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The Top 3 Voiceover Mics & Beyond

Debating the top 3 voiceover mics is sort of like debating who was the greatest boxers in history or the greatest major league slugger of all times or who was better, Biggie or Tupac. And I display my biases proudly. Muhammed Ali would've outsmarted Mike Tyson and won. Hank Aaron hit 755 home runs without steroids and Biggie was a talented lyricist and not just a rapper. And as goes the subjectivity of those debates, so goes the debate about voiceover mics. I had a chance to sit down with Chris Courier at VO Atlanta and here his take on the subject and why. Thinking back on my own experience with microphones, I remember not knowing where to turn. When I started in 2004, I was using other people's studios for my occasional voiceover work so I was subject to whatever they were using. I didn't know many voice actors to ask and there weren't as many blogs with the information readily at hand. So I turned to my brother who was a music producer and singer at the time. He made several suggestions. The first being the microphone that he used in his studio which was the Neuman U87. I had recorded in his studio before and loved the way I sounded but knew that the price point for a starting voiceover talent was way too high. The second being the Neuman TLM 103 which like the U87 was also a condensor mic. He said this mic would be perfect for me. But at the time, it was still nearly $1500. I sighed deeply and dreamt many nights of the ways to get my dollars for that purchase. If only someone would gift me [...]

Fun, Cool & Inappropriate Things That Duolingo Taught Me In Spanish!!!

I've used a number of websites, apps, blogs, youtube channels and anything you can think of to learn Spanish. All of them have contributed to my present knowledge of the language. I was introduced to Duolingo more than 2 years ago but never really got into it. I was focused on some other methods like Rosetta Stone and memorization techniques. But there were times that there was nothing else around to fill the time. And one day in that time, I picked up Duolingo. Here are some of the Fun, Cool & Inappropriate Things  That Duolingo Taught Me In Spanish!!! So why Spanish? So many reasons to learn Spanish. I presently live in the number one Spanish speaking country in the world. That's right! The USA. More people speak Spanish in the US than in any other country. As I walk the streets even in a southern city like Atlanta I hear Spanish speakers. And on my recent trip through Miami, I barely heard English spoken. With millions of Spanish speakers everywhere, I decided to enbrace it. From a business perspective it also makes sense. Spanish speakers need to have great bilingual voices around them for translation services and for the same services that VO talents usually serve. This means audio books, commercials, video games, IVR, Radio Imaging and the list goes on? From a cultural avenue it allows me passage into a rich culture the spreads throughout almost an entire hemisphere and has great contributions to this country. From the food to the music and customs, Spanish speakers enlighten, educate, feed, entertain and influence our own culture in the US. Furthermore my experience in travelling throughout North, Central and South America has been enriched [...]

4 Reasons To Voiceover Blog- An Interview With Derek Chappell

I’ve been fortunate to do two things that I really love to do in this lifetime. One of them is to travel. The other is to do voiceover. I’ve been all around the world to some really impressive places and in many instances, wherever my physical body hasn’t been, my voice has traveled to. But one such place where neither had ever journeyed to was Ottawa, Kansas. Ottawa is a town one hour from Kansas City and where I met Derek Chappell in person. And from the first moment we met, we hit it off. Derek was quite humble about his town, thinking that my international travels would cause me to be bored as we drove around his hometown. He was wrong. Ottawa was Middle America, at the center of who we are. And how fitting! Derek himself was at center of the voiceover world. Derek was one of the first people to ever pick up on my voiceover blog and channel. When I first ventured to tell my story as a voiceover talent, he was one of the first ones to listen. Derek had been listening to the stories of voiceover bloggers for several years. As a voiceover talent himself, he not only blogged but was an enthusiast and cheerleader of other talents. He developed a system of being alerted of new voiceover blogs and industry news. This not only allowed him to continuously learn more about the business that he loved, but also to promote the work of fellow voice talents that he admired. Derek and I had one major disagreement though. He is an avid Royals fan. As a lifelong Yankee fan and Mets supporter, it was hard not to [...]

Beware Of Voiceover Scams

Scammers are everywhere. In every business and in everyday life. Each day someone is trying to steal your personal information or cheat you in some way and each time you have to be a step ahead of them. There are the ones who call you telling you that "A" computer in your home is infected and they can clean it for you. This past week I received a call saying that the warranty was up on my car. And while I field many calls of these types and embarrass the callers with questions that they can't possibly answer (and making it obvious to them that I know its a fraud), some scams, like voiceover scams are a bit trickier than others. Whenever someone knows your name and a bit about what you do for a living then it gets harder to spot. While I was almost amused by the warranty attempt this week, I was a bit more challenged by a professional scam in the same week. I received a text message from someone who said they found my info on a site called Production Hub. I haven't logged onto that site in a while so to see someone with an interest in my work there was interesting to say the least. But it was welcome. The message asked me to email them if interested. Nothing about that seemed too odd, so I did. Everything was normal. The next morning I received an email from the prospective client which was very detailed and professional. He outlined what he needed, leaving me with few questions. Admittedly I was tied up with other projects when I got the email so I didn't read through it thoroughly the [...]

A Voiceover Career Is Not An Easy Way Out + Vacation & Voiceover In Panama

LinkedIn has a way of reminding you every year that it's your anniversary of how long you've been at your present job. Thank you LinkedIn. This September marks 12 years since I started my voiceover journey and I have to say that it has been both trying and super rewarding. But sometimes as I blog and post pictures from various places around the world, I think that people only see the rewarding part. They get the impression that all they need to do is to part with their full time job as I did in 2006 and the great voice that everyone tells them they have will propel them into a glamorous voiceover career where they work a few hours a week in their underwear and collect BIG checks. I'm sure that's what they think. I can hear it in their voices when they solicit my help on the phone on how to get started. I recorded this video after a voiceover hopeful called me last year while I was in Panama and I told her that "this is a process and it takes time." Building my voiceover career took years. I was nowhere close to being an overnight success. But I found since writing my blog that many people will go to my website, find out how to reach me, call me, ask for advice and then get offended when I tell them not to quit their day job. I once had a testy exchange with a woman (who in my opinion had an aweful voice and an even worse speech pattern) who told me that she would have no problem building a voiceover career in spite of not having any training and not [...]

The Voiceover Interviewer Gets Interviewed- With Charlie Sill

  It was never supposed to be me. I was never supposed to be the subject of the interview. I was always supposed to just ask the questions. But when fellow voice talent and fiend of ten plus years Charlie Sill asked me for an interview, I took a deep breath and said "Yes." He got me. The Voiceover Interviewer got interviewed. I'm Not The Authority On Voiceover I never considered myself an authority on voiceover. I’m more of a beneficiary of good timing, opportunity and ingenuity. I rarely like to tout my mediocre successes in this industry where the big guys are on every major brand possible. Although I have represented a major brands also many times, I don’t keep track. Voiceover is a love of mine and so I never keep score. All of that combined with a popular blog attract a lot of questions for me. I usually deflect by sending people to the blog itself where I have had the wonderful pleasure in interviewing some of voiceovers finest players. When I set out to do a blog where I interviewed experts, it was to have fun while learning more about the passion that I shared with them. But the bi-product has been the perception that I myself am the expert, or that I do coaching or demo production. And while I do produce commercials, it’s only on a for client basis. The Interview As the Voiceover Interviewer Guy, I’m no stranger to either the microphone or the camera but I am a stranger to answering questions. But Charlie, knowing me, took it easy. He finessed it, offered me a sandwich and asked me a ton of non-voiceover related questions while sitting in [...]

Uncle Roy Yokelsons 10th Annual VO BBQ

Every year for the past 10 year, Roy Yokelson's opened up his home to host the unofficial-official VO-BBQ. It started 10 years ago with a small gathering of Roy's voiceover friends. And if you know Roy Yokelson, he makes friends quite easily. Roy had no idea I was coming to the New York Metro. Quite honestly neither did I, but the wind blew in and blew me with it and I'm so glad it did. It was my first VO BBQ. I had seen the pictures and videos from previous years and knew it was bound to full of fun and some of my favorite people. The annual gathering brought out some of the best in voiceover like Cliff Zellman, Peter Bishop, Jenn Ifer Platt, Mara Junot, Bob Souer, Scott Chambers, Jordan Reynolds, Andy Danish, Paul Strikwerda, George Whittam, Anne Ganguzza and that's not even scratching the surface. Additionally Roy sells T-Shirts which he donates the proceeds from to children's charities.     If you’ve enjoyed this videoand interview of Roy Yokelsons VO BBQ, please subscribe to this page for more. Also check out my blog and video with Rudy Gaskins entitled "Rudy Gaskins- The Right Guy For The Voice Arts Awards" as the 2nd Annual Voice Arts Awards are nearing in L.A. Click Here To Watch & Read Dane Reid is a Voice Over Talent, Radio Commercial Producer and Imager, Voice Over Youtube Channel Producer at http://Youtube.com/DaneReidMedia , Children’s Book Author, Entrepenuer & And Avid Global Traveler  

Rudy Gaskins- The Right Guy For The Voice Arts Awards

Movie Stars have them. Broadway actors have one too. SAG has theirs and countless performing arts hold theirs. But voiceover talent have never broken ground to have their own awards program. In spite of the many contributions the voice actor has made to movies and advertising, audiobooks and video games, and other niche areas of voice acting, few are celebrated for their work. Yes, the Academy Awards and other have a few awards that are handed out for animation and best selling audiobooks but what about the rest of us who aren't in Shrek or who aren't the President of the United States (President Obama has a Best Spoken Word Album Grammy for narrating his own book.) In steps in Rudy Gaskins with the Voice Arts Awards. Rudy Gaskins has spent the past twenty plus years in advertising and television imaging, re-imagining and developing his own and the ideas of others. Having worked with big names like the late great Peter Jennings, and veteran news anchors like Diane Sawyer, as well as years with Court TV, the Food Network, The Olympics and others, Rudy is no stranger to proposing and executing big ideas. But he is not a voice actor. So what fuels his passion to step in and create an awards show for voice actors? I sat down with him to find out. I of course knew who Rudy was dating back many years. In establishing and growing my voiceover career I stumbled on his ad agency "Push Creative" many years back. His wife Joan Baker's book "Secrets of Voiceover Success" came out in early 2005 just months after I recorded my first voiceover demo. And continued googling of voiceover information and updates in later [...]