EWABS Episode 144 May 19, 2014 with Paul Strikwerda



Published on May 19, 2014

Guests: Paul Strikwerda, VO and author of “Making Money in your PJ’s”

George on audio processing

Dan on the best mic for VO

0:02:30  Next week: no show.  George tells about his head wound.  

0:03:14  Dan shares the mustache gifts he gets and a non-mustache gift he got.

0:05:07  Thanking the sponsors!  Harlan Hogan, John Florian at Voiceover Xtra, and Edge Studio.

0:05:43  Dan’s Tip of the Week—what microphone is “best” for VO?  Which ones aren’t good?  

Among those: SM57—good for guitar amps and snare drumheads, not live VO.  You don’t sound real talking half an inch from someone’s eardrum.

0:07:32  The RE20 is great for radio, but not the best for VO.  We take a side trip into Dan’s radio history.  

0:09:08  Tip of the Week: In your personal studio, the less optimum a mic you need to use.  Without a professional booth, don’t spend a lot of money on a mic.  A mic between $200 and $350 will work if you use it right, it will capture YOU.

0:10:05  Dan shows his mice

-TLM 103.  It’s extremely sensitive and not so good for noisy days.  And it’s $1000

-E100S.  Great mic.  Not expensive.

-Harlan Hogan’s VO1A.  Good price and good sound.

-Sennheisser 416 shotgun mic.  

Anyone of along with the Perception Series, will fill the bill.

0:12:28  While any mic can fill the bill, you have to know how to use it and interpret copy.  Our job is present our voices to potential clients in the way they want to hear them.  

0:13:26  George joins the discussion.  It’s the mic you already have (unless you have a bad sounding or broken mic).  Nobody will know what mic you use.  Nobody needs to see where or how the sausage is made.  Keep your audio chain simple.  Don’t overthink it.

0:15:15 End of rant.

0:16:04  Break

0:17:42  They’re back.  Dan has Studio Suit in the basement.  Buy it so Dan can clear the extra bed he needs in June when it mom visits.  

0:19:07  George’s “Whittam’s World Episode 18” on audio processing.  George describes applying processing filters.

0:28:19  George is back.  

0:28:59  Break

0:30:20  They’re back with Paul Strikwerda.  Paul tells about his journey in writing books on voice-over.  Paul’s website: http://www.nethervoice.com/

Paul appeared on EWABS in Episode 30 (Dec. 4, 2011; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lty2kDbnpFA) and Episode 58 (July 29, 2012; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gUjQrchEj8)

0:36:30 Paul wanted something with staying power.  He wondered if he should write about being a freelancer or being a VO actor.  

0:39:00  He wanted a book about how to be a professional not just for VO actors only, but for all freelancers.  

0:39:40  Dan comments that people don’t know what it means to be an entrepreneur anymore.  Paul replies that people know a lot about their art, but not about being in business and marketing yourself.

0:41:40  Dan asks Paul what makes his book different.  Paul has developed his writing style from 4 years of blog work.  He’s found it isn’t effective to tell people what to do.  But, if they hear stories about other people, that’s more digestible.   

0:43:34  Dan asks Paul for a sample reading.  Paul also shows his colored computer glasses.  

0:44:50  Paul reads a story from the book about the “Most Obnoxious Man in Voice-Over.”  

0:47:10  Paul ends the great story and discussion ensues.  

0:48:56  Dan asks where can you can get the book.  It’s available for download devices, Amazon, and from http://makingmoneyinyourpjs.com/  

0:49:28  Paul has a contest.  Buy the book in the next 3 weeks, take a photo of themselves with the book, and send it to Paul to win some prizes, including getting interviewed for Paul’s blog.

0:50:00  George asks when the audiobook version will be available.  Paul thinks in about a month.

0:51:15  VO is hot right now, and this book gives insights into that.  Some people are reading the book together including people in other fields.

0:54:24  George asks Paul how he learned an American English accent.

0:56:16  Harlan Hogan commercial.

0:58:20  Back with Paul.  How do you say his name?

0:59:14  Dan asks Paul about his blog 7-8 months ago about pay-to-play sites.  Paul has tried them all and now has said good bye to them all, including Bodalgo.  He thinks they have cheapened the industry.  We’ve traded convenience for low pay and low quality.  He can’t price for profit at the pay-to-plays.  They’re for the hobbyist.  You have to do a lot more for a lot less.  There are good things about them too.  

1:03:50  Paul wrote a blog post, “Leaving voices.Com.”  He plays bad auditions he heard on just one day.  George talks about how so many people don’t get additional coaching.  

1:05:40  Paul comments that there’s so much information online.  Ignorance is no excuse.  

1:06:41  Dan thinks the whole business is going through a major shift in the next year or two.  Paul talks about crowdsourcing and how he used it to design his book cover.  Paul said if pay was better and quality control was better.

1:08:41  Dan asks about Paul’s new studio.  Paul describes it.  He wrote a book, “Building a Booth on a Budget,” available only on his site.  Paul won his mic at http://recordinghacks.com/   He goes on to talk about his gear.

1:11:57  George shows an example of Paul’s new interface, the Audient ID 22.  http://audient.com/products/id22  Paul talks about his use of the interface, and his previous preamps.

1:14:50  Questions from the audience: Where are your main customers in the U.S., Europe or both?

A: Sixty percent are in Europe, 30-40 pct in the US.  He also has clients in Egypt and Oman.

He gets up early!

1:16:04  Q: What do you think of crowd sourcing at VoiceBank.com.  A: Paul wishes it were different.  He’d rather get work through an agent, like Eric Shepard, to get his top five.  Sorting through the 100 auditions crowdsourced is a waste of time, Paul says.

1:18:43  Break

1:19:28  They’re back.  

1:19:48  Announcements: Dan asks George what’s up with Joe Cipriano is doing with BSW.  Joe is working on a way to get more 416s in people’s hands.  You get a Sennheisser 416 and Joe’s book, “Living on Air,” for $799.  

See more at: http://alturl.com/urpgc   Buy from BSW and use promo code: Livingonair.

1:22:14   Thanks to the donors.  To donate go to http://www.ewabs.net/ and click on the DONATE button, in the upper left of the screen.

1:23:10  George is on a “Twitter-chat” on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern.  Tweet with the hashtag, #ACX, to ask a question or @VOSTUDIOTECH.COM.  

1:24:20  There’s a YouTube Channel for EWABS.  https://www.youtube.com/user/ewabsshow  where you can see all 144 episodes!

1:25:00 EWABS Essentials—a pile of short tidbits from EWABS.  

1:25:50  No show next week for Memorial Day.  The chat room will still be there.

1:26:28  On June 9, Debra Deyan and Colleen Marlow from the Deyan Institute  http://www.deyaninstitute.com/home.html .  They offer classes for audiobook narration.

There are marketing and demo demolition roundtables in the works, too.

1:27:37  Thanks to sponsors.  LIKE us on Facebook!  Follow us on Twitter at EWABS_SHOW.   Like the YouTube videos.  Thanks to the wives and support staff.  

1:30:42  End of show.

EWABS Episode 143 May 12, 2014 with Harlan Hogan



Episode 143, May 12, 2014

Guests: Harlan Hogan of Voiceover Essentials and David McRell of CEntrance, introducing MixerFace.

George on the role of webcams in home studios.

Dan on what you call your “home studio.”

0:02:18 Opening of the show with Dan and George.

0:04:38  George talks about using webcams in your own studio to go back to face-to-face contact.  Why aren’t we using video more?  George urges to use your webcams and Skype to improve the connection you have with clients.  

0:08:13  Dan weighs in on the topic.  Sometimes bandwidth issues interfere.  He uses his iPhone or iPad to do the video.  Clients watch him, but he doesn’t watch them.  Dan and George talk about whether it’s a distraction.  George proposes we explore the idea.

0:11:52  Break

0:13:09  They’re back.

0:13:39  Dan talks about Studio Suit.  People are raving!  http://www.vostudiosuit.com/

Studio Suit comes in 8’x5’ pieces.

0:15:45  Tip of the Week:  At WoVOCon the idea came up of not using the term “home studio.”  Dan thinks we should change the name of “home studio” to “personal VO studios” for client consumption.  No one needs to see how the sausage gets made!  He lists pros and cons of studios at home.  The only thing that matters is how does your audio sound.  PPVOS: A personal, professional voice-over studio.

0:19:01  Back to the show.  Dan continues the discussion.  “Home studio” has a negative connotation.  

0:20:54  Dan shows two business cards—two VO actors, but identically designed cards from Vista Print.  

0:21:23 George likes the idea of losing the word “home” from a branding standpoint.  Then he asks about how “professional” gets overused.  

0:22:40  Dan and George fields a question about TwistedWave vs. ProTools.  A TW user has created a keyboard shortcut for inserting silence to “punch and roll,” and the question was is that possible in ProTools.  George wasn’t aware of one but suspects that a ProTools user out there has created something.

0:26:14 Break

0:27:49 They’re back with the guests, David and Harlan.  

0:28:42  Dan asks Harlan how Voiceover Essentials got started.  Harlan tells the history.    It started with Porta-Booth.  He stumbled into the idea and posted it on the web.  Then somebody suggested making and selling them.  After the first 1500 it occurred him that there was no VO source.  It was a complete accident.  

0:32:59  Harlan tells about how the business grew once he got set up at Amazon.  http://voiceoveressentials.com/  He goes on to tell stories about his stopwatch and his book which looks at the days when VO actors and engineers all knew each other through studio work. http://alturl.com/t7x6x  The second edition comes out in July.

0:40:00  Q: What does HH think of all the crowd sourcing of auditions?  A: It sucks!  It does speak to the difference between auditioning and building a business.  That means going out and finding work.  Pay-to-plays don’t build a business.  

0:42:40  David McRell joins the discussion.  He’s a development engineer at CEntrance.  There are four MixerFaces in existence.  It’s a portable solution for recording with iPhone, iPod, and iPad.  http://centrance.com/products/mixerface/

0:47.53  David explains the limiter function to prevent clipping your audio when you get too loud.  George says the limiter makes this product unique.  Set it and forget it.

0:49:48  George talks about how difficult self-engineering is when you’re performing.

0:51:01  David shows the size of the MixerFace compared to an iPod Touch.  It’s the same size as the iPhone5 generation.

0:52:00  George asks if it’s compatible with other devices, too.  Yes, if you have a USB Audio Recorder Pro.  Check your Android phone specs.  If it has “USB Host” capability, then Android will work.

0:53:41  George asks what controls the MixerFace has. David shows controls.  It can handle ISDN input.  

0:55:35  Dan asks if you can plug it in or if runs off its own battery.  You can charge both the MixerFace and your iPhone or iPad when you plug it in.

0:57:30  Available in July but probably August will be the earliest David said they will be able to ship MixerFace.

0:58:50  Q: Is the battery replaceable?  A: The battery will last about seven hours.  

Q: What about over the long term?  A: It’s not super high powered so they expect the battery will last two years.

1:00:49  Break

1:01:29  They’re back.  Harlan voices his own ad.

1:03:11  Harlan says email terry.lee@voiceoveressentials.com if you’d like to order a MixerFace when they’re available.  When the device is actually going to be available, they’ll contact you.  No obligation.  Harlan then talks about how you could use the MixerFace to serve as a phone patch and mixing board.  True phone patches allow you to play back audio for clients to hear during sessions.

1:08:24  Harlan talks about new items at Voiceover Essentials: Decoupling speaker foam (“speaker shock mounts”).  They “decouple” your speaker from the shelf.  http://voiceoveressentials.com/content/shock-mount-speaker-stand.htm

0:13:13 Harlan talks about a shotgun mic shock mount.   

1:14:10  Harlan shows his find, a 2 oz. shotgun mic shock mount for a 416.  Cost $29.99.  http://voiceoveressentials.com/content/shotgun-shock-mount.htm


1:17:15  Harlan shows his adjustable mic stand. http://voiceoveressentials.com/Harlan-Hogan-Universal-Desktop-Microphone-Stand/M/B009W3B2FI.htm

1:17:59  Dan shows a new use for the “Adjustable Boom Stop.”  http://voiceoveressentials.com/content/abs.htm

1:18:15  George points to NO on his t-shirt.

1:18:50 Audio starts breaking up and goes dead for the rest of the show.  Sorry.

1:22:36  End of show.

EWABS Ep 142 May 5th, 2014 with Noelle Romano, voice coach



Show Log Episode 142, May 5, 2014

Guest: Noelle Romano, voice coach from Edge Studio George presents a “Whittam’s World” on pre-fab vs. DIY isolation booths Dan talks about World Voice Over (WoVO) membership

0:04:40 Dan talks about WoVO Con One, the first conference of World Voice-Over. One of the best he’s been to. It began two years ago, as an industry organization for voice-over. Coming up: resources and people so WoVO can be the “voice of the people who speak for a living,” all over the world. There’s now a plan for a special website to promote members’ work. Join WoVO to help make the industry better for everyone. To learn more go to: http://www.worldvo.org/ The meeting was very productive. There was a demo of all three online ISDN replacements. People worked together.

0:11:04 George asked what it takes to join. You have to be a working professional. It’s a member-driven organization.

0:14:32 Break

0:16:47 They’re back. The latest with Studio Suit: Dan has a bunch and will ship! Hang it up and it works. http://www.vostudiosuit.com/

0:17:25 George’s “Whittam’s World” (Episode 22) on isolation booths: build your own or pre fab? The “usual suspects” in pre-fab are similar and start at $4000. 1) George suggests consider looking at resale value if you may have to move soon. 2) Did you consider buying a used booth? Not so hard in L.A., but elsewhere it might be harder. Used booths can cost $3000 and hold their value pretty well. 3) Do you have time to build a booth? Are you missing work without the booth? The do it yourself booths take a lot of time to put together, far longer than you might expect. 4) How good are you at building? Do you have skilled friends? Dawbox plans aren’t the best and depend on your skills in building. 5) Acoustical treatments—all these need more than what they come with. They need denim panels (http://www.atsacoustics.com/) or other material. Some booths have pre attached foam that you need to work around. NONE have adequate acoustical treatment out of the box.

Send questions for “Whittam’s World” to George at whittamsworld@edgestudio.com. For one-on-one consulting, go to http://vostudiotech.com/ The video ended at 0:26:49.

0:26:50 George continues discussing the topic. George talks about Scott Peterson of L.A. (on Facebook) who makes collapsable, custom booths. https://www.facebook.com/scottsvobooths. Not available out of L.A. area. He cautions: often, the better the isolation, the worse the acoustics. It takes effort to make it all work.

0:29:19 Break

0:30:45 They’re back, with a rant about looping software. 0:31:16 Noelle comes on. She introduces herself and how she got into VO.

0:35:45 She specializes in coaching children!

0:38:40 George asks what if he brought Ella in.

0:40:30 What does it mean for a kid to be “competitive”? It comes down to how well a kid can take direction and how consistent are they? Are they enjoying it? Are they understanding it?

0:44:37 How important is it for a kid to have an agent? It’s important for getting access to bigger brands and clients. Otherwise, it would be a big workload for the parent. It’s up to the parent.

0:46:30 George asked about successful kids. Noelle tells of a mom who made sure her daughter got lessons as well as work.

0:49:50 Live spot for Edge Studios.

0:51:01 George talks about his month-long special on TwistedWave effect stacks for $37.50. Coupon code: TWStackMay14.

0:51:53 Q: Do you teach Skype sessions, Noelle? A: Yes!

0:52:25 Q: What percentage of work is going to actual kids compared to adults doing kids? A: It depends on the style of the show. In the pre-school world, it’s more likely to be a kid. For ages 7-14 and above, it tends to be adults doing kid voices. A problem with kid voices is that the kids grow up and their voices change!

0:54:43 Q: Does child acting work translate to adolescent and adult work? A: Noelle said it does, it can.

0:55:45 Q: Do you advocate a rounded acting education? A: Most of her kid clients are doing that. It comes down to the kid.

0:57:27 Q: Should you (the adult VO actor) choose a coach who is close to your own vocal style? A: Noelle thinks that can help, while not totally necessary. See her at NoRoVO.com. She advocates trying a lot of different teachers to cover a variety of learning styles.

0:58:40 Q: Is there work for kids not in L.A.? A: For kids, you typically want them in the room. You might, here and there, do an ISDN session once work is booked. The bulk of L.A. work is in person. Dan adds: NEVER direct your own kids! They can get surly.

1:00:03 Q: How much do you seek talent via auditions from agents or pay-to-play sites? A: Noelle has seen roles go to new talent, when the tried and true talent a studio is used to doesn’t meet the need. The animation world in L.A. is a tough bubble to pop. Competition is intense. Producers love to have choices, assuming the talent isn’t a celebrity.

1:02:50 Break

1:04:19 Dan is back with echo. Next week’s guest is HARLAN HOGAN!

1:05:00 Go over to Voiceover Essentials, http://voiceoveressentials.com/, for the best collection of VO gear. Harlan will have a preview of a new mixer next week, including the mixer’s makers.

1:07:30 Dan on travel fatigue.

1:08:30 Thanks to the sustaining donors.

1:09:29 EWABS t-shirt. George made the mistake of asking about the design.

1:09:55 T SPRING coming: the shirt will be for sale for a limited time and quantity. The proceeds will let George build a Windows computer for the show. Stay tuned for news on the shirt.

1:11:20 Q: Is the show streamed over YouTube Live? A: That’s something the new computer will be able to do once we add some horse power in the graphics card.

1:12:50 If anyone can help create EWABS Essentials segments, George would train.

1:13:55 Show notes are “hot clickable” in YouTube.

1:14:26 Next week, Harlan; May 19: The Elusive Doug Terkel and a marketing for VO roundtable. May 26: Dark, no show.

1:15:13 In June, two audiobook producers, Debra Deyan and Colleen Marlow from the Deyan Institute http://www.deyaninstitute.com/home.html who offer classes, will be guests.

1:15:29 Thanks to sponsors, Harlan Hogan, Voice-Over Xtra, Edge Studios and Home Voice Over Studio (Dan) http://www.homevoiceoverstudio.com/. George is way behind, so feel free to drop your audio sample into Dan’s “specimen cup.”

1:17:15 Thanks to support staff and wives, and Anthony Gettig for chat room herding, and Lee Pinney for the podcast work.

1:19:21 End of show

Episode 141, April 28, 2014 James Alburger and Penny Abshire



Show Log

Episode 141, April 28, 2014

Guests: James Alburger and Penny Abshire

George talks about buying a new computer

Dan talks about HISSSSSSS

0:03:55  Thanks to our sponsors.

0:04:44  Dan shows his old carbon microphone.

0:06:30  George goes computer shopping.  Learn what a GPU is compared to CPU.  

0:10:00  How much memory do you need?

0:12:25  Hard drive (HD) or solid state drive (SSD)?

0:14:35  Which operating system?

0:16:38  Dan and George discuss.

0:18:43  Break

0:20:19  They’re back in echo mode.

Bumpers for the show welcome!

0:21:30  Tip of the Week on hissing.

0:26:03  Discussion.  George added that Hiss can be a setting issue.  Some Windows systems can actually add hiss.  

0:28:55  Dan’s “live read” for Edge Studio’s home studio spring cleaning service offer.  George will clean your system and filing, and give you ideas for backup.  All for $127.  Also, his TwistedWave stack service for half off during May. 

0:31:50  Break

0:32:28  They’re back with Jim and Penny.

0:33:55  Jim and Penny join in from San Diego to talk about Voice Over Academy.   Their site: http://www.voiceacting.com/

It all began at Voice 2007 in Las Vegas, and a community was created.

Voice 2014: August 27-30 in Anaheim, Calif.  “Better than Ever.”  They’re having a Spanish VO presenter from Argentina, and more on motivation and marketing.  Check out http://www.voice2014.com/  to see the presenters list.  There will be presentations for intermediate to advanced levels of VO.  Beginners will also find value in the programs.  Most programs will be recorded and most will be available to participants.  Early Bird registration runs through April 30.  Also, until May 2, you can save $50 on registration.  Listen how at 0:51:58.

0:55:37  Harlan Hogan’s Voice Over Essentials:  http://voiceoveressentials.com/

He’s got all sorts of custom voice-over gear.

0:59:00  The interview with Jim and Penny resumes.  They talk about their Voice Acting Academy.  Their workshops will resume after Voice 2014.  Another arm of their business: http://voiceactingstudios.com/

1:01:00  Questions from the Chat Room

1:01:30  Q when will the 5th edition of The Art of Voice Acting, Jim’s book?  A: this fall.

1:04:38  Q is there a chance Voice will make it outside of Southern California?  

    A:  No.  They want it to make it convenient for voice talent and agents in L.A.  

They talk about the sense of community created by the Voice conferences.  EWABS started because of Voice.  Larry Davis and Elizabeth Stuart met at Voice 2010 and married.  Andy Boyns and Mehmet met on the way to Voice, while both lived in Istanbul.

1:13:29  Break.

1:14:30  They’re back.  

Thanks to donors.  


Thanks for the sustaining donations we’re getting. 

Check out the YouTube channel for the shows as well as “EWABS Essentials,” which is a collection of nuggets from the show.

Help needed for making “Essentials” videos.

Coming soon:

May 5: WoVOCon report from Dan.  

May 12: Marketing Roundtable.

Get well, Uncle Roy.

Thanks to our sponsors!  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, like our YouTube Channel.

Thanks to Katherine Curriden, our producer.  Anthony Gettig, the chatroom guru.  Jack de Golia for show notes.  Lee Pinney does the podcast version of the show.  

1:23:35  With the show notes in YouTube, the time stamps become clickable links.  Check that out.

1:24:38  Sign off with the classic microphone!  

1:25:05  End of show.