Entries Tagged as 'technology'

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obvious to even the most unengaged user of technology that as soon as you buy the newest computer at the store, it’s outdated in some aspect of its internal technology.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.

podcamp philly october 2-3 2010

If you are in or around the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and have a new or continuing interest in social media as it pertains to you life (business or personal) I highly recommend you attend Podcamp Philly 2010.

Of course if you have a Podcamp ANYWHERE near you, I recommend you attend it.

The cost is only $20 (which basically weeds out the real attenders from the pretenders and makes headcount more efficient for the volunteer organizers) You can sign up HERE.

podcamp boston september 25-26, 2010

The one that started it all, Podcamp Boston, will celebrate its fifth anniversary this Saturday and Sunday, September 25 & 26, 2010 at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center (yes, you read that right).

That’s the good news. The bad news is it looks to be sold out and there is a wait list for tickets. So I guess blog posts like these for their event don’t seem so necessary anymore.

Well, good luck to all involved anyway.

truly the scariest video I have EVER seen

I have been involved in broadcasting in one form or another pretty much my whole adult life.

For the four years I worked in radio, I knew many broadcast engineers and I knew some of the perils of their job – not all of it is dangerous but some of it is. One of them was seriously electrocuted by a TV transmission line (he survived and continues to work in broadcast engineering).

But I think I tried to block out of my mind the work done by those few souls who work on broadcast towers. I believe these folks are not always broadcast engineers and in fact the people you are about to see I believe are not broadcast engineers but folks who I would call tower jockeys – people who maintain and repair broadcast towers.

It is insanely dangerous work.

In this video, you will watch two men climb over 1700′ up a single ladder and then free climb to change the beacon on a broadcast tower…that light at the VERY tip top of the tower that lets pilots know there’s a big stick in there way.

IF YOU ARE AFRAID OF HEIGHTS…you seriously may not be able to watch this whole video. If you are not afraid of heights, you may be after watching this video.

My thanks to my friend and great broadcaster/voice talent Chuck Lakefield for the link off his Facebook page.

What you think of this video?

showing off my true geek

audio'connell's YouTube channel

So I’ve been doing more videos on my YouTube channel, a channel some of you have subscribed to and others of you have totally blown off which is fine except you miss some OK content with more content still in development.

The videos I’ve been shooting (in HD no less) on my Kodak Zi8 have been OK quality and I am re-learning video editing on with Windows movie maker – which sounds about as painful as it is…I’ve not worked with it personally but I just have a gut sense that Apple does all this easier. Oh well, not going there.

Any way, lots of people (more than I realized before today) have actually watch this stuff. When I was at VOICE 2010 people said “hey, saw your videos on the blog, they’re great.” For some reason I thought they were kidding or being polite or politely kidding. They weren’t.

But I was a little nervous about the branding for all this. I’ve wanted to keep it low key but the purpose of social media is to get a bits of branding out there. I didn’t have a concept for how to do this until about a week or two weeks ago. At which point I imagined a concept and then imagined how much I’d have to pay some graphics person (or hobo with a mac) to create my idea.

Then I turned to the web and YouTube and realized how amazingly easy it was to execute my idea….which of course took me 3x longer than a smart, talented person but I’ll take my meager successes where I can find them. Plus I had to reload all the videos so my stats for these videos got zeroed out…but to those who watched, I say thank you.

So I finished my intro and added them to my three original shorts and will craft something for the voiceover demo pieces as well – although I just want to throw my name up there so it doesn’t look like I actually produced the videos I simply voiced.

To follow is likely amateurish and unprofessional to most but I was amazed it came out looking as good as it did anyway.

It’s at the very beginning of this piece and I didn’t have the budget to rent a lion like the folks over at MGM (I suppose you have to be of a certain age to get the humor in that). I hope you like it.

blogging live from voice 2010

That headline reminds me of Brent Musberger’s open when he worked for CBS Sports – “you are looking live at….” at the open of the NFL game of the week.

But the point of the headline is to let you know that John Florian’s Voice Over Xtra! WILL be blogging live from VOICE 2010 so you can follow all the action live. A nice benefit for folks who aren’t able to attend this year.

I will not be blogging live as my typing sux, suks…it’s not good.

I will be writing and EDITING some posts about the event, likely with a ton of pictures and maybe some video.