… “can you do it again with more energy but not so over-the-top… etc.”

Well, the customer is always right.  So you re-record the performance, trying to accurately interpret the new direction.  Usually this works.  But I’ve experienced re-do 3… 4… OMG!

This can really get out of hand if the material is longer or there are many subtle interpretations required by the client.

Don’t despair!  Phone Patch to the rescue! Continue reading

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Editing Voice Over Jobs Using Pickups

studio-microphone

By using “pickups” you can speed up the editing process

Often, when you record a job at home you will receive a request for “edits” from your client. Maybe you pronounced a name wrong or didn’t have the right “vibe” on a sentence. These edits can be fixed with pick ups.

To refresh, in voice over recording, a “pickup” is a sentence or phrase which didn’t come out correctly the first time, so it is re-recorded, hopefully with better results.

So, rather than redoing an entire job, you can often satisfy the client by re-performing only the sentences that need fixing.  Here are some hints that can make pickups quick and easy and improve your voice over efficiency. Continue reading

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How You Should Position Your VO Home Studio

Record from home and make big $ !

Reverberation diagram

Eliminate that dreaded room echo!

OK, you’ve decided to be the next Don Lafontaine or Nancy Cartwright.  And you’re convinced that, just like selling Amway, you can do it all at home from your kitchen table. Well, not exactly.  One of the biggest problems with home recording is “room echo”.  I preach this constantly.

Room echo is the natural reverberation or echo that occurs in a room when you talk.  The sound moves from your talented mouth to the microphone. But not all of it. Continue reading

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Do You Need a Voice Over Website? Here Are 9 Hints to Help You

Hints for your Voice Over Demo

A voice over website will allow anyone in the world to play or download your demo

You’re voice over demo may be available many places on the web.  Your agent may post your demo on their site.  You may be on voicebank.net.  If you participate in online casting your demo is on that site as well.

So do you need your own website as a voice over talent?  Yes!

Why? To control your V O destiny! Here’s the problem.  Suppose someone wants to hire you for a voice over job and they want to hear your demo.  So you send them to your agent, voicebank.net or, even worse, voices.com or voice123.com.  You’ve inviting them to look over the competition.  Oops! Continue reading

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Voice Over Recording-Pickups Can Speed The Process

girl-on-mic“Do you come here often?… What’s your sign?”

No! Not THAT kind of pickup! In voice over recording, a “pickup” is a sentence or phrase which didn’t come out correctly the first time, so it is repeated, hopefully with better results.

For example, you may have a line that goes “this is the last time”. You perform the line and then decide that you want to emphasize “last time” more. So you repeat the line immediately: “this is the LAST TIME!“  Ahhh! Much better!

By using pickups this way you are actually editing “on the fly”. There are several uses for pickups and they can save you much time and frustration.  Let’s look at the pickup possibilities. Continue reading

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