Monday, November 28, 2011

What I've learned from cooking eggs...

Cooking eggs is very simple but also allows a little creativity. A little butter, tomatoes, some sour cream and three eggs just seem to go well together. It's easy to make and you don't have to wait too long until you gain the satisfaction of a delicious meal. If everything was only that easy.

I recently did a recording using TwistedWave, an audio editor for the Mac. Like the aforementioned eggs, TwistedWave is easy to use and the process is fast from recording to finished product.

When I first got the MBox a few years ago, ProTools LE was the packaged software. It was usable and I did all my recordings with it but editing was always a little bit of a chore. A couple VO people recommended TwistedWave and, now that I've actually used it for a job, it's a great piece of software. TwistedWave also processes audio much faster than ProTools, works fine with Lion and editing went so much faster. I was happy and, more importantly, the client was happy.

I was concerned that it might not work well with the MBox but it recognized the device and I was off and running. Editing went much more smoothly and no more bouncing! Did I mention the client was happy? Welcome to my VO toolbox, TwistedWave.

Now, where did I put those eggs?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recyling and Gifting

Found this on-line and thought of how to recycle all that old equipment I have tucked in various closets, boxes and other places.

This clock was made from an old magnetic tape reel. With a new quartz drive and a AA battery, it's a great DIY project for that special geek or VO talent.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The History of the Voice Over

Have you ever given much thought to the history behind this industry we're in? From those early radio broadcasts at the turn of the (previous) century to the current trend of finding that 'every-man' sound, click the image below to see how far voice overs have come. It might give you ideas of where you can market your voice and discover your niche.

I'd love to hear your take on the voice-over industry.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sushi and voice-overs

When making sushi, it's mostly about the rice, not the fish. If you can't get the right mixture of rice, vinegar and sugar then it doesn't matter how fresh the fish is, it just doesn't come together. You end up with sashimi, not sushi. Learning to make the rice is the key.

I'm learning that it's the same with being a voice-over talent. It's mostly about the relationships, not the voice. Without the right type of relationships, it doesn't matter how good your voice is, it just doesn't get going. You end up with a hobby instead of a career. Learning about networking is the key.

Too often, I jump to the latest VO thing, failing to get good enough at the important thing.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Will You Like Mic?

Recently, Apogee announced "Mic", a studio quality USB microphone intended for use with the iPad, iPhone and Mac. Sadly, no details on the microphone and Apogee's website has a 'Coming Soon' page up for the product. Click the link below for more.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why You Need an iPad for VO

So, how many days has it been since you were last in the local Apple store, holding that iPad in your hands? I know, I know — sleek ... glossy ... futuristic — you'd love to have one but how do you justify the purchase? If you're in the VO business, try this for a compelling argument.

Silent Operation - My first VO projects involved taking my paper script into the studio and clipping them to a 'reader' board. The script was carefully formatted to eliminate oh-so-annoying page breaks, and I made sure there was enough dead space between page turnings which I could edit out later. For radio imaging or the 10 second commercial it's not a problem but an e-book? A corporate narration? With the entire script on the iPad, page turnings are noiseless. Well, maybe not on that $20,000 mic in the professional studio down the street which picks up sweat forming on your forehead but, in most cases, it's noiseless.

Dropbox - You can buy the first argument but how does one get the script on the iPad? The answer is Dropbox which is a little unsettling since 'Drop' and 'iPad' are words that should be mutually exclusive. Dropbox is a free tool that lets you easily share videos, photos, documents (e.g. scripts) and audio files (hmmmm...) on multiple devices (e.g. your future iPad purchase). Basically, your client emails you a script and you save it in your Dropbox. You go into the studio with your iPad, access your DropBox account and voilĂ  — there's the script. With your iPad and Dropbox, you'll be able to view the most common text formats, like Word and PDF, without additional software. You can also share folders in Dropbox with your clients which now makes your VO endeavor cloud-enabled.

Remote desktop - You were so excited about using your iPad in the studio, you forgot to fire up the recording software on your computer that is outside the studio (I know I'm reaching, but go with it; we're talking about buying an iPad). You can use remote desktop software on your iPad to connect to your computer and start Pro Tools - without ever leaving your studio! I use PocketCloud which does have a free version if you're willing to live with the ads but there's a free iPad app for GoToMyPC users.

E-books - With the free Kindle app and the free Nook app, you can download and read the latest VO e-books from Amazon or B&N easily and quickly. I know, I know; you can read Kindle books on a Nook and vice-versa but then you get into things like DRM and Calibre where terms like 'easily' and 'quickly' are subject to technical expertise. And, yeah, the Kindle/Nook has much better battery life but, honestly, when was the last time you read a book continuously for 100+ hours? If you're average reading session is about 10 hours, the iPad is fine.

Getting Cheaper - Still can't justify $500 for the low-end iPad? How about $350? You should be able to find the 1st generation iPad on E-bay or Craigslist for $100-$150 lower than the latest iPad 2. Also, everything I've written above works on either iPad.

So, there you have it. Me? The iPad 2 is great but I'm holding on to my 1st generation iPad until September; that's when Apple is rumored to make a product announcement. If it's the iPad 3 then I may wait until the summer of 2012 when it comes out. If it's the iPhone 5 then I'll take another look at the iPad 2 - and maybe sell my iPad 1 to the next up and coming VO talent ...