Friday, August 29, 2014

- Don't Blow Out Your Voice To Do Character Voices

Here is a short video clip to illustrate that you can't just bring on your voice to do character voices.

- Here's The Follow up Exercise To Using Beat Changes

A beat change is the change in tone of voice to set up new ideas.
Find a piece of copy you like that's not too long. It can be a commercial or short descriptive narrative.
It should have at least four Beat Changes/Change in directions in the copy...places. that require beat changes:) Record yourself and vary the cadence to set up clear Beat Changes.  Try and create 20 versions that are more related than not. Yes 20 versions. This creative exercise will help develop control over the voice and tone of voice as well as improve creativity.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

- Reading Copy With Beat Changes So You don't Sound Like You're Reading Copy

It's an interesting task to read copy and have it sound idea driven and spontaneous. When we are talking to a friend there is a tumbled quality to the words because the words are idea driven. Each new idea or development in the text has a natural "Beat Change"... a change in the tone of voice that marks the shift in ideas. We never really think about the musicality of this in daily life because it's a natural part of the harmonic language that we use to communicate clearly to each other. Becoming more aware of beat changes can take the quality of our voiceover work to a whole new level. I hear casting directors say things like "Nice voice, but doesn't mean it." This seems to be shorthand for the person just sounds like they're reading copy. Our reads have to sound like we're talking to a friend in a focused but conversational manner. Beat changes are simply one of the elements that help us read into a mic and not sound like we're reading into a mic.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

- Better Cables Will Actually Give You Better Audio

Sure the sound comes through no matter what you've paid for your XLR cables, but paying more will deliver much better audio. When you think of all the time we spend trying to generate good reads and well done narratives/voiceovers, it's amazing. Honor your good work by making sure you have good audio cables.

Monday, August 25, 2014

- Recording and Mastering Your Voice before Mixing With Music

People ask me about the process I use when recording commercials or narratives for projects. First of all, there are many many approaches that work really well that have different slants to them, different preferences. Having said that, once I've edited out any flubs or things I'm not going to use, I use the Waves audio filter Renaissance VOX and apply a little of that to give the voice a little more saturation and "presence". Next I'll use Waves Limiter Mono to raise the gain. I never use the Normalize filter because it is too generalized. We'll be talking more about this in the free Saturday Seminar/Workshop September 6th from 10am to 11:30am at our AzzurraMedia Ranch in Santa Clarita, CA

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

- Great Desktop Monitor Station Presonus V2

Ok, so you have 2 or three sets of speakers, or you have one set of speakers and two computers.
This monitor station gives you many ways to route the audio without the old patch bay setup.
Just be aware that if you have a MacPro. the stereo mini jack output is 4+db and not10+db. the default setting for the unit. You have to change that option or you can't hear the audio.
Here's how: With the unit off Hold down the Cue Source button ST 1 while it powers on and you'll be all set,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

- People Hire People That They Like The Best

It's important to have great voiceover skills and to be able to work on a professional level. It's also important to remember that there are always a number of people who can do the work and do it very well. So why should they hire you? The answer can be because they simply like you better. I'm not talking about "kissing up to people" I'm talking about being genuinely good company in the work place. Be on time, be pleasant, don't talk to much, do a good job, be supportive of what they are trying to accomplish. Being good company in a professional setting is responsible for getting more work, than having great reading skills.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

- On Learning to Not Be a Hostage

Sometimes when we are doing a job there are people who try and manage situations by being mean or rude, or condescending. What to do. What to do. There is little any of us can do to control other people, we can only control our own behavior. The old Bumper Sticker advice is pretty simple " If you wrestle with an idiot, you deserve and idiot" Detached engagement can help us navigate these situations. We become observers, figure out what is driving the other person and then only respond to getting the job done while being pleasant even she others are not. Don't take the bait, don't argue, adjust as best you can and finish the job. Go some place after and keep laughing,

Sunday, August 10, 2014

- Many Ways To Have A VoiceOver Career

The high profile voiceover jobs are wonderful and incredibly lucrative. A top voiceover guy once told me, "There's no other way you can make so much money without the risk of going to jail". It's easy to dream of national commercials and movie trailers, but there are literally thousands of ways to make great money lower on the food chain. Here are just a few of the ways: On hold messaging, power point presentations, corporate narratives, documentaries, HR department narratives, pharmaceutical narratives, industrial narratives of all kinds, audio books. Make a list of the ones that interest you most and go get them.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

- Your Intuition Can Make You The Artist You Want To Be

Having proper instruction in any profession is important. The point of that instruction should be to teach you the skills you need to become more self reliant...more able to make creative and inspired  artistic decisions that are competitive with other professionals. Your intuition is the creative force that will bloom into mature artistry if you commit to it and honor it. There is no substitute for a loyal relationship with the heart of your intuition.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

- Good Communication Skills Create Repeat Business

When you have a gig, make sure you confirm that you have received the notice. Make sure you confirm the day before that you will be there at the appointed time. There is so much going on in any production house that you don't want anyone to wonder if you are going to show up. This also helps eliminate any misunderstandings regarding time and place.