Rick Arseneault Voice Overs

Freelance Voice Over Services based in Moncton, Canada.


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Caring for your “tool” of the trade


Its that time of your when it seems that colds and and bugs seem to make their way around more so than other times of the year. And unlike allergies that can be treated with some medication to help alleviate symptoms almost within a day, colds and bugs tend to linger and usually more time and medicine is needed. 

Dave Courviosier has some good tips on caring for those cords that that make you money. Any tradesman worth his salt takes care of his tools, and so should we. When they are not working as they should, then they need the tradesman’s attention.

12+ Ways Care to For Your Cords | Dave Courvoisier’s Blog

 

Dave has covered quite a few things. What do you do? Drop me a line and share your tips for vocal cord health.

 


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Want to get an “In” into VO work? Try volunteering.


In the lines of work I did, I used to get it all the time that I “should be on radio” or doing commercials – and those are all great compliments.  Its does take more to doing voiceover than just jumping behind a mic and talking. It takes practice, patience and persistence.

  • Practice – Not just reading out loud to yourself, although it doesn’t hurt, but doing the read on a mic and recording it as a dry run or for the real thing
  • Patience – You are highly unlikely to be the next Don Lafontaine, Ted Williams,  Bill Lyman or one of the multitude or trademark voices you hear everyday and can’t put a name on it. You are you, and you will learn with each script you read. You will get better and more people will like your work.
  • Persistence – Keep doing it. There is a saying I heard about doing VO‘s and that “work begets work”. Keep chanting that mantra in your head and keep archiving what you did. One job will lead to another.
But how do you get started? Whats “the” or “a” first step?

Try volunteering.
Yeah, I know, its free.  Crazy, what? But here is the silver lining – “Work begets work”.  If you can’t show someone you can do it, why hire you and not the next guy? When you’ve done it, someone will hear and believe.

And where would you go and volunteer? Well, for starters, there is always associations that do work for the vision impaired (in Canada, we have VoicePrint or CNIB). Also, some cable companies here in Canada (like Rogers and RogersTV)  have volunteer programs that allow you to create some of the magic behind the camera and train you in various aspects, or just give you a chance to be On air.
Why would I advocate this route ? Because donating my time and skills for one of these volunteer organizations helped open doors to VO work for myself and helped give back to the community. And I am likely going to do it again, having just auditioned for another volunteer organization to donate my voice to some of their projects.  Why not help make something a little better whilst trying to make your life a little better?
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You Must Resist the Urge to Quit


Whenever you try something that is not easy or something that’s never easy to define when you will accomplish your goal, you will always be tempted to give up. Its human nature. At some point you will question what you are doing. It’s OK to question what you are doing. It’s not OK to give up when things get a little hard or you’re afraid of failing.  I like articles like the one below. Lets you know that its OK to have a doubt, and always better to struggle on if it’s what you want or like to do.

You Must Resist the Urge to Quit – by Dumb Little Man

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“Try not to sound so ‘Announcery’ “


“Can you make it sound more natural and less ‘announcery’?” was the line I got in a studio from a director once. I was taken aback a little as I thought I was sounding natural. Did I walk around the world talking like I was behind a mic 24/7 or was it some subconscious thing I was doing when I got behind a mic?Nevertheless, it worked out in the end and all went well.

So, when I saw Rod Saulsberry’s article on this very topic, I knew I had to give it a plug.

How To Take ‘Announcery’ Read Out Of Promo Copy 

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Hacked TV Remote cuts down on the “Noise”


Of all the non-9/11 stories I have read today,  this is the one I liked the most. Its a feel good story all its own. A TV remote that knows when to kill the volume when certain media “Whooers” ( thats how my uncle said it, and thats the best way I’ve heard it pronounced) come on to the TV. I know, why not just turn the channel? Because they might be there, too! I love it. Gotta get me one!

Where’s the anti-derp button on this thing?

Hacked TV Remote story

Who would you mute?

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The Sound Booth Part 1 – Conception


Recording at home is never easy at first when you want to start. Especially if the space you own was never intended to have recording done in it. Because I am doing VoiceOvers now as a supplemental income thing, I don’t intend on remortgaging the house anytime soon to get the latest in recording and soundproofing technology. I won’t say I’m building it “on a budget” because everything is on a budget. I will say that I want to build it as inexpensively as possible and get the best value I can.

The space I use is in the quietest part of the house I could find: the basement.  It is partially finished and is essentially the man cave. It is also ideal for late night recording projects as the bedrooms are 2 floors up ( I work nights at my full-time job).

The problem I face now is that I am not happy with my current soundproofing set up.  After doing many sessions in a commercial studio with a professionally set up vocal booth, you tend to see and hear the difference in your work at home.  With some changes I made in the room in the last year, my situation has improved and it was surprisingly not that expensive. (I did use my audio editing software to clean up the audio but you can only do so much.)

By “not that expensive”,  I mean this:

  • Studding – I built some temporary walls around my desk space for recording using utility grade 2×4’s (about $1 a piece for 8 foots) and skinned the outside with some cheap paneling.  At the bottom of one wall, I left a hole to run cabling to my recording PC which was placed outside the desk space.
    *Wood ran me just under $40
  • Soundproofing” – not really 100% but dampening or lessening echos really. I picked up some carpet underlay and stapled it to the studs inside my desk space (blue side out, looks kind of cool, actually). Also is a great bulletin board, just straighten out a paperclip and you can hang a script page.
    *This was about half the cost of the wood, so around $20 or so.

Now this did work at appeasing me for a while and I could work with it as it stood. But the more I recorded, the more I wanted to improve it.
So, after seeing several ads for “portable booths”, I decided to try a variation of that myself . I essentially built a box, lined with foam squares with an egg carton-type surface  and put my mic stand, mic, and pop filter inside.
*Scrap wood around the house $0 and foam cost me $10

The difference in background noise improved greatly by essentially closing off 3 of 4 sides around my mic (270 degrees, perhaps you could say). There remains the background noise, mostly room echo, that comes from behind me and into the mic. (I have tried using a bipanel door with foam glued on but it’s not as effective as I would like it to be.)

So, the plan is this:

  1. To make a 36″ x 36″ recording booth attached on the other side of the current desk space. There will be a step up into the booth to isolate the inside floor from the laminate floor that it will set on as laminate telegraphs sharp noises from outside the booth. (Its true, I have heard it elsewhere)
  2. Insulate the void in the booth properly and line the inside with the correct Auralex foam.
That’s the plan. When will it happen? Shooting for Nov/Dec 2011 for the structure. I will probably have to wait for Jan/Feb 2012 to get the Auralex as Santa comes just the month before.As soon as I get this desk cleaned up, I hope to take some pics for some Before/After shots as well as, maybe, some progress shots.If you have any feedback about my plan or have some info/tips to share, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I’m always open to new ideas.
Have a great day and hope your inbox is full of opportunity!R


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REVIEW | ART Tube MP Original


This is a piece of equipment that I use in my chain that actually replaced my 4 Channel board with +48V phantom power. Its simple easy and makes things sound great. Best of all, it usually sells for under $50. Have a look at the review. If you are looking at a cheap setup to start recording, this is a nice piece that will save you money to put back in your pocket.

ART Tube MP

Here is a review below:

CompVideo Gadget Reviews

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