Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Value of Training

I’ve recently started a new audio editing training course. Refining my skills and learning new ones, making sure that I’m not making basic mistakes. As someone who has learned my craft by listening to other voicereels and wondering ‘How did they achieve that?’ and fiddling around with various audio editing software. Doing courses has been really helpful. I’ve been really lucky in that the course I went one was part of an initiative that my local borough (Southwark) are really keen to promote and encourage artists and The Arts in the area.

This week I will have started a new client’s commercial demo voicereel. Her session was really fun and relaxed – that’s what I can offer as I record from my home studio and we were able to expand on the sides that she found, chop them up creatively to give her a wider range of commercial styles. We’d also found some for using her ‘small boy voice’ which was really fun to record. We’d discovered this as she was mucking about over the mic and that got me excitedly thinking of another category that she could record for. I’m quite jealous of anyone who can voice young boys – there’s market for them out there and not many women can. Louise was one that could! Look out for her reel in a few weeks time when it’s up and running.

I’m glad I undertook the relatively short course. One day a week for four weeks is sometimes a little tricky to commit to when you’re freelance but training is important to me. What is nice is the fact that I’ve been able to learn about aspects of editing that I didn’t think I’d need. Effects, for example – how many times in a corporate VO have I needed to use any reverb or presets? With Louise’s demo reel I needed two very different types of voices for the same segment, two different atmospheres, her using two different character voices wasn’t enough. Having just learnt how to manipulate the sound digitally, I came up with three different variations of the same take. And using the multi-track option on Adobe Audition, I was able to easily come up with the same effect on the three different takes that she gave of the same read, without the fiddly editing of each segment. It came at the right time.

Recording Demos

I thought it was time to update my drama demo as it was feeling a little in need of refreshing. Because of the nature of the work, most of my voiceover home recordings are corporate and have a certain tone which I’ve been working with with some efficiently. The text of most corporate voiceovers don’t usually deal with emotion or conveying a story. (I say that, some really creative corporate voiceovers have been like little stories, or I had to play certain characters). As I haven’t been working with drama scripts for several months I knew that I’d have to have some help.

Today my actor and voiceover friend Amanda Gordon came by to help me record these demos so that I can concentrate on the acting side and not have to worry too much about pushing buttons. I have already recorded a version of these but as an experiment, Amanda offered to direct me on these pieces. From what I have heard already, doing a compare and contrast listen to the tracks, I really like the suggestions that Amanda has made: “Slow down”, “tell ME the story, make me see the images that you’re making”.

Really helpful suggestions. I guess it doesn’t matter how experienced you are as a voiceover artist, it really does help having an outside ear when you’re recording your own demos. Someone in the business whom you can trust who can talk to you straight as both a friend and professionally.

Having listened to one of the recordings I can hear the subtle changes in variety and colour that my voice has after her direction. I hope I can post these up here when I’ve finished with the edit and mixdown.

Happy voicing!

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The VoiceOver Site

I thought I’d start a voiceover site now that I am getting a lot of voiceover and translation work which is independent of my acting and artistic ‘work’. From now you’ll be able to hear what I sound like with various clips on the clip page – there will hopefully be images (as I’ll be making them video clips so it’s not merely the audio).

I’ll also hopefully be sharing what advice and learning that I have been given along the way. It won’t be that technical as I’m not very technical but at least it’s be jargon-free for new users. Of course, as I get more into the business it will have to include stats and things like that, but hopefully enough for anyone to understand.

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