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Voice Actor’s Guide to Recording at Home and on the Road

Book Description

For many years, recording voiceovers was the exclusive domain of commercial studios. Even a simple voice audition meant a trip to a studio, an ad agency, or an agent's office. Today voiceover actors are increasingly producing voice tracks for corporate narration, radio spots, animation, games, and other dialogue projects from their own home studios. Many have learned that to survive in this highly competitive field, they need to learn and master basic home recording production techniques. "The Voice Actor's Guide to Recording at Home and On the Road, Second Edition" shows both aspiring and established voiceover actors how to set up and effectively use their own inexpensive -- but professional-sounding -- personal recording studio to make professional-quality home recordings quickly and easily. Everything is covered to help you get auditions and jobs, from setting up your studio with the right hardware and software, recording at home, and production basics, to promotion, podcasting, and advanced production. This new edition of this bestselling bible for voiceover home recording has been completely updated to cover all the exciting new technology and delivery options currently available.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Authors
  4. Introduction
  5. 1. The New Paradigm—A Home Studio Is a Required Tool of the Trade
    1. The Business of Getting Business—Auditions
    2. The Business of Getting Business—Sessions
    3. The Business of Getting Business—Voice Demos
    4. The Business of Getting Business—The Internet
    5. The Business of Getting Business—Making Money Recording at Home
    6. The Business of Getting Business—Studio Speak
    7. The Business of Getting Business—Global Agents
      1. Casting
      2. Interaction
      3. Sessions
    8. The Business of Getting Business—Audition Web Sites
  6. 2. Recording from the Comfort of Home—Seven Easy Steps to Get Started
    1. (1) Computer
      1. (1a) High-Speed Internet Access
    2. (2) Microphone
    3. (3) Microphone Preamplifier
    4. (4) Audio Interface
      1. (4a) USB Microphones
    5. (5) Recording Software
    6. (6) Speakers and Headphones
    7. (7) A Room of Your Own
  7. 3. Choosing the Right Computer for Recording at Home and on the Road
    1. PC or Mac?
    2. Software Drives the Hardware
    3. Hardware Issues
      1. CPU
      2. HDD
      3. USB/FireWire Ports
      4. Wired or Wireless Network Connection
      5. RAM
      6. CD/DVD Writer
      7. Audio Interface/Sound Card
      8. Monitor(s)
      9. Speakers
      10. Printer
      11. Other Fun Stuff
    4. Software
      1. And Two Cautions...
      2. Oh, My Aching Backup
    5. Internet Connection
    6. Still Worried?
  8. 4. Assembling Your Home Studio—Hardware
    1. Don’t Skimp on a Solid Front End
    2. Recording Overview
    3. Microphones
    4. Pickup Lines
      1. Phantom Power
    5. Choosing the Perfect Microphone
      1. Dynamic Choices
      2. Condensers—Condensed
      3. Ribbon Cutting
    6. Mic Accessories
      1. Cables and Connectors
      2. Mic Support
      3. Shock Mounts
      4. Pop Filter
      5. Other Gear
    7. Microphone Preamps
      1. Mixer
      2. Standalone Microphone Preamp
      3. Audio Interface
      4. USB Based
      5. FireWire Based
      6. USB Microphones
    8. Final Necessities
      1. Headphones
      2. Speakers (aka Monitors)
    9. Don’t Be Shy: Ask for Help
  9. 5. Assembling Your Home Studio—Software
    1. Digital Recording Software
      1. PC
      2. Mac
    2. Other Software
      1. Audio Interface/Soundcard Software
      2. Effects and Plug-Ins
    3. Computer Audio Tune-Ups
  10. 6. Sound Space: Finding/Creating/Tweaking the Right Location
    1. Your Office
    2. Your Vocal Booth
    3. Closet Comments
    4. Building a “Recording Booth”
      1. The Tent
      2. Corner Space
      3. Three-Sided Booth
      4. Prebuilt Freestanding Walls
      5. VO Box
      6. Other Standalone “Vocal Booths”
  11. 7. Home Recording—Away from Home
    1. Assembling Your Portable Studio
    2. The Porta-Booth
      1. Building Your Booth
      2. Using and Traveling with the Booth
    3. When All Else Fails
  12. 8. Basic Production Techniques
    1. Setting Levels Outside the Box
    2. Setting Levels Inside the Box
    3. Recognizing Correct Onscreen Levels
    4. Getting Up Close and Personal with Your Microphone
    5. Keep on Tracking
    6. Get Set to Edit
    7. Editing on Your Computer
  13. 9. Teleportation—Long-Distance Direction
    1. Phone Patches
    2. Call Mario Brothers! We Gotta Figure Out da Plumbing!
      1. Audio Quality
      2. Delivery Delay
      3. Responsibility
    3. ISDN Patches
    4. Setting Up the Dial-Up
    5. Is the Future on the Net?
  14. 10. Profitable Promotion
    1. The Anatomy of Success
      1. Head = Brains
      2. Heart = Passion
      3. Stomach = Guts
    2. Spread the Word
    3. Five Relatively Painless Ways to Promote
      1. (1) Direct Contact
      2. (2) Publicity/Public Relations
      3. (3) General Advertising
      4. (4) Direct Response
      5. (5) Advertising Specialties
      6. What about the Web?
    4. A Few Words on Word of Mouth
    5. Other Home Studio Revenue Streams
      1. No Copy? No Problem!
      2. Home Studio Legal and Logistic Concerns
      3. Now That You’ve Built It, They Will Come!
  15. 11. Working the World Wide Web
    1. So, A Practically Perfect Partner
    2. Your Audio Web Site Opportunities
      1. Your Agent(s)
      2. Independent Sites
      3. Your Personal Site
    3. Web Design: Can You Do It Yourself?
    4. Professional Web Design
    5. Web Promotion
    6. Getting Your Voice Demos “Web-Ready”
      1. Flash
      2. MP3
      3. Real Media
      4. Windows Media
    7. Streaming versus Downloaded Audio Files
    8. Preparing Your Files for the Web
      1. Sony Wave Hammer
    9. We Are Virtual Voice-Overs
      1. The Virtual Voice-Over and the Home Studio Auditions
      2. The Virtual Voice-Over and the Future
  16. 12. Advanced Production Techniques
    1. Your Essential Post-Production Workflow
      1. (1) Edit Out the Obvious Garbage
      2. (2) Use EQ to Do a Little Noise Reduction
      3. (3) Even Out the Volume
      4. (4) Raise the Overall Volume
      5. (5) Create the Master File
      6. (6) Celebrate
    2. Fixing Common Problems
      1. Lip Smacks
      2. Breaths
      3. Extraneous Noise(s)
      4. General Background Noise
      5. Hum and Hiss
      6. Bad Edits
      7. Sentence Pickups
      8. Volume Inconsistencies
        1. Threshold
        2. Ratio
        3. Attack
        4. Release
        5. Output
      9. Clicks and Crackles
      10. Thin Sound
      11. Dull Recording
      12. Louder File
      13. Faster/Slower
      14. Plosives
      15. Sibilance
      16. Clipping
    3. Sweetening: Adding Some Pizzazz!
      1. Telephone Sound
      2. Caverns and Hallways and Bathrooms, Oh My
      3. Echoes
      4. Swirlies and Swishies
      5. Pitch Shifting
    4. Adding Music and Sound Effects
      1. Music
      2. Sound Effects
    5. Mixing in Music and Sound Effects
    6. Multitracking
    7. CD: Burn Baby Burn
    8. What about Video Production?
  17. In Conclusion...
  18. A Glitzy, Glowing, Glimmering, Glamorous Glossary
  19. Essential Resources Guide
    1. Acoustic/Soundbooth Solutions
    2. Audio Interfaces
    3. Audio Software
    4. Author Web Sites
    5. Books
    6. Career
    7. Computer
    8. DVD/CD
    9. Headphones
    10. Internet
    11. ISDN, Internet, and Phone Patch
    12. Microphone/Recording Accessories
    13. Microphones
    14. Mixers
    15. Monitors/Speakers
    16. Music
    17. Periodicals
    18. Preamps
    19. Recording Equipment and Supplies
    20. Sound Effects