Today we want to introduce you to Dan Lenard. Voice over actor from Voice123 and also a recognized industry expert in the field of home studio construction and is a fee-based home studio consultant. Starting today, he’ll be contributing to our blog with audio tech related topics. Without further ado, here it is!
People new to a home voice over studio, whether they’re a newbie or an experienced voice actor, are filled with wonder at the ability to do it at home. With that wonder comes the technology behind the wonder, and the anxiety and intimidation that comes with not knowing how to use it. So many people give me the phrase “I’m not a techie,” or “I’m computer unfriendly,” or “I don’t get any of this.” I also hear; “What the best this, and the best that?” I ask, the best for what? Seeking the best equipment means little if you don’t know how to use it or even what its for. Besides, what’s best means different things to different people. So if you’re just getting going and planning a state-of-the-art production facility built in a new wing to your house, understand that it’s not the equipment that will make you a good voice actor. Its you.
Rules of Equipment Purchase
Never walk into a retail audio store and say, “I’m building a home voice over studio. What do you recommend?” Know what you want specifically before you walk in there. I’ve got nothing against the guys behind the audio counter. Their knowledge base is MUSIC and recording music, not dry voice in a home voice over studio. The difference is in the level of complexity needed to record and capture a variety of sounds in an acoustically sterile environment. You only need to capture your voice as others hear it, in one mono track. You’re not trying to record your voice so it can be heard above Metallica. A HOME voice over studio is a relatively new phenomenon and a totally unique environment. There’s no one right way to do it.
Read the online forums for ideas and perspective, but take recommendations with a grain of salt. Much of the discussion on “What’s best” is based, again, on the limited perspective of each home studio voice actor. What works best for them, with their voice and style, in their basement, isn’t the same as what will work best for you in your closet. It’s a starting point. You can learn some new techniques from there. You can learn about something you might want to consider. Just don’t get sucked into the “mine’s bigger or better than yours” debates that the uber-geeks online like to engage in. Listen to those with a good reputation and talk to them directly.