Think Outside the Box – Week 19

I believe it is Stephen King that addresses his audience as Constant Reader in his prologues and introductions. If you have read any of my posts, you will be glad to know that rather than list every title that comes through, I have found a new way to report progress! I know you are excited, so let’s get right to it.

My ACX numbers for this week show I have:

  • 34 projects that I am working on or completed,
  • 54 Pending Auditions,
  • 253 Auditions total on ACX,
  • 36 Offers (remember I turned down two),
  • 11 Titles In Production right now, and
  • 23 Completed.

I like to evaluate myself by checking my audition to offer percentage. At 36 out of 253, it’s about 7 to 1, or 14%. I don’t know if that is good or bad – it’s just a number. Anyone have some figures to compare that to?

I did some more research on the boxiness question, and found the following from Worknik.com:

boxiness – n. The condition of being boxy

Now we’re making progress. Not. So I narrowed the search down to more audio related sites, and got some hits that indicate boxiness is when your recording sounds like you are in a box. Nice. Things are getting clearer. Some more digging – imagine putting your head and mic in a cardboard box bigger than a breadbox and smaller than a refrigerator. The sound you would get would be boxy. That is, a predominance of resonant frequencies for your particular voice in that particular box. There are two primary ways to treat boxiness:

    1. EQ the box out of the recording,
    1. Prevent the boxiness sound in the first place.

Your choice should be #2. Imagine taking that same box and lining the inside of it with cotton or quilts or soft foam mattress mats and now recording something. The better your padding is, the less resonant frequencies will bounce around the box because you have reduced the acoustically hard surfaces, and the padding you put in is absorbing some of that extra sound wave energy.

My boxiness in the VoiceBunny audition was due to the hard floor and ceiling of my recording space, even though it was a rather large space. I reduced it some by putting a rug down and pointing the mic down, where before it had been pointed toward the wood ceiling. But that wasn’t enough, so I got some sound absorbing quilts (thanks to Little Squirt) and made a small recording area with no hard surfaces, or as few as possible. That made a big difference.

Lesson: If you are in an area not surrounded by soft materials, you aren’t going to get the best sound. You need a flat, dry room acoustically as well as physically! You can find some interesting photos of how people have used sweaters, quilts, pillows, etc., to isolate their sound.

With this upgrade, I am now in an isolated area, and I can’t see or control my DAW. For now, I hit record and duck under the quilts and record for an hour or so, come out to hit stop, SAVE MY WORK, get some coffee, and start again. Not terrible efficient, and I am not going to put the PC in the recording area due to fan noise, so I have ordered a monitor and wireless mouse to set up where the mic is in order to hit start, stop, and SAVE. This may turn into a saga.

SuchaVoice.com is a Voice over Work website that has some interesting things going on. I opted to attend a webinar for like $7 about getting started in VO work. It might have been worth the $7, but it would be a close call. It wasn’t all just a sales pitch, but a good portion of it was. So many of these types of things only discuss the outliers in VO – those people making $500 an hour, or 5 second commercial tag that plays nationally on TV and they retire off the royalties. But, I made it through and even scheduled a follow up call to talk to someone, who I assume will continue the sales effort. And that is fine. I want to see what they have to offer. And how much it costs. More next week.

If you have followed the continuing story of “Shall I Pray or Watch TV?” I am now able to offer, for a limited time only, to the first few responders, a free copy of this audiobook. Really. No gimmicks, no strings attached. Look up the book on Audible, if you wish, and if you would like to get a free copy of the audiobook, reply to me and I will send you a promo code with which you can download a copy of the audiobook. As I understand it, you don’t even have to be a member or subscriber to Audible! I have a limited number, so…

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