Thursday, October 30, 2014

- The Amazing Zoom H6 Portable Recorder

This recorder is not only great for recording each student on an SD card in class, it's fabulous recorder for our video shoots as well. Capable of 6 channel recording and with various accessories from a very good shotgun mic to 2 extra XLR inputs. The new LED color meters on the front and separate gain control dials by each iput makes this one of my favorites.
Here's a review from Sound on Sound audio guy Tom Flint
Zoom H6

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

- If You're Prepared, Someone will Aways Want to Hire You - Eventually

It's a natural question, "When will someone hire me? Will someone hire me" Waiting isn't the easiest thing we have to do in life. However, while you're waiting make sure you are constantly developing your voiceover skills. I periodically meet people with wonderful voices who say things like, "I'll work on my skills when someone hires me." You are trying to go to the Olympics. You don't train after the invitation, you train to GET an invitation. Whether you want to get into the voiceover industry or make more money in the VO industry, it's central to success to constantly be improving and refining ones reading skills.

Monday, October 13, 2014

- Voiceovers for YouTube Videos Tips & Tricks

We had a large crowd at the Vidsummit 2014 conference on video marketing and video advertising. I was surprised and happy that everyone wanted to know how to get better audio, so here are a few of those pointers. Buy a better mic! A $30 mic isn't going to sound as good as a $150-$200 mic. There are many great USB mice in that range. Stay 8" to 10" from the mic. Most people are too far away and it makes it sound hollow. If you done have acoustical egg crate foam, buy some and stick it up where you record. Make sure the mice is sitting on foam or at least a towel, not a hard surface. Buy a noise reduction filter from WAVES NS1 is amazing. Warm up your voice before you record so the voice is open and naturally warm sounding:)

Monday, October 6, 2014

- Very Real Sounding Is Often Very Dull. It Still Has to be Compelling.

People will rightfully tell you that you have to sound more real, more like the person next door. Well of course that makes sense. The person directing the project wants the voiceover artist to sound sincere and honest and authentic. But there is a funny flip side to all of this. I hear a complaint from many pros that I coach, that people will say to them... “No its gotta sound more real!” and then they tell me about their frustration that when they try and sound more real, they then often get criticized for sounding lackadaisical or uninspired, or unenthusiastic about the topic.
So what the heck is going on? On the one hand a director says be more real, more conversational, on the other hand they then seem to be complaining about the tone of voice when the person follows the directions that are given.
The answer is this: Often when a person backs off to become more conversational or more real, the energy drops so much that the pace is a little too slow... the cadence looses its bounce... and the melody a little too flat...
Because it’s a wholesale drop in energy it really just does sound unenthusiastic. So it seems like the read has lost all of its life.
When a person tries to be more conversational, not hard sell or not announcery, the effort should focus on smoothing out the delivery and tumbling the speech more so it feels a bit more like a stream of ideas. 
This makes the energy in the vowels and consonants more even and that is exactly what makes us sound MORE REAL AND CONVERSATIONAL.
When we try and become more conversational we are often just backing off on the energy we are using. This usually flattens the amount of rise and fall in our voices, which is what happens when we aren’t passionate about something. 
So the proper approach is to talk at low levels but to maintain a slight urgency. There is a greater rise and fall in the melodies we use when we are excited about a product or story. This will usually restore the rise and fall of the voice.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly are all working, Why Not You?

This is to say that all types of voices are working and making money. Casting agents sometimes use voices that just sound like the"person next door" who is "unpolished" because it sounds more sincere to them. Other times a more polished voice IS needed. There are many ways of looking at casting and voiceover success and there is no one right way. This doesn't mean you shouldn't practice and have good skills for reading copy so you can take direction. The meaning is don't let anything stop you. Develop your skills, concentrate on what your unique personality brings to the table and FOCUS!!!
It is simply one of the most wonderfully ways to make a living for people who love to talk:)