Archive for December, 2010

Voice Over Job Follow-up

December 23, 2010

Previously, I posted about a potential job for which I auditioned.  The client is JBM Productions, and the company’s client is Hospice Home Care of Arkansas.

Yesterday, I learned the board of directors (I think) of Hospice Home Care approved the ad along with a fair amount of future ads—eight to ten, as I understand it.  The ad contained very minor scripting errors, so I recorded an alternate version.  The ad (as approved) is viewable here.  However, the alternate audio track has not been applied (as of December 23, 2010).  Also, I am saying the number corresponding to the statewide phone number on the Web site…the phone number on the screen is wrong.  I am certain both aspects will be updated in the near future.

So, there is the deal…an ongoing arrangement in which I record all subsequent Hospice Home Care of Arkansas voice over tracks through JBM Productions.

Jason Moyer of JBM Productions, by the by, recorded my first audition for another job months ago.  At that time, he gave me the run-down of the voice over industry in this area—infinitely helpful advice.  He has also given me feedback on all the demos I have recorded, which led to the latest audition.  Going slightly off-topic, I am finishing my fifth demo for my Voice123.com Web space, and I will post it today after I assemble it and add my name to the front of it.

While I am following up, the promoter mentioned in another previous post (about the ring announcing job) has yet to return contact.  I was prepared to do the event for free simply for the exposure and experience.  I hope my mere asking about the minor detail did not cause THEGUY to drop contact, whereby not giving me the chance to tell him money was not at issue.

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More Coffee!

December 13, 2010

This will be my 38th post.  This will also be blog 7 out of the targeted 17 total for the overnight…ten more posts to go.  The coffee pot is empty, so I am using Mt. Dew to maintain caffeine flow while the coffee pot refills.  This seems to be a pattern for the finals period this semester—I have pulled all-nighters the night before every final this past week.  This assists my greater purpose two ways:  first, it allows plenty of consecutive time to study for that most important of exams, and it ensures I will actually make it to the final.  All of my finals have been at 8A.M.  On one level, this is bad.  However, I like having the rest of the day free.  I can probably squeeze another blog in before I have to study for the final in an hour and 45 minutes.  On second thought, I am going to study first.  Then, I will use every spare moment to feverishly type.  Odds are that I will fall short of my goal.

Possible VO Job 2

December 13, 2010

In my last blog, I mentioned my not-quite-failure success with Voice123.  I also mentioned here that I am in communications with a local production company.  While the majority of auditions have been valiant, yet the opposite of accomplishing, some reviews do go well.

For instance, I might find out Tuesday or Wednesday how my latest audition recordings turned out for me.  It is my understanding the client has already heard my demo, and he liked it.  This means my auditions should go just as well.  I do not want to mention exactly which production company (and which client) is involved until I know more about the deal.  One reason is because I seem to have a pattern of telling the masses about a possible success, usually to have the plans fall through.  For example, my recent ring announcing gig gone awry—I told people about it, and it did not come to fruition.  Results of the audition will follow in a follow-up blog.

Possible VO Job

December 13, 2010

Since I am still acclimating myself to the voice over industry (and an enticing industry it is), work is not exactly stampeding to my inbox.  Voice123 is a $295/year service, but the company gives you a free trial.  However, there is a catch.  I sent my E-mail requesting it to be activated, at which time I was told I had to have at least two posted demos (I only had one).  I posted another demo, and I sent the E-mail again.  This time, I was told I needed at least five demos to activate the trial.  I can understand why.  The writing part is a hassle at first, but I occasionally get on a roll of writing these fake advertisements.  When I eventually have enough actual recordings (not just fake products), I will revamp all of my demos.  It is this fifth demo I will try to record later today.  Then, my trial will be activated, and I can start auditioning for many, many projects.

Voice Over Equipment

December 13, 2010

In my last shameless grab for a blog, I mentioned my microphone.  I decided I might as well list my equipment, though a long list it is not.

First is the microphone.  It is an MXL V88 large diaphragm condenser microphone.  I got it because it was the best I could afford, given my budget at the time.  I am very happy with it.  It performs flawlessly for vocal recordings, and it also comes in handy when recording acoustic guitar tracks.

Next is the mixer.  I have a Behringer XENYX X1204USB…basically, the USB version of the XENYX X1204.  It is an eight-track mixer (5-6 and 7-8 are stereo channels).  The main selling points for me were the British-style EQ knobs, the fact it had EQ knobs and integrated compressors on four channels with XENYX preamps for the same channels.  There is another, however—it has a USB interface, allowing for real-time transfer to my laptop without latency.  That is actually the main reason, as I could not afford a multitrack recorder on my budget.  The onboard effects processor is a nice bonus.

Those are my main pieces.  Pulling everything together is Audacity 1.3.12 Beta version.  I used Sony Acid Pro 7.0 a few times, but Audacity is perfect for quick track-by-track recording (and much easier to use).

Holding up the microphone is a standard scissor-style stand.  Mogami Silver Series cable is providing the connection, and the sound is provided by Sennheiser headphones during recording.  During playback, a pair of M-Audio AV40 monitors allow for an accurate preview.  I have played the speakers extra loud to see when it would distort, and it did not.  For the cone size, the speakers give excellent response to all frequency ranges, including bass range.

Voice Overs

December 13, 2010

All right, I have my coffee and some rice.  Time for the next in a line of installments.

I have a voice over Web site, but it is not finished.  Nevertheless, it is here.  A number of weeks ago, I asked my advisor if he knew anyone needing a voice for voice overs.  He put me in touch with a local production company.  I threw together a demo, and the owner posted it on his company’s Web site.  Later on, I edited it and posted different demos to the Voice123 Web site.  I still have another demo to record and post…perhaps after this morning’s final exam.  Then, it is time to devote all time to auditioning for (and hopefully getting) voice over jobs.  The microphone pictured is the MXL V88 large diaphragm condenser microphone…the same type I own.

I Guess it Fell Through

December 12, 2010

MicrophoneThe quickest blogs to write are about myself since I do not have to study mass quantities of news articles before writing them.  One thing I am involved with is recording voice overs, but that is the next blog.  To accompany that, I am trying to begin announcing.  I had a gig lined up with a classmate, who I will call THEGUY.  I had received word that I was lined up to serve as ring announcer and cameraman at an upcoming event.  THEGUY was providing transportation and such, so money was not a particular issue.

The event was supposed to take place last night (Saturday, December 11).  Earlier in the week, I sent THEGUY a couple messages requesting his phone number and further details pertaining to where I was supposed to be, as I did not (and do not) have his number.  I also sent him my phone number.  Nothing.  The next day, I sent an E-mail to his listed E-mail address, and I searched for him in the university’s E-mail directory.  I am still not sure the latter is his address because I have yet to receive a response to any messages.

Michael BufferI am assuming last week, being the beginning of finals, left THEGUY insanely busy.  Better yet would be to receive a message saying something along the lines of:  “Event was canceled…moved to next weekend…you are still announcing.”  That would be awesome.  Nevertheless, an out-of-town friend may be able to help me find possible work.  It will be some traveling, but experience is experience.  The man pictured to the side is legendary boxing announcer, Michael Buffer.

Cram Redux

December 12, 2010

Okay…I have let my blog go—my bad.  To rectify the situation, I will kick off I.t.M.C. Cram Night 2010.  Actual event?  Only for myself and (probably) a handful of other students in the same class.  After this post, I will have 32 of the goal of 48 blogs for the semester…leaving 16.  That’s right, folks—I have approximately ten hours to write 16 blogs at 100 words each.  I should get close, but I do not completely expect to hit 16.  I would consider ten to be quite the accomplishment.  Unfortunately, I will have to take a break shortly, but I can at least get another blog typed before then.

An entire night of blogging and coffee…looking forward to it.

Mono Lake Alien…Sort Of

December 2, 2010

Mono LakeSo it is not an alien, but it is closer than we have come before.  In 2008, a team of researchers headed by Dr. Ronald Oremland of the US Geological Survey found bacteria that used arsenic as an energy source to photosynthesize carbon dioxide into food.  The samples were taken from Mono Lake in California.  The evidence suggested bacteria photosynthesized before the presence of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.  Lakes similar to Mono Lake are fed by hydrothermal waters, drawing arsenic from surrounding rock.  In 2009, Professor Paul Davies (a physicist at Arizona State University) encouraged scientists to look to arsenic-rich environments and hydrothermal vents for a “second genesis” of life on Earth.

PoisonIt was an accepted fact that life on Earth is not possible without six elements—carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus.  However, Professor Davies and his team have raised bacteria from Mono Lake in a lab to find it has substituted arsenic for phosphorus.  This differs from the 2008 discovery because, instead of merely respirating arsenic, the bacteria has incorporated arsenic into its DNA.  This means an element found to be poisonous to life is the very element the bacteria in question need to survive.  Davies suggests this points to an adaptation, rather than a new life form.  Still, the discovery shows life is not limited to practical conditions on Earth.  Furthermore, this shows the lack of understanding we have of the scope at which life can be sustained.

Oglethorpe and EmoryIf life can thrive in, or adapt to, conditions we originally thought to be impossible, it becomes easier to consider the possibility of lifeforms developing in other unthinkable environments—possibly other planets.  Once people accept life existing outside of Earth’s atmosphere, it is just a hop, skip and a jump to public acceptance of the existence of other celestial/planetary environments conducive to development of such lifeforms into something intelligent.  Aliens to the right are Oglethorpe and Emory from the show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force…not exactly intelligent lifeforms.

Dick Cheney

December 2, 2010

Dick CheneyFormer US Vice President, Dick Cheney, is supposed to be charged in connections with bribery from his days as Halliburton‘s CEO.  A Nigerian anti-corruption campaign uncovered scandalous details surrounding the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.  Halliburton, Saipem and Technip are being investigated for illegally paying $180 million to Nigerian officials to win a $6 billion contract for the LNG plant.

Dick Cheney created KBR, Inc., a military contracting company.  Halliburton and KBR have split, so Halliburton is trying to use that to distance itself from the case against KBR…not going to work.  In 2009, KBR and Halliburton pleaded guilty to paying the bribes prior to 2007 in a US case, paying a $579 million fine to the US.

Every time I hear of Dick Cheney, I think of the movie, W. (pronounced “dub-ya”).  It is a great movie offering an interesting spin on the George W. Bush story.  Playing the role of Dick Cheney (great performance) is the great Richard Dreyfuss.  Not only is he quite amusing in the role, but he also bore a striking resemblance to Cheney.  Cheney is pictured above, and Dreyfuss is pictured below, playing the role of Cheney.  If you get the chance to watch W., take it.Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney