Junior Samples – Week 21

As a Producer for ACX, it is not possible so far as I know to see what the Rights Holders have available on their side of the wall. I guess it would be possible to sign up as a Rights Holder to get a better idea of what it looks like over there, and that might help to be a better Producer, or at least a better marketer of the Production side of things. But it is easier to just wonder, and maybe ask a few questions now and then, and get a vague and general idea of what the Rights Holders see.

One of the things that falls in that category of unknown usage for me is the entire concept of Samples. ACX presents samples as a pretty big deal – they offer you the opportunity to upload an unlimited number of audio samples where you describe and categorize the performance. Rights Holders then have the ability to search through the samples by Narrator, genre, accent, and many other options to find a voice they might like for their project. They can then send a message directly to the Producer with a request to audition for a title. I have had a few such contacts, but I don’t know if they have come as a result of the samples or some other lead the Rights Holder ran across.

So far, my samples consist of what I guess are my better recordings, mostly on the order a just a few minutes in length. I have a variety of types and styles, including:

  • Poems
  • Motivational speeches
  • Sales pitches
  • Emotional stories or excerpts
  • Technical reads
  • Historical narratives
  • E-Learning
  • Dialogues.

To me, though, picking out what I think are my best recordings puts my preferences in the way, and since I am not paying me to do Voice over Work, I might not be the best judge of what the market is looking for, so I have defaulted to using a successful audition as a sample. I figure somebody liked it well enough to offer me a project, and maybe others will like it as well.

The best choice for some samples, of course, would be to use your commercial demo reel, specifically the audiobook demo reel you had done a little while ago. What’s that? You haven’t laid out the $3000 it takes for a demo reel? Yeah, me either, so when I hear my stuff against the pro demos, I am actually a little embarrassed. Someday, though.

On the physical layout side this week

  • I built myself the beginnings of a WhisperBooth. I was fairly pleased with the reduced boxiness that I achieved when I blanketed a corner of my basement to record in, but keeping out extraneous noise is now becoming more important. And this is the money pit of Voice over Work – the better you get, the better you need to get. When I got rid of the boxy sound, I realized my mic needed an upgrade. Then the new mic was picking up the birds chirping in the back yard, so I need some soundproofing. Does it ever end? Maybe only when the money runs out.
  • I ordered a boom arm for the EV RE20 – one of those spring-loaded hinged arms that you see on the TV with the shock mount and all that. I have been using a standard mic stand with a boom attachment, but as my space right now is a little limited, the feet of this mic stand get in the way of my feet! So a boom arm I can mount to the countertop may save that floor footprint and give me a little more comfort in locating the mic.
  • I am still hunting for the right solution to my remote head for the booth. Ubuntu took a bad step towards Microsoft land when they enabled an auto-detection of video monitors connected to the system. When you connect or disconnect an LCD screen, the system goes through all this configuration to sense what is or isn’t there and resizes/moves around stuff on your desktop. I don’t want the OS to determine the layout of my desktop, and this feature is not easily disabled, so the initial dual monitor switch I got to run a remote video screen in the recording booth is not playing nicely. When I get all the set up to my satisfaction, I will give you a rundown of the final configuration.

I passed a milestone, surpassing 100 units sold in Royalty Share audiobooks.

Offers came in for Unleash Your Sound Mind, another Cryptocurrency title, A Pardonable Offense and No Diplomacy, and Summary of Higher Loyalty. These last three are RS deals, so keep and eye out for promo codes in a few weeks if they are of interest to you!

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