EWABS Episode 154 August 18, 2014 with Connie Terwilliger

19Aug

00:0000:00

Episode 154, August 18, 2014

Guest: Connie Terwilliger (and her class at San Diego City College)

0:02:02 Dan and George appear. They do an intro and thank sponsors.

0:04:00 The George meets Dee Snider story.

0:05:33 Questions from the audience. Q: What’s the difference between peak and RMS

normalization? A: George discusses. There are two ways to measure levels in an audio file.

0:07:10 George puts an example from Twisted Wave up on screen.

0:09:38 Q: What do you think of this audio sample?

0:10:44 Listen the sample.

0:11:30 A: Levels peaked at only 12.

Dan said it sounded like he was in a tube. The sound in

the booth needs to be damped. Listen with sealed headphones to make sure edits are

seamless.

0:13:21 Q: Is radio/TV imagining different from VO? A: Dan says it is VO, but it’s a very

different, VERY competitive marketplace. Image and promo have a unique style.

0:16:09 Break

0:17:12 Spongebob promo.

0:17:25 They’re back.

0:18:12 Q: There’s been TMAX

1 headphone chatter. How can you read the specs to

compare? A: George says accurate specs are hard to get and don’t matter that much with

headphones. You have to try and return if not right for you. Check out

http://www.headphone.com/ and http://www.headphones.com/ headphone.com has a

comparison feature. Another place to look: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/

0:20:08 George reads reviews about headphones before deciding which to try out.

0:20:41 Dan talks about his use of headphones. You need a quiet room with good monitors

gives a more truetolife

rendition.

0:21:32 Q: Jimmy has just set up his personal studio. What can he use to hold his laptop?

George has a music stand at his website, http://vostudiotech.com/amazon/ for about $50.

0:23:25 Dan has a secondary monitor on the wall.

0:24:19 Tip of the Week: How to improve auditions technically.

0:25:26 Dan’s standard practices:

Record at the proper level

Record in mono, one track

Slates: don’t slate if they don’t want them, if they do, keep it simple.

Leadin

time: half a second.

Clean things up. Get rid of of clicks and pops

Processing: use a little compression, but keep it natural

Focus on being yourself.

0:27:35 Dan comments after the video.

0:28:50 Break

0:29:50 Whence came these two radiant celestial brothers—one from the east and one from

the west!

0:30:06 They’re back, with Connie Terwilliger and her class at San Diego City College.

0:30:53 Dan asks Connie for her view of the VO industry today.

0:31:40 Connie says everything and nothing has changed.

0:32:25 In the old days, Connie didn’t have to market. She’d “network” with lists her agent gave

her. After a break in her VO career, she reentered

the VO world. She set up her websites:

http://voiceovertalent.

com/ and http://corporatevideo.com/ back in the 90’s. She set up a studio

at home, with ISDN, and she had to learn the basics of editing. She doesn’t like negotiating. To

set a price you need to know the shelf life and eyeballs—how long and how many? What’s the

client’s budget? Serious marketing is part of the biz now. Even with agents it’s different.

0:37:20 She’s noticed in the last year that she’s doing more work at other people’s studios and

getting cast more off her demos again. It’s hard not auditioning what isn’t right for you.

0:38:42 Dan comments on the role of demos in getting cast. He’s noticed people finding your

demo online get work.

0:39:14 Connie talks about how internet searches can be targeted specifically, so you need to

have specific demos.

0:40:05 Connie talks about website optimization as part of the VO job. She goes on to describe

her class at SDCC.

0:42:38 Connie talks about her background, starting in college radio. She wrote PSA’s for the

station. She went on to grad school where she did TV and radio. After school, she moved to

San Diego and got a job in TV and did live staff announcing.

0:45:26 And now, as a talent, you’d have to negotiate for what to charge for this kind of work.

0:46:03 Dan shifts gears to ISDN. Connie discusses what ISDN is.

0:48:00 Connie’s ISDN cost is around $50 a month, but elsewhere, as much as $600 a month.

It’s going away. Copper is being replace with fiber.

0:48:34 George talks about his discussion with the developer of SourceConnect about how

there’s no direct replacement for ISDN. Still it’s difficult to have ISDN if you don’t have it already.

0:50:30 George says ISDN gear is for sale on eBay and the price is dropping.

0:51:49 Harlan Hogan time! http://voiceoveressentials.com/

0:55:02 Now it’s time for questions for Connie: Q: If you live and work in San Diego, how much

do LA clients insist that you go up there. A: She doesn’t have agents in L.A. for that reason. It’s

hard to get away and go up there. If you live in Orange County, you could pull it off if you’re not

working full time. The commute eats up too much time.

0:58:02 Q: What is the most mistake newcomers make? A: Not understanding their own voices

and where they fit in the continuum from notsogood

to great, to understand if they have the

potential to make money in the business. You have to be competitive.

0:59:57 Q: Who did your demo or did you do your own? A: She does her own these days.

Connie explains. She feels she’s hit a plateau with auditioning. She continues to get work from

repeat clients, but not from auditioning. She’s going to go to a coach for a tune up.

1:02:25 Connie describes the “long tail” to graph VO work. There’s a small area with lots of

dollars, a large area with smaller and smaller dollars. George describes how much content is

out there.

1:04:00 George poses the question: “Are there more working actors than work?”

1:05:10 Q: How many agents do you have and how much work do you get from them and do

you use paytoplay

sites? A: About eight send her regular work, and she has innumerable other

places where her demo is parked, but only occasional work from them. She doesn’t do

paytoplays

anymore. She’s on the site at Voice123, but no longer a member.

1:07:21 Connie discusses the paytoplay

world. You have to understand as a newbie that

you’re not right for everything thrown at you.

1:08:37 Connie says the key is LISTENING—to any voiceover.

George talks about the analogy

with music. Always listen, listen to other performers.

1:10:38 Q: Is there a virtual option for Connie’s class? A: No. Her class is 16 weeks long.

1:11:22 Q: What’s the most important thing to focus on with a script? A: Connie tends to read it

aloud to figure out demographics, check specs, and then she goes for it. You need to

understand what you’re selling and to who.

1:13:02 Q: Are there videos or book on your exercises at your websites? A: Most VO books

have a section on warmups. Connie talks about experimenting with tongue placement.

1:15:47 Break

1:16:28 They’re back after Larry Davis’ Morgan Freeman making water spot.

1:16:45 Q: What about cardioid mics? A: Most of us use a good cardioid condenser mics.

Shotgun mics are used, too. George uses an AT875R, which is a good starter mic. They reject

more background sound.

http://www.audiotechnica.

com/cms/wired_mics/cae8c23cfe000574/index.html A large

diaphragm mic will pick up more sound around. He says you can buy either or both for under

$200 each.

1:19:52 Q: How many who go into VO compared to how many make a living? A: After what you

know what the business is then you can tell. Don’t ask your mom or best friend how you’re

doing. You want a truly objective opinion.

1:21:50 Connie talks about the Edge Studio weekly contest. You can listen to everybody else’s

recordings, hear issues, and learn from that. http://www.edgestudio.com/scriptcontests

1:23:06 George adds that for $27 you can have a sample audio evaluated for performance and

technical issues. Edge also has scripts.

1:24:22 Dan and George talk about what they’ll be doing at Voice2014.

1:25:42 Thanks to donors. Become a recurring donor!

1:26:37 EWABS Clickers! Last chance to order before they go off to California.

http://www.ewabs.net/

1:27:14 EWABS Essentials—work in progress. See gems from past EWABS shows at the

YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSdw5Ry09A0&list=PLDHBaemlTK_T7XgGnPiTq9zcc7Yc

VuZH

1:27:59 Next week, Aug. 25: Social Media Roundtable, with social media savvy VO actors.

1:28:50 Labor Day: No show. On Sept. 8, the show recorded at Voice2014 will air.

1:29:42 Sept. 15, the Fan Roundtable.

1:30:03 Thanks to sponsors: Edge Studio, Harlan Hogan, VoiceOver Xtra. Like us on

Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe and like the show on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/user/ewabsshow

1:31:16 Check out EWABS podcasts at iTunes and Stitcher.

1:31:51 Thanks to wives and families! And the staff: Kathy Curriden, producer; Anthony Getting

for the chat room; Jack de Golia, show logs; Tim McKean for EWABS Essentials, and Lee

Pinney for the podcasts.

1:33:56 End of show.

EWABS Episode 153 August 11, 2014 with Dave Courvoisier

19Aug

00:0000:00

Episode 153, August 11, 2014

Guest: Dave Courvoisier

Dan and George both in the same place!

George compares mics

Questions answered. Send them to ewabshop@gmail.com

0:01:10 Opening video

0:01:52 There they are in Santa Monica together.

0:03:00 Dan learns how to drive and park in Southern California.

0:05:18 Questions from the audience

0:05:46 Q: I’m using Audacity. What steps should I do after I record? 

A: If you don’t know what something does, don’t use it. George talks about a long discussion thread about mastering with

Audacity. He talks about settings. Use each tool separately and then listen to understand what each piece is doing. Levelator is a onestop, draganddrop that does something to files. It’s one size fits all. All these tools need to be tweaked by someone who understands audio engineering.

0:10:14 George comments on the process. Dan adds that there are better programs, like Adobe Audition or SoundForge, or on Mac, Twisted Wave.


0:11:30 TwistedWave has had an update that allows easy installation of “stacks (sets of

processing steps).

0:12:15 Audacity is like your first bike. It gets you around town, but there are better bikes out there.

0:13:50 Just because it’s free doesn’t mean Audacity is the right tool.

0:14:06 Q: There’s a lot of talk about ISDN alternatives. What about AudioTX? A: George says

AudioTX’s issue now is price, it has a “hasp” that you need but can’t replace, and it’s Windows

only. AudioTX is complicated to use for ISDN.

0:16:09 George shows all the boxes of parts needed to make AudioTX work.

0:16:35 George asks Dan if he was ever able to get AudioTX work on ISDN. Dan says, “Never.”

0:18:19 George points out ISDN gear is getting cheaper as ISDN dies a slow death.

0:19:19 Break while Dan and George “breathe on each other.”

0:20:18 Celestial Brothers moment from Grand Budapest Hotel.

0:20:35 They’re back.

0:21:30 Whittam’s World on shotgun mics. (Ep. 31:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ31DZBQg4)

0:28:59 Back to the guys. Discussion about shotgun mics follows. It’s not the equipment that

will get you the work.

0:30:40 They move on the the Scarlett 2i2. They recommended it once, but now there are

some quality issues popping up.

0:32:15 Price and reliability. Beware of bargain prices—QC may not be there.

0:33:00 Because they’re so cheap, buy two, to have a backup.

0:34:26 Break

0:35:55 SpongeBob!

0:36:18 They’re back with Courvo. He talks about his career on TV.

0:37:50 Dave describes his VO career and how he found the VO community so supportive.

0:39:42 Dave’s book, “More than Just a Voice,” is now out. The book pulls together the best of

his blogs over the last seven years. Dave discusses.

0:40:41 Where the title came from.

0:42:26 How is the book arranged? Dave describes the chapter organization.

0:44:29 George asks where he gets his inspiration for his blog.

0:47:00 Dave’s next book is on social media, but stuff happens so fast. He does print on

demand.

0:48:09 Q: Does report on tragic news stories get outweighed by positive stories? A: Dave talks

about how he builds emotional calluses.

0:49:55 Q: How truetolife

is Anchor Man? A: Dave describes real life work.

0:51:29 Dan asks about Dave’s station’s social media involvement.

0:52:35 Q: You’ve said it’s a challenge coming from one form of entertainment to another. A:

Dave talks about the “patterned speech” rut that he’s had to get coached past. He’s had to

“detune.”

0:54:14 Q: Do you prefer oncamera

or VO? A: After 30 years, TV pays the bills, but when the

time is right…

0:54:50 Q: What surprised you the most in VO and what was total BS? A: The surprise was

how giving the VO community is. As for BS—early on, he started gathering equipment and get

caught up in the “tech.” Dan calls it “severe acquisition syndrome.”

0:56:07 Q: Any tips on managing a full time while building a VO career? A: Dave has a site on

how to do this. Ask him to join. You have to find the balance. He’s up until 3 in the morning after

the 11 o’clock news to do VO work. He misses work during the day because of his day job.

0:57:21 Q: Do you sleep? A: I do, but not your hours, 311.

He automates his tweets and blog.

0:58:22 Q: How do you like the audiobook of your new book? A: Dave found it pretty easy. Fun.

Coming soon.

0:59:10 Q: What software to you use to automate your social media. A:

https://www.socialoomph.com/

1:01:06 Harlan Hogan sells books! http://voiceoveressentials.com/ (see career resources)

1:02:00 MixerFace coming soon. Good for iPhone, tablet, windows or mac:

http://voiceoveressentials.com/content/MixerFace.htm

1:04:09 Dan’s wife calls.

1:05:10 Harlan’s books.

1:05:53 Announcements. Thanks to donors, including monthly ones. To donate, go to

http://www.ewabs.net/ and click on the DONATE button, in the upper right.

1:07:29 EWABS Essentials:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=EWABS+Essentials. Check it out! Small bites

of great info.

1:08:16 Next week: Connie Terwilliger on Aug. 18

1:08:26 Aug. 25: Social Media Roundtable.

1:09:18 Labor Day: no show.

1:10:01 They’ll air the show recorded at Voice2014. “Live to Drive.”

1:11:08 Thanks to sponsors, Harlan, VoiceOverXtra, and Edge Studio. Edge has new ways of

producing demos. The goal is to launch the new Edge website by Voice2014.

1:12:19 Acknowledgements to the wives and staff.

1:15:22 George shows his new keyboard from eBay.

1:16:45 They sign off.

1:16:57 VoiceOverXtra spot. http://www.voiceoverxtra.com/

1:17:31 Voice2014 spot. http://www.voice2014.com/

1:20:11 End of Show.

EWABS Episode 152 July 28, 2014 with Rudy Gaskins

4Aug

00:0000:00

Show Log

0:01:37  Opening video

0:02:19  The show begins with a big radio sound!

0:04:03   Hot weather in Southern California.  He was in Las Vegas last week in 110+ heat.  

0:04:49  Ventilation in a pre-fab booth and how to add it your recording space.

0:05:40  You need to exchange the air.  The first key after air circulation is having cool air to work with.  

0:06:58  You may need to build a “muffler” to quiet air movement.  You can buy them or build them yourself with online instructions.

0:08:22  Another trick: make the distance the air has to travel a lot longer.  Longer ductwork snaking around in the attic will quiet air movement.

0:09:06  In a small closet, you may have to get creative with convective cooling.  

0:10:30  You may have to install an A/C unit outside the house.  

0:11:32   Dan tells his tale.  He cut a hole in the ceiling of his closet and installed a “plenum.”  

0:13:37   This is why a booth in a garage is a bad idea, since there’s little cool air out there.  Also, “sound proofing” by making a booth air tight is unhealthy!  The best a basement.

0:15:34  Break

0:16:40  Radiant celestial brothers clip.  Name that movie (Grand Budapest Hotel).

0:17:00  They’re back.  

0:18:26   Q: What’s a good way to measure the “noise floor” of a personal studio.  


A: George—there is no industry standard.  He’ll listen to a voice (between -6 and -3 dB) and room tone.  He’ll then normalize to 0 dB.  He then takes the room tone and analyzes the peak level for “noise.”  He feels -55 dB is a good level.

0:20:34   Dan joins in.  Any noise below -55, -60, is much easier to remove with gating.  Don’t use reduction; it destroys audio.  Dan does a similar process.  He also looks at the frequencies of the sounds in the lower end of volume.  

0:22:46  George talks about noise gates.  


Q: Isn’t -50 kind of high?  

A: low frequency noise isn’t as loud.  

0:23:56  

Q: If through EQ you get to -60, should you take it down further? 

A: It’s not your problem if you’re not a producer.  But if you’re going to process your auditions, downward expansion can be useful.  George doesn’t use a compressor without a downward expander.  

0:25:54  

Q: How do you export stacks in TwistedWave?  

A: George describes that.  In the Stacks window, you’ll see an option that says manage stacks.  That will take you to a folder where you stacks are. Open the Stacks folder.  See George’s video on importing stacks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Wn9OZa6Xo

0:28:23  

Q: How do you change the settings in the effects stack?  

A: If you want, go ahead, just don’t change the original.  Play back as you change the settings to see what they do.  

0:30:50  If you have a question email ewabshop@gmail.com, write Question in the subject line.  They also have a voicemail box at ewabs.net.

0:31:56  Break

0:33:46  They’re back with Rudy Gaskins.

0:34:54  George asks Rudy how he picked his business location in NYC.  

0:36:18  Dan asks Rudy to tell us about himself.  He tells about his career. He got into sound engineering.  He got his start recording sound effects for a Coppola film.  He moved into directing and producing on NY TV. Then he went to ABC News doing promos and that got him into marketing. He then launched Push Creative.

http://www.pushcreative.tv/ He met Joan Baker, a voice actor. http://joanbaker.tv/

They married and that got him into voice work and spawned “That’s Voice Over.”  http://thatsvoiceover.com/ which led to the Voice Arts Award.

0:40:31 Dan notices an Emmy in the background.  

0:41:50  Rudy won his Emmy for the 2000 Olympic Games with NBC Sports, writing and producing promos and athlete vignettes.  

0:43:20  Dan asks about the Voice Arts Awards.  Rudy explains “That’s Voice Over.”  This yearly expo led to the awards.  

0:46:12  Dan asks how many categories are in the Voice Arts Awards program.  

0:46:58  A display of the categories appears on-screen.

0:48:00  Dan asks how people submit for the awards.  Rudy explains the process.  It’s all online.  http://sovas.org/home-vaa/  and https://www.facebook.com/VoiceArts.

0:50:38  The nomination process doesn’t include sending in a demo.  Submissions get reviewed by a group of jurors who put out nominations.  This elevates how you feel about your work.

0:52:15  Dan asks what the judging criteria are.  Rudy says they’re explained online.  Generally, they look at creativity, innovation, originality, and execution on the brand message.  The judges are all professionals—agents, publishers, producers, voice actors—who know what’s effective.

0:54:20  The web address, voicearts.org (redirects to http://sovas.org/home-vaa/).  The event is on November 9.  Submission deadline: August 24 (it’s been extended).  There’s a cost to submit.  See http://sovas.org/rules-eligibility/#entry-fee for details.

0:55:37  Rudy explains how the fee helps support the quality of the award itself.  The design includes a mic hanging upside down over a copy stand.  

0:57:02  Sponsor time: Harlan Hogan http://voiceoveressentials.com/  He’s got everything you need except your voice!

0:58:07  George praises Harlan’s return policy.

1:00:30  Q: Do you have to be a member of SOVAS to participate in the award.  

1:00:49  This leads to a pronunciation discussion SOVAHSSS?  Nevah-duh?  Neva-dah?  

1:01:08  A: You don’t have to be a member, but members get discounts on several things.

1:02:10  

Q: Why do people have to pay to enter?  

A: Again, it has to do with making this non-profit work.  You aren’t nominating yourself, you’re entering a field from which nominations will be chosen.  

1:03:44  Rudy reviews the process.  There’s a lot to be gained for your marketing effort.  Get exposed to major producers without asking for a job.  

1:06:37  Throughout the process, there’s buzz, win or not.  

1:07:42   Awards are a line item in production company budgets.  This is an unknown in the VO world, but well known in other areas.

1:08:55  

Q: Do all the submitters get heard?  

A: Yes, they listen to everything in order to select the nominees.  Rudy explains what the jurors expect.

1:10:25  Some jurors want to stay anonymous.  

1:11:00  Dan asks how jurors are selected.  Rudy explains.

1:11:50  

Q: How did you come up with this year’s Lifetime Achievement awardee, James Earl Jones.  

A: Rudy explains.

1:13:44   Rudy observes that when the James Earl Jones choice hit Facebook, the feedback was all positive.  

1:14:31  

Q: What were your greatest challenges?  

A: He’s done a lot of things—launching the award show is the hardest thing he’s ever done.

1:15:14  

Q: Are the jurors names on the website?  

A: Some, soon, on Tuesday next week.  Look for the “juror” button on the SOVAS website.

1:16:05  

Q: Where will entry stats be posted?  

A: They won’t list all entrants.  Nominees will be listed.

Note: During these few minutes, Dan replaces his malfunctioning microphone with a VO1-A from Harlan Hogan to fix the problem.

1:16:47  

Q: What do you think the awards will do for the VO industry?  

A:  The award becomes a lightning rod for how we collaborate.  You’ll list your producer, copy writer, and others, as in other industries.  The pursuit of excellence doesn’t happen by itself.

1:19:27  

Q: How many nominees in each category?  

A: It depends on the quality of work in that category, maximum of five.

1:21:38  Break with information on VoiceOver Xtra

1:22:29   Hear now from Sponge Bob Squarepants.

1:22:42   They’re back.

1:22:53  Announcements, including a Dan freeze.

1:23:28  Donor acknowledgements.  

1:24:49  Clickers!  Buy some today!  Go to www.ewabs.net to order.  

1:25:23  EWABS Essentials at the EWABS YouTube channel.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSdw5Ry09A0&list=PLDHBaemlTK_T7X-gGnPiTq9zcc7YcVuZH

1:26:20  Next week (August 4): no show!

1:26:36  On August 11, Dave Courvoisier will be the guest.  Dan and George will both be in Southern California.  

1:27:12   August 18—a surprise guest!

1:27:19   August 25—Social Media Roundtable!

1:27:40   September 1—The show will be recorded at Voice2014 and aired on this date.

1:28:11  Thanks to sponsors, Edge Studio, VoiceOverXtra, and VoiceOverEssentials.  Click the LIKE button at YouTube!

1:28:47  Thanks to the wives.

1:29:08  Thanks to Kathy Curriden, Anthony Gettig, Jack de Golia, Tim McKean, and Lee Pinney.  

1:30:30  End of show.