Tuesday, September 30, 2014

- How To Figure Out The Length of a VO Script

Voiceover artists tell me quite often that a client will ask for a price on a narrative that they say is a half hour long. They then discover that it's much longer. Yikes! Here's the easiest easiest way to find out the length. Ask the client to send you the narration as a Word Doc.  Open the document and select all. Go to tools and select word count, this will tell you how many words there are. The general rate of speech is about 120 to 150 words per minute depending on the material of course. Simple divide the total number of words by 150 (or whatever number represents your rate of speech) and that will give you a rough idea of how many minutes or hours of finished audio there will be. Do this before you quote a price:)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

- A Few Keys To Success - It's Not Rocket Science

I was shopping for new video equipment yesterday. I made an appointment and the sales people showed me a broken camera that they knew nothing about and just wanted my credit card.

Moral of the story: Be prepared, be present, know what you're talking about, call when you say you're going to call, be on time. Whether it's the voiceover industry or any industry, success shows up if a person is prepared. Success is what happens when people are constantly improving there skills, subject familiarity and their presentations to others. Successful communication is a major key to great service. Great service creates success.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

- Where Do You Fit In? What Should You Look For?

It is very important to have a business plan in any endeavor. Especially in the voiceover industry there is a subjective element that can feel elusive and very arbitrary. This presents a bit of a dilemma.
How do you keep from getting depressed? How do you find your niche ? What should you be looking for? Here is one point of view that I personally have found very helpful. when I was very young, an old timer said this to me. "Ok, you're going into this crazy business...just find one person/company that likes your work and stay there...then find two more people that like your work and stay there ...AND don't waste an ounce of energy on anyone that doesn't want to hire you! THEY AREN"T your people ya big dope!" We don't need everyone to like us/cast us. We fit in with the people who do like our work and that is simply what we should look for and not worry about the rest.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

- The Best Way to Get Voiceover Work

There are a million people doing voiceover work and a lot of them are really great. What can you do to get work in this sea of voice actors? It's easy to talk about knowing the various styles and having good cold reading skills for bigger projects, but there is one quality that seems to me to be the most important. It is my opinion that the ability to personalize voiceover copy is the most important skill. It's obvious that the copy has to be idea driven, not merely "read". Sounding like you are "Present" when reading the copy makes it sound intimate...as if you are speaking to only one person who has your undivided attention. Many people do good "Reads" but the ones who seem to get the most work are the ones who personalize copy the best. The ones who sound like they're speaking to a close friend. The ones who sound the most "Present".

Friday, September 19, 2014

- PreSonus AudioBox i Series Recording Hardware/Software- Nice Solution

Here is a nice alternative to the ProTools MBox series. Check it out.
Excellent choices for mobile musicians, sound designers, and podcasters, the USB 2.0 bus-powered AudioBox iOne and iTwo provide high-quality audio I/O for Mac®, PC, and Apple iPad®. These compact, ruggedly built interfaces offer high-performance Class A mic preamplifiers, record 24-bit audio at up to 96 kHz, and include powerful, easy-to-use Studio One® Artist DAW for Mac and Windows and Capture™ Duo recording software for iPad.
PreSonus | AudioBox i Series

Sunday, September 14, 2014

- KrappTV our New Show Starring Our Goats Reviewing Bad TV

Ok, so we have complained enough about all the Krapp on television, and now we are going to do a YouTube channel with guest VO artists reviewing shows or movies that our "Goats Don't Like"
Just clips and some fun. Here's our opener. Song by Geo Marshall.
krapptv.mov - YouTube

Friday, September 12, 2014

- Microphone Techniques - Finding the Sweet Spots for Your Voice, with Your Mic

It's not just about setting up your session, hitting record and the laying down some voiceover tracks.
Whichever mic you use, try recording at different distances and at slightly different volumes with your voice. Do many different takes where you speak louder and then slightly softer, while you vary the distance. Take a good tour to keep refining which sounds you like better. The interaction between the electronics in a mic and a specific voice involve many variables, so you have to experiment to discover the many different sweet spots for the various tones of voice you might want to use. When you speak softer and closer to the mic it's obviously more intimate AND there is more saturation in the sound that is recorded. Speaking softer and then using more "Head Room" in your spoken tone will give yet again a different effect. The important thing is to become very familiar with your own recording set up and how to best present the sonic identity of your voice based on each job.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

- Yes, of Course it's Competitive

This is a re-occurring and legitimate question. The answer is, yes, the voiceover industry is very competitive, It pays a great deal of money and it's insanely fun to do for a living. The funny answer is everything is very competitive, so for heavens sake, stop worrying about it. Otherwise the assertion is that one wants to find something that pays great that other people aren't doing. If you love it, do it. There is no other advice to be given. "The Good, The Bad, and The ugly are all working". Why not you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

- More on Studio Behavior

I'm still getting input from casting directors and some agents that want Rob Actis and myself to emphasize in our VO BootCamp Workshop for VO artists that there a lot o lot of talented people that seem unaware that people hire people they are really comfortable with.
Some Issues:
Do you dress nicely but casually? Don't go to a VO session in a suit and tie.
Be well rehearsed ! You aren't there to do your homework on other peoples time.
Remember to stay 8 to 10 inches from the mic.
Don't debate any direction you're given. Just say "OK, let me try that for you".
Thank everyone on your way out
Enjoy yourself don't look like you're struggling.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

- Say Unvoiced Consonants With Mouth Air

We corrected some articulation problems in class last night. When F sounds and S sounds are too violent...you know, when it sounds a bit like Sylvester the cat...It's because there is too much "sub glottal  pressure".  Don't use the same breath support that you use for vowels and voiced consonants. That much support from the lungs makes the unvoiced consonants violent. If you say those unvoiced consonants just with "mouth air" they will be just right. An F or an S is like a drop of water on the stove:)