The Talkback

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December 9, 2012

by edgeadmin

1. DO: Be Timely

a. Okay, so someone has contacted you for a voice over audition. Horray! Congratulations! How’d you find out? Did they send an email? Did they leave a voicemail? Either way, respond as soon as you get the message. (Side note – you should check your email and voicemail at least once a day so voice over auditions and other important life stuff don’t slip by!) Please don’t leave the casting director hanging for days. Not only may you lose that opportunity, but it can reflect poorly on your organizational skills and your commitment, making the casting director think twice before approaching you again for a voice over job.

b. If this is an in-studio voice over audition, make sure you arrive on time. Scratch that. Make sure you arrive early. Often, studios will have tightly scheduled auditions and showing up late will throw off the rest of their day. This will not ingratiate you towards the people you are trying to be hired by. If you can’t show up on time to the voice over audition, what’s to say you’ll show up on time to the voice over recording? Seriously, being timely is one of the most important things you can do for your voice over career.

2. DON’T: Be Rude To Anyone At The Studio

a. Whether it is the receptionist, the engineer, the mailman, or the casting director herself, never be rude to someone during a voice over audition. This should be common sense, but often nerves take over and you may snarl without meaning to. Being gracious will get you a long way at a voice over audition, not to mention in life.

3. DO: Go Over The Script Prior To The Voice Over Audition

Read the rest of How to Prepare for a Voice Over Audition; A Few Dos and Don’ts.. . .

November 13, 2012

by edgeadmin

Written Edge Studio Production Staff, after Hurricane Sandy.

Severe weather tends to shake things up in more ways than one. While thankfully our NYC, CT, and DC studios were not damaged, we went through an internal audio hurricane of sorts here at Edge, and in the interest of educating all you voice over hopefuls, I’d like to share my tale from the front lines.

We had a large-scale (high-profile client), long-form (11 hours of final audio), RUSH project, in the works before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. Even before the storm, there were several red flags that signaled rough seas ahead for this recording. First, the voice over talent, chosen by the client, was completely new to voice over. (As in, “may never have stepped in a recording studio before” new.) Second, we had 4 days to record the voice over to stay on schedule. Third, I was busy cranking on other projects, as were the rest of our go-to voice over engineers, so we had to add another “new” body into the mix, in the form of a pleasant (yet largely untested) recording engineer. Fourth, because of the tight production schedule and the good fortune of being a busy NYC voice over studio, we didn’t have the physical space available in-house to edit the audio, so we arranged for one of our partner studios to handle the post-production. The hope that the voice over would be completed efficiently and on-time hung by a thread thinner than the amount of musical talent possessed by Bono.

Pretty “high risk,” eh?

Read the rest of Are You Prepared for that Voice Over Job? Don't Risk Losing Clients!.. . .

May 31, 2012

by edgeadmin

We're all used to revising mixes and songs, but for voiceover, the revisions can be constant. There can be several select takes of several different lines, scattered throughout your sessions like a pile of needles in a pile of haystacks.

As long as there are clients out there, there will be clients who change their minds. So it's imperative that we keep our sessions and files in good working order. It's not uncommon to go back to a project YEARS after the fact, and revise one line. As budgets shrink, this practice becomes more and more common. Paying a talent a revision fee is much easier than writing new copy.

First off, having a date in the session title, and final exported file can save you plenty of headaches. If nothing else, the email your client sent you will be on or around that date…making things way easier to find in the future. Also, have a standard date writing convention.

Everyone knows engineers who have their own way of doing things, like saving sessions to the desktop, spilling apple juice on the keyboard, calling in drunk….but imposing at least a standard date labeling convention is good practice, and one that almost anyone can handle.

Within the session, adding markers is an absolute lifesaver. In Pro Tools this is just the ENTER numeric keypad. I label everything. Take #, revised line, notes to myself later such as "Do Not Use This Talent Again," "Why Not Have A Cheesesteak For Lunch?" And so on.

Read the rest of File Management for Voice Over.. . .

September 16, 2011

by edgeadmin

When looking for a pre-amp to record, there are several questions you need to ask yourself. What functionality do I need? What kind of sound am I after? How much change do I have to pilfer to get this thing? Pre-amps are the magical and mysterious link in the chain often overlooked by those first exploring recording, and often over obsessed by studio veterans. Lets talk about one of the ones we have at Edge Studio: The Avalon 737sp.

As far as tone, here at the studio, we're aiming for squeaky clean. The Avalon is an unlikely choice, because it is tube based, and tubes are often associated with sweet sweet distortion. But in this case, its more of an "old school hi fi" tube approach, than a Marshall stack. Its very clean. It minimally alters the sound, leaving the signal as uncolored as possible (with the option to color it if necessary with added functionality as we'll get into now).

Functionality. Often, a pre amp is more than a pre amp. Sometimes its called a “channel strip” meaning it can do a few things in one, like a printer that also faxes, or a horse that is also a microwave. This here thingy accomplishes 3 tasks. First and foremost It is a pre amp - powering and amplifying the signal from a microphone. Second, it has a compressor. This reduces dynamic range - basically lowering the louds and making the quiets louder - to even out the signal. It’s main function while recording is to prevent peaks going to the hard drive. Finally, it is also an EQ. EQ boosts and cuts frequency levels, to make things sound “equal” or can also be used for effects. We tend to lean towards the former. This is rarely used while tracking, except if someone has a very boomy voice (we cut some lows) or is incredibly sibilant (we cut some highs).

Read the rest of Ode to the Avalon - Why We Love Ours!.. . .

August 17, 2011

by SteveWeiss

As resident studio staffer who has some instruments, I jumped at the task. I did time in some bands that had horn players, how hard could it be? It’s no Blink 182 let me tell you that! In the afternoon we were sent the clip of the track they needed re-created. I rushed home to my Chinatown abode, and on the way stopped at the newly opened Cafe Grumpy, my lower east side espresso haven, to mentally prepare. The track was on loop on the iPod and I was in fight mode. Lets go through it together, shall we? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajsYPTaboKQ

Now listen to that. There appears to be approximately 41 people, pretty much just groovin. The tempo shifts a bit, the vocals are amazing, the bass is jumping all over the place doing some counter melodic harmonic junction extracting expressive science™ all while the guitar is doing some jazzy chord voicing, and the horns are accenting it like it’s Spanish punctuation up in here! Just breathe for a second.....Whew! Ok we’re back!

Read the rest of Love Machine: The Epic Art of the Backing Track.. . .

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