Gobs on Sticks

Thoughts mostly (but not always) about the voice-over business, from London Voiceover Artist, Mike Cooper

  • About the author

    My name is Mike Cooper. I'm a full time Voiceover Artist living and working in London, and this is my blog. Find out more about me on my main website (there's a link further down this column), or if you'd like to hear some of my work, check out the files below.
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Posts Tagged ‘Gobs on the Web’

Gobs on the Web (w/e 25th September)

Posted by MikeCooper on September 26, 2009

I’ve got a bit behind, haven’t I? It was the holiday that did it (Menorca, and very nice, thanks for asking. Most relaxing…) Nonetheless, here are the voiceover bits I’ve liked most in the last couple of weeks:

At Voiceover Extra, William Williams has just started a series on how to soundproof your studio – or whether you really can, in a domestic environment. Voiceover Extra also reports on Erik Sheppard’s thinking behind the new Voice Talent Productions website, where I’m pleased to be represented myself (you’ll find me here!) Cool and simple, as it goes.

Meanwhile, Mark Holden of The Invisible Studios in West Hollywood is embarking on a series of podcasts, starting with one that asks just how fancy do we need to get for voiceover auditions? Next week he’s going to look at microphones for voiceover recording, and as someone who is now the proud owner of not one, but two Neumanns, I’ll be interested in hearing his take on the issue!

Dave Courvoisier (how does this man find the time to sleep?) pondered whether two-year-old VO advice still had value – and then decided that, in the case of recording the spoken word at least, it did.

And Stephanie Ciccarelli from Voices.com has been busy, as ever. This week their Voiceover Experts podcast notched up its 100th edition (that went quickly, didn’t it?) with this week’s centennial outing presented by the very lovely Julie Ann Dean, who I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Vox conference with. Meanwhile, on VoxDaily, Stephanie posted two pieces that caught my interest: the first is from Dan Hurst, on 5 Mistakes Voice Talent Make and How To Avoid Them. And the second is a cautionary tale from John Taylor about his nightmare with an errant coffee cup – another good reason to wear headphones while you’re recording, in my view.

On that point, I picked up via the Macworld website this week that Sennheiser have introduced a new pair of headphones the HD 380 Pros, which they’re pitching as professional monitors. Worth a listen, perhaps, if you’re looking for something new to cuddle your ears with while working.

Happy reading!


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Gobs on the Web

Posted by MikeCooper on August 22, 2009

Welcome to my roundup of voiceover-related news from my week on the web.

My friend and colleague, Stefania Lintonbon has been digging around the internet and on her blog this week she’s posted links to two useful tutorials. The first throws light onto the sometimes murky subject of audio compression, and comes courtesy of Radiodaddy.com. If terms like “make-up gain” and “ratio” bring you out in a cold sweat then this excellent article is the online equivalent of a magic sponge. The second article which Stef references in her piece deals with removing pops and clicks for users of Sony Sound Forge. Stefania goes on to dispense some of her usual wisdom on positive thinking and getting the universe to deliver – something I support wholeheartedly!

Over at Vox Daily, Stephanie has a couple of goodies this week. One comes from Richard Weirich and deals with what happens when your client keeps pushing and pushing you, and the read you thought was great to start with goes off in a completely different direction. I’ve certainly been there and you may have too! Is the customer always right? Richard would love to hear your views.

Also on Vox Daily – as part of the ongoing series of Voice Over Experts podcasts, Marc Cashman shares his views on why practice makes perfect (or at least, better…)

Finally this week, following on from the awards recently bestowed on the animated series, Family Guy, the creator, Seth MacFarlane has decided to “out” the youngest member of the Griffin family. That’s right folks – in an announcement which will shock, well, barely anyone, I expect – MacFarlane confirms what we’d all suspected: Stewie is gay!

Until next time!

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Gobs on the Web

Posted by MikeCooper on August 14, 2009

I thought it would be a good idea to round up some of the voiceover business stories I’ve found most interesting and useful on my travels around the internet recently. So here, in what I hope to make a weekly feature, I present “Gobs on the Web”. This first one is going to be a bit longer than I expect these posts to be in general, because there’s been a lot of good stuff in recent weeks which I’d like to pull together in one go.

So, first up, Edge Studio this week posted the latest in their helpful series of posts for voice actors: The Voiceover Mistake Chart, listing the kind of mistakes that new – and sometimes experienced – voiceover artists make when going about their business. It includes everything from titling your demos in a way that makes them impossible to decipher, to wearing too much cologne in the VO booth and upsetting the next talent. The first section also deals with common pronunciation mistakes (though having had a read through, that section is more on the money for American English than for the rest of us). Edge Studio say they’ll keep adding to the list, so it’s a good one to bookmark. The guys have also very helpfully provided an archive of 3,500 voiceover scripts which talents are free to use to practice and demo with! Kudos to them for that (and thanks to Tracy Pattin on the VoiceBank blog for spotting it.)

Meanwhile over on the ProComm Voiceover Blog, Dan Freeman has posted an excellent article on choosing the right microphone. His advice? Listen before buying if at all possible. And for those of us whose location doesn’t allow auditioning, he has some great “stock suggestions” for good starting points which shouldn’t embarrass you. (I was pleased to see my own mic, the Neumann TLM 103 on the list – it’s a cracker!)

Voice Actor, Producer and Coach, James Alburger, posted recently on VoiceOverExtra about how to work remotely with your clients. It’s all very well living in the digital age and being tape-free, but email doesn’t cut it for sending big files without a lot of compression. James’s excellent article explains the various options for remote session recording and walks anyone who’s not sure through the basics of ISDN, Phone Patch, and newcomers like Source-Connect for live sessions, before going on to talk about FTP and file delivery services (including my own personal favourite, YouSENDIt.com, which even has its own iPhone app for you to monitor who downloaded the file and when).

Stephanie Ciccarelli of online casting service, Voices.com, is in the middle of a series of great posts over at VoxDaily. First of these is 95+ Podcast Resources for Voice Actors95?! She’s been busy, I’ll say that. Aimed primarily at those trying to get into the business and build their client list, Stephanie has helpfully categorised this mammoth list into sections like “Getting Started”, “Marketing”, “Branding”, “Demos”, “Technique” and so on. There should be something in here for everyone, though I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not personally been through all of her recommendations. (If you’d like to read my own series on Getting Started then click here and read from the bottom up…)

In much the same vein, check out Stephanie’s other posts of recent weeks: 4 Ways to Increase Your Voice Acting Income and 6 Ways To Get Experience in the Business of Voice Acting (Stephanie is very fond of numbers.)

Finally, some lighter reading: Bill Pryce of Austin, Texas got stopped at security with a Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic – which appears to have been mistaken for, erm, a shotgun… And congratulations to Rory O’Shea, who’s living the dream and has just completed building his basement studio in Toronto. In fact he’s so happy, he’s giving us a tour.

I hope you enjoyed this first roundup – do drop me a line and let me know. Comments are welcome as always!

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