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medium_4264423055Today’s voice actor is more than just a pretty voice. These days the voice actor has to be a computer repair expert, a marketer, an agent, a writer, a producer, and yes, a studio and audio engineer. With all this to worry about, plus tight deadlines, panicked clients, and last minute auditions, what do you do when nothing seems to work right?

Today’s guest post comes from our expert “voice over chef” Deb Munro. She’s been in the voice over industry for many years and has faced just about every crisis situation imaginable. Here’s her recipe for “TechWar Stew.”


TechWar Stew

1 Microphone
1 Mixer/interface
1 XLR cable
1 acoustically correct setting (ie: booth)
1 computer (Mac or PC)
1 Software program
1 Package of Tylenol EXTRA EXTRA strength
So, you’ve joined the rank of the home studio voice actor. Congratulations! I hope you are truly prepared for the journey you’ve embarked upon.  There is much to learn and go through and this recipe is bound to find it’s way into your voice kitchen, whether you want it to or not!

There WILL be Glitches

Even if you have an engineering back ground, and truly understand editing and technology, you will go through technology warfare.  It can rip you to shreds, bring you down and make you weak.  I challenge you to stay committed, stay strong and rise to that challenge.  It’s not a matter of if you go through techno glitches, it’s a matter of when.
You will have sessions that are Internet dependent, and the Internet will be down.  Sessions where nothing recorded.  Perhaps levels were too hot. ISDN isn’t working.  Source Connect is not connecting.  Then there is the ever-popular computer crash and programs with a mind of their own.  It’s inevitable as we rely on this world we call technology, that we are bound to get lost in it.  We don’t know all there is to know, so you need to learn as much as you can, or be well connected with a team who knows how to get you out of these jams.  I can’t recommend enough partnering up with an engineer in your area and/or online.

Walk Away

There is usually always a way to fix the problem, so technology is still reliable, just high maintenance.  One of the best remedies that has helped me in this situation, is to walk away, even if you are under a strict time limit.  When you are at your wits end, it’s very important you take a moment to remove yourself from the situation.  Technology is very interesting, it’s never about personal feelings and logic, it’s always about hitting the right order of buttons and options in just the right way.  Scientific and mathematical perfection, is not typically the Voice Actors strong suit, we are more creative and philosophical, so sometimes you just need a pro.
We are expected to know a lot of things, and we do our best, but tech jobs, are one thing I’d love to leave in the tech hands.  Just have to budget for it and learn whatever I can to get by!  So be prepared and budget and find your team.
Need specific advice about your home voice over studio? Are your trying to troubleshoot an annoying buzz or hum in your audio or just want overall equipment recommendations? Check out the Voice123 Forums. There are experts there to answer your questions and give you some advice! Bookmark this link: http://voice123.com/forum/cat/recording-and-tech-tips/ 

What do you do when tech troubles get you down?

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc