I have moved 14 times in the past 12 years. No kidding. There's a host of reasons why, but at every step along the way I was building out a new recording space. I tore down closets, extra bedrooms, build new rooms, but I never considered getting a modular booth. You'd think buying a booth would be easier since I move...all the time, and then I could take it with me! But I'm also stubborn. My move last fall was the final step in convincing me to get a booth. While there are a lot of players out there, only one brand stood out as the best.....WhisperRoom.
The #1 thing for great voiceovers...an isolated recording space.
Recording voiceover is highly critical. You're capturing a single source and making it sound as natural and real as possible. Without a proper room, recording the human voice can fall flat. It doesn't matter how great the mic is, or what amazing pre powers it; if the room isn't right, recordings won't be right.
For years, WhisperRoom has been an industry leader in sound isolation enclosures (fancy way of saying "booth"), having served thousands of clients in a variety of industries, including musicians and voice over actors. And with a variety of models to choose from, anybody can be catered to with WhisperRoom's clever designs. While they are an investment, WhisperRoom is able to offer some of the lowest pricing on sound booths in the industry without sacrificing quality or materials.
The WhisperRoom User Experience
Over the years, I've recorded in modular style booths, as well as custom build booths and rooms. While some modular booths by other manufacturers were less than desirable; WhisperRooms always seemed...well...sturdy! From the moment you enter a WhisperRoom, you just feel like you're in a solid structure. When the door shuts (and seals), you know you're in a high quality environment.
While I'm pretty handy, I do have to say how surprised I was with WhisperRooms' ease of assembly. You need a friend to help you with the pieces (remember...sturdy), but instructions were easy to follow, and it wasn't long before I had the room assembled and ready for use. The one that I have is the Standard WhisperRoom, which is the single-wall system. But what's really smart about WhisperRooms' design, is I can upgrade to the Enhanced double-wall system at anytime!
The LED Studio Light Package
The LED studio light kit for WhisperRoom has recently been released as an optional feature. This light kit can add just the right ambiance to any recording session and is a great way to personalize the booth itself. The light kit can also be purchased and installed separately, depending on client needs.
The lights cleaned up my mess I had before. And since they're LED that means no hum or heat! Oh the colors are super cool too. It even matches my orange acoustic panels.
Benefits of WhisperRoom for Voice Overs
These days, voice over acting has become increasingly popular, especially as the world of animation has seen significant growth over the past decade. In fact, companies like Pixar and Walt Disney Productions have already purchased WhisperRooms for use in their own studios. There are a number of ways in which voice over actors and their studios can benefit from using WhisperRooms for their recording needs.
For starters, the easy portability of these booths makes it possible for voice over actors to record wherever is most convenient for them; no need to rent out a full studio or travel hours out of the way. Instead, they can work from their home studios, which helps to keep production costs down as well. Finally, for freelance voice over actors, many have found that the purchase of their WhisperRoom has been a tax-deductible expense.
Overall, the WhisperRoom is an excellent choice for musicians, voice actors, broadcasters, and audio professionals in any number of different industries. It ease of assembly, portability, and quality of materials makes it an excellent investment that often pays for itself and then some in a relatively short period of time.
Chipotle burritos are delicious! And voicing their recruitment campaign created some tasty spots! *(scroll for audio)*
I look at my job as not just a "voice-guy", but a creative resource for brands to help deliver their messages. Working with smart brands is always a joy! But when I get to voice something that speaks to me, is a part of who I am (I am currently 42% guacamole), and just as important to others; it's extra special!
The secret is in the culture.
Chipotle is amazing. If you haven't been, please stop reading and go now! I'll be here. What's so special about Chipotle, and not just the food, is their culture. Chipotle has a unique and special culture. You see it in their dedication to non-gmo food, or their special relationship with farmers. Internally, it's just as important. Chipotle has "13 Characteristics" that they believe everyone working there should have. It holds their people to a higher standard and helps foster a great work environment.
The Pandora voice over campaign focused on recruitment. They were fun, quirky, real, and honest. The copy was so well written! Good copy makes all the difference, and Chipotle's collaboration with Cultivator Ads made for some super sweet scripting!
Here are 2 from the campaign, but the second one is my favorite!
Are you ready for some tasty spots? Let's grab a burrito and chat! Leave a comment or drop a line.
We are in a technology renaissance! There are new apps, platforms, and concepts breaking ground everyday. Did you know you can hire someone to drive your car to the dealer and take care of your oil? Or maybe you hate clothes shopping and want a personal shopper to pick your clothes for you?
There are a lot of new ways to live, work, and play; thanks in part to "The Internet of Things" concept. There no shortage of these changes in the voice over and recording industries. While new technologies have surfaced for remote recording (Source Connect, ipDTL, and SoundStreak), there is still a tried and true way to record voice over talent...ISDN.
Although not the latest technology, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services continue to deliver high-quality recordings, and some of the best talents in the industry use it. The argument for and against ISDN really comes from talent. Some talent have it (I do) and some don't. For the most part, talent are at the mercy of the telecoms to connect.
However, studios still tend to prefer ISDN voice actors. So, until there is an agreed upon new standard, ISDN will remain a large player.
"...you know that he or she is
dedicated to voiceover acting."
Confidence and Dedication
Getting an ISDN line isn't easy. Securing such a line means going through an enormous amount of red tape, negotiating with multiple utilities and businesses, and spending exorbitant sums of money to buy the rights. Actors usually start by calling their local phone company and asking if there are any lines for sale, but depending on the location, the phone company may not be able to help them, in which case they have to talk to radio and Internet providers. Once they've found someone who can sell them ISDN, they have the challenge of paying for it. Not only are line prices high-- on the order of $1500, plus $100 a month for service-- but ISDN providers may have trouble coming up with a specific price, making it difficult to budget for it.
If an actor has managed to secure an ISDN line despite all of these challenges, you know that he or she is dedicated to voiceover acting. ISDN voice actors are confident in their talent and willing to do whatever it takes to market their voices. They are also willing to put up with inconveniences, meaning you can trust them to remain loyal if you run into difficulty while recording. An ISDN audition is thus one of the safest ways to recruit new talent.
Quick Voiceover Casting
Casting is an enormous investment. In addition to the money and electricity you have to spend attracting applicants, scheduling audition sessions, and attending those auditions, the longer it takes for you to select voice actors, the longer you have to wait to market and profit from your final product. With ISDN actors, however, there is no need to hold in-studio auditions, allowing you to streamline the casting process. Simply send each actor the audition materials and listen to the audition whenever is most convenient for both of you. Quick casting also minimizes the time it takes to replace an actor while you are in production, reducing the cost of casting mistakes and actor turnover.
"...IP services are vulnerable
to slow or erratic Internet connections."
ISDN voiceovers are significantly easier to schedule than traditional voice recordings. Whereas in-studio recordings require you, your staff, and your actors to all meet in your studio at an agreed upon time, an ISDN voice actor can record his or her lines in real time from anywhere in the world. As long as you and your actor are awake and have access, you can go ahead and record. This not only makes it easier for you to plan your schedule, but it also allows you to respond to sickness, injury, and other mishaps that can delay regular recording for weeks. Even if your actor is bedridden, as long as he or she still has the strength for a voice recording, the show will go on.
Although recent Internet recording services can mimic many of the aforementioned benefits, many studios continue to prefer ISDN voice actors. This is largely the result of connection issues. IP services are vulnerable to slow or erratic Internet connections, meaning even something as simple as having neighbors who watch Youtube too much can ruin a recording session. By contrast, ISDN relies on copper phone lines, meaning you can use it at the same quality in almost all conditions. These services also tend to be more standardized than IP services, meaning that almost all ISDN equipment is compatible with all other ISDN equipment.
IP and ISDN need not be mutually exclusive. Many studios that record outside of their studio use ISDN in the studio and IP services while on the road. This allow you to benefit from the dedication and flexibility of ISDN actors without overlooking the many talented IP actors.
Ready to connect? Leave a comment, or get me here.
Real, honest, friendly voiceover is here to stay.
Getting voice over script breakdowns or specs saying words like "conversational", "friendly", or "real", is about as common as breathing now. And I couldn't be happier about it! I'm not saying that just because that style is my wheelhouse, but it also shows how far we've come in advertising.
We're in the new era of corporate responsibility, transparency, relatability, and brand awareness. The evolution trickles down to concepts and campaigns that make the audience feel a real connection. What would you rather listen to, someone just talking to you, or someone shouting? Yeah...me too.
While I'm fortunate to work with agencies, producers, and creatives to bring that "conversational" style, I appreciate how the industry has shifted. It keeps every collaborative person honest in their designs and transparent in their dealings.
The video above was booked with the super sweet agency Staplegun. They do great work, and it was awesome to bring my conversational voice over vibe to the project. It's a true example of how scripting has shifted, and sounding honest, credible, and real leads the way.
A Voice Over blog
Tips, Tricks and Insights for casting, producers, agents, managers, creatives, and talent in the voice over industry.
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