Entries Tagged as 'audio production'

check your mail, you may already be a winner

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Want Ad 2017Ok, well there’s actually nothing to win but certainly check your mail!

And maybe you already have, which is why you’re checking out this page. Welcome to my voiceover blog.

If we haven’t properly met yet, hi, I’m Peter.

Yes, I sent out a new direct mail postcard this week to about 900 of my media production peers who work in audio production, TV and radio production, TV promo, explainer video production, documentaries and darn near every other kind of electronic production worldwide that uses voiceover.

I hadn’t done a mailer in a while, and with this year being my 35 anniversary in voiceover, I figured that’s something to talk about on a big postcard.

Why direct mail?

People still love getting unique stuff in the mail, even an oversized postcard. It’s a reminder to those I’ve worked with before that I’m still around (give me a call). It’s also an introduction to folks who may have heard of me (or may not have heard of me) but might need some professional voice talent help – the card is a friendly hello (give me a call) to them as well.

I’ll still do email blasts every now and again but I fear those don’t get read as much as they used to…my open rates are still good and I keep the message short and sweet!

So if you’re just finding me for the first time, hi (welcome!), and if you’re returning, hi again and thanks for coming back.

Oh and if you do need to call me, I’m on +01 716-572-1800.

why yes those ARE new voice-over demo players

audio'connell Voice-Over Talent featuring the voice of Peter K. O'Connell

A screen shot of the audio’connell Voice-Over Talent Commercial Demo page featuring a new demo player

As you can see from the screen shot above and from THIS LINK to my Commercial Voice-Over Demo page on audioconnell.com, my website has new demo players that will make listening to the demos easier and downloading them more effective for producers.

This player allows you to listen not only to the entire demo but also individually demo segments – in ANY order you prefer.

Check out the new voice-over demo players….






PLUS you can now DOWNLOAD either the entire demo or just the voice segment you like to share with whomever is making the voice-over decisions on your media production.

All this will make your voice-over production duties that much easier.


sound advice has a new home

My friend Dan Friedman, he of ProComm and Faffcon fame, pinged me to let me know that his SOUNDADVICEVO and SOUNDADVICE – Voiceover have been rebranded to SOUND4VO complete with a new address: http://sound4vo.com/

Lots of valuable information can be found be reading Dan’s book and blog so stay tuned or get subscribed!

3 thoughts on voice over technology – iAudition, do you?

Like all things gadget and quasi-technical, I think it was Dave Courvoisier who first posted something about the new i-phone application called iAudition which promises: “You can record, edit and send your auditions from wherever you are, without the need for a recording studio or computer!”

It dices, it slices it even make julienne fries! But wait, there’s more!

Well then George Washington, III chimed in with his experience on the device. As I am not nor really ever been a pioneer on technical items, I figured now that these two fellas had tried it, maybe for a penny under $5 I could try it for my iphone.

So I pinged in Facebook that I had done just that and one of the comments I got in response to that post got me to thinking.

Facebook friend and voice talent Don Capone opined “bottom line… it maybe ok for a quick edit or to… but lets be real…the audio recording quality is hideous… but i guess if its a must have situation and u need to do a quick audition…”

I love comments like Don’s because they start me thinking and in this case three thoughts popped into my head.

1. The technology boat will leave with or without us
It is pathetically obvious to even the most unengaged user of technology that as soon as you buy the newest computer at the store, it’s outdated in some aspect of its internal technology. Beyond computers, it the tech sectors business model – always be improving so customers will buy your newer stuff.

This is, to my knowledge, one of the first apps of its kind for iPhone and it’s very specifically targeted my area of business. Obviously my biggest concern with something like iAudition is audio fidelity and quality…so will Don be proven right? Will I hate it?

I won’t know unless I try it and at under $5, I can roll the dice on this technology.

2. As technology changes, so do people’s expectations
As an example: black and white TV’s died when a successful color TV model was invented. HDTV is having the same effect on analog. People expect better.

BUT sometimes people’s expectations for quality can be lowered and those lower expectations become acceptable. One example I site is this: I remember, growing up, that people always dressed up when one flew on an airplane; jackets and ties were the norm. Now it’s just nice if people keep their flip flops on during the whole flight.

In voiceover, the same thing has happened whether we like it or not. Recording studios and their amazing acoustics have given way to home studios where voice talents manage their acoustics with bed foam and moving van blankets…the clients know not the the recording room difference most times when they listen to the finished file.

Remember when voice over agencies ruled the business? Most professional voice talents signed with an agency and the agency did all the marketing for the talent (one might even go to the agent or the client’s office to audition). Now the Voices.com and Voice123’s of the world have changed that dynamic. And while some of their clients offer fine quality audio recordings and performances, some are pathetic in both those measures. But because those lesser talents will work for pennies on the dollar, they get work.

Sacrificing quality for lower cost is an American retail tradition. Which led me to think…

3. What is the tipping point for “acceptable” audio fidelity on auditions?
Whatever it is today, I think it will be different tomorrow. In much the same way America had recording studio quality standards years ago, today radio stations will seemingly broadcast almost anything for ad dollars and I can’t blame them. And video not audio has always been a prime focus for television ads as anyone who has ever watched a local cable ad can attest.

So what about when auditioning? Will clients and production houses sacrifice pristine audio quality on auditions since they are only auditions? Shouldn’t the audio quality of the audio represent the level of the finished product should that voice talent get the job? Or will the client assume that can all be fixed in post?

It’s an evolving answer but as our national consciousness seems to be focusing on faster and easier more so than better and quality, I think this debate in the voiceover industry isn’t but a year or so away from getting a clearer answer.

hear! what national voice over month is all about

National Voice Over Month chair, leader and flag bearer Dave Courvoisier put out the call for scripts and voice talent to help him produce a PSA (public service announcement) for NVOM.

As you might expect, Dave was deluged with people offering to help in his awareness efforts. That’s kinda been the way its been going from the event’s inception in late (I mean really late) August of this year.

So with the GLOBAL voice over help of:

Daniel Wallace, David Atwood, Mahmoud Taji, Bobbin Beam, David Houston, Jay Sawyer, Jim Barton, Ken Maxon, Liz de Nesnera, Linda Ristig, Morgan Barnhart, Lee Gordon, Dan Roberts, Trish Basanyi, Andy Boyns, Mike Coon, Doug Turkel, Melanie Haynes, Bob Souer, Dave Courvoisier, Justin S. Barrett, Rowell Gormon, Mike Roberts, Michael Schoen, Edo Peters, CC Petersen, Jodi Krangle and Ralph Hass

Here is the first National Voice Over Month PSA, produced by Dave Courvoisier.

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marice tobias voiceover workshop in atlanta

<em>FRONT ROW: Jill Perry, Pam Tierney, Kara Edwards MIDDLE ROW: Peter K. O'Connell, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth BACK ROW: Bob Souer, Rowell Gorman, Alexander Vishniakoff, Debra Webb, Beth Whistler, Robert John Hughes CUT OFF ONLY DUE TO PHOTOGRAPHER ERROR: Mike Stoudt</em>

FRONT ROW: Jill Perry, Pam Tierney, Kara Edwards MIDDLE ROW: Peter K. O'Connell, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth BACK ROW: Bob Souer, Rowell Gorman, Alexander Vishniakoff, Debra Webb, Beth Whistler, Robert John Hughes CUT OFF ONLY DUE TO PHOTOGRAPHER ERROR: Mike Stoudt

So I packed a bag on Friday and flew down to Atlanta for the Marice Tobias workshop on Commercial and Narration voice over at the very nice Captive Sound Studios. My friend Bob Souer has been singing her praises for a long time; Kara Edwards and I were talking about maybe attending about 6 weeks ago and since I could see some family while I was there, I decided to pull the trigger.

<em>Kara Edwards, Bob Souer and Melissa Exelberth</em>

Kara Edwards, Bob Souer and Melissa Exelberth

It was completely different than ANY other voice over workshop I have ever been to and I have been to many.

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learned much. And while I participated in the workshop, I am at a bit of a loss as to how to effectively summarize it because I think unless you’ve been through it, it’s very difficult to understand it. So my first piece of advice would be to take a workshop with Marice.

<em> Rowell Gorman</em>

Rowell Gorman

A lot of internal performer analysis (as it relates to vocal performance) for each student went on during her seminar. I think we all came away with a specific understanding of how effective personal analysis greatly affects the performance a voice talent gives. That kind of analysis helps performers to get out of their own way. The performance improvement was immediately evident and we (each workshop participant) all witnessed it and experienced it time and time again.

Now, you’ve likely just read that and had no understanding of what it meant. Well, some things must be personally experienced, not just read about. I’m not being coy or mean but instead honest.

<em>Kara Edwards, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth, Robert John Hughes</em>

Kara Edwards, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth, Robert John Hughes

Each voice over talent (as does everyone) learns in different ways and her seminar needs to be personally experienced, not read about. I would recommend you look at Marice’s schedule and if it’s possible for you, take the seminar.

And if you are especially lucky, you’ll get into a class with as many incredibly talented voice over performers as I did. This might be a record because we had 6 of us – about ½ the class – who’ve been long time friends from the VO-BB. There was an immediate and invaluable comfort level learning, working and performing among friends.

<em>Jill Perry and Pam Tierney</em>

Jill Perry and Pam Tierney

When I signed up for Marice’s workshop, I knew Bob was going and I knew there was a chance my friends Kara Edwards and Caryn Clark were coming (they did attend) but what I didn’t know for sure until I saw the list just before I came that the great character voice actor Rowell Gorman would be there, my pal Melissa Exelberth from New York would be there as well as the lovely and talent Pam Tierney from the toddlin’ town of Chicago. What a gift to have my friends there!

<em>Mike Stoudt, Debra Webb and Beth Whistler</em>

Mike Stoudt, Debra Webb and Beth Whistler

The voice talents whom I had never met previous to the workshop really capped off the experience for me and I am so grateful to have been included among them for a few days: Robert John Hughes, Alexander Vishniakoff, Beth Whistler (thank you for driving to the airport!), Debra Webb (who, I found out in setting up this link shares the same agent as me), Jill Perry and Mike Stoudt (who also shares mine and Debra’s agent).

Two VO folks who couldn’t make the seminar but who kindly came out to join our group at various times throughout the weekend were Smith Harrison and Craig Crumpton.

Not to put too strong a point on it, but there were certain voice over suspects who shall remain nameless (Karen Commins (complete with brand new web site), Lance Blair, September Day Leach) who call Atlanta home but had something (anything better) to do than visit with Team Tobias Atlanta after hours at our various pubs, taverns and dives (sometimes known as the mini-bar)! Hurmph! 😉

And finally, my most special thanks to my family in Atlanta who were so kind to let me stay with (or near) them. They had fresh hay in the stable for me to sleep on and let me borrow the mule’s blanket to avoid frostbite. 😉

I hope you get to enjoy a training experience at least once in your career a unique as the one I just enjoyed.

If you’ve trained with Marice, I would love to hear your general impression of the experience. And if you have already with any professional voice over teacher, tell us about it here.

PS. Here is a shot of the WHOLE group, (including and ESPECIALLY Mike Stoudt) courtesy of Bob Souer’s camera:

<em>FRONT ROW: Jill Perry, Pam Tierney, Kara Edwards MIDDLE ROW: Peter K. O'Connell, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth BACK ROW: Mike Stoudt, Bob Souer, Rowell Gorman, Alexander Vishniakoff, Debra Webb, Beth Whistler, Robert John Hughes</em>

FRONT ROW: Jill Perry, Pam Tierney, Kara Edwards MIDDLE ROW: Peter K. O'Connell, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth BACK ROW: Mike Stoudt, Bob Souer, Rowell Gorman, Alexander Vishniakoff, Debra Webb, Beth Whistler, Robert John Hughes