What makes a PROFESSIONAL home studio?

As an Audio Engineer, I regularly see the term “broadcast quality home studio” thrown around. But it occurs to me that there really isn’t a standard. So what does it actually mean? In an effort to be of some assistance, I’ve listed a few ideas below that address issues I come across regularly whilst in online sessions with actors in their home studios.

In no particular order…

Crystal Clear Audio: Your recordings should contain no background noise, minimal room reflections, and zero computer hum.

Proper Gear: You don’t need to break the bank, but you do need a few basic (professional-grade) items. A great mic (pro tip: USB mics are a no-no for true broadcast quality), a solid audio interface, quality headphones, and a trustworthy DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) are your best mates. And don’t forget, good cables can save you from a bunch of interference headaches.

Acoustic treatment. Soundproofing a home studio is near on impossible, but acoustic treatment is imperative. Some of those cheap foam panels can help, but getting creative with moving blankets, heavy curtains and bookshelves is a budget-friendly alternative and usually gives better results. Also don’t forget to try the mic in different positions in the room. A few inches can make a huge difference.

Consistent Levels: Your audio levels should be consistent and distortion free. Learn to set your levels appropriately for the work you’re doing, and get the hang of gain staging. It’ll save you and your clients a heap of trouble down the line. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution, low levels are better than files that are clipped and distorted.


Good DAW Template: While technically not essential, having a good template for your DAW that lets you playback and record during a live remote session isn’t a bad idea. There’s nothing more frustrating for a client than having to sit and listen to feedback and mumbled excuses when you’re trying to do something like playback or edit a take during a session.

Minimal Processing: Yes, you heard right! Your audio should be noise free and have consistent levels with little to no processing. Relying on “fixing it later” can mean you are forced to work the plugins too hard to achieve your desired result. And this over processing forces an audio engineer to have to try and “fix” your mistake, usually at the expense of what they want to do with your audio. Aim for a clean, raw recording that sounds great straight out of the box.

File Delivery: When it’s time to hand over your masterpiece, make sure you’re exporting files in the right format and bitrate. Typically, a 24-bit/48kHz WAV file will do the trick. No one wants a low-quality MP3 when they’re after top-notch sound.

Beyond the techy stuff, remember this: Broadcast quality is also about your performance. A great read can sometimes forgive minor audio imperfections. So, warm up those pipes, get in the zone, and let your personality shine through the mic.

This post was contributed by Darren Robertson – https://www.justaskrobbo.com/

New Voice Over Workout Program starting in March (4 x evenings)

Hello and happy new year!

If you’re still interested in Voice Over but finding it hard to get started or lacking motivation to gain experience I may have just the thing for you!

I’m launching a new program in March to help get you back on track.

The Commercial Voice Over Workout Program is a 4 week program that will run on Thursday evenings from March 7.

Unlike coaching sessions and beginners workshops, this will be run the same as a professional recording session – you’ll be directed, not coached.  Scripts will be chosen for you (you don’t get to choose your scripts in the real world).  You will receive a copy of your raw recordings with the option to have them professionally produced at an additional cost.

Here are the details.

Cost: $660 inc GST (covers all 4 sessions)
Location: Recording studio in Abbotsford  (Different location!)
Dates: March, 7,14,21 & 28
Times: 7-9pm

Bookings – https://www.voicesoftomorrow.com.au/course-dates/

To attend this program you will need have have either done a beginners workshop or coaching session or have some voice over experience. If you’re not sure if this is for you please get in touch to discuss.

New Voice Over Workshops in Feb & March

Could 2024 be the year that you finally realise your dream to explore the world of Voice Acting? To help you get started booking are now open for workshop dates in February and March.

On Saturday February 24, the popular Voice Over for Beginners workshop will run again. This one day workshop is a great way to learn some of the basics of voice over in a professional and practical setting. This workshop covers various genres such as commercial and corporate work and leaves you with a handful of recordings from the day along with some idea of ‘what to do next’.

Then on Saturday March 23 we’ll be running two “How to Create Character Voices” sessions. These 3 hour workshops introduce you to exploring using your voice for characters in video games and animation along with tips on auditioning and how to get started in this area. We ran this workshop in November and places booked out quickly!

Too shy to attend a group workshop?

We acknowledge that a group setting isn’t for everyone when you’re just starting out. If this sounds like you then you can still get started with a practical, in-studio 1 on 1 session. 

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our workshops and other services.

Creating Character Voices – November 25 – 2023

You’re given and script and told that your character is a small, very nervous hedgehog. What does this creature sound like and where do you begin to create its voice?
That’s what we’ll be covering in the “Creating Character Voices” Workshop on November 25.

In this 3-hour workshop lead by Cecelia Ramsdale with Andy Wells, you’ll learn techniques to help you create unique character voices and put them into action right away as you record different character voices in the studio.

Leading up to the workshop we’ll be on the hunt for an audition opportunity that everyone can work on during your time with us, which could be a great opportunity for you to get started.*

You’ll leave the session with those recordings being emailed to you, plus some ‘where to now’ information.

The workshop format is; 1 x 3 hour in-studio workshop on Saturday November 25 (10am – 1pm or 2pm – 5pm) Location will be Bang Bang Studios in Southbank**.

Cost is $330 per person inclusive of GST.

*We’ll look for a public audition that anyone can access regardless of whether they attend the workshop or not. You are not paying to audition, but for in-studio coaching and recording for creating character voices. **Please do not contact the studio directly regarding any workshops.

10am Session is now fully booked.

Enjoy Cecelia and Andy’s Character Demo Reels below.

Zoom Session August 31 – Recording & Editing Voice Over

Join Andy Wells live on Zoom August 31 (8-10pm) to sharpen up on your Voice Over Recording and Editing skills.
https://book.stripe.com/5kAaFT3JH6oudcQ14k

Sharpen up your Voice Over Recording and Editing Skills.
With a focus on practical demonstration the session covers;
Software Options – Free Vs Paid digital audio workstations
Recording – Audio formats / Levels / Noise
Editing – Getting the basics right / common mistakes / client expectations…plus a few handy tricks.
Plus Andy answers questions from participants throughout the session.

Cost is $25inc GST per person.
You will receive a link to the Zoom session automatically when you pay. The session recording will also be made available for 1-month.

Andy Wells is an award winning* audio producer with over 3 Decades of experience having worked for Radio Stations, Studios and Production Companies across Australia.

*COMMERCIAL RADIO ACRA AWARDS, COMMUNITY RADIO AWARDS, NEW YORK RADIO FESTIVAL AWARDS.

The latest Voice Over Demo production

Andy just finished producing a Voice Over Demo for Rosalind Mackay as she looks to expand her professional talent as a civil marriage celebrant. Take a listen.

It sounds great right? But do you really need a Voice Over Demo.

Short answer: Yes
Long answer: Read on…

In the competitive world of voice over acting, a professional demo reel can be the key to unlocking numerous opportunities and working towards a successful career. A demo reel serves as a voice actor’s calling card, showcasing their skills, versatility, and range to potential clients and casting directors.

Great. So I’ll just go ahead do it myself. That’ll work right?

Short Answer: Yes and No
Long Answer: Read on…

While some aspiring voice actors may be tempted to create their demo reels independently (and that’s ok), there are several compelling reasons why investing in a professionally produced demo reel can make a significant difference in their professional journey. Here’s why.

First Impressions Matter:

    In the voice over industry, first impressions are crucial. A professionally produced demo reel allows voice actors to present themselves in the best possible light right from the start. With a high-quality demo reel, voice actors can immediately capture the attention potential clients or agents, showcasing their talent and professionalism. A well-crafted demo reel creates a lasting impression, increasing the chances of being considered for potential voice over opportunities.

    Showcasing Range and Versatility:

      A professionally produced demo reel provides voice actors with a platform to demonstrate their range and versatility. Through a thoughtfully curated collection of voice samples, actors can showcase their ability to perform various styles, genres, and character voices. A professional producer source appropriate scripts, creating a reel that highlights the talent’s unique strengths and abilities. By showcasing a diverse range of vocal skills, actors can attract a wider range of clients and casting opportunities.

      Industry Standards and Quality:

        In an industry that demands excellence, a professionally produced demo reel reflects an actor’s commitment to maintaining high standards. Professional producers possess the technical expertise, equipment, and experience necessary to create a polished and high-quality demo reel. They understand the industry’s expectations and can provide guidance on script selection, audio editing, mixing, and mastering, ensuring that the final product meets professional standards. A professionally produced demo reel not only demonstrates a voice actor’s talent but also conveys their professionalism and dedication to their craft.

        Targeted and Customized Content:

          One of the significant advantages of working with a professional producer is their ability to tailor a demo reel to suit specific target audiences. By understanding the client’s needs and preferences, a skilled producer can create a reel that aligns with the desired market or niche. Whether it’s commercial work, animation, video games, or audiobooks, a customized demo reel can effectively showcase an actor’s abilities in a manner that resonates with potential clients. This targeted approach enhances the likelihood of being considered for relevant voice over projects.

          Keeping Pace with Industry Trends:

            The voice over industry is dynamic and continuously evolving. What may have been popular in the past may no longer resonate with current trends and demands. A professional producer stays abreast of industry developments and can guide voice actors in creating a demo reel that aligns with current market preferences. They understand the nuances of the industry and can provide valuable insights and advice on script selection, vocal techniques, and performance styles. By keeping pace with industry trends, a professionally produced demo reel positions voice actors as contemporary and marketable talents.

            In summary. Your voice over demo is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly showcase your abilities – no matter how far into your voice over journey you are. Making sure that demo represents you well and is professionally crafted will make a good impression.

            Read to trust a professional to showcase your voice? Get in touch with any questions you have or jump in a book a Voice Over Demo Creation session today.

            Voice Over for Beginners – June 24 Workshop

            Our next Voice Over Workshop is happening on Saturday June 24.

            It may seem obvious, but the “Voice Over for Beginners” workshop is perfect for ANYONE who has absolutely no experience with voice over.
            If you’ve never set foot in a recording studio, never spoken into a microphone or recorded for voice for any reason, it doesn’t matter! That’s what we do this workshop – to give you an introduction to what Voice Over is all about.

            Over the course of the workshop we’ll talk about the voice over industry and how it all works, including the different areas where voice over is used and how people find work in this area, but it’s also a very practical session.

            You can expect to record 4 or 5 different scripts throughout the day while learning some of the key skills needed for this type of work.

            At the end of the workshop we’ll send you your recordings and some photos of yourself in the studio, along with some ideas of ‘what next’ as you start on your voice over journey.

            Hope we can see you on June 24!

            Vocal Health 4-week Online Course in July – Book now

            We’re pleased to be able to collaborate with speech pathologist Tessa Livingston for a special 4-week online course in July.

            Read below for details – bookings are HERE.

            The Actor’s Voice Course is a one month vocal training program that will enhance your vocal skill, knowledge, and confidence. This course teaches fundamental breath and voice practices that will be able to help you as a voice professional sustain your voice for longer. Leading to greater vocal health and strength as well as vocal play. This course is based in the physicality of voice, what the voice feels like being produced in the body not how your ears perceive it. 

            The course is split into two parts. ‘Educational’ and ‘Exercises’

            In the ‘Educational Videos’, one per week, you will learn:
            – Basics of Vocal Mechanics – How the voice works!
            – Vocal Health and Conditions
            – Vocal Management
            – Your Voice and The Future – Continuing your voicing journey!
            In the ‘Exercise Videos’, one per week, you will learn different foundational exercises that provide you with better:
            – Breath management
            – Breath support
            – Volume Management
            – Voice balance and awareness
            – Vocal fold co-ordination
            Basically, everything you need for foundational, effective, and safe vocal habits! 

            As well as all this you will receive an exercise routine to follow along and practice daily. Increasing in skill as the weeks go on.

            As this is live teaching, you will be able to ask questions in the moment and receive helpful feedback on exercises.

            What do you get out of it?
            – Peace of mind from taking the guesswork out of voice work!
            – Increased breath awareness and support
            – Increased vocal awareness for use and vocal health/management
            – Increased vocal confidence
            – A foundational warm up routine
            – Vocal practices you can use your whole vocal career
            – A strong, reliable, and confident voice

            About Tessa Livingston.

            Tessa Livingston is a speech pathologist, vocal coach, voice over artist, podcaster and content creator.
            She is a New Zealander who specialises in voice health, safety and production for vocal athletes, especially voice over artists. 
            She is all about empowering people to feel how your voice is produced in the body for the most reliable and successful outcome.
            Tessa is on a mission to bridge the gap between ‘voice’ and ‘acting’ for the everyday voice actor. Knowing your voice and how it works is a foundational practice that all vocal performers should engage in. Look after your voice to look after your career. Everyone wants a voice that will last long term, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Begin your journey with Tessa and start developing your lifetime voice.”

            Credentials

            Bachelor of Speech and Language Therapy with Honours (NZ)

            Represented Voice Talent – Represented Actress

            Producer of ‘The Good Talkers Podcast’

            Graduate of ‘The Actors Program’



            Animation Voice Acting Workshop with International VO Acting Director

            International VO Acting Director Everett Oliver is coming to Australia in October and has two workshops that will run in Melbourne.

            On Saturday October 21 Everett is running an Animation Workshop from 10am to 4pm
            On Sunday October 22 Everett is running a Commercial Workshop from 10am to 1pm

            Note: Booking are not done via Voices of Tomorrow. See the flyer below to contact Everett Directly.

            Here’s what you can expect.

            Animation – students will pick two (2) characters from copy that will be provided prior to the beginning of class.
            Students will be encouraged to pick characters that provide a challenge and get them out of their comfort
            zone.
            Students will be reading copy in class on mic.

            Commercial – Students will be assigned two (2) pieces of copy before class, to be read in class, individually on
            mic.
            The class will consist of several different sections.

            Discussion

            Everett will discuss the following topics (including but
            not limited to):

            • What is going on in the US?
            • What’s hot, what’s not
            • Current and future trends in the US in both
              Animation and Commercial
            • Where do I learn about the US market
            • VO Buzz Weekly
            • Talkin’ Voiceovers
            • VO Body Shop
            • Entertainment Dudes Podcast
            • The Hydrant
            • Follow US Voice Actors on Social Media
            • Look for classes you can attend in the US
              virtually
            • Personal Coaches
            • Differences between regions in the US
            • How to get a foothold in the US
            • Agents in the US
            • How do they find talent?
            • How do you get on a roster?
            • What do they want to hear?
            • Casting in the US
            • What is the casting process?
            • What’s booking
            • Who are the Casting Directors
            • Auditions
            • What are agents/casting directors
              looking for
            • What is the audition process in the US
            • Follow directions (especially when
              labeling your auditions)!
            • Selective takes
            • Commercial auditions vs. animation
              auditions
            • Who are the Casting Directors
            • Behind the scenes in casting for
              Animation and Commercial
            • Casting process
            • What are Casting Directors looking for
            • Who are the Commercial and Animation
              Casting Directors (Names)?
            • The Business side of Voice Acting
            • Branding & Marketing
            • Website
            • Social Media
            • Competitive demos
            • YouTube videos
            • Industry research

            At the end of each class Everett will wrap things up with a quick review of highlights from the class, answer any
            final questions and talk about what follows.

            All students will receive copies of their on-mic work during class

            Self-Directing could be holding you back

            Voice over artists use their voice to sell ideas or products in commercials and corporate videos, and bring characters and stories to life in animation, audiobooks and many other mediums. To be successful in this field, you don’t need to have a certain type of voice but you need to know how to use it to execute the best delivery of a given script. This includes the ability to follow direction.

            In the days before home studios, self-recording and online casting platforms you really had no choice but to be directed by someone else as you’d be working in a space that’s not your own with an engineer, writer, other members of the creative team and even the client in the room, so the direction always came from someone else. Yes, this scenario still happens, both in-studio and with home-studio tools like Source Connect, but we’re also seeing a growing requirement for Voice over artist to self-record and self-direct which doesn’t always yield the best outcome.

            Let’s dig a bit deeper into why..

            Being directed helps voice over artists improve their skills. When a voice over artist works with a director, they receive feedback and guidance on their performance, which helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a director may point out areas where an artist can improve their pacing, intonation or pronunciation. They may also suggest different ways of delivering a line, such as changing the emphasis on certain words or altering the tone of voice. By receiving this feedback, voice over artists can develop their skills and become better at their craft.

            Being directed also allows voice over artists to work more efficiently. When working on a project, a director has a specific vision for how they want the final product to sound. By working with a director, voice over artists can understand this vision and tailor their performance to meet the director’s expectations. This can save time and prevent the need for re-recording or editing. It also ensures that the artist is delivering the desired performance, which is essential for the success of the project.

            Another benefit of being directed is that it provides voice over artists with valuable networking opportunities. When working with a director, voice over artists have the opportunity to build relationships and make connections in the industry. These connections can lead to future work opportunities, as well as recommendations and referrals to other professionals in the field. Networking is a critical component of any industry, and voice over artists who work with directors have an advantage in this regard.

            Finally, being directed can help voice over artists navigate difficult scripts or characters. Some projects require voice over artists to portray characters or deliver lines that may be challenging or unfamiliar to them. When working with a director, voice over artists can receive guidance on how to approach these difficult aspects of a project. This can include tips on character development, advice on how to deliver a particular line, or suggestions for ways to connect emotionally with the material. By receiving this guidance, voice over artists can deliver a stronger performance and bring the project to life in a more meaningful way.

            Being directed is an essential aspect of voice over work. It helps voice over artists improve their skills, work more efficiently, build networks, and navigate challenging projects. Plus all of this experience can be carried into sessions where you will need to self-direct. This being the case, we recommend that aspiring voice over artists seek out opportunities to work with directors and receive feedback on their performances.

            You’ll get a taste of this during our Voice Over for beginners workshops – hope to see you at one soon!