Mastering Home-Based Voice Over: Lesson 3

The Science Of Voice Over (Part I)

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Leave a comment or question you have below the video thumbnails.


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

Responses

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

    Have you been told to stay away from USB microphones? What recording and editing software do you use and why?

    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.

    1. I have a few Blue USB Microphones and use a Yeti on my desk computer.
      I use Audacity and have some add ons. An FX Add on to use for telephone/loud speaker etc and I have a Debreather add on. Audacity does everything I need to have it do and the price is right.
      I have a 10 Caret vocal booth from Vocalbooth.com that I bought at auction for a really good price. I built my studio in a Tuff Shed and used the walls from the 10 Caret to make the booth. The floor noise is good and I sent a recording of my dead air to Edge Studio and they said it’s great. I also asked James Alberger to listen and he says it’s great. I do live in the traffic pattern for the local regional airport so I do get fly overs. I just pause the recording.
      What frustrates me? I have the talent, I have the equipment but I’ve been told no so many times that I’ve about given up.

      1. What you’re learning is it’s not about the equipment. It’s about the storytelling. Even mediocre equipment in the hands of a great storyteller can be more than effective. We tend to think that spending money on equipment is the solution to our issues in terms of getting booked, and it rarely is that case. I noticed you didn’t say much about your storytelling training. I hope that it’s just as deep and effective as your tech purchasing!

  2. Hi David — great 3rd lesson on the Science of VO, thank you! My first (and current) mic is an AT2020 (condenser), which seems to be working well for me. What are the main reasons you recommend the USB+ version? Is there a big difference in quality between the two?

    Best,
    Greg

    1. The difference between the two is that you don’t need an interface with the USB plus. It just plugs directly into your computer, rather than needing a separate box between the two. And the electronics are just as spectacular as you would get in your typical high-quality interface.

  3. Thank you David, you answered my question from the last video!
    From this one – I have been wondering if I should invest in a paid Source Connect subscription. Last week I used CleanFeed for a singing open mic. I was sent a link. However, I have gotten VO auditions recently saying that I had to have Source Connect in order to book the job. I haven’t used it yet. Is it intuitive? Of course there are YouTube videos, but I’m concerned that when I book a job (when, no if!) I’ll be scrambling to figure out Source Connect and not seem professional. Is there a way to practice using Source Connect or Clean Feed?
    Also, I was told to avoid USB mics, but no matter anymore because I bought a condenser mic/interface/headphones last year so it’s already done.

  4. Hi David,
    Thank you so much for these classes. I have learned so much and am excited to start implementing ideas you’ve shared, such as getting ear buds and installing Levelator. I use Audacity and have found it to be pretty user friendly for someone who does not have prior recording experience – ME! One question I have is I’m currently using a Presonus M7 Audio Box 96 Studio mic. How does it compare to the AT2020 USB Plus? I’d appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you again!

  5. Thanks for answering my question, David! Talk about a “wipe my brow” moment. Thanks for the confidence boost and the info!

    1. I’m not sure if you’re asking me that, but no, it would be the same if I was using a Windows PC.

  6. Hi.
    When would you actually use a u-87, since yours is in an oak box, sitting on shelf…collecting dust?
    And, is yours for sale? (That could be a funny…or a serious question…depending on one’s perspective).
    Thanks.

    -Simon

  7. One that I have used it on occasion is “Source Connect Now”… beautiful ANd free!
    “You can’t buy free”…my quote btw…lol.

  8. Is the jump from a 2-year old Macbook AIR up to the M1 Macbook AIR worth buying a new one. I have the air now with REAPER… I think I will wait a while before jumping up… thoughts?

  9. Hello David,
    Thank you so much for these lessons, I find it really useful, much appreciated!
    I have two questions: I am planning to buy a new computer and as I’m recording music as well, I plan to go with a MacBook pro M1. You don’t recommend it because it’s pricey or because it has an internal fan?
    Second question is not related to gear, but here is goes 🙂 I’m based in London but I’m originally from Turkey. I’ve been doing VO work in Turkish, but I want to do work in English as well. I have a neutral English accent and currently working on RP accent, I can also do Turkish accent if needed. What do you think is the lowest hanging fruit for a non native English speaker like me to do VO in English?
    Many thanks!

    1. As we say in the lesson, it’s for connecting two studios together so one studio (your producer/director) can monitor and record the other’s (your) audio with high quality. Hope that’s clearer!

    2. Hi David one more question about voice over, animation/cartoons how it is the process or the steps how you do it or imitate, or read the scripts?

  10. I heard a VO Casting Director tell the story of boiling down hundreds of VO auditions to about the best 100 — because they were all equally great. Production said that 100 was too many to consider and to reduce the number further. The CD then decided that the only way to do that was to eliminate those with less than perfect sound quality. Am I correct that the tech you recommend will result in excellent and competitive sound quality? Thanks.

  11. Hi David,
    I’ve heard you talk about your alternative method to Punch And Roll – your Stairstep Method… Will you be explaining that at all in these videos or is that something you’re keeping for the paid access?

  12. Hi David,

    Thank you for all your video content and information thus far, Brother.

    I found the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone for $129 online …. but what specific “Pop Filter” / brand do you recommend? Price range as well?

    Mic + Pop Filter + headphones — is there anything else we need hardware wise? Do you use a Pop Filter + plus the red mic sock? If yes, what kind of “mic sock” do you recommend?

    I respect you, your career and attention to detail so, I am respectfully trying to get as close to your exact setup as possible.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rich

  13. Hello, David! Thank you so much for these amazing videos! I am learning so much! I have been auditioning for a few years. I believe there was a time when Source Connect required a direct connection into your computer. Is that still required to use Source Connect? I have been saving my tip money for a year and a half to purchase a laptop and now I know what I am going to get! I am super stoked to say the least. My agent said that if I have a proper home studio that I could actually work out of, that there would be more opportunities to audition and work. This series came at just the right time! Thank you so much!!!

  14. Hi David,

    I’m here thanks to Victoria Prather, whom so excellently coached me for a couple of months last year. As others have said, this has come at a perfect time, right when I’m starting to have the stability to really commit myself to this work. You are helping me break down some mental barriers (already, and we haven’t even reached the mindset lesson) around cost and commerce to get started.

    Anyway, my question is around demos. Now that I feel empowered to get the equipment I need, the next practical step I see, outside of continuing to learn more, is getting some demos recorded. How do you suggest going about doing this? Should I hire a local script writer or someone online to work with me, learn my strengths and write for me? Or is there a resource I perhaps don’t know about? Your insight would be so appreciated.

    I am grateful to you for providing such value in this course. While free, it isn’t fluff. I can tell you’ve got so much more to share and that your paid content is worth it. Yet, you are delivering to us something so much more than what can be found elsewhere online, for this price point. I appreciate you taking the time to teach us. Thank you!
    Alec

  15. First floor apartment in Manhattan. How best do I soundproof my recording area. If I have to re-record after a fire truck has gone by is the editing easily and undetectably done.

  16. David – I am so impressed with everything I’m hearing from you. Can’t wait for the next video (I’ve watched the first 3 so far).
    I used to be a theatre actress, then took many years away from the business and returned – decades later – to try again, mostly in tv/film. But recently I find that in this new era, my age (over sixty) and ethnicity (very white) are now strikes against my being right for any work. Before the pandemic, I started to explore VO work, but then dropped the ball. This time, you have inspired me to really work at it, get the right equipment, and move forward. No matter what happens, I’m excited. Just wanted to say thanks. You’re inspiring!.

  17. Hello David, I have been thinking of doing this for a while, I’m now 46, and am pretty serious about this. People say I’m pretty good at impressions, and am hoping this would serve me as well. My question however is technical, I have a Dell PC LaLatitude Laptop, and it’s pretty quit. Just wanted to know your opinion, and if this would work okay for this business.

  18. Hi, thanks for these in-depth lessons! Just finished lesson 3. Loved the part about how you gave 10 % of “non-commissionable” earnings to your agent. It tells me a lot about you!! I have a 27 inch, late 2013 iMac…does this have a fan? It has an internal mic but I’m looking forward to yours being sent. Not a techy but determined to learn how to make my home office professional!