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Health Services
Feb 27, 2009


ChaosTheory posted:

I will give this a shot, do you have Skype?

Thanks! If you send me an email to gpressey@connect.carleton.ca, we can work out a time to get in contact.

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Dudley Downright
Mar 30, 2012


Greetings! Well, it's been quiet here for a few days, but being a newb and foolish, I thought I'd risk the wrath of the Goonal Gods and post up some aural offerings. Any critique and advice is greatly appreciated!

Name: Dudley Downright

Specialties: mature resonant male, FM announcer type, regional Canadian, US, & English accents, also Irish, Scots, and maybe French/German/Russian accents (all silly or not as required).

Tindeck: see below...

Contact: PM

Pay: PayPal

Equipment: Blue Yeti, home-made porta-booth, & Audacity

For your amusement or disgust:
Summerset Hills
I had to rework this one, but finally got it more acceptable (at least to my cloth ears!)

The Retro-Encabulator

Dudley Downright fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2012 around 16:16

ChaosTheory
Oct 1, 2003



Pillbug

Health Services posted:

Thanks! If you send me an email to gpressey@connect.carleton.ca, we can work out a time to get in contact.

I never got an e-mail back from you, so I suppose you got it done then?

Camo Guitar
Jul 15, 2009


The Joe Man posted:

Just checking in with everyone to see if anyone's done some voicework in the meanwhile and if you've been successful in finding local acting lists to sign up for and buffed up your resumes.

Not recorded voicework per se - but still involving voicework (of a description) and something that I reckon a few people on this thread with confidence and strong voices should start investigating...MC work!

If you don't have a fear of public speaking, have a friendly outgoing nature and you can ad lib (ie bullshit) then you're well on your way. You don't have to be an expert on what you're hosting but more of a plan of how you're going to do it.

You might have to do a couple of free gigs/friends weddings to build up practise/ a reputation but you'll find there's plenty of events in charity/sport/everything that need someone who can talk credibly. They don't pay the MC to steal the show (unless you're a stand up comedian) but to ensure the night runs smoothly, make the guests look great and make the audience enjoy themselves.

In the last month I've done a couple of easy MC jobs on weekends, one at a football club I don't follow (I follow their rival team) and a netball festival were I was paid to introduce players to the court (what do I know about netball? Nothing. But I can introduce people, do half time announcements and just keep the show going.) I've got two more weddings on the horizon and an event down at the casino in October.

It's time consuming and some of the events have a supreme lack of organisation but the money's good (I average anywhere from $50-$100 per hour depending on the size of the event) and a great trick to find extra work is to make friends with another busy mc - both of my recent jobs were referred to me because the first guy was booked out.

So goons if you're struggling to find recorded voicework, keep on the lookout for the live version

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



Name: Tim Burns Effect

Specialties: Announcer voices, various accents, and just about any Nicktoon character from the 90s.

Tindeck: http://tindeck.com/users/TimRecordsaVoiceOver (nothing on this yet, but there will be within the week)

IMDb/Portfolio http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4408131/ (I can't believe this exists)

I play Tim in Marble Hornets. GBS thread for it is here.

I've also appeared in several shorts on the Youtube channel TroyHasACamera (I'll post the videos as links so there won't be huge thumbnails in the OP):

Tim Opens a Present

Joseph Touches a Grapefruit

Troy Takes a Trip

Tim Meets a Priest (This one was for one of Troy's classes. Most of the dialogue is from an episode of "The Life and Times of Tim")

Also, since I do lovely Let's Plays on live broadcasts, my personal Youtube channel has more of my normal speaking voice than you'll ever want to hear.



Contact: timrecordsavoiceover at gmail dot com

Payment: Paypal will have to do for now, but only if I turn in something worth paying for.

Tim Burns Effect fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2012 around 20:15

Zratha
Nov 28, 2004

It's nice to see you

Finally got my character demo done!

Have done another video game since my last post and am waiting to hear back on a short film narration.

I also finally got a decent mic (The Yeti)and the stuff for making a porta-booth should be hearing within the week.

Blamethrower
Nov 26, 2006



Hey guys, I'm currently producing a ten minute documentary that explores the Universe and our understanding of it, with some mind blowing facts thrown in for good measure. I'll be looking for a narrator towards the end of the month so I'll be sure to post a detailed write up of the project and what I need/how much I can afford to pay etc. in the next few weeks!

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



Decided my first upload should be my stab at everybody's favorite techno-babble.



EDIT:

I don't think I'm doing this right.



DOUBLE EDIT:

So I paid for the upgraded account on Tindeck, but my account still hasn't been upgraded and I haven't gotten a response from the site admins. Anybody else have this problem?

Tim Burns Effect fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2012 around 07:49

Dudley Downright
Mar 30, 2012


Tim Burns Effect posted:


So I paid for the upgraded account on Tindeck, but my account still hasn't been upgraded and I haven't gotten a response from the site admins. Anybody else have this problem?

Hi Tim,

My Tindeck upgrade/activation email did come fairly quickly. You might want to check your email SPAM filter settings.
My email provider was filtering deliveries my pop3 account, so I had to login to my provider's system to tweek the settings.

RaoulDuke12
Nov 9, 2004

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who see it coming and jump aside.

This is probably a helluva long shot, but I'm looking for someone who can replicate Sterling Holloway's very distinctive tenor for a voiceover.

Sterling Holloway was the voice of Winnie the Pooh and did many other Disney voiceovers.

We need it for a comedy web series, I can definitely pay the right person something for their time!

Dudley Downright
Mar 30, 2012


Zratha posted:


I also finally got a decent mic (The Yeti)and the stuff for making a porta-booth should be hearing within the week.

Hey Zratha,

I too am using a Yeti with a home-made porta-booth, but had problems finding a suitable container/cube with enough headroom for the statuesque 11" Yeti. Most of the porta-booth examples that I could see online had only 12" interiors, and seemed designed for smaller mics. They left hardly any overhead room for adequate sound-insulation material. I finally bought a cheap folding (seat and storage) ottoman that had an all-round 14" interior. I put in a strip of 3" egg-carton acoustic foam on the back and sides and a 2" foam section in the top, so there's just enough room to squeeze in the Yeti. To further isolate, the whole cube is sitting on top of another slab of 3" egg-carton foam.

It seems to be working well. If you have a chance, let us know if you have any comments/tips on crafting a porta-booth for a Yeti.

Cheers, Dudley

Canuck-Errant
Oct 28, 2003

MOOD: BURNING - MUSIC: DISCO INFERNO BY THE TRAMMPS

Dudley Downright posted:



Hey, uh, don't sign your posts. We don't do that around here unless we're cruising for a mocking. And prefacing your posts with a salutation is kinda silly if you're quoting them in your post.

The Joe Man
Apr 7, 2007

Flirting With Apathetic Waitresses Since 1984

Dudley Downright posted:

For your amusement or disgust:
Summerset Hills
I had to rework this one, but finally got it more acceptable (at least to my cloth ears!)

Here are some good things and some bad things:

GOOD THINGS

1) You know how to project your voice. This is a very good thing but it can cause a few problems if you're not careful (which I'll detail in the other section).
2) Very clear. Words are succinct (other than an "into" I noticed), and you're easily understandable. Enunciation isn't perfect, but it's better than average.

BAD THINGS

1) Due to your natural projection, it's actually too loud for the mic. This is an easy fix: STEP BACK (like 6in - 1ft). You'll notice a much cleaner sound if you allow your voice to travel over the mic instead of forcing it in.
2) You got da spitmouth. Make sure your mouth is clear of any saliva before you record because this is very, very noticable. I think I gave some tips earlier in the thread regarding this. Stop clicking your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
3) Sing-songy. It's odd because with your natural projection (which is usually the result of some focus), you're all over the place on emphasis. It's like you're not 100% committed to the script, and you're ending your sentences on weak notes. It's comparable to a really slow-moving rollercoaster. If this was your very 1st or 2nd take, then the problem is probably due to unfamiliarity with the script.
4) Hesitation after "must feel good" but this is a minor quibble.

WORK ON THESE THINGS!

Tim Burns Effect posted:

Decided my first upload should be my stab at everybody's favorite techno-babble.



EDIT:

I don't think I'm doing this right.


I can't really critique either of these but then again, I don't know if you want advice or not. Your production skills are pretty good though!

Zratha posted:

Finally got my character demo done!

Have done another video game since my last post and am waiting to hear back on a short film narration.

I also finally got a decent mic (The Yeti)and the stuff for making a porta-booth should be hearing within the week.
I can tell you had a lot of fun with this, but please believe me when I say that characters aren't your strongsuit. You have an excellent voice for standard, informational based commercials. I can't find anything wrong with the production of the demo, but the voices all kinda sound the same and it has no rhythm and it's all over the place and it's 4x too long and it doesn't make a lotta sense and agh I have a headache.

If you make a standard 60 or 90 second demo spliced together with tons of fake commercials, informational examples, just regular stuff you'd hear on the air, I can guarantee you that it'll work (and sound) much better/focused than what you currently have.

By the way, the new mic made a ton of difference.

What games are you doing? I want to hear what you sound like in a finalized environment.

Camo Guitar posted:

Not recorded voicework per se - but still involving voicework (of a description) and something that I reckon a few people on this thread with confidence and strong voices should start investigating...MC work!

If you don't have a fear of public speaking, have a friendly outgoing nature and you can ad lib (ie bullshit) then you're well on your way. You don't have to be an expert on what you're hosting but more of a plan of how you're going to do it.

You might have to do a couple of free gigs/friends weddings to build up practise/ a reputation but you'll find there's plenty of events in charity/sport/everything that need someone who can talk credibly. They don't pay the MC to steal the show (unless you're a stand up comedian) but to ensure the night runs smoothly, make the guests look great and make the audience enjoy themselves.

In the last month I've done a couple of easy MC jobs on weekends, one at a football club I don't follow (I follow their rival team) and a netball festival were I was paid to introduce players to the court (what do I know about netball? Nothing. But I can introduce people, do half time announcements and just keep the show going.) I've got two more weddings on the horizon and an event down at the casino in October.

It's time consuming and some of the events have a supreme lack of organisation but the money's good (I average anywhere from $50-$100 per hour depending on the size of the event) and a great trick to find extra work is to make friends with another busy mc - both of my recent jobs were referred to me because the first guy was booked out.

So goons if you're struggling to find recorded voicework, keep on the lookout for the live version
This is excellent advice and it'll be added to the OP.

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



The Joe Man posted:

I can't really critique either of these but then again, I don't know if you want advice or not. Your production skills are pretty good though!

So does that mean they're terrible, or...?

The Joe Man
Apr 7, 2007

Flirting With Apathetic Waitresses Since 1984

Tim Burns Effect posted:

So does that mean they're terrible, or...?
Nope, they're just not the best examples to offer feedback on. The Retro Encabulator take has it's pitch & tempo increased, while the Baby cut is more of a one-off joke that doesn't really give a good indication of your natural speaking voice.

Like I said, they have decent production, but there's not much more I can offer for those two regarding vocal advice. I look forward to hearing more though!

SatansBestBuddy
Sep 26, 2010

What are we going to do on the bed?



So I did a recording of the IdeaSpy 2.5 radio drama that shows up in Ghost Babel. I'm fairly certain I suck at it so I'm posting it here in case anyone has any pearls of wisdom I could use to improve.



Are the voices distinctive enough? Is the delivery too dry? I always make the delivery too dry. There's also some terrible crackling since this is the first recording I've done on my new computer, and didn't realize that Audacity had reset the mic levels to be overly loud, so it crackles whenever I try to shout.

Any criticism is welcome.

The Joe Man
Apr 7, 2007

Flirting With Apathetic Waitresses Since 1984

SatansBestBuddy posted:

So I did a recording of the IdeaSpy 2.5 radio drama that shows up in Ghost Babel. I'm fairly certain I suck at it so I'm posting it here in case anyone has any pearls of wisdom I could use to improve.



Are the voices distinctive enough? Is the delivery too dry? I always make the delivery too dry. There's also some terrible crackling since this is the first recording I've done on my new computer, and didn't realize that Audacity had reset the mic levels to be overly loud, so it crackles whenever I try to shout.

Any criticism is welcome.

Things I noticed:
1) You're too close to the microphone and really need to watch your levels. You're not only capping out at times, but there's also occasional popping, clicking, and hissing (like when you breathe into the mic). This is also related to breath control.

2) Breath control. Even though you're talking pretty slowly, I can tell that you're really uncomfortable behind the mic and not sure of yourself, and oddly enough in contrast, your brain is responding to that tension by wanting to speak faster than normal just to get it over with. This leads to a weird vocal purgatory where your voice doesn't have a definite direction, and causes all sorts of crazy problems in both vocal quality and technical results. My main suggestion is to audibly read/record it over several times, relax, decompress for an hour and have a cup of coffee or something, and come back to it. Then read it over a few more times and go in for your (potentially) final recording.

3) Syllables. You have a major tendency to pro nounce ev er y syl la ble in ev er y sin gle word. You need to work on blending words together naturally ASAP because it's easily the most distracting part of all of this. I'm wondering if you do that during normal, comfortable conversation too? The problem might lie with script familiarity. If that's the case, see the above paragraph.

4) You're trying to force several voices that aren't even close to your natural. Record this in your natural speaking voice and I guarantee it'll sound 100% better. I'm sorry, but it sounds terrible and nowhere near professional or airable quality. It reminds me of teenagers who try to do an adult, "gritty" voice in a japanese fan comic or something. Get comfortable with the script and read it as naturally as possible.

I wasn't able to listen to your reading through the online Tindeck player, but I was able to download/listen to it on my HD. You might want to reupload your file if others are having the same problem.

You admittedly have a lot of work ahead if you'd like to improve, but that's exactly what this thread is for. I'm happy to help get you started on the right path if you have any further questions or readings you'd like to share.

King Lou
Jun 3, 2004
They say the fittest shall survive, yet the unfit may live



Hey The Joe Man,

What pricing scale do you use when figuring your VO rates.

I just read this article and found it pretty interesting. When people ask me what I charge I have a hard time quoting a price.
http://www.nethervoice.com/nethervo...ing-your-rates/

The Joe Man
Apr 7, 2007

Flirting With Apathetic Waitresses Since 1984

King Lou posted:

Hey The Joe Man,

What pricing scale do you use when figuring your VO rates.

I just read this article and found it pretty interesting. When people ask me what I charge I have a hard time quoting a price.
http://www.nethervoice.com/nethervo...ing-your-rates/

Yeah, I'm the same way. Most of the work I do is finding already posted auditions (w/buyout price) and throwing my hat in the ring if it's fair/worth it. If someone comes to me, I think about it in terms of "How much time is this probably going to take me?" This also varies depending upon if I'm fully producing it so it's 100% "ready for broadcast."

Then again, whatever I quote is usually skewed towards the cheap side since I can knock fully-produced stuff out really quickly.

Just for the sake of hard numbers, if it's a local client or something smaller (with the possibility of future work), I usually settle somewhere between $30-$80 depending on production & length. Larger clients (with bigger pockets & higher standards) are probably around the $140-$190 range. If someone gives me all the info, I can throw them a fair price. Otherwise, I simply ask what their VO/Production budget is or what they were hoping to spend and go from there.

You might have better luck with posting rates since you're better connected to larger clients and geographically nearer to "the industry." Also, you can probably quote more since your cost of living is higher out there. All I know is that no one in MN wants to spend money on audio unless it's from the mumblemouth of some hockey or baseball player that can barely put a sentence together.

Long story short: hook me up!

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



Tonight I livestreamed myself reading Zach Parsons' book "Your Next-Door Neighbor is a Dragon." Unfortunately I didn't have access to the good microphone I used for the stuff on Tindeck (the guy I borrowed it from is out of town), but considering it was essentially a first-take cold read (I've only read the book once before) it could have been a lot worse.

Part 1
Part 2

Soulex
Apr 1, 2009


Cacati in mano e pigliati a schiaffi!



For people having issues breathing, mark your script!

This is what I mean by that. Put a / after every natural pause and comma. Put a // after every ending punctuation. That way,/ you can essentially train your brain to recognize when and when not to breath. //. As a rule of thumb/ i tend to stay under 16 words per breath mark. //. Shorter sentences are way more conversational.//. We would not say half the poo poo we write in a conversation.// I used to have an issue with breathing.// Now I don't.// the marks helped show me where natural pauses should be/ and now when I cold read something/ I have an easier time.//

If you have problems with emphasis (I was called an emotionless robot in school and was asked if I had any friends due to my lack of inflection/emotion) highlight key words. Look at what MAKES that sentence. Is it that you can choose between hamburgers AND hot dogs? Or is it that you can choose between HAMBuRGERS and HOT DOGS? Also, you should never emphasize and.

If you need both you will have a funny looking script. But honestly, if you sound golden who cares!?

CuddleChunks
Sep 18, 2004



Tim Burns Effect posted:

Tonight I livestreamed myself reading Zach Parsons' book "Your Next-Door Neighbor is a Dragon."

Part 1

I want to punch you for 2 minutes and 26 seconds. In the future, please edit down your presentation to the parts you want us to hear.

Your reading is okay but doesn't hold my attention for very long. Try slowing down until.... it.... feels......... like......... you are putting a ton of space in between every word. Since people can't see your face to get some hints from your lips and expression, you have to put longer spaces between words and phrases for them to be comprehensible. Further, if you don't vary your pitch during reading it will put the listener to sleep.

Think about your favorite book-on-tape. If you don't have one, go get some and listen to the pros at work. I highly recommend Grant Naylor, "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" as read by Chris Barrie. He's got an uncanny knack for mimicking the rest of the cast and does a great read of some very funny material.

Cold reading a text also doesn't show off your best work since you haven't had a chance to plan things out. Soulex has great advice on how to mark up a text so that you can plan your breathing and emphasis. Then again, I like to make little books-on-tape for friends and I cold read the poo poo out of those texts.


OH! By the way, I didn't think it was a bad read, and I was half-listening along while typing up this post. Don't get discouraged by the comments.

CuddleChunks fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2012 around 04:24

Meow Cadet
May 2, 2007


friendship is magic
in a pony paradise
don't you judge me

Back in February I did my first VO job for a video game. They said I would get called back in April for the next installment (the game is in 4 episodes). I haven't heard anything from them, and I'm tempted to send a "Can't wait to hear from you" email, but I'm afraid that might be a little too pushy. Any thoughts?

The Joe Man
Apr 7, 2007

Flirting With Apathetic Waitresses Since 1984

Meow Cadet posted:

Back in February I did my first VO job for a video game. They said I would get called back in April for the next installment (the game is in 4 episodes). I haven't heard anything from them, and I'm tempted to send a "Can't wait to hear from you" email, but I'm afraid that might be a little too pushy. Any thoughts?
I'd wait. Are you an integral voice in the game? I doubt they'd recast if you did a decent job the first time. It was probably delayed/pushed back so I'm sure they'll contact you when they're ready.

Where are people getting these video game jobs?!

(No for real I wanna know)

CuddleChunks posted:

Listen to this man, Tim Burns Effect.

The question I wanted to ask while listening to it was, "Would you want to sit and listen to this?"

It's not terrible, but it's certainly not impressive. I will say though that cold reading a "script" for 2 hours straight that's written for the eye and not for the ear can be tough. Most books are not meant to be read aloud, so if you want to make it audibly pleasing, you really need to put some effort into it. Frankly, I didn't see much effort.

However, you can still turn this into a learning experience: Listen/watch your entire reading with a critical ear and write down (with a timestamp) anything you notice that you friggin' hate about it. A mispronunciation here, badly timed emphasis there, etc...

Work on not doing those things anymore.

This actually works surprisingly well. I started to get into on-camera acting (ughh) and luckily for me, they recorded and posted everyone's audition online. I noticed that I kept closing my eyes and blinking unknowingly while reciting lines.

Now that I'm conscious of it, I don't do that anymore. Success!

Soulex
Apr 1, 2009


Cacati in mano e pigliati a schiaffi!



The Joe Man posted:

I started to get into on-camera acting (ughh) and luckily for me, they recorded and posted everyone's audition online. I noticed that I kept closing my eyes and blinking unknowingly while reciting lines.

Now that I'm conscious of it, I don't do that anymore. Success!
i had a huge issue with my eyebrows. I looked like I was constanty trying to do "The Rock" impressions.

I got rid of it after I lost my dignity to radio. Camera work is all types of hosed. I have to put tape over the record light so people don't see the glaring eye of doom.

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



CuddleChunks posted:

I want to punch you for 2 minutes and 26 seconds. In the future, please edit down your presentation to the parts you want us to hear.

Your reading is okay but doesn't hold my attention for very long. Try slowing down until.... it.... feels......... like......... you are putting a ton of space in between every word. Since people can't see your face to get some hints from your lips and expression, you have to put longer spaces between words and phrases for them to be comprehensible. Further, if you don't vary your pitch during reading it will put the listener to sleep.

Think about your favorite book-on-tape. If you don't have one, go get some and listen to the pros at work. I highly recommend Grant Naylor, "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" as read by Chris Barrie. He's got an uncanny knack for mimicking the rest of the cast and does a great read of some very funny material.

Cold reading a text also doesn't show off your best work since you haven't had a chance to plan things out. Soulex has great advice on how to mark up a text so that you can plan your breathing and emphasis. Then again, I like to make little books-on-tape for friends and I cold read the poo poo out of those texts.


OH! By the way, I didn't think it was a bad read, and I was half-listening along while typing up this post. Don't get discouraged by the comments.

As far as that intro goes, I gladly would have cut it down, but since I was livestreaming it and Ustream is just "Hit record, save it when you're done", I couldn't really do that. Oh well.

Thanks for all the advice, CuddleChunks and The Joe Man! I was doing this for practice anyway, so any and all advice is appreciated.

Meow Cadet
May 2, 2007


friendship is magic
in a pony paradise
don't you judge me

The Joe Man posted:

Where are people getting these video game jobs?!

(No for real I wanna know)

I got mine from craigslist, on a random search for the suburb I live in.

Lonely Rolling Star
Mar 20, 2009

Better than a crowbar.


So I used to do some voice acting in the heyday of Newgrounds (2004-2006). It's as big of a cesspool as you could imagine. At the time I was doing my own animation project with my friends, and realizing that we all sucked at voice acting, decided to whore ourselves out as a group. The project I was dong collapsed for various reasons (lack of time, effort, ability, and casting my already volatile then girlfriend in one of the main female roles), but a few of us stuck around.

There were a couple other voice acting communities online at that time, but we stuck with the Newgrounds forum group because it was a friendly environment full of people just like us. At least at the time most of the people involved were just in it for the fun of it. Most of us weren't technically good, but had enough charisma and willingness to improve without letting our egos get the best of us.

However, Newgrounds is a sucking wasteland, and back then was no different. My friends were run out after a few months by other users fighting with them over stupid nonsense. My first issue was with some flash author dropping me from his project because I wasn't available during the weekdays, then releasing his flash movie with my vocals unchanged but crediting one of his real life friends for my vocals rather blatantly.

Then similarly someone dropped me for the same reason, but in a hostile and hilarious way on the forum. Long story short after a week long flame war that I wasn't even aware of between some of the VA's and flash artists that frequented the board about me. The argument managed to change from the flash artist having a poor attitude towards VA's to me being a casual hobbyist stealing roles from people that might actually appreciate it.

So I mostly just do voices for people that ask for it now. I still know a few people from the Newgrounds days who have had some actual successes. I haven't auditioned for anything since probably 2008. Unless the person in charge of the project actually alerts me that something came out, then I have no idea.

I have however grew into my voice since that time. My real voice used to be nasily and annoying, and all I really did was cartoon voices. Now people usually just want me for my normal voice so slight variations and accents.

I would have a demo to show but I honestly haven't recorded a proper one in forever. I would like to get back into it proper one of these days. I can't even begin to guess how rusty I am. I have done some semi professional work, but nothing I've actually been paid for.

SatansBestBuddy
Sep 26, 2010

What are we going to do on the bed?



Thrown my sleep schedule out of whack and am trying to fix it by staying up all night. To keep myself occupied I did a reading of Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem, The Raven. Recording at 3 in the morning I'm naturally tired and trying not to wake up my roommates, so I didn't put the energy into it I wanted to, and I end up stumbling by the end and mispronouncing a bunch of words but, again, 3 in the morning. Enjoy! (also Tindeck cuts out the last word for no reason )



And since I didn't give proper thanks for the IdeaSpy feedback...

The Joe Man posted:

Things I noticed:

Thanks, man, much appreciated.

1) Fixed, I hope. New computer and all that, had to go into the volume mixer to set the level for the mic. Comes out insanely quiet in Audacity but I can just adjust the gain in there.

2) Thanks for the advice. For IdeaSpy I did at least three takes for each line and choose what I felt was the best out of those three, then spliced them all together. Funnily enough, I thought I was speaking faster than I actually was when I listened to it again. Weird.

3) Ah, no, I can honestly say I don't overpronounce in typical conversations, in fact I have exactly the opposite problem, I mumble a lot. Believe me, if I'm not trying to actively pronounce each word it comes out a garbled mess. You'll probably hear that in The Raven recording I made.

4) Duly noted. Was mostly just making sure you could tell the difference between characters, though if they really sound that terrible then I think I'll redo this with my natural voice instead.

King Lou
Jun 3, 2004
They say the fittest shall survive, yet the unfit may live



If anyone is interested Blue Microphones is giving a Yeti Pro away.

http://blueblog.bluemic.com/2012/04...win-a-yeti-pro/

blinkeve1826
Jul 26, 2005

WELCOME TO THE NEW DEATH


Warning: Huge long mega-post ahead, though one with good advice and possible opportunity to be paid

I've been avoiding posting in here for some time, mainly because 1) I haven't had/don't have the time, and 2) I felt like the VO issues I'm in the midst of dealing with aren't really relevant to the majority of those looking for help in this thread. Then I realized that was kind of dumb, and that it would probably benefit even those just starting out to hear about what someone is dealing with down the road, and that I might even get some help/advice from here myself, since there's always more to learn. So, here we are!

Name: blinkeve1826

Specialties: For sure character voices, even though most of the work I find/am hired for is relatively straight-read. Children, both boys and girls; young, middle-aged and elderly women; teenage boys; valley girls, geeks, princesses, nasally housewife, overbearing boss/drill sergeant, elves...oh, just listen to my demo: https://www.listentomelanie.com/demo.mp3
As for my commercial/narration/"normal" voice: youthful, energetic, fun; perhaps also innocent, clear, enthusiastic, humble

Tindeck: http://tindeck.com/users/ListenToMelanie
Animation demo direct link: http://www.listentomelanie.com/demo.mp3
And I have a much more comprehensive collection of demos on my website, which is...

IMDB/Portfolio: https://www.listentomelanie.com

Contact: PMs are okay, email is the most surefire way to get in touch with me: ListenToMelanie at gmail

Payment: My Paypal is the same as my email, but it's something I prefer to discuss with clients before I start working on a project.

Started with classes/building a demo right out of high school, had some great success with VO both at home and abroad, have since done probably 250+ or so recordings for commercials, narration, animation, educational materials, telephony, iPhone games/apps, etc. My most recent VO was the latest in a series of national commercials for Vampire Diaries that I've been working on with a local studio. I've done a bunch of projects with goons, both on and off the forums; I'll link to some at the bottom of this post.

So, first a couple of things I wanted to address from other posts in the thread, and then my own whole thing at the end.

The Joe Man posted:

I smoke and drink a ton of coffee.

...

At least for me, I've found that a hot liquid like coffee or tea is key. Others claim the opposite. Just gotta experiment and see what works!

Everyone should be paying attention to this: those are two of the worst things you can do for your vocal health. You undoubtedly know the long-term effects of smoking, so I won't go there, but in the shorter-term, caffeine/caffeinated drinks and smoking dehydrate you. This isn't opinion or what works best for me/you/anyone else, this is a fact: caffeinated drinks will dry you out. If you're going hiking, what do you bring with you to drink, bottles of iced coffee/iced tea, or bottles of water? There's a reason for that--water hydrates you, caffeinated drinks dehydrate you. In terms of your general health, this isn't good for you anyway, as most people walk around most of the time slightly dehydrated as it is.

If your mouth/throat is consistently too dry OR too wet, this is a sign of improper hydration. That six to eight glasses of water thing isn't just a "thing"; it's the bare minimum for what you NEED for your body to be functioning optimally. Eight to ten is actually closer to what you should really be having. That sound like more than it is, though; most bottled water will hold 2.5 cups or so, so you're really looking at 3-4 bottles a day, which isn't so far from the two I'm drinking effortlessly in sips throughout the day, and more consciously when I'm working. There is no short-term fix for this, and if you really do want to do this professionally/for a living, you need to start on good hydration habits NOW.

For now, aim to drink one more bottle of water a day, and you WILL feel a difference. Yes, you will have to pee a lot more, your body will be healthier overall and you may see other side effects (improvements in skin health, weight loss, etc).

I can't emphasize this enough--DRINK LOTS OF WATER. When you've drunk as much as you possibly can, drink more. This will keep your general health and vocal health where it needs to be for you to function optimally, physically and vocally, so you can just focus on doing your job and acting, instead of how many times you'll need to clear your throat to get a clear sound before you can start.

In addition, avoid milk and dairy products right before recording, as those will create mucous, and even cold water, which will actually contract/slightly numb your vocal cords. (Heat expands and cold contracts, remember?)

Quick Googling gave me this, which has some wise words on it:

http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/journey/care.html

The Joe Man posted:

I'd like to see you try, if not only for the fact that you're female and you statistically have waaay less competition. Your odds of landing a job (if you're good) are much, much higher than any non-famous male.

This is fact. Take advantage of it!!

Is it? I feel like there's a LOT of competition in the female market as well. Perhaps that's just because I'm female and that's primarily what I've been focusing on?

The Joe Man posted:

One thing to note is that the total length of the demo should be 60 or 90 seconds.

My animation demo is just about 90 seconds and I'm thinking of trimming it, but I think it'll be about 1:10-1:15 after I do. Is 60 OR 90 an industry thing, or if it's somewhere in the middle of 60 and 90 is there some reason that wouldn't fly?

Nessa posted:

It's my 20ish take and I had a cup of tea while recording. I swear my nose and throat were as clear as I could get them and that I don't have a cold. That's just how my voice sounds.

Oy oy oy oy. Do yourself a favor and have room-temp water with you when you record, not something that will over-/under-coat your throat, and know when it's time to stop. When things hurt, when you're getting too frustrated to continue productively, when you feel like you're not getting anywhere, that's when it's time to stop and take a break, if not stop for the day.

Listen to your bodies, people--they're communicating with you!

Leofish posted:

It's a combination of mic placement, controlled breathing and practice. A good mic or a good pop filter can help diminish that kind of stuff, but good habits are an important thing to develop.

Another good tip for people is to wear headphones as you're recording. It takes some getting used to hearing yourself as you're speaking in a new way, but you can detect problems as they're happening and adjust accordingling. A good test is to read something with a lot of P's in it, like Peter Piper, to get an idea of how much you pop.

Another tip that has worked for me over the years is speaking just slightly to the side of the mic, rather than straight into it. That combined with the other things you mentioned will help eliminate popping, even in studios where they don't have pop filters. (And for whatever reason, I've been to several that don't have them!)

Okay, so my situation.

As I mentioned, I've been pretty successful so far, but I feel like I've hit a plateau lately. I'm getting clients, but not as many as I want, and not enough to make a living doing this, which is what I want to do, and I know that I can realistically do. The next step for me to do so is to find an agent.

BUT.

Before I do that, I should have everything look and sound as good as it possibly can, right? So that's the problem.

I'm not completely satisfied with my demos. My animation demo is good, but I'm starting to wonder if it's a bit too long, and I want to rearrange some bits of it--put some of my better voices in the beginning and some of the less important ones closer to the end. My commercial demo is, like, six years old and sounds nothing like me anymore--I want to redo it completely. My old voiceover teacher, who for the most part is spot on about everything and is responsible for most of my success andwho has gotten me some VO work, says everyone he's played my commercial demo for (including those who have hired me) have, obviously, liked my demo. Which is weird to me, because I think it sounds like crap.

My website is literally an abortion of an idea--I hired someone from SA to create a website for me, and he aborted the project in the middle, just left without finishing it, so now it looks unfinished, disorganized, and unprofessional. I feel like I can't show it to anyone I want to take me seriously. VO teacher, again, says it's fine and people like it, and balked at some changes I had made (color scheme--as I hate pink, organization, etc). After trying to salvage what I have, my boyfriend convinced me to go with Wordpress, so now I'm struggling to find a theme that I like, that's readable, well-organized, easy to navigate, and can handle a lots of audio, some video, pictures, a customized logo, lots of customization...and makes it all ridiculously easy to do, as I am completely unfamiliar with all of this and am getting really frustrated with it. I'm ready to tell someone to design a Wordpress theme for me, and happily pay them to do so, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. If you are reading this and think you can help me out, though, whether it's with Wordpress or by salvaging my current site, please feel free to contact me. Like I said, I am willing to pay for the right design.

My logo, which I designed and again hired someone from SA to create, I thought was good, but again said VO teacher has his criticisms--mainly that no VO actor would hold a mic that way and that it makes me look like a country-western singer, which are valid points, but I also don't think anyone's going to be thinking that when they see the logo...right? I just don't think anyone's going to be thinking into it nearly half as much as we are. But...does it matter? Because I don't want it to be something silly like this that ruins my image.

So...as I have a tendency to do, am I being too harsh with myself? I feel like these are things that NEED to be fixed/done before I find an agent, but I also feel so overwhelmed/lost/stuck with all of this that I feel like my VO career is at a complete standstill and I'll never get out of it! Aaarrghrghrgh. What say you wise voiceover gurus?

Ooh, and before I forget, some goon projects I provided VO work for:

Dropsy the Clown: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3277220
Genius Defense Force, ridiculously fun and super-adorable iPhone game: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/geni...d338703323?mt=8
Father Sterling, interactive goon-produced comic book app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/geni...d338703323?mt=8

And a few more general pieces of advice:

-I teach VO classes here in NYC and private VO lessons both here in NY and online via Skype! All the info is on my site here: http://www.listentomelanie.com/voiceoverclasses.html. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you're interested! Ask me about my goon success stories

-Edge Studio does tend to send a lot of email filled with a lot of junk, but they also offer a lot of free opportunity for practice and learning as well. They have free teleclasses every Monday night, I believe. Free! What's the worst that can happen, you don't get your money's worth? Also take advantage of their script reading contests--basically the same thing you're doing in this thread, but with the potential to win prizes, and I'm sure they'll start recognizing your name after a few submissions, which can't hurt, either.

-The lazier couch potato-y-er among you won't want to hear this, but it will help your vocal health (as well as your overall health, obviously) to get regular exercise. Having issues with breath control? Guess what, that has to do with control over your abdominal muscles. Your job will get easier and more enjoyable, and you will be healthier, if you are exercising regularly. Go for a walk 30 minutes a day, join a cheap $10/month gym nearby, go for a run, swim bike ride, whatever--just improve your health, and you'll be improving your ability to read well, too.

-Anyone local to NYC might want to consider volunteering with the Jewish Braille Institute by recording audiobooks for the blind, where I found a great outlet for continued practice in narrating, directing AND editing audio. Great for veterans and beginners alike, and you're helping contribute to a great cause. http://www.jbilibrary.org/ has contact info--call and ask to talk to Jane or Peter in the recording studio, and mention that you heard about JBI from me (they love me there ); they're always happy to have more people helping out!

-Also, for those of you just starting out and looking for things to put on a resume, look around you--there are opportunities for you EVERYWHERE. I'm a bit envious of those starting out, actually, because that first step is deceivingly easy BECAUSE of the wealth of opportunities around you. Does your job need a new voicemail greeting? Offer to record it in exchange for a positive testimonial on your website. Does your Aunt Bertha need to deliver a Powerpoint presentation next Thursday? Offer to provide narration for it for credit at the end, and to keep you in mind for future projects. Turn to family, friends, and work for potential opportunities to get your voice out there. If nothing else, it's great practice, and these little opportunities can--and DO--often turn into paid ones! I was at my boyfriend's house a few months ago, and his mother was stressing out over a script she had to write for the head of her company to read on camera for a training video or something. Just to be goofy, I read it out loud, clearly over-enthusiastically, so she'd get an idea of how it could sound out loud, but again, just for fun. The next day, my boyfriend calls and tells me his mother told the head of the company how good I sounded reading it, and he decided he wanted me to read it instead--along with the company's voicemail message. Just from reading something out loud, I was offered not one, but TWO voiceover gigs. Get your voice out there, and read for anyone who will listen! You never know when it will happen for you!

blinkeve1826 fucked around with this message at Nov 13, 2013 around 17:22

CuddleChunks
Sep 18, 2004



Thank you for all the good advice! I don't have any particular input for you but I don't think your logo looks bad at all. You are a singer and voiceover artist so showing a lady with a mic seems perfectly reasonable. The site layout isn't too garish though the profusion of typefaces on the services page bugs my inner designer.


SatansBuddy - You wrote:

SatansBestBuddy posted:

I did a reading of Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem, The Raven. Recording at 3 in the morning I'm naturally tired and trying not to wake up my roommates, so I didn't put the energy into it I wanted to, and I end up stumbling by the end and mispronouncing a bunch of words but, again, 3 in the morning. Enjoy! (also Tindeck cuts out the last word for no reason )

What do you expect the reaction to this piece will be? You have told us that it's a throwaway piece you recorded while extremely tired with roommates lurking at the edges and no energy available for the part. Here's my honest reaction, "Is English your first language? What is this garbled poo poo?" That's not helpful but you gave us a turd to listen to rather than something you'd put some effort into. This is a pretty casual thread so please don't stop recording yourself and giving us examples, but don't give us every single sample of recording you've ever made. That's not helpful either.



I've been going to sleep listening to HP Lovecraft stories lately and ran out of the professional stuff I have and am now resorting to listening to my own readings. I cringe a bit at my efforts but it makes me want to record more stories and see if I can improve. I'll warn anyone trying to do this that reading a short story is a *long* undertaking and you may want to break your recording session up into manageable chunks. You'll need to drink loads of water to get through it and take a break here and there to keep your energy up. Keep your microphone paused or otherwise set in a way so that when you sit back down you're at the same relative location so that your parts will match from session to session.

I really like the idea of the Jewish Braille Institute project that blinkeve1826 mentions. That's super cool and I'd love to contribute to it. Too bad I'm all the way on the other end of the continent from NYC. Still, it makes me wonder if there are similar projects in my own town.

ChaosTheory
Oct 1, 2003



Pillbug

blinkeve1826 posted:

stuff

You forgot our little adult audiobook.

blinkeve1826
Jul 26, 2005

WELCOME TO THE NEW DEATH


ChaosTheory posted:

You forgot our little adult audiobook.

Define "forgot"

Edit: I decided shortly after that not to record anything that wasn't totally clean, even in terms of profanity--I'm just not comfortable with it, and if it pops up in a script I'll ask to change it or let someone else record it--so it's not something with which I prefer to associate. For those of you curious--it hasn't been a problem so far, but I also have only had such situations occur in studios and with clients with which I was already familiar, so YMMV.

Anyway. I'm at the point where I don't work for free anymore (those of you starting out, though, make no mistake--I definitely paid my dues), but if I come across something I really, REALLY like, well, I need practice like everybody else. I'd love to do some sort of multi-goon radio play or something (though one I wouldn't be ashamed showing, say, my parents). Anyone have any original such scripts? This thread could be a really great opportunity to create something hilarious/legendary/infamous/etc.

blinkeve1826 fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2012 around 12:45

ChaosTheory
Oct 1, 2003



Pillbug

But my dear it's full blast

ChaosTheory fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2012 around 00:52

The Joe Man
Apr 7, 2007

Flirting With Apathetic Waitresses Since 1984

blinkeve1826 posted:

Everyone should be paying attention to this: those are two of the worst things you can do for your vocal health. You undoubtedly know the long-term effects of smoking, so I won't go there, but in the shorter-term, caffeine/caffeinated drinks and smoking dehydrate you. This isn't opinion or what works best for me/you/anyone else, this is a fact: caffeinated drinks will dry you out.
Nah sorry, it works for me. Cold or room temperature liquids (water) constrict the throat, while warm or hot (coffee) loosen it up and relax it. I get a much warmer, deeper sound when my throat is warmed up and clear. Like I mentioned, the opposite can work better for other people (ie you).

quote:

Is it? I feel like there's a LOT of competition in the female market as well. Perhaps that's just because I'm female and that's primarily what I've been focusing on?
It is.

quote:

My animation demo is just about 90 seconds and I'm thinking of trimming it, but I think it'll be about 1:10-1:15 after I do. Is 60 OR 90 an industry thing, or if it's somewhere in the middle of 60 and 90 is there some reason that wouldn't fly?
You won't get turned down because your demo is an off-number, but yes, 60 or 90 is standard (at least for audio; I'm clueless regarding AV standards). As an exception, Informational/Industrial demos should be either 90 or 120.

quote:

So...as I have a tendency to do, am I being too harsh with myself? I feel like these are things that NEED to be fixed/done before I find an agent, but I also feel so overwhelmed/lost/stuck with all of this that I feel like my VO career is at a complete standstill and I'll never get out of it! Aaarrghrghrgh. What say you wise voiceover gurus?
You're not being too hard on yourself, you're just never going to get started. I'd pick one thing to focus on actually finishing while finding an agent (I'd choose the animation demo if you have a clear idea of what needs changing).

The best thing to keep in mind is that folks like us have ears for this sort of thing so we're able to pick up friggin' everything. More often than not, customers or clients would never notice the little imperfections that we notice/cringe at. I barely glanced at the website but to someone that doesn't know any better (middle-age/old people), it looks impressive. You're probably fine. Pick a project and finish it though; it'll at the very least make you feel better and that's still one more solid thing outta the way.

quote:

-Also, for those of you just starting out and looking for things to put on a resume, look around you--there are opportunities for you EVERYWHERE. I'm a bit envious of those starting out, actually, because that first step is deceivingly easy BECAUSE of the wealth of opportunities around you. Does your job need a new voicemail greeting? Offer to record it in exchange for a positive testimonial on your website. Does your Aunt Bertha need to deliver a Powerpoint presentation next Thursday? Offer to provide narration for it for credit at the end, and to keep you in mind for future projects. Turn to family, friends, and work for potential opportunities to get your voice out there. If nothing else, it's great practice, and these little opportunities can--and DO--often turn into paid ones! I was at my boyfriend's house a few months ago, and his mother was stressing out over a script she had to write for the head of her company to read on camera for a training video or something. Just to be goofy, I read it out loud, clearly over-enthusiastically, so she'd get an idea of how it could sound out loud, but again, just for fun. The next day, my boyfriend calls and tells me his mother told the head of the company how good I sounded reading it, and he decided he wanted me to read it instead--along with the company's voicemail message. Just from reading something out loud, I was offered not one, but TWO voiceover gigs. Get your voice out there, and read for anyone who will listen! You never know when it will happen for you!
This is excellent advice and will be added to the OP.

ChaosTheory posted:

You forgot our little adult audiobook.

ChaosTheory posted:

But my dear ir's full blast
Stop being creepy.

Canuck-Errant
Oct 28, 2003

MOOD: BURNING - MUSIC: DISCO INFERNO BY THE TRAMMPS

So, a little while ago I recorded a thing:


Now, apart from "sound less Canadian", "don't breathe into the mic" and "never do that again, for the love of god, Montessor", does anyone have any specific advice to offer?

Ishamael
Feb 18, 2004

You don't have to love me, but you will respect me.

The Joe Man posted:

Nah sorry, it works for me. Cold or room temperature liquids (water) constrict the throat, while warm or hot (coffee) loosen it up and relax it. I get a much warmer, deeper sound when my throat is warmed up and clear. Like I mentioned, the opposite can work better for other people (ie you).

No, she's right, caffeine is not a good choice and will dry you out. Temperature is subjective, I guess, but extreme temperatures change the sound of your voice, so I have always been taught to stick to room temperature liquids.


blinkeve1826 posted:


I've been avoiding posting in here for some time, mainly because 1) I haven't had/don't have the time, and 2) I felt like the VO issues I'm in the midst of dealing with aren't really relevant to the majority of those looking for help in this thread. Then I realized that was kind of dumb, and that it would probably benefit even those just starting out to hear about what someone is dealing with down the road, and that I might even get some help/advice from here myself, since there's always more to learn. So, here we are!

Looking through your site, I think it works. I can see your concerns about the design, etc. but that is pretty small potatoes. Having a dedicated site makes a good impression, and the specificity of your demos is smart as well. I currently just have a narration demo and a character demo, but if I re-do them in the future I might break them down a bit more specifically like you have done.

One thing I have noticed though, you have a great video for Vampire Diaries waaaay down at the bottom. Clients really like seeing videos, it shows that you have actually voiced real projects that have been produced and are out there in the world. Put a couple of your higher-profile vids at the top, I think it will help sell you as a force to be reckoned with! And congrats on all the work, it seems like you are only a couple small steps away from being able to make a living as a VO actor.



For the people just starting out, I think that something everyone should remember is that you are trying to become a voice ACTOR. So, if you have no training in acting, that is a good place to start. You can't just expect to jump into VO and not sound like a wooden robot or an amateur if you haven't learned to control your voice and speech patterns.

There are lots of ways to start, but I really think that acting training is a good foundation for VO, because acting IS what you are doing. In fact, VO can be even more difficult, because you are acting without the benefit of your face. So, if you are wondering where to begin, and just don't feel like your voice is cutting it, maybe start by looking into some community theater or community college acting courses. If nothing else, it will help you learn breath control and how to project.

CuddleChunks
Sep 18, 2004



Canuck-Errant posted:

So, a little while ago I recorded a thing:


Hahahahh holy crap. I thought you'd found an awesome parody piece to read and was going along with it. No way, that's really a book!

I liked your reading in general but you didn't sell me on the sexiness of the scene. Try varying the speed and pitch you use for several of the sections. Let your voice tell us that hot times are going on. Hahah this is a pretty good text for that because it's so drat ridiculous it's hard not to laugh all the way through.

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One Eye Open
Sep 18, 2006
Am I awake?

On the coffee drying you out theme, have some QI:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGwCGyGmyq8

Admittedly,when I used to act (and sing), I found lemon barley water the best thing to clear my voice. Since I entered my 30s, if I have to do any talking, either medium roast coffee or green tea has the same effect.

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