Fix It At The Source

This week we're excited to share an advance notice for Jim Edgar's upcoming blog post on home recording.

Fix It At The Source

By Jim Edgar

While not everyone wants to strip things down to the last bolt, it is empowering to understand how things work. Right now, I’m halfway through teaching a dozen voice actors how to set up their home recording studios. One of the truly inspiring things about being a part of that process happens when a student suddenly understands what they are hearing and how to make things better. All that “stuff” that happens inside the equipment becomes a little less imposing. Their confidence, which grows from that, seems to stick around. That’s one of the reasons I really enjoy these voiceover recording workshops.

These provide strong reminders of how a bit of preparation and refinement go a long way to creating good sound. The simple setup steps, such as positioning the microphone, matter. A bit more damping material goes a long way. Taking extra equipment out of the recording space helps us connect with the creative side of the equation. It all adds up to support the process.

The long game is to create a robust and versatile foundation for our voiceover recording tasks. If we get the basics right, then incorporating Source-Connect doesn’t reveal flaws in our sound, it just lets us easily connect with clients in realtime.

I often get asked how the newer audio tools fit into the picture. Noise removal options such as Waves Clarity Vx might make it seem as though we don’t need to worry about noisy recording spaces any longer. While it’s pretty impressive to see these things in action, I’m still of the opinion that they are best utilized to fix specific problems, not simply slapped onto every recording. As good as that tool is, there are plenty of others which can negatively impact our audio. If we can reduce sibilance, or mouth clicks, by simply adjusting our microphone position, then we don’t have to lean quite so heavily upon the processing.

We don't really know exactly what happens to our audio after we send it off. Sometimes, there will additional audio "sweetening." I was in a recent workshop where a casting agent explained they often process selected auditions before forwarding to the end client for review. The additional processing might not play well with anything we’ve done to our recordings. The less you do to your audio, the more options are available to someone who has to work with it.

Establishing solid results by finessing the basics of space, distance, and input level seem to pay the biggest benefits. Then when we reach for more complex tools, we’re able to keep things sounding good.

Now, go be brilliant!

- Jim

Jim Edgar is a core instructor at Voice One and works as a full time voice actor. He regularly provides VO for video games, narration, eLearning, audiobook, and commercial projects. Jim brings a deep understanding of recording technology and software to our classes - all from the perspective of a working voice actor. Jim also has a blog that offers weekly tech tips for industry professionals. If you'd like to keep up with regular tech updates from Jim, be sure to join the JustAskJimVO.studio community and receive your advance copy of the Tuesday Tech Tip via email each week.

Source Connect, Phone Patch, & Remote Direction

Audition-Ready Audio

Prerequisites: recording equipment required, recording homework will be assigned

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