VO Coaching Superstars Harlan Hogan and Elaine Clark Coming to NYC

Voice Talent Productions is proud to present Elaine Clark (author of “There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is”) and Harlan Hogan (author of “The Voice Actor’s Guide to Recording at Home and On the Road” and “VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice Over Actor”), two of the most in-demand coaches in the industry this March 31st and April 1st in New York City.  They only come here once a year so seize the opportunity to be smartified now or be doomed to dummification for anther trip around the sun.

Both workshops are full day, 9 to 5 affairs.  Elaine kicks things off Saturday with “Take Your Skills To The Next Level” and Harlan follows up Sunday with “The Long Haul”.  Basically Elaine will whip your delivery and reading skills into shape and then Harlan will show you how to navigate the business properly.

You simply cannot find two more qualified, professional, proven and effective voiceover coaches.

Plus, we’re running a special!  Each full day workshop is just $400, but if you sign up for both days you can attend the entire weekend for just $700!

But wait, there’s more!

If you sign up by February 29th the entire weekend is just $600!

Exclamation point!

Go to the OFFICIAL SITE for all the details, a million student kudos and signup information.

Yours truly will be coming in on Sunday to hang out with Harlan’s group and talk about agents, see you there!

Free Voiceover Decor For Your Studio

I was going to work yesterday.  I really was.  I’m used to working on the weekends.  It gives me time to focus on things without the phone ringing off the hook.  I did not work yesterday.

Instead I made these cool pictures and hung them up in the living room.  My wife is a VO talent as well so she digs them:

Artsy, no?

Want to do the same for your domicile or studio?  Just grab the images below.  We were able to print these out at 5 inches square and they looked pretty decent considering I ripped them off the interwebs and used some of my iJunk apps to coolify them.

If you’re dying to get them bigger or higher quality just drop me a line and I’ll send those to you via email.

You’re welcome.

Source-Connect ISDN Bridging Totally Sucks

I have had my black suit laid out for many years in preparation for the ISDN funeral that has been foretold since the early 2000s.  I hate to question the wisdom of the sages,1 but the prophesy is bunk.  ISDN is alive and very well and is not going anywhere any time soon.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Of course, support and availability from the phone companies is waning but that is hardly the final nail in the coffin.

ISDN is certainly no walk in the park for talent to set up.  Depending on where you live you may have to wait for installation, make a million phone calls and generally get the runaround.  A Zephyr (or similar) is not cheap and there are monthly fees on the lines, etc.  No fun.

Hardly

The thing is, if you do a lot of ISDN work, you don’t really have a choice.  If you don’t do a lot then you are probably better off spending your money elsewhere.  Get the numbers of as many local studios as you can and be prepared to book them (sometimes on your own dime) when a client insists.  Otherwise, try to talk your client into a phone patch session instead.  I have changed a million ISDN sessions to patches after minimal cajoling with the client.

Recently I have heard more than one talent allude to “just” bridging with Source-Connect.  As in, “I can’t be bothered with the hassle and expense of ISDN so I am just going to get Source-Connect and then bridge when I need to because it is just as good.”  The problem is that SC bridges totally, completely and utterly suck ass.  After doing quite a few of them here we are experiencing about a 15 percent success rate on these sessions, and by “success” I mean “it actually kind of worked and didn’t drop”.  This is with different talent from all over the world on different ISPs with different bridging services.  I have heard of similar results in places with dedicated T1 lines so internet reliability is not the issue.  The only common denominator in all of these sessions has been Source-Connect.  After another catastrophe last week I have decided we will never offer a bridge session to our clients as an option again.

It ain’t exactly cheap either:  Exhibit A.

Yeah, yeah.  Somebody is going to disagree and say they have a fantastic history of bridging and it works just great.  The problem is, you’re wrong.  I am right and you are wrong.2  It WILL fail.  Your connection WILL drop at some point and it WILL suck.  It is confusing for the client, frustrating for talent, wrecks the flow of the session and is a general show-stopper.  Not to mention being embarrassing to your agent who signed off on the damn thing.  Then you have to scramble to reconnect or just scrap the idea altogether and switch to a phone patch session.

So what is the point of all this aside from the catharsis factor?3  I simply wanted to get a few things clear for those who think “just” bridging is a viable option.  It’s not.  It’s really, really not.  Either bite the bullet and get ISDN, be prepared to travel to an outside studio, get good at talking clients into phone patch instead or be prepared to let someone else do the job.

1. No I don’t
2. Don’t feel bad, it happens all the time.  Just ask my wife.
3. I must admit that talking smack about them feels pretty good.

Does Anyone Know Courvo’s Number?

I cant help but assume that the sainted Mrs. Sheppard owns a metric buttload of stock in Apple since she got me an iPhone, an iPad and an Apple TV for Christmas.  It would be fantastic if there was someone out there to help me set up all this iStuff up…

Fig.1: Tech Support

The High Pitched Voice Of The Neanderthal (video)

This is pretty wild stuff right here:

From the BBC:

By making scans of modern humans, he saw how the soft tissue of the vocal tracts depends on the position of the hyoid bone and the anchoring sites on the skull. Computer predictions were then be made to determine the shape of the modern human vocal tract from bone data alone. The same equations were then used with data from a Neanderthal skull to predict the shape of a Neanderthal vocal tract.

The Neanderthal vocal tract seems to have been shorter and wider than a modern male human’s, closer to that found today in modern human females. It’s possible, then, that Neanderthal males had higher pitched voices than we might have expected. Together with a big chest, mouth, and huge nasal cavity, a big, harsh, high, sound might have resulted. But, crucially, the anatomy of the vocal tract is close enough to that of modern humans to indicate that anatomically there was no reason why Neanderthal could not have produced the complex range of sounds needed for speech.

Fig 1: Neanderthal Man

More from the BBC here.

Via the always amazing BOING BOING.

Holy Crap-ola! Three Months Of Voiceover Training For 250 Bucks!

If you sign up today for a three month enrollment you will attend 13 Saturday sessions in January, February and March plus you will have 24/7 access to our private message and support boards all for just $250.  That is $125 off of our current monthly tuition!  You absolutely cannot find a better deal anywhere for coaching of this caliber.

Full details on our exciting and innovative course can be found HERE.  Email Lindsay at lindz@voicetalentproductions.com for more information or to sign up.  Make 2012 your year!

 

Why Train With Erik Sheppard?

● Over the past 20 years Erik has been the voice of thousands of commercial, narration, trailer, promo, character, audiobook and live announce projects.

● He is recognized worldwide as a voiceover industry expert in all aspects of the business.

● As the owner and head talent agent at Voice Talent Productions, he knows the voiceover industry from both sides of the glass and understands what it takes to be marketable and what books.

● He is responsible for the daily booking of national voiceover projects airing all over the world.

● He works with the top voiceover talent, casting directors, advertising agencies, productions houses and related corporations in the industry.

● His experience with hundreds of private students and at presentations at events around the country have made him one of the most in-demand voice coaches in the field.

● This program is an opportunity to have nearly 24 hour a day training and support from a professional, experienced talent, coach and agent and receive the same candid advice that the professionals who work with him receive.

● You will not be coddled in this program. Erik understands first hand the difficult work needed to stay competitive in the voiceover industry. Those looking for unrealistic promises of incredible riches or overnight success are encouraged to look elsewhere. Students willing to put in an incredible amount of dedication and effort and have the drive to grow their businesses are welcome.

We Have Mixer Pictures.

First of all, thank you to the over 500 industry professionals that made The 2011 New York Voiceover Mixer an incredible success.  If you weren’t there then you missed out.  Want proof?:

Thank you to MeR Design Studio for most of these shots as well as to John Florian who added a bunch that you see in the beginning.

**grasps gold statuette and starts weeping**

Thank you again to all of our sponsors including The Legendary Marc Graue Voiceover Studio, Edge Studio, Voicebank, Sam Ash and VOICE 2012.  We could not have done it without your help.

**mascara starts running**

Thank you to all of our incredibly generous raffle prize donators.  You guys gave us thousands of dollars worth of stuff and I hardly kept any of it for myself.

**gushing…*

Thank you to Connie and Nikki for all your volunteer services.

**music starts playing to shut me up**

And most of all thank you to ME for showing all of you such a wonderful time!  You like me!  You really like me!!

**carried off stage by handlers in white coats**

Absolutely Hardcore Voiceover Session For BioShock Infinite

Just watch the movie at the link to see one of the most emotional and amazing voiceover sessions I have ever seen.  Actress Courtnee Draper is reduced to tears to get the take.  What a pro.

Note that there is strong language in there that is not safe for work.  Unless you happen to work here.

We are unable to embed the video so go HERE.  Now.

RSVP Now For The Voiceover Mixer (With Interview!)

We are less than a week away from the 2011 New York Voiceover Mixer and the list is filling up fast.  We may have to start turning people away in the next few days so if you are planning on attending you must rsvp by emailing Lindsay and your name must appear on the official guest list.

We certainly don’t want anyone to be left out in the cold but we cannot have gate crashers either so if your name is not on the list you will not be allowed in on the 3rd.

Hardcore, huh?

Go HERE or simply email lindz@voicetalentproductions.com

Want to know more about the Mixer?  Check out this interview with Terry Daniel:

 

Voice Talent Tom Bromhead Does Impressions

Check out Tom Bromhead, the “man of 333.33 voices” nailing it in this impressive video: