A dongle gone wrong

I decided to beat the price hike and install Source Connect today. This meant a trip to Guitar Center out in La Mesa to buy an iLok dongle to start the process. That in itself was a trip. I usually buy all my audio gear and supplies at Pro Sound and Music, just down the hill from where I live. It is a well lived-in store run by an insanely intelligent guy named Mike Krewitsky. Shane helps me find what I need. It is laid back and quiet.

Guitar Center is not. But they knew what I wanted and pointed me toward the Pro Audio part of the store. After the clerk pulled an iLok off the wall, I asked about a replacement cable for my dbx mini-pre and was immediately told that the mini-plug to the mic input was so 2009 and tried to upsell me […]

2017-04-20T20:46:04+00:00 January 31st, 2010|Categories: Musings, Technology|Tags: , , |

Read the Manual

My inclination – when faced with a new piece of software (or pretty much anything) – is to install it and start using it. Read the manual? Not me. There are menus and a help button! (In the case of my cell phone, there is 611.)

Manuals usually have pages and pages of information that I already know and to find the bit of information I don’t know would require formulating a question that the Table of Contents understands.

However, in the case of Word 2 Wav, the manual is simple and short. Had I read the manual, I would have been able to save myself even MORE time this past year. Thank goodness Herve reads the forums.

W2W is a wonderful piece of software that I use at the beginning of my recording process for long form narration and IVR files. Although it is not a finishing program […]

Virtual Talent Agency or P2P (Pay to Play)?

With automated online casting now moving past walking and starting to run (it is about 5 years old now?), there is still a lot of controversy about the concept.

Without a doubt some sort of online casting will be with us as long as we have the Internet, but how will these sites evolve? That is the question some voice talent are bantering about in a couple of forums as a result of a post that Cairo based voice talent Mahmoud Taji added to his Voiceover Emporium site.

http://www.voiceemporium.com/archives/01/tajis-frankenstein-monster/

Read the discussions, follow the links. Educate yourself. See if you can come up with the ideal online automated casting entity.

2010-01-28T18:43:42+00:00 January 28th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Business, Technology|Tags: , , , |

Eggs

You’ve heard the saying – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I’ve been thinking about that the past day or so.

I am currently in Orange County at the beautiful Pelican Hill resort doing a live backstage announce gig for a biotech company. This is the 4th year in a row that I have been asked to be the voice of the company for this particular sales meeting. It is a fun job. The people are nice. The food and accomodations are always more than good. And the pay is quite good as well. But each year, I try to not think about the next year. Because next year may not come.

Early in my voiceover career – or perhaps I should call it my free lance career, because I was doing other things besides voiceover at that time (producing and writing and some on-camera spokesperson) – I had a […]

Lots of mu-law / u-law questions

There has been an uptick in posts to various groups recently about a very standard telephony format called mu-law or u-law.

This is one of the most common telephony formats and there are several tools that can be used to convert to this format – PC and Mac.

If you are on a PC, then most of the audio recording software that professionals are using will do the job – I personally use Adobe Audition.

For Mac, Switch from NCH works well and is pretty easy.

If you are new to telephony – here are a couple of caveats:

  1. The sound files use a low sample and bit rate in order to play them back over the phone – they will NOT sound good to your ears when compared to a regular file
  2. Always capture at a regular sample and bit rate of at least 44.1 and 16 bit.
  3. Downsample to 8K
  4. Do NOT change […]
2017-04-20T20:46:04+00:00 January 22nd, 2010|Categories: Business, Recording, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

Gosh I Love Schick’s Schtick

Todd Schick may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he really is sharp and I recently ran across his “rate” page on his website. He also recorded the content of the page so you can hear what he sounds like.

Check it out! Interesting, irreverant, controversial. That’s Todd.

http://www.toddschick.com/VoiceoverRatesForVoiceTalentServices.htm#R1

2010-01-19T15:57:01+00:00 January 19th, 2010|Categories: Negotiating|Tags: , , , , |

Critical Business Practices

Edge Studio sent out a great email the other day with 10 important business practices. I haev to admit, I KNOW about all 10 of these things, but find that one or more get bumped down the To Do list depending on work and play load. This is the complete email I received.

You might consider getting on their email list – you will be notified of their free tele-seminars and get other good free information such as this.  Was looking for a link where you could sign up for the email, but couldn’t easily find it – so here is the web address: http://www.edgestudio.com/careerbuilding.htm

1. DON’T BECOME COMPLACENT.
 
PROBLEM:  
It’s very easy to become complacent once you have clients coming in. You forget what it took to get there. You’re up to speed, even accelerating, so you stop working your gears.  BUT EVENTUALLY you start losing ground to competitors.
 
There’s an old saying […]

2017-04-20T20:46:05+00:00 January 16th, 2010|Categories: Business|Tags: , |

Can’t get away from it – even in Paradise

Just got back from about a week in Hawaii (the Big Island). My first trip – most of it spent driving around the island stopping at every point of interest. Amazing place.

Went over there for a VO Workshop – Medical Mumbo – with Julie Williams. That was one day in Hilo in the middle of the trip. Decided not to drag my laptop studio with me. Just the BlackBerry for email that mostly informed me of all of the auditions I was missing, as well as the ability to post pics to Facebook. It also rang a couple of times with jobs that needed to be pushed back until I got home. Luckily I was able to push them. Most of the time, when you leave home, you lose money.

But because this was a VO workshop, I did have a chance to do one audition that I just didn’t want […]

2017-04-20T20:46:05+00:00 January 15th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning|Tags: , , , |

Create Your Own “Luck”

I just have to pass along the great story told by Janet Ault, in the latest edition of VoiceOverXtra! Janet is a voice-over professional based in Scottsdale, AZ. If you are not perusing the business sections of your local papers, or reading a Business Journal if you have one in your town, or subscribing to online enewsletters that promote new businesses, account executives moving from agency to agency, etc, then you are missing out on potential new business. 

Janet landed a new account by being pro-active – proving that you create your own luck by having the right tools and finding the opportunity to showcase them. What makes this story a bit more unique is that it happened so quickly. In about a week, she went from finding a “lead” to landing a rather lucrative spokesperson job.

Read the whole article here – http://www.voiceoverxtra.com/article.htm?id=5i15kwkt

2017-04-20T20:46:05+00:00 January 5th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , , , |