EWABS Episode 162 October 20, 2014 Audio Masters Roundtable



Show Log

Episode 162, October 20, 2014

Audio Masters Roundtable

0:02:05 Here they are!

0:02:30  Thanks to our sponsors, VoiceOver Essentials, VoiceOverXtra, and Edge Studios.

0:03:45  Introductions for the AudioMasters Roundtable, all folks to help with audio and technical issues.

0:04:01  Steve Sisk, from Vancouver.  siskstudio.com

0:04:41  Cliff Zellman, DallasVO.com

0:05:19  Jordan Reynolds, jordanreynolds.com

0:06:31  Juan Carlos Bagnell, http://someaudioguy.blogspot.com/

0:07:20  Uncle Roy Yokelson, antlandproductions.com

0:09:03  Dan starts with the questions.  1.  What’s the hottest thing in VO technology today?

0:09:34  Juan Carlos begins with newest version of Android supporting mobile recording.  Discussion ensues.

0:10:57  Jordon likes the Apogee mic (http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/mic) and how portable it is, and the Kayotica Eyeball, http://kaoticaeyeball.com/  

0:12:43  Cliff jumps in about the Eyeball.  It works in some situations and not in others.

0:13:36  Juan Carlos adds and back and forth follows.

0:14:14  Uncle Roy joins in about the Eyeball and the PortaBooth Plus and a little EQ.

0:15:10  George joins in.  

0:16:22  Cliff talks about Audio Evolution Mobil, a recording app for Android.  http://www.audio-evolution.com/  Discussion follows.

0:17:32  Dan asks Steve about cutting edge stuff.  What he’s finding cool is Apogree 1, Version 2, for iOS and Mac: http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/one.  He clamps it onto the auto theft prevention device, the Club.

0:19:30  ipDTL discussion.  Then George brings up Apogee and Avid’s partnership.  

0:20:40  Discussion about new microphones showing up at AES.

0:21:12  Mike Varela joins the group. http://nuancetone.com/

0:21:40  Mike’s first reply about new, cool stuff: NOT Yosemite, the new OS for Mac.  There’s an issue with ProTools 10.  

0:23:37  Break.  VO Studio Tech and a bunch of bumpers.  

0:25:58   They’re back.  Mike had another item: Time Warner is updating modems in L.A.

0:27:14  Dan suggests they talk about whether personal studio audio is improving.  We go around the horn, starting with Uncle Roy.  His concern is pacing of audiobooks.  Juan talks about tools improving vs. education for commercials.  Part of the issue is finding out what your sound should be.  

0:30:32  George talks about US setting trends.

0:30:45  Uncle Roy on fads, followed by Juan Carlos on too many plug-ins.  

0:31:25  Cliff jumps in.  He likes that VO talent is understanding it’s the environment where they record.  

0:32:32  Steve finds older more established VO tend not to be open to learning how to use their gear.  George chimes in about established talent attitude about gear knowledge.

0:34:24  Mike wonders about folks not understanding basic tech processes.  Uncle Roy joins in.  

0:36:00  Juan Carlos talks about how setups work and then when a major upgrade comes along, they have trouble.

0:36:40  Jordan adds his thoughts about gear, where some learn too much and others resist.  But he thinks acoustics are improving.  George and Juan Carlos add to the discussion about microphones.

0:40:09  Dan asks what the group thinks is the most important thing to do technically, for auditions, what would they do?  

0:40:45  Uncle Roy talks about normalizing and having high enough volume.

0:41:51  George talks about how casting people listen for audio quality first, then acting.  Juan Carlos talks about casting.  Mike reinforces the idea.  

0:44:03  Steve talks about getting the best sound out of your gear.  Common errors, using the laptop mic or having a mic turned around.  

0:46:00  Dan asks Cliff how long it takes to figure out a VO actor doesn’t know what they’re doing.  Consensus: 5 seconds.  A discussion about editing, breaths, and processing follows.  

0:47:53  Dan says a personal studio is to make you sound like you, not something else.

0:48:18  Q: Has anyone heard a recording “stacked” by George Whittam.  A: If you’re doing your job well, nobody should hear it.  

0:50:34  Jordan likes George’s stacks because they’re subtle.  The risk is if the room changes and the downward expander can clip off ends of words.  

0:52:00  Jordan talks about what he hears at auditions with deep-voiced guys, you don’t need to boost their deep voices deeper.  

0:53:25  Jordan says cutting low end is more favorable than boosts and makes top end sound brighter.  

0:54:30  Uncle Roy talks about adding music and how this processing affects sound.

0:55:10  Michelangelo and VO, by Cliff.

0:56:00  Dan says the chat room has maxed out for the first time ever!

0:56:22  Break.  Home Studio Master.  

0:57:34  Whence came these two radiant celestial brothers… and bumpers.

0:58:16  They’re back.  Harlan Hogan time.  His gear doesn’t suck!  His products are designed specially for voice-over.  Use the EWABS webpage to link to Harlan’s page, http://www.ewabs.net/

1:01:06  Time now for audience questions.  Q: How do I remove those slight peaks before normalizing?  Is there a way to automate this work?  Mike says use a limiter in post production.  Keep threshold and ceiling the same.  Jordan likes the Tone Boosters Barricade, a plug-in.  http://www.toneboosters.com/tb-barricade/  It costs €19.95 (euros).  Another is the Fab Filter Pro L (http://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro-l-brickwall-limiter-plug-in).  

1:05:36  Cliff says ProTools now has a “clip gain” tool.  He’s afraid to have something doing everything for him.  

1:07:25  Q: Is there a way in Twisted Wave to edit out breaths and replace with silence?  A: George says you have to do it by hand.  Uncle Roy says breaths are part of the performance.  George says use the Amplify tool (F).  Don’t silence.

1:09:24  Mike says to record 10-15 of room tone at the top of the recording.  Wear headphones and listen to it.  Zoom in to see wave forms.

1:10:40  Juan Carlos says to choose breaths that fit the piece.  One size can’t fit all.

1:11:33  Q: Can you create batches in Twisted Wave?  A: Dan talks about markers.  See EWABS Essentials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTBrctqrB0c&list=PLDHBaemlTK_T7X-gGnPiTq9zcc7YcVuZH&index=7

1:12:07  Uncle Roy talks about Word to Wave software for doing e-learning files.  

1:12:47  Q: What do you believe if all the engineers don’t agree.  A: Cliff, pick what you want to eat for dinner.  Mike adds that a professional will add to another professional’s opinion, not run them down.  Juan Carlos adds that this a technical art.  

1:16:25  Steve says ultimately there’s no one way to do anything in recording.  George adds that asking someone whose opinion you trust is a way to solve confusion.  

1:17:34  Dan says it’s a matter of perspective, depending on what you do in the business.  Does it sound good?

1:18:14  Juan Carlos talks about tech are another aspect of artistic expression.

1:18:48   Q: I’ve worked with video producers who muck up the audio.  Should I mention something or walk away?  A: Uncle Roy comments.  Juan Carlos says it depends on your role—just VO?—walk away.  

1:21:37   Jordan comments: not worth it.  Dan says, it’s all about relationships.  Steve says your job is to deliver good, clean audio.  “Seize the check!”  Carpe cheque!

1:23:30  Q: Where should I record my demos, personal studio or other?  A: Cliff says the quality of your demo should reflect the quality you offer day to day.  

1:24:46  Juan Carlos is torn.  Ad agencies in LA expect you to record the job away from your personal studio.  Cliff adds that most of his contact is with non-LA talent.  Jordan talks about building a demo remote.  

1:27:30  Uncle Roy says you’re not demoing that you can do production.  They’re theoretically your clean audio that someone else engineered.

1:28:43  Around the horn one more time:

-Steve — don’t be afraid of the tools, the worst that can happen is that you have to re-record.  Get in there and get your hands dirty.  Have fun.

-Cliff — learn and practice as much as you can, give us audio that needs to least amount of work.  Follow file label requirements to the letter.

-Mike — spend the time, it’s a career choice.  Things come with time.  Be humble.  Listen with open ears.  Analyze.  Ask questions.  Weigh the advice you get.  Check out linda.com on EQ compression, tutorials on Audacity and other programs.  

-Jordan — Motto: Acoustics Always Trump Gear.  Take the time to learn, but don’t fall for “must have” gear.  If you don’t know what it is, you probably don’t need it.

-Roy — If it’s not broken don’t fix it.  There’s more to life than plug-ins.  Leave some breaths in!  A discussion of air follows.  Remember your settings and experiment.  Ask questions.

-Juan — Avoid buying stuff to just buy stuff.  Gear won’t make you competitive.  Don’t throw money at problems that aren’t there.  

-George — At AES Focal Press was there with books.  One title that might help: Recording Secrets for the Small Studio, by Mike Senior. It’s more than you need to know.  It’s for “project studios” like VO actors use.  


-Dan — The author is with Sound on Sound Studio, another good resource: http://www.soundonsound.com/

1:41:30  Thanks to donors.  You keep the show commercial free.

1:42:17  EWABS is on a podcast, on Stitcher, iTunes, http://ewabs.podbean.com/

1:42:45  Oct. 27: Chris Heward will be the guest.  He’s a standup comic.  https://www.rooftopcomedy.com/comics/ChrisHeward

1:43:24  Thanks to sponsors, Harlan Hogan, VoiceOverXtra, Edge Studio.

1:44:04  Group sign off…shop, shop, shop….

1:44:23  End of show.