Archive for February, 2011

This is not a discussion of how the mic picks up sounds like a leaf blower down the street or the rumbling of your stomach. I’d like to discuss the moods, emotions, and personal qualities of the voiceover actor and how dependably the microphone picks them up.

Let’s start with the obvious. The mic picks up your gender, general age, health, regional dialect, and how well you are performing. It can also pick up quite accurately how much you are or are not enjoying yourself. Fatigue, anxiety, boredom, distraction, joy, energy, and living in the moment–it’s all there. As voice actors, our job is to adjust our personal mood and connect with the listener. Some days are better than others. That’s life, that’s acting.

But let’s talk about authentic character traits, the qualities you just can’t fake. For example, the funniest voice actors are genuinely funny people. The best sportscasters genuinely love the sport. Have you ever been listening to some voiceover guy and decided you don’t like him? It may have nothing to do with the quality of his voice or what he’s talking about. It’s just an instinctive reaction to ‘a certain something’ the mic picked up.

Isn’t it fascinating how much the human voice can convey? I once asked a voice coach to listen to my demo and give me career guidance. In my voice, he said, he heard ‘kindness’. I was so shocked I repeated it back, “Kindness?” I knew my demo backward and forward and never considered any of the clips to be particularly ‘kind’. He identified a quality behind the acting. His comment started me thinking about everything that comes across, both obvious and subtle, in voiceover performance.

The mic doesn’t lie. That’s a provocative idea, and it can be a little intimidating. (I admit I have qualities less flattering than ‘kindness’.)

What qualities do you possess that the microphone picks up? Examining who you are as a unique individual may be the best way to determine your specialties in voiceover.

Creating an eLearning program by JoJo Jensen

Creating an eLearning program takes planning. A lot of planning. Development teams have hours of pre-productions ahead of them. They must determine the scope of their project, establish their target audience, and settle on a budget before one line of code is written or scripts are printed.

Each of these project elements are clamoring for attention and it’s easy to delay one critical piece of a success presentation until the end. We’re talking audio narration and production.

Some project producers might wait to finalize a script, hire a voice talent, and secure a studio to record, edit, and sweeten the project until everything else is complete. But with all the time and money spent in producing an engaging and compelling eLearning program, the last thing you want is a sloppy audio and narration.

“You can save money and time if you involve audio professionals in the planning stages of the project,” said Don Ross, an award winning audio engineer at Don Ross Productions. “We can help make your eLearning program sound as good as it looks.”

Hiring a professional voice talent and audio engineer before you start winding down your eLearning project makes the difference between a cohesive presentation and uneven one. When you have an audio team in place, they can help with your scripts in process, even record scratch tracks so you can hear how it will sound. A professional narrator can work with you on pacing, tone, and style of read so your program keeps your target audience engaged. The audio engineer can help you determine the best levels and output and can give you the heads up on any issues with formatting before the project is put to bed.

As your production team sits down to start planning the next eLearning program, consider lining up a professional voice talent and audio engineer to from the start to bring your project to life.

For more information on JoJoJensen:
For more information on Don Ross:

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