By Stephanie Ciccarelli
November 19, 2009
Not being able to take direction. Touching the microphone! Not having "microphone awareness."
These are just some of the many things that can irk producers and recording engineers... and make them question your professionalism as a voice over artist.
But wait, there's hope!
You can put your best foot forward and make a good impression when visiting a recording studio, all you need to do is learn more about what is expected of you and heed these words on today's VOX Daily!
I had a discussion with some audio engineers via Facebook who agreed to share their wisdom and insight with you. Just as a casting director wants to get the absolute best performance out of a talent when auditioning, the recording engineer wants to see you succeed and be comfortable in the booth.
"That's easy...: not being able to take direction!"
"Mic awareness is knowing the spot on the mic where your voice is the cleanest, clearest, and has the most natural treble content. It's called being on axis. When the voice is in that spot, it's the best it's gonna be for that particular talent. A lot of this magic is with-in the talents own voice and nothing is really going to change that no matter what they do. I just finished recording a variety of Non-Pro's for the musical I did for a local church here, and I was amazed at the different ways the mic captured the different people as they spoke. Also to know how to work the mic - OR NOT - can frustrate the heck out of the engineer, because you may get a great take that sounds terrible OR a terrible take that sound great audio wise. For me, it can be the most fun as an engineer to record a performance or the worst time too, depending on who you're recording. And also, like Jacob said, once you realized that the talent is not going to follow your direction, or worse, can't follow it, it's gonna be a long session indeed. Hope this helps!!"
"I agree with Bob. That's what I was talking about the other day. HUGE pet peeve of mine. Knowing your mic technique for a V/O Artist is like a musician knowing their own instrument. If you intend to make money as a V/O and support yourself, then you are as a professional musician, not a garage band. You rise to a certain level of technical proficiency with your instrument and it can be like watching someone who just picked up the guitar trying to play an E chord and not properly doing so. That's why for me the whole 'moving and touching the mic' issue is a reflection of the individuals technical skill. Now, if they ask you to move the mic because they are short or taller than where it was placed, and need to find the sweet spot, that's different, but if you as an engineer have placed it properly for them, they shouldn't have to touch it."
à¹ Be open to taking direction and ask questions if you need clarification
à¹ Know how to use a microphone and where the "sweet spot" is for your voice
à¹ Leave microphones and other technologies in the capable hands of the engineer
Looking forward to your suggestions and ideas!
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