Become a voiceover artist, life-cycle celebrant or senior move manager. It can be fun, part-time (and lucrative!) work.
Ohhh, now that's spreading stereotypes. Sure - there are a lot of amateurs who do voice overs but the resulting quality is usually preposterous. It's like saying that anybody can be a tatooist - all you need is to buy a device and some free time.
"Many voiceover artists work from home studios, using their personal computers and low-cost recording equipment purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars." - yeah, but that's not good. Professional voice over artists use equipment and studio rooms costing tens of thousands of dollars.
These are kind of obvious but still... we (alright - I) often forget about the simple things. I'm usually especially reluctant to setting up the monitor mix. "I want to track alreaadyyy!!". Know what I mean?
How about some science for a change? If you don't care about the exact mechanics of your favorite hobby, at least you'll have something to show off in front of all the chicks and would-be sound engineers you'll meet in that pub you'll drink tomorrow in (friday).
Do you remember this guy? Not the one on the YT still, the one the video is about. He would have celebrated his birthday this month. Perhaps the most recognizable voice in the VO industry. I have a special sentiment for him because of a certain favour he did for me some years ago.
"(...) So today, while watching the US Open Tennis Tournament, I watched in amazed dismay as a company, tennisdirect.com, who paid enough to place a commercial on The Tennis Channel during the US Open produced an ad with a truly terrible voice-over. This is not a slam on the voice-over talent (who was actually on-screen, not just a disembodied voice) at all. The problem is all about mic placement, recording space and audio processing.(...)"
Ohh, all you headphone-mixing haters, the worst thing about you is that you are probably right.
I like headphones.
They enable an intimate relationship with the recording. They give you privacy. Also, a top notch soundcard + great studio headphones and you can forget about room acoustics, speaker placement and whatnot. You hear things exacly as they are.
BUT there's this one little catch - mixing on headphones produces worse results than mixing on monitors, end of story. Damn. Will need to invest in some good speakers soon...
I'm usually sceptical as to any "new approaches" to audio software. The reason is simple: a waveform, a spectrogram and the usual DAW editing capabilities are more or less everything you should need in a sound processing/analysis tool. Even the most scientific of all, the famous Praat, doesn't go much farther than that. HOWEVER, this new program by SONY that enables you to visualise little nuances in the recording might still be interesting.
For those beginning their journey into voice recording such things can be really baffling. I remember, when I was starting out several years ago, wondering what a 'compressor' was. Everyone thought it so obvious it was hard to find out a simple definition for a dummy.
Here is a very user friendly explanation of the basic chain of vocal processing.
Well, as explained in this article by Chris Radley, the short answer is no. Still, if I had some loose money to shell out on the U87, I'd probably get one. Not that I think it would make my recordings that wonderful; it's just the effect its name has on a potential client.