During lockdown, more and more people seem to be setting themselves up with varying levels of quality of "home studio". I may have mentioned this before 😉
In the late 1990s I trained with the BBC World Service to become a Studio Manager (what everyone else calls sound engineer or audio engineer). We trained for months and months to be able to make things sound perfect. We learned tricks and techniques (tape loop actually made of tape in a loop anyone?) to produce great content. We learned expert operation of broadcast and studio kit. More of this when I finally write that blog about my World Service years!
Anyway, what does all this sound engineering mean today - for me as a Voiceover? It means quite a lot.
Why is all of my training and experience in sound good for my clients?
1. Knows her way around the studio kit easily so her energy is concentrating on the performance she is giving
2. She's fussy about sound quality. Really fussy.. her studio will sound good and her mic will be selected for it's quality but also on how it works with her voice. She hasn't followed the crowd on mics.. she's actually chosen what complements her voice
3. She works brilliantly in a team - when you're driving the desk for a fast paced news programme you are part of a broadcast team, we're all cogs in an efficient machine. She'll be listening, following instructions whilst looking ahead and being totally present in the now
4. She understands what your engineer is talking about when he or she is referring to the mic or something technical and answers in a knowledgable way that means you can solve any problems and get on with things quickly
5. No one understands time keeping better than someone who has been on air for most of their career. Your sound woman VO will be on time. No, actually, she'll be early and ready to deliver
6. She's happy to take the lead in running the session if you are new to VO directing. She's been both sids of the mic and knows what you need to know. She's had to get presenters and tapes / files together and ready to broadcast and has no problem asking for what's needed
7. She's good with tight deadlines and pressure. Sound engineers are folks used to being in the thick of things and that package may need to be mixed in 1 minute.. she's got it. She can concentrate, keep calm and deliver.
8. Her mic technique happens because she's had to look at diagrams and polarity patterns. As a Voiceover Artist she knows that the mic is the ear of the audience, as a sound engineer she knows how not to pop, all about the proximity effect and how to make the most of the polarity patterns of mics. She's also had to physically move studio desks to balance both sides of a 4038 mic for 2 voices.
9. She's fine to record a mono file of her voice, She's also fine if you need someone who can mix audio and create a finished result. Which is handy for you - just in case
10. She's passionate about sound. She lives and breathes it. Don't we all feel better if we work with people who genuinely care about every aspect of their work?
There are a few of us Voiceovers out there with professional sound engineering experience - I'm always happy to recommend folks if you are looking for a particular style of VO who has a great level of tech know how. Drop me a note for info.
Clare is a British female Voiceover Artist who uses her voice and studio skills to enable you to talk to your audiences with clarity, style and confidence email@example.com