Helping a Family Make a Home Studio

My sister's boyfriend's family talked to me about them wanting to make a home studio. Most of the kids in the family play instruments and sing, the mom is especially good at singing. They have been asked that they should record themselves, but they don't know what right equipment to get. They knew I did voice-over and audio engineering, so they asked me what they should get. So a few days later I sent them links to the equipment they could get. I gave them three choices depending on how much they were willing to spend: 

$471            with TWO Audio-Technica AT2020 mics, an audio interface, stands, and acoustic panels
$631            with TWO Rode NT1-A mics, an audio interface, stands, and acoustic panels
$1,111         with TWO Blue Baby Bottle mics, an audio interface, stands, and acoustic panels

When I went to their house, they had a whole room they wanted to make a studio. Unfortunately, it was very echoey and was full of reverb. They asked me if they would need the "echo stuff." So I included three dozen 12x12 (a square foot) acoustic foam panels to reduce the reverb. They also said they wanted several mics if there were several of them recording (like a singer and a guitar). So I gave them the choices between the Audio Technica AT2020 for $115 each, the Rode NT1-A for $195 each (I bought this one when it was $360, so the price has had a dramatic drop), or the Blue Baby Bottle Mic for around $350 each. Then, I put two microphone stands in the list (I found a bundle of my favorite cheap stands for just $33 for two stands). Then I put an audio interface jsut like mine, but with four channels instead of one, by Behringer. 

So they chose the $631 rout. I think they chose very well!

Adding Effects to Voice Narration

When I was going through things with the lady that wanted me to record the audiobook, she asked me to record a sample page from her book. I did and sent it to her. She asked if I could add effects to that audio quality, then gave me a sample of another narrator clip.
The main thing I noticed was that the narrator added a lot of EQ and compression. That makes your voice sound really crisp and come out more, and it helps a lot if you have a deep booming voice. In my personal opinion, I recommend that you don't use too much of it (it's fine if you add a little bit) for an audiobook. Even if you sound "epic," it's usually very distracting for a listener. But it's not always bad. In fact, it's very useful for online commercials, E-Learner videos, tutorials, intros, and sometimes character acting. The lady wanted it like that, so I added the effects, and she was satisfied.

This is the first sample without the effects:

The second sample with the effects:

Biggest VO Job Yet!

I was going to blog about this a month ago, but we were still figuring things out.

Anyway, a month ago, an author contacted me and asked if I was interested in narrating her audiobook (from home). She said it would be around 70,000 words long! So we talked for a month over different things like payment and content of the book. We agreed on $200 for every finished produced hour, and the book should be around 8-10 hours long. Just recently, she contacted me and said that we'd begin the recording process early next spring. It is in quite a while, but I've heard many voice actors say that voice over takes a lot of waiting.

Mike Russel Youtuber

I watch a lot of Mike Russel, an audio engineer and YouTuber with 140,000 subscribers, on Youtube to learn how to use tools in Adobe Audition. He's (at least I think) the best YouTuber that teaches how to use Audition. How he explains what he does and how to do things are great, and he's very experienced in the audio engineering world. He lives in England, Europe.

He's actually in California right now to visit other people. I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet him, but unfortunately, he's only staying in southern CA. He's been doing a vlog since the start of October (when he left for CA), so I've been able to keep up to date with what he's doing and who gets meet.

Custom Order With Sound Design

Four days ago, I got a message from someone on Fiverr. They sent me a short animation with a separate script. They needed me to voice a young ten-year-old boy, and he had 37 words. My prices on Fiverr are $10 for every 50 words, so the amount in all would be $10. On my gig, you can order extra things like proofreading, background music, one-day delivery, etc. They asked if the music included sound design (adding sound effects). I told them it doesn't, but that I do sound design, but I don't advertise it on Fiverr. I said I'd be willing to help them out with it. So I sent them the lines for the voice-over part, and now we're figuring out the audio engineering part. I want to charge them $40 for the music and the sound design.