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Audacious Audio Awesomeness - Almost


blue

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I've spent part of my evening fiddling with my audio, then doing some unused takes. I'm still not happy with the sound quality and I'm hoping to work out the bugs.

In the next few days, I'll be doing audition takes for a Star Trek fan audio drama that's in pre-production. I've done voice work on a couple of Star Trek fan audio podcasts before, and it's been a lot of fun.

I will be looking into what Audible.com does about auditioning or hiring readers.

This is partly because I want to record some audio for fan enjoyment, from a couple of books by a favorite author. I'm awaiting her chance to think over permission on recording and posting excerpts on that, since I don't want to step on any toes there.

But it lead to the idea of recording more, something book length, and so I'm starting to look at that.

I did have the contact info for a firm here in town that used voice actors, but by the time I was ready to go see them, something had happened, and I can't find any references. The company had been around a few years and done a lot of work, but apparently, they went belly-up. However, if I can figure it out, there are bound to be other companies here in town that would hire a newbie with amateur experience. Even one-time or sporadic work wold be great. I've enjoyed doing it a lot.

Tonight, I spent time fooling with the audio settings, trying to get things right. Win7 does things differently, my current desktop and laptop are both giving me audio results I'm personally not too pleased with, because I've done better.

Once I actually got to do takes tonight, it wasn't turning out well, I was tired and spinning my wheels. So tomorrow, after taking care of (yuck) paying bills and then any errands, I'll be fooling with my audio again and recording takes until I'm satisfied I have something I'd be proud to send in.

The voice parts aren't big, but they'll be another credit if used, more experience.

I can't believe how much time I spent, just to do what I did, but I haven't done any audio work in a while, so this was like warm-up exercises to get moving again.

Yes, I'd be thrilled if Audible hired me. I'd be thrilled to get a paying gig, either a one-shot or sporadic parts. I'd be amazed if it could be even a part-time income; I don't expect to make a full-time living at it. No knowing yet how amateur or professional anyone thinks I am. -- Dude and Des have been very kind, but they like me. Others have had some positive comments, which is really nice.

I will keep folks posted on what happens, when anything happens. It felt good tonight, even if it wasn't going good enough that I'd want to save the practice takes.

Acting and voice work -- Where else can you get paid to make a fool of yourself, have fun doing it, and have people like it? Such a deal!

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Blue, if you are in need of professionally recorded "audition tapes" to peddle as samples of your ability, I have a suggestion. If your local public radio station is anything like the public radio station in my area, they will have a contact who can point you to the local volunteer reading service, a gang of readers who read the local newspaper and also books for sight disabled people. These readings are recorded at the local station and widely circulated hereabouts. The one here is funded by some federal money so I am supposing this service is nationwide. Although as I say it is a volunteer effort, it will yield for you some professionally recorded samples of your work that you might be able to leverage into a paid job somewhere as a reader or performer.

When I was teaching full-time at a university about forty miles from my home I filled the drive time with audio books, and I became very loyal to a few of those recurring reader voices, to the extent that I would search out books recorded by them. I would think that this is a professional area someone like you might explore.

James

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Merkin and Camy, thank you both. I'll look into that. The local PBS TV and radio stations here are among the earliest, if not the earliest, I'd have to look at PBS history. I'm vision-impaired / legally blind, but I tend to read "regular" books. I hadn't thought of checking with PBS volunteers here.

Camy, I'll check those. There's another I wrote down in notes that a web/fan film producer/actor had suggested, which I'll look into also.

I got back word from my author friend, but unfortunately, contracts with Audible prevent her from accepting fan-produced audio, even excerpts. However, if Audible likes me, it still might work out somehow.

Yes, all this means, I'm at Dude's service too, but we haven't discussed anything yet.

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Also, guys, it's fine to call me Ben. I gave up on the Blue name being anonymous long ago, when people began calling me Ben anyway. :) I'll answer to Ben or Blue, either one :) as long as you call me to dinner.

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Hey, Ben, if you need any advice on recording your narration, talk to me in email. Many times these days, I wear my audio hat and work as a location sound mixer here in LA, so I know a thing or two about microphones, preamps, recorders, sound files, processing, and much too much information. (Plus, The Dude is a radio guy, so he knows this stuff backwards and forwards as well.)

The biggest thing to me is finding a very quiet area without any background noise, plus learning good mike technique as far as how far away to be from the mike, how to avoid pops ("'plosives"), how to modulate your voice evenly, and all the other techniques used by good announcers. I've often found great voices sound good on everything -- the microphone doesn't always make a huge difference (assuming at least a halfway decent one).

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Thanks, Pecman. You and Dude and Des can all likely expect questions from me. My setup on my prior laptop and desktop was good, without the latency and "down-in-the-well" issues I'm hearing, and I could monitor the audio from my headphones during the recording. I'm having problems with all those, which really bugs the snot out of me, because...well, because I should be able to resolve those, somehow. Er, I managed to misplace (again) the mixer that was recommended to me, but I'll have it set up this week.

I'm expecting to do audition takes during the night tonight, and I'm hoping to have those fit to turn in tomorrow or the next day. The bit parts I'm auditioning for are small but needed, and some are fun. I got back word from the submissions guy that he'd had strong positive comments from my prior work, so I'm very happy there. (It's an amateur fan production, but they have a prior track record over several years, and it's good stuff, fun certainly.)

Meanwhile, I have word in to another podcast, in case they need anyone. I've auditioned for another in the past and they've said they're still interested for future parts. -- So, mostly happy here.

The author friend did say that contractual obligations for audio versions prevented excerpts or full works, which was a little disappointing but very understandable.

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Note: Apparently, DarkerProjects.com is going through some growing pains behind the scenes. Also, no answer to my email after almost a week.

I got word back the folks for whom I've done voice parts before liked my audition this time, liked prior work, but...I pronounced an alien name with OW (because that's how it was spelled) and it should be OH. So I'm sitting down now to re-record and resubmit it.

I emailed for another, but still no word back from that group.

I'm looking at Audible and may submit there. If it could be a paying gig, I'd be happy.

One continuing problem: How to dissuade a certain young feline from nibbling on cords. I am likely going to have to have someone show me how to repair or splice audio cords, thanks to said mischief-making cat. Little nerd. He's lucky he hasn't hurt himself; a situation I *do not want*. I also don't want a headset that fizzes or stops working because the little doofus decided to chew. Grr. Sigh. I needed a spare anyway, and they got here this week.

If I get a part, I'll let y'all know.

BTW, I discovered Darker Projects had done a recording of Christopher Patrick Lydon's Falcon's Banner and have subscribed and downloaded to listen. Thanks, Camy!

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Just received word -- I have been *accepted* for a small audio role in the upcoming Star Trek: Equinox, episode 102 and possibly 103. I will be the voice of the Krowtonan Guard. The audio podcast is in pre-production and will appear on Hidden Frontier's podcast feed this summer. I'm very happy. Get your popcorn ready, and maybe bars of soap. ;)

I'll have a link for Equinox when it's available there.

Link to the Hidden Frontier podcast feed URL:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/HiddenFrontierProductions

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  • 2 weeks later...

Equinox has had another delay. Their music composer had to cancel due to a paying gig, so they are looking for a music composer. They want original music at least for 1.01.

So...this summer, I'm guessing.

I'll appear in 1.02 and reuse in 1.03. No audition news yet for 1.03, so I don't know yet if I'll have additional lines for that part, or a new part. Meanwhile, this has led to a few possibilities for other audio roles. Not paying gigs, but it is epxerience and it's fun.

I'd be even more thrilled with a paying gig. They pay people to do voices and make fools of themselves. And people actually like listening. Incredible, I tell you! Meanwhile, not paid, but people like listening to that too, still fun, and I'm seeing how volunteer projects share voices or get other new voices like mine.

We'll see, I mean hear!

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