Author Archives: Bill

What are the 7 Words You Can’t Say in Advertising?

Copywriter Steve Simpson has an amusing column in Adweek that speaks to the new guidelines for the advertising scribe.  I might have used the word “funny” to describe the column, but “funny” may not be an appropriate word choice during these difficult economic times.  So infers the ” Bureau of the New Era of Responsibility, Office of the Creative Czar.”  Read the piece here and have a chuckle. Just don’t laugh out loud, please.

We’re Liking the MicPort Pro

When working out of your private studio, you want noise in your session files like you want geese in your jet engines.  Delivering consistently noisy voice over tracks can bring down a career.

The acoustics of my room are pretty good.  Room within a room with thick walls, dead space between them, double doors, non-parallel walls, plenty of studio foam and all that.

I picked the Prima LT for ISDN because it has no fan (noise).  The computer is a MacBook that sits  in a wooden box within a box and is as quiet as an  AIG executive with a million dollar bonus check.  The pick up pattern of the Sennheiser 416 short shotgun mic is a big help in keeping out noise from the environment.  So the last thing I wanted was noise from my electronics.  And that’s what I was getting from the mic pre-amp section of my M-Audio Mobile Pre USB.

I get around that by using different mic pre-amp and patch it into the line in/out section of the Mobile Pre.  That half of the box is pretty quiet.  The mic pre-amps, not so much. Audible hiss.

So needing a USB pre-amp when I travel, and after reading some good reviews, I ponied up for a CEntrance MicPort Pro.

Photo of MicPort Pro

Photo of MicPort Pro

It is much quieter than the pre-amp section the Mobil Pre.

Take a listen for yourself:


The link is a high res mp3 file (oxymoron alert).  The first half was recorded with the Mobile Pre USB pre-amps.  The second half was recorded via the MicPort Pro.  I think you can hear the difference.  If you open the file in your audio editor you can see the difference in the wave form.

The last time I was in Guitar Center, the kid said a new generation of the M-Audio Mobile Pre was on the way and it would be quieter. Then a piece of metal fell out of his face and I left.

Pssst… Over Here… Need a Voice over?

I like to tell people that the “work” part of the voice over business is getting the work.  Doing the work is play time.  Unless the script is horrible and the director odious, but that’s not very often.

So how much of our time should we spend marketing ourselves as voice actors?  Business author and consultant Scott Ginsburg gives us a good notion.  (Hint: A lot)

It’s well worth the read.  Thanks Scott!

Improv Training and The Voice Actor

Tracy Pattin over at VoiceRegistry continues her interview with improv teacher Bill Applebaum and a panel of students. Here are a few tips as to how improv training can give the voice over actor a competitive edge:

• The client LOVES Voice Actors with Improv Experience because “they can’t be thrown.”

•Improv gives you a plethora of choices. The more choices you bring to the table, the more your odds improve of getting the job.

•Improv helps the voice actor help the client to figure out what they want by offering a new delivery of the copy. Often something the client never thought of!

Be sure to listen to the podcasts.  They are well worth your time.

Thanks, Tracy, good work!

The Bridge to Somewhere

What a pleasant surprise. The other day I was perched on my studio stool watching my Prima LT ISDN box light up with connection indicators, when who in my wondering ears should appear, but Dave Immer.  Mr. ISDN himself.

I was doing a voice over session for BBDO Detroit and hooking up with Ringside Creative who uses Apt-X as their ISDN codec. These two boxes don’t talk to each other and that is where Dave comes in.

Dave has a company called Digifon.  One of the his many services is providing a “bridge” between incompatible ISDN codecs and IP schemes like Source Connect.  Ringside connected with Digifon then Digifon called my box and Dave popped open a mic just to let me know what was going on.

If you are a voice actor wondering about this ISDN thing,  Dave has a website is a go-to source for information. And a very melodious voice.