Rick Arseneault Voice Overs

Freelance Voice Over Services based in Moncton, Canada.

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The Sound Booth Part 2 – The Build ~ shoulda called it the VO Booth

I think I mislabeled this post from the beginning. I should have called it “The VO Booth” as that’s what it’s for.
I finally started – and finished – the VO booth I had long wanted. The best thing about it is that it cost me under $150 to do, is just big enough for me and some gear and does not take up huge amounts of space. Working with a roughly 4 X 3 space, it’s a little cramped but still pretty comfortable. I am also building from one existing wall and all the framing is loosely attached to the wall, floor and ceiling. A handful of screws holds it in place. It’s a booth not an extra bedroom.
So off to the hardware store I went to pick up some “utility” 2×4’s, not the #1’s that really weren’t needed. I’m just framing in some space and not creating a structural wall. That saved me some money and in total:
  • 20 pieces of Utility grade 2x4x8 -$40.
  • 3 sheets of drywall to skin the outside and inside to create dead air spaces to slow down and outside noise leaking in – $30
  • Drywall screws – $6
  • One recycled 28″ door – $5
  • 5 packing blankets – $25 ($ bucks each)
  • Mat for the floor –  $10
  • Screws for framing – $5

Now I should mention that I did source the door and the packing blankets from Kijiji.ca . This did save me some $$$ as the door new was in the $50 range (not pre-hung) and the packing blankets are $25 each brand new (mine were used once, only).

In the earlier post, I mentioned that I used some floor underlay to hang in my “temp space” to dampen some of the room reverb. I did have some left and turns out it was just enough to cover 3/4’s of the height of the upper half of the new booth walls. This was stapled on and the packing blankets were folded in half and hung over that.

Add in one small shelf, a small lamp, mic, mic stand and the ART Tube Preamp and I am all set to record. The difference that I hear is like night and day compared to before. The background room noise is reduced considerably.

Using a power bar, I gave the lamp and preamp its power and myself on/off switch. This way I can always tell if the booth is powered up from outside and avoid forgetting anything on by just eyeballing the power bar’s lighted switch from my “editing area”.

I’ve only just started recording some small projects in there now and I have to say, it feels way more comfortable than what I had before and when you’re comfortable, you are more confident. Being in the booth to record, and then sitting down to edit and hearing almost nothing but your own work on the track is awesome. I still have some tweaking to do with the setup inside as I need to go back and forth to verify levels before I record. Getting another monitor and a USB unit that allows me to do that are being looked at as an option now but I am still looking at a better mic now that I have a better recording environment.

So, thats what I did. I grabbed some ideas from people who were willing to share. I hope I can give someone else some ideas to help them with a solution to a problem.

As far as pictures go, I’ll post some in one more post n this subject when some of the ‘aesthetics’ of the booth are finalized.

If you have any feedback on what I did, feel free to drop me a line.

Hope you’re in Inbox is full and your mic is always on! Have a great Halloween weekend!


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

Around 3 weeks ago, I took an hour and a half drive up the road and went to audition for a charitable organization that provides spoken word articles for the vision impaired. Yes. I drove an hour and a half to audition for a volunteer gig. A gig that does not pay in dollars. It does, however, allow me to give back with something that I enjoy doing anyway and if it works out perfectly, I get to record from home. Which means I get practice voice over and reading scripts that are different from what I am usually used to doing. It also means that I can use my voice to make someone else’s life a little easier and maybe a little more enjoyable.
For some reason when I try to learn something new, it takes a little longer for me to  ‘get it’ if the “theory” of what’s being taught does not specifically pertain to what I am trying to learn. I struggled at first trying to learn what  spreadsheet software was for until I used it to figure out a problem in an electronics course then the bulb clicked on and I was all over it. Might be the tradesman blood that never found its way to my hands.

But I also think that most people want to be challenged to improve in the things they feel they are good at doing. This is a new challenge for me and its one that I believe will have a lot of benefits, one of them being that I will understand that much more about doing voice overs. A carpenter builds because he knows someone will eventually use his creation. I find Voice Over the same, its a lot more enjoyable when you know that someone will eventually hear it and use it in their day.

Keep your chin up, your ears and your mind open. There is gold out there.

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Not a Pay 2 Play Site – Voice Artists United

You can never give yourself enough publicity on the fact that you do VO work. And it never hurts to network with other VO people to find an answer to a question or just get a kick in the pants when you feel like you’re dragging it.

Here’s a new place (to me) where I have started hanging out at recently for just that.

Visit Voice Artists United

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