Joining a Choir

Last week I joined a choir near where we live. A friend from our church recommended it, as he was in it and had attended for the past three years. My dad and I got to see the choir perform a Christmas special last year, and enjoyed it very much.
Last week, my mom signed me up for the choir, and I, along with about 17 other students, got our first lessons. I was impressed by the lessons our teacher taught us. She first arranged us from male to female so she could keep everything orginized. There were many more boys this time than last year, according to my friend who had invited me. Our teacher then arranged for us students in particular ways so that she could hear each one of us.

After that, we did some vocal breathing warmups.

The teacher handed out a small paper book with one song in each one (I forget which song it was) for us to sing. We then started to learn notes, what voice pitch types we were, etc. I now go every Tuesday, and I am enjoying it thoroughly!

Editing The Podcast Sample

When I edited the sample for MandRproductions (you can read more in the previous blog post to this one), the editing was a little different than usual. Here's what I did: I first cleaned out the white background noise and started the "dynamics processing" (that I always do).

This episode was a live one, so I had to cut out any phrases of the host or guest(s) mentioning that it was live. This is different than what I usually do, only once or twice have I edited a live episode.

I then looked for any disconnections, long non-related discussions that come up, repetition, etc. (also what I always do, though it was more common in this episode)

Now for the hard part, finding the right music for the podcast episode. Why is it so hard? There are hundreds of different types of music, but only a few would sound right to the kind of podcast. For instance: one of my clients, the Pioneering Today podcast, is a podcast all about growing your food, raising your farm animals, etc. When I started editing for the podcast (about two years ago), I thought it needed some music to liven it up, since it didn't have any music at the time.

I contacted the host and asked what type of music she would want for the podcast. She said she would want a western/folk type of music, which made sense of the kind of the podcast. I sent her about five different copyright free songs for her to choose from, and she picked the one she liked most. If she or I had decided to try a different type of song, like hard metal music, it would sound pretty silly listening to metal music and then hear a podcast about homesteading.

So, I spent around an hour looking for the right music to match a podcast about Lego Star Wars, Movies, and video games. And, over a selection of about four songs, I picked one.

Here's the sample I sent:

Possible New Podcast Client

A Lego Youtuber I found a few months ago, MandRproductions, who does a lot of Lego set reviews, upcoming Lego news, Lego MOC reviews, etc.
Just recently, I found out he also has a podcast too, called Bricks and Bits. I gave an episode a listen, and I thought it was pretty good. He usually has around two guests (and I believe a co-host), and they talk about Legos, Star Wars (they're big Star Wars fans as well), videogames, movies, and what they're up to on their Youtube channels.
The only problem is that the audio quality was not the best and could use some audio editing work. For example, there are background noises, repetitions, trailing thoughts, etc. So, I decided that I would offer to edit the podcast. But, if I just messaged MandRproductions and said, "Hey, I can edit your podcast," he would ignore me. So, I then decided that I should edit the first ten minutes of one of his podcast episodes (he has done around 75 episodes), add in some intro music to "spice it up" (with music I paid copyright for), then send it to him. I do understand that even then, he might not respond because he probably gets many emails from fans.

My Editing Workflow January 2020

  • Download episode through Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
  • Momentarily silence guest audio channel in multitrack (if guest)
  • Capture white noise print of the channel, then start the noise reduction process
  • Process auto gate at -35 decibels (anything under -35 decibels will be removed)
  • Process equalizer to raise quiet areas and lower loud areas
  • Raise volume to -6 decibels
  • Silence host audio file in multitrack, then repeat everything above
  • Edit out "um"s, "uh"s, filler words, repetition, breaths, clicks, background ambiance, folly noise, etc.
  • Look for large audio gap silence, then cut them out
  • Save file
  • Repeat process above on any intros, ads audio inserts, etc.
  • Attach the extra file pieces to the main episode file
  • Save file
  • Send to client either dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

Creating a New Demo

I recently listened back to my demo reel on Fiverr, and as I did, I knew it was time for some editing. Some of the voice files in my old demo reel were from earlier this year or even last year, and I thought I should update it. 

I kept some voice files from before in my first reel (about 6 or 7), but most of them are from recent jobs. Here's my new one:

This second demo reel is only for Fiverr though. In my most recent blog post, I talked about considering voice acting on the site, The demo above took only about two hours to edit. Though I would really like to make several demos to prepare for Voice123 (it's still undecided). The reason I should make several is that since Voice123 is a pro site, clients would want to see my best work, and so I should keep categories organized. 
Most pro-voice-over sites require several demos for types of voice-overs you specialize in, such as character, narration, commercial, etc.

As you'll see in the video with the image slide, each voice file is a different type of voice-over. I was able to fit in character VO, educational VO, narration VO, and commercial VO (Voice Over)