Updates from August, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • voicebylinda 7:37 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Voice Over Xtra – Home Studio – What To … 

    Voice Over Xtra – Home Studio – What To Do When Noisy Cement Trucks Roll Up To Your Studio, by Linda Ristig http://ow.ly/2rvdM

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  • voicebylinda 4:46 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Check out a problem-solving voiceover bl… 

    Check out a problem-solving voiceover blog entry turned e-zine article! Voice by Linda http://ow.ly/2roUk and http://ow.ly/2roVc

     
  • voicebylinda 1:46 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Ever had an unexpected complication from… 

    Ever had an unexpected complication from the outside world when trying to do a voiceover?Voice by Linda http://ow.ly/2q8gj

     
  • voicebylinda 1:24 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Voice Actress, Live Recording, Cement Mixer, Oh My! 

    Noisy Visitor to our Neighborhood!

    The other day started off like an ordinary day.  My son and I rose early so he could head out to his high school Varsity Football practice, while we decided to let my husband sleep.  It started as such a gentle beginning to the morning as I sipped a cup of Irish Breakfast tea.   No sooner had my son departed for practice, at 7:30 a.m sharp, I began to hear a rumble next door.  When I stepped onto our front porch, I saw the first cement truck of the day parked in front of our house, waiting for the signal from the general contractor to begin pouring the basement walls for the new home construction next door.

    My first thought was actually how relieved I was that the crew was starting early, because I had a live recording session scheduled in the early afternoon with a director from an ad agency.  My studio window faced the job site, and was only about 12 feet away from all the racket.  Surely they’d be done pouring in a few hours!  How wrong I was.  This picture was snapped after listening to the rumble of the trucks and the shouting of the construction crew all day long.  (This is a good time to notice that the cement truck has its headlights on for a reason!)

    Now, a less intrepid soul might panic.  Not me.  I went out and made quick friends with the crew chief.  His original prediction was that by 4 pm, they should be finished, as long as the cement trucks arrived one after the other.  He was intrigued by my career and apologized for the noise.   I told him not to worry.  I’d just push back the VO session.   Never mind that I had recorded this same spot two days earlier in a soft-sell, real person approach, as I followed the guidelines the production company wanted.  I already had the heads up that today’s director wanted a fast-paced, high energy read and would listen in on a phone patch.  Since this gig was sponsored by a well-known car maker and was an animated TV commercial, I was looking forward to giving voice to a completely different type of read.

    Back to my story,  the day wore on, and our home was vibrating from the cement mixer engines and pumps that were shooting the cement from the trucks into the metal forms.  There was no way they could stop pouring, because rain was predicted to come through in the late evening.  The temperature was pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and everyone was busy!  As the afternoon wore on, it became apparent that the time frame for the construction was a bit incorrect.  When I strolled by the site, mid-afternoonish, the prediction for finishing was to be closer to 9 pm.

    I contacted the ad agency and the production company for the second time, and asked whether they’d considered an additional sound effect of a cement mixer into their car commercial concept, since that was my predicament.  Being up front and honest with them, with a little slice of humor thrown in, was the only way to go.  The production guys promised if I could deliver my voice, they’d edit out the background noise.

    A few minutes before the appointment with the director, I did what I always do.  I turned off the air conditioner and the attic fan out of habit for noise reduction when recording.  Using my bluetooth earpiece with an astute director guiding me through the read, I stepped into the recording booth with the roar of the noisy machines next door.  I smiled to myself quietly when I realized I probably didn’t need to worry at all about the fan noises coming from our home.  Suddenly, I was so focused on the various takes, I blocked out the noise that had plagued me all day.  It was all going to work out just fine.  In the early evening, I strolled next door to let the foreman know my session was over.  At that point, the owner was there as well, surveying the day’s work.  Both of them looked at me and grinned.  The owner spoke up and said, “We agreed.  If you need 20-30 minutes of quiet each day from here on in order to record a directed-live session, just come by and let us know.  We’ll give the workers an immediate break, you’ll get your work done, and we’ll all be happy.”  Wow!

    As the creative process for the commercial had been taken through various committees, I’ve been contacted that the animation work was adjusted slightly, so today I’ll voice a revised script.  There should be hammering and gravel pouring going on, but it doesn’t even matter.  Working within the voice over community means sharing your life and cooperating with the real community to brainstorm real solutions to real problems!   Being proactive is always better than feeling victimized.  Had I not communicated, the outcome would have been very different.  Thank goodness we all made the neighborhood choice to just get along and cooperate.

    I’m wondering what other stories are out there about facing down adversity when trying to do a voice over?  I’d love to hear them!

     
    • Andrea Christensen 3:47 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great story Linda! Wonderful way to handle the situation on all fronts – the crew, the client. Thanks for sharing.

      • voicebylinda 12:20 pm on August 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Andrea, thanks for enjoying the story! I’m just glad this one turned out all right in the long run, since the ad and production agencies were happy with my work!

    • J. Christopher Dunn 12:01 am on August 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Linda- I am amazed. Who knew that a production company could be so accommodating. I had one tense moment a few months ago when a lawn maintenance crew showed up across the street from my house about 30-minutes before I started a patched session. I was thankful when my client called to push back the recording time until the following day. I was lucky! -JCD

      • voicebylinda 12:23 pm on August 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yikes, those lawnmowers, blowers, planes, garbage trucks, and cement mixers are a voice talents’ nightmare. I figured there were a lot of us that could relate. Thanks for sharing your story, JCD!

  • voicebylinda 7:42 pm on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Anyone with a voiceover audio problem th… 

    Anyone with a voiceover audio problem they can’t solve? Audiomaster George Whittam can help, read more at Voice by Linda http://ow.ly/2po71

     
  • voicebylinda 3:32 pm on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , technology, , ,   

    When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. ~Proverbs 11:2 

    George Whittam

    Every now and again, a coincidental meeting or two happens in your life that is meant to be.  When I follow the thread back through this interesting turn of events, I think back to June’s Voice 2010 conference in LA, hosted by the Voice Acting Academy, when I listened to George Whittam present a topic called “The Technology of Voice-over:  Garbage In-Garbage Out.”  He has a full-service business dealing specifically with voice over artists and their recording issues.  As I listened, I was struck with several thoughts.  Here was a person who clearly understood audio technology for Macs and PCs, but more importantly, could explain technical jargon in simple, straightforward, everyday language.  His depth of knowledge regarding proper acoustics, microphone technique, optimum signal chain and processing were only the beginning of what he discussed.  As the session progressed, he led us all through an overview of hardware and software issues, finishing with phone patches, Skype, ISDN, and Source Connect.  I felt confident that I understood quite a bit about his topic as it related to my needs, but I realized there was always more to learn.  I should mention that his handout was detailed and carefully laid out, so it was easy to follow along and take notes.  Knowing that I had come across George’s name many times from various social and voice over networking forums on the internet, it was a pleasure to meet him in person.  I realized he is just as sincere in real-life as he was on stage, while giving his presentation.

    Tim Keenan

    As luck would have it, Tim Keenan of Creative Media, contacted me after Voice 2010 for an #FF Twitter audio interview.  He recorded his questions from his California production studio as I recorded my answers from my home studio in the Washington, D.C. area.  I emailed the mp3 to him, and he magically made the audio sound as though we were chatting together in the same room.  Technology is wonderful when it works.  Imagine my surprise when Tim mentioned I had a low-end rumble that he had to edit out.  No client had ever mentioned the hum to me, so I was puzzled by what was going on with my sound recording process.  George’s name again came up as a go-to guy that might be able to pinpoint the problem.  A random coincidence?  I think not!
    I thought of George, and researched his website information at ElDorado Recording Services.  I saw that I could send him a recorded demo from my home studio, and he would critique it.  Mind you, George had already helped many well-known folks in the VO community.  I wondered if he would be willing to take on another client.  He immediately scheduled me into his busy schedule becoming accessible via email, the internet and Skype.  His payment structure was clearly posted on his website, clarified the type of services he provided based on 30 minute blocks or tiered memberships, and I have come to realize, he was worth every penny.  No problem was too great or too small.  Within a handful of hours stretching over a couple of weeks, George was able to locate the source of the issue, recommend I treat the sound absorption in the booth by purchasing ATS acoustical panels, treat the soundproofing issues coming from windows, adjust settings within my ProTools software, listen to several test demos, identified a piece of faulty recording hardware and took steps to remedy the situation, and best of all, remotely took over my computer to help with some great shortcuts, tips and techniques.  He even helped me out with helpful advice as I am upgrading my VO travel hardware and software!  It was especially fun to watch the cursor move on my computer screen as he signed me up for the free trial of the software, Twisted Wave, with my permission, of course!
    I was truly humbled by his knowledge.  By reaching out to George, I have more confidence in my post-production, and I am now able to help clients with even better audio results.  I’m glad I took the first step to solve my sound booth problem.  Through it all, George was kind, gracious, and conscientious as he patiently taught me what I didn’t know, in a gentle way that restored my faith in my audio recording capabilities.   Do you have an issue that might need help?  If it’s voice over audio related, don’t hesitate to reach out to George.  He listens, he understands, and he produces results.
     
  • voicebylinda 10:53 am on August 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Relax and Enjoy the Day 

    In spite of adversity, the NC rose blooms from within

    During the last month of July, I’ve attempted to take most of the month off from doing Voice Over work. I’ve traveled and renewed my commitment to my family and to this fascinating and often frantic-paced career I have chosen for myself.  In my next blog, I’ll write about an amazing set of circumstances when I resumed work in August.  There, that’s your teaser, so I hope you’ll check in later…

    One of the special moments in July was when I found myself tucked away in a beautiful corner of the world, the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.  I never visited that part of the country before, unless you count the 24 hour whirlwind trip I made for my nephew’s graduation from UNC a decade ago.  This time, I was simply a tourist as I was asked by my son to accompany him on a business-related trip.  Since that in itself is a pretty-awesome thing, a son who enjoys his mom’s company (and I’m taking a wild guess here, but I assume his girlfriend was unavailable since we left mid-week), I decided to go with him.

    I was struck by how much green there was.  Pine trees, rolling hills, and lots of undeveloped acreage was a welcome site, as my own life typically revolves around living in a highly suburban area, just outside of Washington, D.C.

    At 26, my son served in the Army during the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom with the Special Forces.  When he finished his time in the Army, he worked hard to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with additional Cisco certifications, specializing in cyber-net security systems.  So, there I am in the hotel while he is working, and I purposely do not have my recording gear with me.  OK, I just had to bring along my iPad and my cell phone or else I’d be in total techno withdrawal.  I’m used to keeping up with the outside world via the internet.  However, this is my forced R & R.  My dear husband is home, manning the home front with our two remaining sons, two dogs, and two cats.  I have the time to myself during the days to explore.

    Instead of pouring over marketing literature of fun places to go and exciting things to do that you can find in the lobbies of most hotels, I decided to be adventurous by asking the folks at the concierge desk where their favorite place would be to visit if one had only 36 hours in their area.  Mind you, the weather was about 100 degrees, so I wanted a variety of inside and outside ideas to choose from.   After a pleasant conversation, filled with some lovely suggestions, I set off on my first destination.  I tend to choose the “off-the-beaten-path” places, so I can savor my time away from the mad rush of the crowds.

    My first choice was easy.  My mother is a master gardener, really.  She was trained and certified in FL, once she retired from teaching.  Her green thumb is legendary.  I, on the other hand, must consult with the local greenhouse every step of the way to grow a house plant.  Some knowledge I wish was just inherited.  It seems I have a deep appreciation for all things flora, respecting the knowledge and wisdom that go into making a garden work.  I tend to take more pictures of  cool landscaping designs than my family…I digress.

    I set off for the Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden that was located at 301 Pogue Street in Raleigh.  It was located on a small street tucked away from the main street. When I pulled into the parking lot, it was almost noon.  There were no cars there, a huge outdoor amphitheater, a municipal building…hence the name of the place…and a historic rose garden “featuring 1200 roses of 60 different varieties.”  Oh, my gosh.  There I was, standing in heaven, and I had it all to myself. Gorgeous arbors of white roses created a walk-through natural tunnel that horseshoed the end of the garden.  Lush reds, yellows, pinks, and every color in-between were blooming and blooming in the mid-day sun.  The design of the garden was artfully arranged including a small child statue holding a large clam shell with a peaceful fountain in a tiny pond.  It was simply the most beautiful place, a rare, quiet gem of a place, that was there, free to savor and enjoy.

    Somehow, standing there, I was struck by the parallel of how we seek to find beauty and goodness, but it exists within ourselves every day.  We need to stop and look around, and be thankful for each day, and the treasures it brings.  These roses were cultivated with someone’s dedication and effort.  I was able to enjoy them.  If you look carefully at the photo, you’ll notice the slight browning along the edges.  In spite of the extreme heat, this bloom was open to the day, just like me.  In spite of the heat, it blossomed, just like me.  No one had to give it a deadline, it just managed to do it’s thing, just like me.

    In the coolness of the fall, the dead of the winter, and the fresh-start into spring, I plan to keep this summer rose garden feeling close to my heart.  No wonder it’s a timeless saying that people need to stop and smell the roses.  That day, I really did.  I wanted to share this with you, because my wish for you is to have the same wonderful feeling of joy and appreciation of just living in the moment.

     
    • Rick Lance 3:14 pm on August 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Linda,

      Looks like you found the true meaning of “stop and smell the roses!” Intoxicating, uplifting, reassessing, soul searching, grounding… We all get caught up in things and forget what the good Earth has to offer.
      Time alone in a busy life can be the most creative moment.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Rick

      • voicebylinda 12:31 pm on August 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate your kind words, Rick. I do enjoy the quiet moments, even if they don’t seem to linger long in my world!

    • Ralph Hass 12:11 am on August 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “Living in the moment” is a good thing Linda!
      You might enjoy a book I started reading last month called “Life By The Hour” – written by Tim Schroeder, the pastor who married my wife and I 22 years ago (in 2 days on Friday the 13th).
      Darlene and I enjoyed the flower garden in our front yard last night and I look forward to many more memories there – and beach time at the family cabin later this month!

      All the best to you and your family!

      ~ Ralph

      • voicebylinda 12:34 pm on August 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll definitely check into finding the book you recommended, Ralph! Happy anniversary to you and your wife, a day early! May you both continue to enjoy the quiet times, the busy times, and all the times in-between.

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