Back Stage featured this instructor and has an article on breaking into the industry here:
I'm actually about to step into this territory myself. I'm looking at classes right, but I'm going to actually invest ion purchasing my own equipment to cut my demo. It should run around $700 to do so. For those wondering what type of equipment I'm talking about:
Studio projects C1 Condensor microphone
Mbox 2 mini with protools
and Acoustic foam with materials to build a soundproof walk in for my apartment.
Here's what you can buy:
AT2020 USB (not the xlr version) About $100 on Amazon
On Stage desk stand About $10 If you prefer to stand, there are cheap floor stands.
Get an ankle sock from Target. Cotton 100% single weave non-reinforced toe and heel. This is all you need for a pop filter. About $2 a pair.
Download Audacity for free
That is all you need equipment-wise to audition and record voiceover projects. This same setup is used by a large number of voiceover artists to produce high quality recordings. The AT2020 USB is an amazing little microphone. It comes with a crappy stand and no pop filter. That's why you buy the stand and the sock. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it also sounds really good!
Some people that live in a noisy space do their recordings in their closet. The clothes in the closet do a good job at controlling the sound.
If you're interested in some inexpensive demos and classes, take a look at vo2gogo. David H. Lawrence XVII is a quality teacher.
Thanks Steve, I think you just saved me $600!!!
While Stevesteve has given you some pointers on decent enough equipment, don't think for a second that a closet will be a good recording space. There's A LOT to learn in order to get some good sound out, and many people expect you to have a good home studio set-up.
I'll reiterate what I've said in the past:
- It takes time to 'master' voiceover. It's a craft that demands a lot.
- Do not take any master classes that offer a demo at the end of a weekend. You won't be ready.
- Consult with an audio engineer or otherwise respected professional about the sound quality of your recorded material. I'm talking noise floor, microphone quality, dBFS levels, etc.
- It's not at all about plug-in, record, send. You could be spending months doing it that way without any responses. No casting person is going to tell you that the quality of your recordings are terrible, they'll simply delete the file and move on.
- Research reputable classes and instructors. Find one that works well with you.
I have yet to hear anyone use the AT-2020 for actual work. It seems fine as an audition quality microphone. But it's not something you'd do lengthy recordings on.
I totally agree with you about the commitment and skill required to get competent, let alone good.
About this mic, I have several friends that are recording audiobooks on ACX right now with the AT2020 USB and recording on Audacity. Usually that means 10 plus hours of completed work. And everyone uses the sock!
I don't record in a closet, myself. I sit at my desk and don't have any problems with unwanted sounds. I'm in a studio apartment with a sloped roof and funny angles, so I'm lucky. Sometimes I have to unplug the fridge, but that's about it. If you aren't so lucky, there are many options available, from using gobos to having a dedicated studio built. However, I would always try fugal options first before pursuing the more involved ones.
You're welcome! Now, you can use that money you saved to go take some classes. Talk to David Lawrence.
Although a classically trained tenor and an actor for a number of years, voiceover has required a lot of class and hard work of me. It has been frustrating, to say the least. I certainly have a greater appreciating for those who do it well.
big fan of the kalmensons for training(they also cast)
also edge studios edgestudio.com
I good home setup is awesome, but, I actually was able to record a decent quality VO aud a couple days ago using just my iphone voicememo, and a quiet bathroom. there are iphone apps that you can use as well, plus exterior iphone mics. You can do good quality auds, and you can carry everything you need with you all the time. I imagine you can do the same with android..
Quality of sound? 24/48? Mono? Stereo? Mp3 to Wav? You listened to the audition on quality recording afterward? You've booked work this way? You've been told by casting professionals that this is fine?
Whoa..jumping on me kinda heavy there. I mp3'd it to casting. Not what I would normally do, but it was a last-minute thing they needed right away. Not only did they suggest it, they cited to me an actor who had booked doing the exact same thing. I know the CD, and they're a good office. they wouldn't send out BS. If it wasn't up to par, they would've made me record it again.
I've recorded auditions in a similar fashion with my MP3 player. Uploaded it as an MP3 attachment and e-mailed it. Sometimes you just have to work what you've got. I never claimed to have a home studio and my agent requested it. I don't see how it's any worse than sending in taped auditions, which is becoming increasingly popular.
As far as VO skills to get under your belt, cold read. I mean AWESOME cold read. You have nothing else to sell in the audition, and you only get a couple of takes. You have to interpret the copy as best you can, and who needs the added pressure of fumbling with words?
It also helps with the job when you book. You don't want to spend a lot of takes getting the copy smooth. Give them a good read quickly so the time can be spent coaching you on how they want the spot to sound.
Workinactor, yes I am and here's why:
Your structure of sentences and choice of words suggested this iPhone solution as a viable alternative to good quality sound. It is not. If you have a rapport with the casting office and they are aware that you will not be able to give them professional quality, then that is perfectly fine. People can and will interpret it as a cheap and fast option to the real thing, however. This will severely hamper their future relationships with potential clients.
When you send that audition or sampler in that is considered the best you can do for that particular project, recording, or whatever it is. Everything should be top quality, if possible. There are times when it's not possible, but lesser quality should definitely not be the mainstay.
Well, I may have worded it poorly, but I also think you're misinterpreting what I wrote. there are two things I meant to address:
1) doing a VO aud with less than optimal conditions in a pinch.
2) recording a good quality VO aud using an iphone, the appropriate app, on an ongoing basis for those without a home setup.
Now, I wouldn't suggest using iphone voicememo on a regular basis, of course, but as far as using an iphone, external mic, and an app made for VO recording, not only is that viable,the app is called iaudition and is widely in use. costs $4.99. Look, things have progressed technologically to the point where this is viable. not everyone can have a decent home set-up.
It's certainly preferable to have one, but it's no longer necessary. Incidentally, my agent was the one who told me about iaudition a month ago. I should have used it for this thing, but I was in such a rush to make their deadline(and I hadn't bought it yet) I just went with their voicememo suggestion. so, I think we will have to disagree on this one.
Link to app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app...ion/id398904493?mt=8
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