Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stephanie Ciccarelli @ posed an interesting question...

Blue acoustic guitarVoice Artists, What Would You Do For The Perfect Take?

Written by Stephanie

When you get ready to do a voice over recording, what lengths do you go to in order to get the perfect take?

I asked some of my friends on Twitter and I couldn't believe how far (and how unplugged) some people go to make a simple voice over recording.

Want to know what they said? Read on!

Voice Over Recording = Sacrifices

Recording voice overs takes a great deal of discipline, even sacrifice.

A voice artist may forgo any number of things to prepare their instrument for a performance such as drinking coffee, tea or eating dairy products for the sake of keeping their voice in good form and good tone.

Some go to bed early, preserve their voices by not screaming or shouting, and others have periods of silence where they won't speak at all and that's just sacrifices made on behalf of the voice!

This morning, I thought it would be fun to ask my pals on Twitter whether or not they turned their heaters or air conditioners off while recording voice overs to minimize and or eliminate external noises in their studio.

When I'm recording the VOX Talk podcast the heater is always turned off. During a Canadian winter that isn't the most appealing thing to do, but everyone suffers for their art, right?

I wanted to see if I was the only one, and by golly, you'd be amazed by the number of appliances that get unplugged, animals shooed into the furthest room possible and zany things people will do to get the perfect take.

I know I was.

What Some Voice Artists Do Before Recording

Kara Edwards, a voice artist in Tampa Bay, Florida related, "Yes, I turn everything off. Even though I can't hear it in this new studio very well I don't like taking the risk. My checklist includes heat/AC off, studio monitors off, phone off, appliances off, dog, eh, relieved... let's go!"

Linda Ristig in Washington, DC faces a number of challenges when she sets out to record in her studio but has found plenty of ways to turn what some may see as hurdles into clear sailing. Linda shared, "I turn off heat, phone, fax, and (this is the biggie) make sure our two dogs are in the furthest room away from my studio!"

But wait, there's more.

Linda added, "I also should mention I live with a husband and three sons that are car crazy! When they 'tweak' or work on the '69 GTO or the '72 Corvette, or even the new Mustang, they seem to need to make the engines louder! We now have a new understanding, if I let them know I'm about to record, they'll take a 30 minute break. I've learned to edit ProTools with the engine roar coming from the garage!"

Voice artist Niel Sumter in the Northeastern United States, offered, "I turn off my heat. I have a space heater, and the audible humming does get picked up."

Amid the clamoring to turn off all noise making agents, one voice artist in Miami Shores, Florida, Doug Turkel, swims against the current, opting to actually turn ON his air conditioning. Mind you he is blessed to have a recording booth with silent fans, noting rightly so that, "I'd suffocate without it."

Voice artist Arlene Kahn of Chicago, Illinois says, "I don't (turn off heaters / AC). I do have a humidifier running in the room. I needed to set it on high when it got down to single digits. On high the mic picked up the sound, on low it didn't, so I had to adjust the setting."

What Do You Do For The Perfect Take?

Looking forward to hearing from you,


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