I Have 3 Lawn Mowers and 5 Mics

Scattered in the storage area behind the garage are three (yes, I said 3) lawn mowers. Two gas mowers and an electric mower. None of them work. Well, one can be coaxed into mowing, if you know the secret sequence of events that involves lots of starter fluid sprayed in the spark plug socket and the carburetor in just the right order. Only one person knows how to do that.

I should probably get rid of all three of them and get one that works right the first time you yank on the starter.

I have two weed whackers. One is gas powered and I don’t think that one works. The battery operated whacker works, but not for very long on a charge. That one I got on Craig’s List.

I had a couple of loppers to cut the branches off the fig tree every year in August when the figs have turned […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 December 1st, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating, Recording, Technology|

Change is Inevitable

The only constant is change. It used to be (for those of us who remember the days of black and white television) at a fairly slow pace. Adoption of new technologies was at a slower pace. You had time to adjust – albeit some were dragged along kicking and screaming about the old days.

But the speed of the changes started to pick up and today, you barely have time to buy a new technology before the newest and more advanced product is available. We face it daily, so why is it so hard to accept the inevitable.

I am still using Adobe Audition 1 on my editing computer. I like it. It still works – on my XP operating system. All my computers are XP. But, I know that will have to change the next time I have to upgrade the hardware. I will not like this change – at first. I’ll […]

2017-04-20T20:45:47+00:00 March 28th, 2013|Categories: Business, Musings, Technology|Tags: , , |

We Want What We Cannot Have

Why is it that the faster technology advances the less it does what we want?

Oh, it does so much – and much much more – but the very fact that it does so much makes us want it to do more!

And some of stuff not doing what we want it to do is operator error. It does so much – how can anyone know the total scope of its capabilities…until you ask it to do something it simply can’t.

For example, my travel recording gear used to be a dbx mini-pre with my AKG 1000 mic and a Toshiba laptop. Worked great. Then I got a MicPortPro, which saved some weight and space.

But it didn’t work on my laptop, because I was using Adobe Audition 2 and it didn’t support USB mic connections. An upgrade to Audition 3 was needed to get the MicPortPro to work with the laptop. Fine, software […]

2017-04-20T20:45:47+00:00 September 9th, 2012|Categories: Musings, Technology|Tags: , , , |

Does This Mic Make Me Sound Fat?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to microphones. No one price range that will guarantee that a mic will sound wonderful with your voice. It all “depends.” It depends on your own particular physical characteristics. It depends on the room that you are recording in.

But it is always SUCH a huge topic of discussion with passionate opinions on what mics are BEST. It gets as bad as the PC vs. MAC debate.

But it is still interesting to listen to the differences (or lack thereof) between the various mics and their price points – and that is why I am forwarding these links.

Poke around on the net and you can probably find more mic shootouts. I am pretty sure there was another comprehensive blind shootout, but I must not be using the right key words. If you know of others, please post a comment and the link.

2012-07-25T09:48:38+00:00 July 25th, 2012|Categories: Recording, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

Are You Hopping Mad about Auto Hop?

So the latest invention in the quest by people to skip the very thing that keeps their TV programs on the air is an ad eraser embedded in new digital video recorders sold by Dish Network. Just turn on Auto Hop and ads automatically vanish. TiVo on steroids.

Here’s an article in the New York Times that goes into more detail.

So, how do I feel about that – as a voice talent whose income includes payment for doing announcing for TV Commercials? In some ways, a lot like the chief executive of CBS who wonders how he will produce shows like “CSI” without the support of the advertisers running the commercials. Or maybe a bit like News Corporation who has decided not to run Dish’s DVR ads.

Everyone in the chain is trying to figure out how to snag the eyeballs (and dollars) of the consumers. Consumers […]

2017-04-20T20:45:49+00:00 May 17th, 2012|Categories: Business, Musings, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , |

Popping Problem? Probably Positional Placement.

Every once in a while I’ll pop a “p” and have to do some editing to fix it, or even a redo, but plosives have not been a real problem for me. It is the sharp “s” that seems to be my biggest issue.

I have learned to hear the worst of my sibilance issues as they come out of my mouth and do a quick adjustment to my articulators (usually tongue placement more than anything else) and the next pass is usually sans-sibilance.

But the popping “p” doesn’t present itself until I listen to the recording. So preventing them from happening in the first place is the best plan of attack.

Dan Friedman, working voice talent and author of the book “Sound Advice,” is a frequent contributor to Procomm’s Voiceover Industry Articles. This one is all about that popping problem that plagues many voice actors.

2017-04-20T20:45:53+00:00 September 6th, 2011|Categories: Recording, Technology|Tags: , , , |

Talk about your work around!

Well, as I posted last week, stuff happens.

This week I started hearing a little BobCat driving up and down my alley. And when I poked my head out to see what was going on, I saw the tell-tale signs of upcoming concrete demolition. The road was covered with colorful spray painted arrows and initials detailing the underground path of gas pipes, water and sewer lines.

And a day later the truly irritating sound of a concrete cutter combined with a jack hammer – followed by large back hoes and dump trucks. Even when the concrete cutter wasn’t actually cutting, the generator truck was constantly running in the background.

I trudged down the alley yesterday to find the foreman to ask him what the “schedule” might be. Along the way, I navigated around and over large piles of dirt and was careful not to step in the new trough being gouged out along […]

2017-04-20T20:45:53+00:00 August 31st, 2011|Categories: Musings, Recording, Technology|

Time for a Studio Tune Up

I upgraded to Adobe Audition 3 recently on my recording tower and started to notice a difference in my noise floor. A visual difference apparently – certainly nothing that my ears picked up, but a distinct difference in the way the single pixel line that denotes silence looked. It didn’t “look” quiet anymore.

My mics were changed out a little while before the software change – picked up a couple of ADK Hamburgs (after my AKG capsule blew and the new capsule sounded too bright). I also had my recording area acoustically “re-treated” after experimenting with locations. I also had the whole area upholstered.

I have never had any complaints or even a conversation about the “sound” of my space, but it just “looked” noisey.

Other factors that contributed to my ultimate seeking of expert advice…

  • An aging analog Mackie Mixer
  • A Gentner phone patch that was sort of patched through the Mackie and worked well enough, but not the […]
2011-04-26T19:13:56+00:00 April 26th, 2011|Categories: Technology|

When Software Burps

Workflow is a time sensitive thing. We have delivery dates for the work we do and part of our job is to anticipate potential time-sucking issues that may impact a timely delivery.

I am getting pretty good at balancing my daily forays into Social Media, but we all have other areas that need attention.

  • Family (my increased time with my mom needs to be figured into the equation)
  • Exercise (oh, brother, this is high on my list of things I don’t get around to – do my weekly tap classes count?)
  • Home and Garden (my yard is a MESS – my counters are getting mightly cluttered – and there is a leak in the big bathroom that needs to be attended to – not to mention I am stripping an old door for a remodel project)
  • Volunteering (my work with MCA-I has increased recently due to some major changes in the association requiring more time as […]
2011-01-27T10:32:45+00:00 January 27th, 2011|Categories: Business, Recording, Technology|

What the heck just happened?

Excuse me, did I miss something? Like the whole 2nd half of the year maybe? What is this pile of paperwork sitting here? Wait, what I meant to say was what are all these piles of paperwork sitting here? Why is that list of things to do getting longer instead of shorter?

Part of it is personal obligations – that has increased over the past year and a half or so – since my mom moved out here from across the country. Part of it is that my ability to be superwoman is diminishing due to hot flashes.

Part of it is a slight increase in the amount of time I am spending chasing down money from people I didn’t expect to have to chase down for money.

But a big part of it is the time suckers – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, other social media message boards, my volunteer time for MCA-I, this blog, the other […]

2017-04-20T20:45:57+00:00 December 22nd, 2010|Categories: Business, Communication, Technology|