Mastering Home-Based Voice Over: Lesson 4

The Science Of Voice Over (Part II)

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If you’ve got any VO questions, ask them below, and David will answer them after the next lesson:


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  1. Because your current situation is bound to change, I counsel people to not worry about what they don’t yet have: time, experience, availability, credits…it will all come in due time. Just put that one foot in front of the other, and change for the better. So happy you booked that project! I look forward to working with you should you decide to study with me – you’re at just the right place in your journey to take the most advantage of what we offer. Good on you!

  2. After you’ve watched the video, please ask questions!

    What has always been a challenge for you when it comes to your home recording space?

    How have you tackled lowering your noise floor? Where in your home do you record?

    What else makes you really frustrated when it comes to being a VO talent?

    I’ll read them all, and respond to as many as I can.

  3. I just clicked on Dan ODay’s link to get here so hopefully both of your egos will feel some small spec of gratification for my ability to follow Dan’s ever so long invitations.

    I am with gratitude,
    David Brower
    Indialantic, FL

  4. ERMAGHERD, David, you shouted me out! Thank you. I’ve been in so many online classes during quarantine, I’m just USED to “jumping in” to help out my fellow students, so yeah. I never want to come across as having any answers that supersede what you’re saying; I’m giving answers that I’ve heard from SO many pros, yourself included! If I don’t know (in my heart of hearts, that I “know”) the answer, I’ll likely leave it be. For example, you answered Scott’s question about the “quality” of the work available on ACX, which I couldn’t answer for myself and really wanted the answer to! Also, I googled the VOHeroesPro class, so I “know” what the retail cost of it is. But I didn’t answer it in the thread, because I DON’T know if there’s a “quarantine deal” you’re planning to offer. I’m waiting to see, like the rest. I’m already getting plenty of value out of this free course, and I look forward to the SIX A.M. IN THE MORNING releases (you are a monster, David! LOL)… because even in a free course, there’s still some new info to be gleaned, even for someone like me who’s “been doing this awhile”. Just gotta keep learning!

    …. btw, I love the “flute” analogy for cutting vocal noise! I’m looking forward to learning your stair-step method, as I LOATHE punch-n-roll, and my ratio is roughly 3:1, but I certainly want to shrink that. And Joshua’s question triggered this one for me… does the VOHeroesPro course teach layering, either for audiobooks or commercial demos, i.e. segue music? I have an author I’ll be working with on >1 title, and he’s suggested a particular piece of music, if he can get the rights for it, for one of our later titles. I had Audacity 102 at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, but it’s been forever ago, and since I didn’t use the knowledge after the class, I’ve forgotten how that works.

    Ennyhoo. Thanks again, David! You’re the best!

  5. What is different from this course and your acx master class? I took the acx master class and already have all the equipment.

  6. These videos are amazing, thank you!! I’ve struggled with reading my entire life, I still do from time to time. So personally, *I* listen to audiobooks. The thought of starting a VO career with audiobooks is horrifying to me. What drew me to VO was doing Commercials and IVR work. Do you still suggest starting out in the audiobook world, for someone like me?

    1. Casandra, you are not alone. I grew up in a family of readers, the only one who really hated it. I’m CAPABLE, and frankly, I LOVE cold-read auditions! But recording audiobooks is honestly not the same thing as reading for pleasure, at least not for me. I’m reading aloud for someone else’s pleasure! I’m ACTING, but with only my voice! You may find that you enjoy books more, if someone is willing to pay you to read them. 😉

      … on the other hand, if you can make a living with commercials and IVR, then why bother with books? I know, that’s not the most helpful answer. But I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. Cheers!

    1. Your DAW will have a way to tell you. In Audacity, you highlight the clip, click on “Analyze” dropdown list, select “Contrast”, and then “Measure selection”. If you’re not using Audacity, your DAW should definitely help you with that.

  7. Another terrific lesson, David — thanks so much for answering my question about how to pursue IVR work! Really looking forward to watching the fifth lesson tomorrow.


  8. Hi David,
    Your comments re: maintaining Delivery throughout a project is spot on. Some of the longer projects I’ve done, 6-8hours, were recorded in one long day and there is no way in Hell, read that Heck, I sounded the same throughout. It’s an important point to remember and a stress-reliever for both beginners & experienced alike. Respect your commitment to these videos. As I get ready to re-engage after a sabbatical by choice, you’re first on my list. Thanx for all you do.
    ? ~Tom j Dolan

  9. Hello david im new at this and am trying to set up a little studio in my walk in closet was wondering where to buy a good inexpensive noise reader !

  10. Hi David,

    How long will these videos be available? I feel as if I need to watch each of them again.

    1. At least for the next few days. Brand new PROs signing up for VOHeroes 2020 will have access to them ongoing.

  11. What a treat this series has been! Although I took the ACX Mastermind class at the beginning of 2020 (which at this point seems lightyears ago), I found every one of these videos to be invaluable to my continued learning. It took getting a couple of books under my belt to really bring to light what I still didn’t know. These videos have really drilled down further in some important areas for me. Thank you so very much!

  12. Does the Mastering ACX classes (1&2) teach your stair step method of editing?
    I’m very interested in the method but simplu don’t have the money for the fullfledged courses you offer.
    Any help you can offer is appreciated.

  13. David, thanks for these free sessions. I am a graduate of your 2020 ACX Master Class and have begun recording audiobooks. My question is: How do you control your breathing during audiobook (or any) recording sessions without affecting the flow of the recording or having to go back through the recording to edit out breathing sounds?

  14. Hi David, I know you said in a previous class that this would be addressed in more detail in the VO Heros pro course, but I was wondering when you set your noise floor and gain to a good comfortable speaking level, (that’s below -60db) but you then have to either raise or lower your gain for yelling or whispering scenes can adjusting the gain mess up the noise floor you have set for yourself?

    Thank you so much for these classes they have been a huge help!

  15. Hi David,
    Thanks so much for your PRICELESS information. To respond to you, YES I now know so much more than before I started these lessons which I’ve shared with my agents. I doubt if I’ll be turning down any more VO auditions due to lack of knowledge thanks to you . LOL THANKS SO MUCH! GOD BLESS!

  16. How do you deal with the inevitable heat that comes with sound dampening materials and having to switch off a/c for recording?

  17. Are shields that attach to the mic stand behind the mic to stop sound reflections effective?

    1. Not at all. Items like the Kaotica Eyeball, and curved shields, are protecting the area that the mic usually rejects sound from anyway, especially if the mic is set for a cardioid or hyper-cardioid pattern, effectively not picking up that sound to begin with.

    1. It can remove noise electronically, but it, of course, can’t lower your noise floor. That requires better soundproofing. And when something like a filter or plugin removes “noise“ electronically, it always in some small way affects the quality of your voice.

  18. Just want to thank you again for sharing these nuggets with us.
    It’s important to put whatever we can in action immediately… that said, I signed up for Cleanfeed and after listening to lesson 4, I reached out to the right holder that I did a couple of jobs for to say hello and ask how he was following the storm. Anyway he wants to meet with me this week to discuss narration of some short stories for Audible! The importance of maintaining relationships after work is completed is a valuable lesson.

  19. Hi David: I just finished video 3 & 4 and again, fantastic content! Thank you! The level of detail in these videos is so helpful and also your answers to the questions. I shared your link with a friend who is a professional VO but now getting into audio books. I’m looking forward to video 5 & 6 now.