Craft Corner: Building A Mini Mic Booth with Erik And LindZ

Voice talent LindZ Reiss is in the process of upgrading her studio and we wanted to put together something similar to the Mic Thing for her to provide a cleaner sound and perhaps a little soundproofing while using a desktop mic stand.  I assure you, it was quite romantic.  Just to turn the geek level up to 100, we took some pictures to share with you ingrates.  We took other pictures too, but I digress.

We picked up a 2 by 4 foot piece of Auralex at Guitar Center for about 27 bucks that seemed to suit our needs and we bought the rest of the supplies (aside from the foam adhesive) at Home Depot.  Pictured below is a 2 by 4 foot, half inch thick piece of MDF, carpeting, some hinges, L brackets, screws and paint:

We measured the panels out so they were 2 by 1 foot with an extra little piece for the top:

I cut em up with a jigsaw in the manliest fashion possible:

Since with this design the edges will be exposed, we sanded them down:

The carpeting we selected was on one of those big 12 foot rolls so we may have ticked off the guys there when we asked for them to cut off just one foot but it worked out perfectly and eliminated the need for extra trimming.  In our defense, they didn’t look particularly busy anyway:

Again, because of the exposed edges, we painted them up gray:

We wanted to rig up something for the top but didn’t want to completely box in the mic and deaden it too much so I bent up these little brackets at almost a 45 degree angle:1

We hinged the panels so that they can be adjusted to allow for more openness as needed.  You may want to be a bit more patient than us and allow time for the paint to dry:

All three panels hinged together:

The top baffle thingy was attached thusly:2

We used a tube of Liquid Nail to attach carpeting on the back to cut down on any echoes back there and hopefully to soundproof a tad more:

The back view, which looks pretty darn good in my humble opinion:

The Auralex was just cut up with a pair of scissors after we discovered that trying to use a razor blade resulted in near tragedy.  I would have chosen a nice gray color myself but LindZ insisted that the burgundy matched her studio better.  Women.3

The finished product in all its glory with her new NT1-A.  Try not to look directly at it without suitable eye protection.  We had to get the special foam adhesive stuff from Musician’s Friend as run-of-the-mill adhesive stuff will cause some type of weird chemical reaction and eat away at the foam:

The whole thing with the foam and the wood and the carpeting only cost about 60 bucks and the build took up only a few hours of an otherwise lazy afternoon.  The sound is greatly improved and it looks pretty awesome to boot.

If any other ladies out there need my help, I’m listed.

1. Spray painting your own hand is optional and, frankly, not recommended.
2. Stop me if I get too technical for you.
3. Am I right?

Photoshop Contest Results: Don’t Quit Your Day Jobs.

Well this was fun.  We got a bunch of great entries and wish to congratulate everyone on their submissions.  This is your last chance to turn away before having to witness any of this.1 Our humble apologies to those readers with weak constitutions.  Click on the entrant’s names to be whisked away to their fabulous websites.  The big losers in no particular order….

From David Lowe who apparently decided he could improve on my turnip:

Dave DeAndrea sent in this nightmare inducing box of flying mouths:

John Weeks made me proud by taking the high road:

From the lovely and talented Lori Furth:

Todd Schick (who’s own logo is pretty classy) expresses some popular sentiments:

Mandy Nelson cracked me up with this one and even added the badge below it “to be used on pockets and thongs”:

Chadd Pierce advertises his grandmother fetish:

Amanda Geyer gives us this, which is actually better than some of the real stuff out there:

Chris Mezzolesta creeps us all the hell out with this:

From Scott Pollak, our first runner up, who wins a big fat nothing but still brought it on2:

And finally, the big winner of a Voice Talent Productions T-shirt, a Voice-Over Xtra baseball cap and the timeless wisdom of “Proven Voice-Over Techniques” by Julie Williams…  Jamee T. Perkins!:

Apparently Jamee created this in honor of her husband who has a funny podcast of some sort.  Check it out here if you are into that sort of thing.  Congratulations Jamee, this is truly, truly disturbing.  Nice work.

Thank you to all who participated and a very special thanks to our guest judges John Florian and Julie Williams!  Ember and I are grateful that you have so much extra time on your hands for this silliness.

Please consider the environment before printing this post to hang on your studio wall.

1. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
2. Do the popular kids still say that?

The Voice Of A Rutabaga: Photoshop Contest!

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to March 20th so you heathens can finish puking up green beer from the weekend parties.

Those of you who have been around the voiceover block more than once may remember a few years back when a voice talent could get by using just their pipes and their first and last names.  Enter the successes of such notables as Caryn Clark and Julie Williams with their memorable tag-lines and logos (as well as the encouragement of a few coaches) and now just about everybody with a Snowball has jumped on the brandwagon.1 Couple this with the undeniable explosion in the numbers of people who have taken a shine to the biz as of late, and the market has become saturated with cutesy catchphrases and slogans.  I can count on my fingers and toes the number of talents I have come across in just the past month who compare their voices to various foodstuffs, emotional states or any one of a variety of woodland creatures.  To be fair, I do have thirteen toes and my left hand is really more of a flipper2 but you get the idea.

Please understand that my intention is not to be negative, this is just another of my exceedingly brilliant observations about the business that I have been kind enough to ruminate upon here for your benefit.  It certainly doesn’t bother me any how a person chooses to market themselves, some of them are quite inventive and some of them crack me up to no end.

Where will his voice turnip next?3

So obviously I suck at Photoshop.  Perhaps you can do better.  Your mission is to come up with the most ridiculous branding you can think of and send it to erik@voicetalentproductions.com or link to it in the comments of this post.  After one week all entries will be posted here (with credit and a link) and a contest winner will be named for the most creative and/or groan inducing.  The lucky winner will receive a Voice Talent Productions T-shirt, a Voice-Over Xtra hat, Julie Williams’ “Proven Voice-Over Techniques”, the accolades of their peers and the smug self-satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

Honestly, if you can’t get lucky wearing these then just give up.

Your worthiness will be determined by myself, September Day Leach, John Florian and Julie Williams but, in a way, isn’t it always?  The contest ends at 10am Eastern on March 16th so get crackin’ and get those jpegs in.

Sincerely,
Erik Sheppard
“Today’s Voice”

1. Brandwagon © 2009, Erik Sheppard.  All rights reserved.
2. Stupid Thalidomide.
3. You can thank Ember for these tuber-related puns.  She has been severely reprimanded.

The Erik and Ember Show Episode Two: Heather Halley

Aaaaaand were back.

My new girlfriend Grammy girl Heather Halley took a break from being generally awesome to have a chat with us about the nature of the universe.  Clickity click the player over on the right for the goods.  Super special thanks to Heather for being our guest and putting up with our shenanigans.  To learn more about Heather pop on over to heatherhalley.com and luxuriate in her greatness.</gush>

Our next guest will be Super Bowl promo voice Ann DeWig.  Be sure to leave your questions for her under the player then squeal with delight as we mention your name on the show like a bona fide internet superhero.  Also, be sure to leave your comments for Heather here and perhaps she will take the time to read them.  Try not to embarrass yourself.

The audio on the podcast still sounds like ass but we are working on it.  Anyone who is upset about it will be given a full refund.1

1. and a punch in the throat.