My First Spanish Class

Last week my mom saw a woman post in a local homeschooler Facebook group about looking for students interested in a free online Spanish class over Zoom that her father would be teaching. Apparently, his tactics of teaching Spanish is extremely effective, and he wants to make a new video course to record and sell for students wanting to learn Spanish. But he needs about 10 students (ages 12-17) to work with to help teach. He's looking for new students that don't know Spanish so that he has a clean slate to work with. Because he's recording the students and using their faces to re-sell in a course, he's offered the class free for those he chooses to be in it. Otherwise, the video-recorded class will cost about $2000. 

My mom suggested I apply to join the class via an email that the lady provided to contact her father. I Emailed him and wrote a short paragraph about myself and why I wanted to learn Spanish. On top of being a handy extra language to use in social settings with Spanish speakers, this would also open a new door for my voice-acting journey as I would be able to offer my voice services in the Spanish language rather than just English. This would be very useful, for example, for a director needing a voice cast for a global audience such as a Disney movie. Disney doesn't just make movies for the American audience, but the whole world like Asia and Europe. They makes tens of translations for each Language, and having a lead actor that can provide the same voice for an American audience and a Mexican audience saves them a lot of time and provides a more authentic performance.

Today was our first lesson. It went for about 1 1/2 hours, and the first 30 minutes was for showing us students what the whole course was gonna be about and how they'd like us to behave during the course. 

About 20 students joined the live Zoom call, but the teacher only wants 12 for the whole course, so he'll be deciding which students will stay and which he'll have to kick out. He also wants us to have decent audio and video quality, which thankfully I can handle very well.

I hope he keeps me in!

Finding Old Voice Over Projects

Yesterday I was going through my old blog posts from about 5 years ago. At that time I was very active with voice acting on and was about 12 years old. Being that there were very few voice actors under 13 on the platform, I was cast for almost every role I auditioned for.

One of my favorite gigs was for a Youtube channel called "Star Wars Audio Comics." It was a fan Youtube channel of Star Wars that would add voices and sound effects to the visuals of the Star Wars comics. On top of Star Wars being massive in the film industry, it's also very popular as comics. So this channel had the great idea to make Youtube videos out of them with a great audio experience, as well as helping fans access the comics easier via Youtube.

I voiced characters for them for about 5 videos, my main characters being young Boba Fett and young Luke Skywalker. Here's one of the videos I voiced for young Boba:

That voice was a bit challenging since I had to do a New Zealand accent, since his father, Jango Fett, has a new Zealand accent, and Boba Fett is a literal clone of his father.

Here's a voice I did for young Luke Skywalker:

Editing a Full Length Audio-Book

I wrote a few months ago about starting a large editing project of editing an audiobook for one of my podcast clients. I'd never edited an audiobook before it (and keep in mind, this does not include my own voice narration) but since she knew I edited audio she asked if I could edit her audiobook.

On top of editing, I helped her choose the right microphone to record her audiobook with since she wanted to record it with her own voice. I also gave her tips for recording and her voice, like making sure to drink plenty enough water so she doesn't make saliva sounds, or always staying consistent with the audio quality and how far away she is from the microphone. These small things are very important for audio books to meet the "ACX standard". ACX is the gateway from recording your audio book to publishing it to Audible for your listeners to access. The standard requirements are listed:

  • contain only one chapter/section per file, with the section header read aloud
  • have a running time of no longer than 120 minutes
  • have room tone at the beginning and end and be free of extraneous sounds
  • measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS and have -3dB peak values and a maximum -60dB noise floor
  • be a 192kbps or higher MP3, Constant Bit Rate (CBR) at 44.1 kHz

I'm sure some of that stuff didn't make any sense, but it's specific audio quality details that need to be edited and consistent throughout hours of audio.

After a few months once all the recording was finished, I got to work on the editing. It took quite a while, as my editing consisted of mostly editing the pacing and tedious breaths and mouth-click removal in the audio. 

The pacing editing was probably the hardest. I had to use a lot more of my own judgment as to what parts should be faster or slower. For example, in between chapter announcements, I wanted there to be at least 3 seconds of silence. For the actual narration parts, like in a very dramatic emotional moment, I want long spaces to add to the effect. 

After I was finished editing everything, I sent her the files to review.

She was very happy with the results, and soon had a small list of edits she wanted me to fix. Half of the edits were re-records of audio portions because she wasn't happy with how she narrated them, or because she made changes to the book text and therefore had to re-record it. I made the changes and she's now reviewing them!

New "Without Music" Video - Doing Dumb and Silly Voices

A few days ago, I made a new "without music" video, this time it was part of a song from the movie franchise: Highschool Musical. I've seen a lot of people make "without music" videos of highschool musical songs, many going very viral. While they do great jobs with the voices and lip syncing making it very funny and entertaining to watch, the sound effects weren't very accurate or well done. 

I didn't want to re-do a song that someone else had already done, so I found a song that no one had edited yet called "the boys are back again", with 2 of the main characters singing and dancing in a junkyard scene. Here's the original:

I've never seen the movies, but I knew that this video would be hilarious and awkward if it was just their voices and sound effects. So, all day last Saturday I edited the first 50 seconds of the song and made this!:

Doing the sound effects was very exhausting and kinda repetetive, since most of it was them dancing around and I had to match each step and scrape of their feet with the sound of shoes on dirt. but I'm very proud of the result! And the best part was definitely doing the voices, which took about 30 minutes and I had fun doing dumb and silly voices for it.