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Adobe Audition Podcast – Darren Altman (transcribed by Sonix)

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Mike Russell: Hi, I'm Mike Russell from Music Radio Creative. Welcome to the Adobe Audition Podcast were I'm interviewing power users of Adobe Audition. We'll reminisce back to Cool Edit Pro and take you right up to date with Adobe Audition CC. If you'd like to learn about audio production – everything from vocal effects to radio imaging, commercial production to music mixing – join my next audio production course at mrc dot fm slash learn. That's mrc dot fm slash l e a r n, learn.

Mike Russell: My guest on this show is Darren Altman. Now you might recognize him as a voice actor based in south west London. He's not only a voice actor though he's also an impressionist and you may well have seen him on the TV particularly if you're based in the UK. He made it through to the semifinals I believe of Britain's Got Talent 2016 doing what he does best celebrity impressions but not only that Darren has many other strings to his bow including being a trained jazz musician. Having an understanding of pitch and timing so he can deliver many different accents, dialects, characters and impressions. He's worked with some of the biggest brands including PC, X Box, Nintendo Wii games, apps, animations, cartoons, exhibitions. He's even gigging lots as well Darren. It's a real pleasure to have you on the show.

Darren Altman: Thank you so much Mike. Thanks for having me.

Mike Russell: So tell me a little bit more about how you are using Adobe Audition on a day to day basis. You're a voiceover artist working from your studio most days of the week. How are you using this piece of software?

Darren Altman: So when I self record in the day to day job I do I do a lot of radio ads, TV commercials, Web videos, animations. So if I'm doing a radio ad generally the commercial producer will want to dial in to my studio and direct me so that can be ISDN which is very common. A lot of the big radio groups in the UK insist on ISDN source connect is another one that I use for them to dial in and occasionally if it's not a production company maybe there are some people in offices and so we hook up on Skype they can listen and direct me via that when Im self-recording. So if Im doing for example a web video I'll use Adobe Audition and I've got a U87 mic beautiful acoustically treated and custom built studio so I know that the quality is absolute broadcast quality it sounds really great and generally Adobe Audition so what happens is that I will self record. If I am doing a radio commercial and it's going to be produced I will not touch it. I'll just take out my breath no I won't take out my breath. I'll take out the mistakes and the swearing. I will generally I can be a little bit noisy a little bit. So what I'll do is de-click it. And then send it. I won't add any EQ any compression. I used to but I just think there's no point because producers as you know like to have their own settings their own compression. So all I will do is tidy it up de-click it I will listen through just check it to make sure theres no erroneous noises and upload it as a broadcast quality wav. I used to do MP3. Now I send it to them as a wav. When I am doing a web video and I know that it's not necessarily going to be produced. I've got very basic settings I've got a hot key V for voice over And what I do is it's a very gentle. This is all really gentle because I don't want it to sound like a smashed radio ad so I will have very gentle EQ so I'll just roll off the bottom end. This is all on a preset. Roll off the bottom end so it's not too woofy. I've got my de-clicker on their I will add a very gentle compression which I didn't do. The guy that designed my studio designed this compression for me. Again it's not what you call smashed it's very very subtle. Because I want my voice to sound as natural as possible and then I will normalize to -3. That's on a hot key so I pressed V for voice over. It does all that as you would say Mike, boom! But it's as I said I've got to stress that it's all this presets even though it's an audio chain. It's very subtle very subtle indeed and it just makes it pop a little bit.

Mike Russell: And that's good I think because you know as the producer receiving that audio it's nice that your not putting on effects that can't be undone or effects that. Like you say are too smashed or too in your face. So obviously I can tell just by your introduction there as to how you are using Adobe Audition your all about high quality audio all about recording good stuff. Making sure obviously you get out the mistakes. That's a great thing obviously and de-clicking and apparently I didn't realize but apparently that's a thing that some people can really be very what's the word. Almost allergic to hearing click noise in the voice and I found recently iZotope has a plugin that de-clicks but you can take a box and listen to the clicks only and that really upsets my ears listening to that.

Darren Altman: Well if you've got some sort of clicking fetish if you get off on clicks. I mean good luck to you knock yourself out. It's not really my bag. In fact I'll tell you a funny story. I posted on Facebook that I was having trouble sleeping and someone linked me to this lady and it's called oh I've forgotten the term it's like three letters ASR or something like…

Darren Altman: And someone said listen to this and I said and then she's rubbing all these plastic bags and stuff and it's a very sensual experience but her mouth is so clicky it just riled me up I had to stop it.

Mike Russell: You need to run the de-click plugin. That's ASMR isn't it autonomous sensory meridian response.

That's it there you go. Cor, you're good. Anyway if you listen to this lady it'll drive you up the wall. Someone said listen to her it'll send you to sleep just made me want to punch her face off.

Mike Russell: Brilliant. Oh my goodness. So let's let's move on from clicking now and cleaning up audio and let's look at the production advice you've received over the years Darren. So you've been in voiceover for actually how many years have you been in voiceover for?

Darren Altman: I first got ISDN in 2010/2011. That's when I think that I considered myself sort of going pro and full time around 2011. Before then I was auditioning and I did have an agent prior to that but it wasn't my full time day job I was still drumming full time so I reckon about 2011 is when I sort of made the leap.

Mike Russell: Okay so you've had sort of seven to eight years. Voice over but obviously before that you've been musically trained and you've been in audio. I would say for most of your life you must have received some brilliant advice from many musicians or maybe other voice artists or producers that you've worked with if you could pick out one piece of really good audio production or just generally really good audio advice what would that be?

Darren Altman: Well as we've discussed it's really to send out the best quality audio I can. So I mean I was in a booth that was was great it was completely and utterly soundproof but very very small. I've now had a studio designed I've got a video of that on my website and I think really it's probably not to cut corners. Im talking to you from a U87 which is a broadcast quality it's in studios all over the world. You could argue that it's the best mic you can have for voice over and it's really just to ensure the voice that you're sending out whether it's a radio ad or a web video or a TV commercial. It's got to be broadcast quality. Like I said my audio chain is very very subtle or I will send it flat and just send it out and to give the best quality representation of my voice that I can possibly give.

Mike Russell: I really like it and I'm looking forward to asking you later on in the show. Some of that gear you are using in the studio because you have got a really clean sound and am determined to find out. You did mention already the U87 but I'm sure you've got some other bits of kit there in your chain. Before I get to that though I'd like to find out a little bit about what you've done and what you hope to do. So let's start out with some of the projects you've worked on and in particular Darren if you could pick like a really challenging audio project what would it be and what was it about that project that made it really challenging for you?

Darren Altman: Wow that's a good question in my day to day job I literally don't know what I'm doing from one day to the next. I can wake up and there being emails or calls I could get asked to play a dog or I could be a horror thing or I could get asked to play. One of the most ridiculous things they rang me up and said could you play a blocked drain?

Mike Russell: What did that sound like?

Darren Altman: First of all I think I held my nose like that and I was oh I'm a blocked drain I need clearing. I think it was something like that in terms of challenging I mean anything that sort of involves acting you know I am really sort of getting into a role without wishing to be too arty farty about it is always challenging and really good fun in terms of audio production. I produced my own show reel a few years ago and the show real was classic cartoon characters so if you think back to the Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera cartoons and I made that and I did all I did like Fred Flintstone and Scooby Doo and Shaggy and the Hooded Claw all the stuff that I used to listen to when I was a kid and it was really heavy with music and those classic Hanna Barbera sound effects and it was really really heavy and each sort of scene I made on its own and I bolted it all together. And if you looked at the I mean I'm not a audio producer but I like to think I've got good ears in terms of you know wanting everything clean and exact and levels clean in and outs. And that was that was challenging it was really good fun but you know when you get into the real minutiae of it and you think that this doing that sound effect is a little bit too large or it needs to come out where he says wow. I would step on my foot you know. So that it was good fun but it was a lot of work.

Mike Russell: Definitely a lot of moving parts in that project so obviously you've worked on some interesting projects you work with amazing brands you've played and developed characters you do lots of voice impressions from impersonating celebrities to cartoon characters brands you worked with on your saying saying Disney, Discovery Channel, Pepsi, Jaguar. But there must be some really cool project or cool projects that you still want to work on or something that you still want to achieve that you're shooting for in your voiceover or maybe just your audio career in general. So what would that be?

Darren Altman: I would love to do an animation cartoon. I have played a couple of characters in a film that is coming up as you would say at the time of recording this podcast. I do listen to you Mike I'm a fan so I have played there's a film called Here Comes the Grump or Here Comes Mr. Grump it's an animation and I've played a couple of characters in that I played a giant and a wizard. I would love to do if the opportunity arose like a Cbeebies or a Disney or an animation where I could play a regular character.

Darren Altman: That would be amazing it would be something that I could definitely tick the box and say you know what a thing to have done.

Mike Russell: That would be absolutely amazing and I've got to say that it's fairly often that Cbeebies can be seen on in this house. So so yeah to hear your voice on one of those characters would be amazing. What a cool project! So I imagine I'm not too aware of how that part of the industry works bit I'd imagine that'd be quite a lot of work in recording would it? Is that what you would understand?

Darren Altman: Yeah I have done like I said animations where I've been in a room with other voice actors and that was quite a learning experience. You have to leave a lot of daylight between their line and yours so the tendency might be to sort of jump in and say your line if it's exciting but you can't because that's up to the producer to do that. Afterwards if he wants you to overlap he'll do that. If he wants it to be sort of nice and snappy he'll do that but you have to leave daylight so this it can sound a little bit unnatural actually when you're in the booth because there's a lot of pauses in between each character's lines.

Mike Russell: So instead of a natural conversation as conversation would usually flow you are deliberately leaving spaces so that the producer can make the edits at a later point?

Darren Altman: Yes yeah. It's their call where they want things to to appear to start and stop.

Mike Russell: Very interesting. So we've been talking about impressions and particularly voices of cartoon characters that would probably take us back to our childhood. I'm interested to go back to your younger years Darren and find out what it was about audio that made you smile for the first time so what was the moment for you as a child that you thought yeah this is really interesting this is something I want to do?

Darren Altman: Like you I it's a huge radio fan a radio geek and I used to growing up in London Capital 95.8 sorry let me do that. Ca-a-a-pital ninety five point eight was the station and it was it was the golden era as you well know from the top of the Euston tower. So I used to record that on my tape player and wore tapes out starting and stopping and I was the kid that used to ignore all the records and just try and grab all the jingles. So I would have tapes full of Capital 95.8 jingles. From the centre of the city! That makes me smile. Also when I got my first tape to tape my word that was when it started getting interesting and I got a huge it was like an amp but with a tape to tape and a microphone in it and I wouldn't know how to do it now. But as a young boy I used to make radio plays and used to like record one pause and other take the tapes out turn them round and layer it. I don't know what I was doing now but it was virtually making my programs. I couldn't tell you how I did it honestly Mike but with that tape to take now there used to be some sort of function where you could overlay and do you know what I mean?

Mike Russell: Yeah. Yeah I do I do this sounds very similar to my misspent youth in audio with C90s.

Darren Altman: I think I was quite a lonely boy really Mike.

Mike Russell: I used to have my own virtual radio station from my bedroom where I remember when CD players came about and I managed to get a couple of CD players and a mixing desk from Tandy do you remember Tandy?

Darren Altman: Yeah, of course.

Mike Russell: That was quite something where I could do crossfading. And oh amazing and an inbuilt sort of very retro by today's standards effects board where you could add echo and kind of reverb as it was then. But yes so were recording the top 10 at 10?

Darren Altman: The top ten at ten! Yes I was I was doing all that and a friend of a guy that I do stuff for now who is a bit of a radio legend Pat Sharp in this country actually sent me a couple of old Capital jingles which are sitting on my desktop and just makes me smile thinking about it. Yeah I think a lot of people of a certain age will have fond memories of their cassette tape player. It's funny actually I was talking to Callie my my oldest daughter who's seven and we were talking and I was talking about record players and it just suddenly occurred to me and I said do you know what a record player is what a record is Callie? She said yes daddy it's a black disc that used to play music. Just makes me sound like an old man.

Mike Russell: At least he knows you know some children don't even know what radio is now.

Darren Altman: I know I know!

Mike Russell: It's crazy so but really good memories and for anyone who's listening now who's not aware of Capital Radio or Capital FM if you're listening from somewhere outside of London or the UK. It's a heritage station I think it was. It was the first radio station on the air in London wasn't it? The first commercial station in around 1973 am I correct in saying that?

Darren Altman: Absolutely right. Bingo! 1973. Yeah yeah.

Mike Russell: Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Darren Altman: Oh mate, you need to get out more!

Mike Russell: So yeah it was a brilliant radio station. It still exists but it's kind of merged and changed over the years and now obviously Capital Radio or Capital FM can be heard all over the UK. But yeah I think we're going back to sort of the mid 90s where the jingles were just mind blowing. The deejays knew exactly how to use them and stuff. And obviously these things sound different now and that's fine that's that's today's radio. But that was definitely an era. A formative era for myself which is why you probably hear my in my voice Darren I'm getting quite excited about this.

Darren Altman: I know I mean we could name names but we'd probably alienate most of your listeners. So we won't you know John Sachs fantastic some of those those golden eras. But back to what we're talking about in terms of memories. Yeah. I used to sneak upstairs when I used to stay with my Nan and I used to record Mike Allen's hip hop show on Capital late on a Friday night and also Dave Pearce. When he did the hip hop show on it was Radio London. Back then BBC and I remember sneaking my tape player underneath the covers and listening to all this rap which was probably not meant for my ears seeing as I was about 13 and recording all that as well start stop start stop. Oh I loved it. The other thing well sorry just very very quickly. But when you used to play and record and you'd have your tapes there be inevitably little glitches when you accidently and little squelches and it became part of the fondness. So when you listened back so you would actually know when the glitches would come and the little accidents and the squelches just became part it almost became part of the record or the thing that you were listening to. You wouldn't get that anymore you know with MP3s and CDs but that was it was like it was like your personal. You know you could record one song I could record it but we'd have different versions because maybe I had a little squelch in the middle but you didn't and it was quite fun wasn't it?

Mike Russell: Absolutely. The little glitches. That's amazing and not to get too geeky but Capital Gold Capital FMs AM equivalent station that played the oldies the imaging on that wasn't too bad on that back in the day.

Darren Altman: No no no.

Mike Russell: So there we go. Anyway moving on from childhood memories let's get right to date. We've had a good look so far at some of the challenges and the cool projects you're looking forward to working on. A look back toward your childhood and obviously Capital FM and the jingles there and recording and doing tape to tape which is fantastic. But now let's let's get into Adobe Audition. And also some of the gear you're using so let's hop back into that piece of software celebrating 25 years this year I can hardly believe it started life as Cool Edit Pro and many features have remained all the way through since the 90s till today. What's your favourite feature in Adobe Audition Darren?

Mike Russell: Back to the interview in a moment. But if you want to win my perfect audio creator set up. Head over to MRC dot fm slash win

Darren Altman: I dont think I could do without the spectrum display. I think the ability to take out as we have discussed clicks and noises is just I couldn't do without it actually. It's so good. I mean I don't have any plugins I know you've mentioned iZotope plugins. I don't have any. If I am recording something or doing a voiceover. It's coming in a little hot it's peaking. You can actually take the healing tool run it down the peak and it sorts itself out. I mean it's mind blowing to me it's really good if there's a little pop a little click. All I do is I see it you know you can identify it you can see it's a different color. I run it over it. And so I don't think I could do without that. I mean you know the detail that you can edit in and take out you know the spectral display is invaluable to me.

Mike Russell: Yes the heat map that it provides of certain frequencies and like you say it's quite apparent when there is a click it's usually up the top end and it's like this little red blob. But also yeah those tools that come so marquee selection, spot healing. It's kind of like a I've heard it described this way many times before like a Photoshop of audio. I say I don't want that piece I'm just going to rub over it and it disappears like magic. So really really cool and definitely for cleaning up audio and voice over sessions. Absolutely fantastic feature and really good choice. So you've already alluded a little bit Darren towards some of your workflows. Like for instance having the V key on your keyboard you hit that and I assume what's happening there is you've recorded previously a favorite into Adobe Audition where you said I want to you know add my EQ my bass roll off I want to normalize to -3 db and then you then assign that favorite to a hot key. So that's one amazing workflow. Do you have any other time saving shortcuts or workflows that one obviously brilliant and included that you're using inside Adobe Audition?

Darren Altman: For my day to day stuff I've got to say not really. As far as you know I'm doing a radio and as I say you know it would just be look at it take out my mistakes make sure theres no clicks because I don't want a producer to hear the sound of my mouth because thats just upsetting and grim. So I would take that out and send it to him as a raw wav really the only workflow I have. Don't forget that I'm not a producer per se I can produce. I do produce you know I did a voice of God real for a friend recently where I added applause and music and all the levels were right and put her in a space so it sounded like she was in a room live announcing but on a day to day really only workflow all I need is just my favorite my preset which we've discussed.

Mike Russell: Excellent. And am I right in saying that you originally recorded that as a favorite and then assigned it to a hot key. How exactly did that work?

Darren Altman: Exactly. Yeah I recorded it as a favorite and just did my de-clicker, my EQ, my gentle compression, my gentle normalization. Save that as a favorite assigned it to V and there I was. I will say that on the rare occasion that I get asked to do a Father Christmas or a movie trailer voice I use my P and that stands for pimped. And basically it's the same sort of workflow. It's the same little chain as you could call it but I've got instead of a very very gentle subtle compression. I use the vocal thickener and that beef's my voice up and I think I've got I don't think on the EQ I haven't rolled off so much bass so I will do you know if I'm doing "One man, one desire, Mike Russell he was a man obsessed with audio" what I'll do is that sounds great and I don't know if you can hear I'm going right up to the mic so it uses my bass. But with the P for pimped settings it really does make it sound phat with a capital P-H Mike. Recently a producer asked me to do a movie trailer voice. And so I gave him I read it and I gave him one read RAW and I gave him exactly the same read but with my P for pimped settings and I said it's your choice. And he said I think I used the P for pimped actually and he took that and use that on the air just because it sounded so fat it just sounded you know stylistically correct as it were.

Mike Russell: That's cool. Let's talk a little bit about my technique so you just mentioned there about getting closer to the mike when you do those deep voices. Why are you doing that?

Darren Altman: I think it's called the proximity effect. So I'm talking to you now let's say six eight inches away from the mic roughly and I think you've got quite a natural representation of my voice. I'm not talking into it if I talked into it. Peter Piper picked a pep. Is that popping at all? I've got a pop screen. Okay. So I tend to voice like this. Pa pa. I'm actually looking away from the mic at my computer screen which is to the side. Peter Piper Peck so that would be quite a nice natural representation of my voice if I have to pretend like I am shouting, I'm coming mum I'll do it! Then I'm literally shouting away from the mic to the corner of my room. All right I'm coming! So I'm not shouting into the mic. There I'm actually physically turning away if I'm doing for example if I have to do David Attenborough and here we can see the spotted red scorpion. I might get quite close. One man one desire – that's quite close and you can use the proximity effect so I now quite far away from my mic. I'm going to talk talk talk moving closer to the mike now you can hear the change and now I'm right on top of the mic… So yeah you just get to use all these little techniques and on a day to day basis because I'm not just doing web video as I'm doing lots of strange characters. You get it it's almost like my instrument really without sounding a bit you know arty farty whatever you want to call it it's my instrument and you can you can play it can't you?

Mike Russell: Absolutely yeah. I think that's great the example you gave just then when you were getting close to the mike it almost sounded like you were turning up the bass on the EQ but you weren't doing anything like that it's just what you mentioned the proximity effect there which is amazing. And for anyone who's maybe you know thinking about working in voice over. These are really good tips to know. So you've got a beautiful you U87 from Neumann in Berlin. What is that like £2000 roughly?

Darren Altman: Yeah it is. Now you see if you're on voiceover forums and you're discussing and having you know you know theres lots of I moderate co-moderate the British voice over forum on Facebook. I think we've got over 13,000 members. Each day I think I must accept about 10 people. You know people of all abilities a lot of actors getting into a lot of newbies people wanting to you know sample voice overs and there's a lot of discussions about what to do and people saying oh shall I get a USB mic. No! Shall I get this. Shall I get that and my advice would be and you can argue against that and say well you're just being snobby and elitist Darren. I will always say that if you are going to do something seriously invest in the best possible gear you can get price permitting. I mean I was lucky you know I was in a and I could afford a U87 it was very expensive but I thought it's going to last me literally a lifetime. You know I won't ever need to replace it. If something goes wrong God forbid you send it back to Sennheiser they'll do the job for you. But so I thought it's the bog standard microphone it's in studios all over London all over the world. It will give me the best natural representation of my voice that you could possibly possibly get. You know don't get a Blue Yeti don't get any of these budget microphones because it will just make you sound tinny and producers will know. You know and why? Why? For the sake of a few hundred quid or whatever why put yourself in a position where someone may possibly not use you again because you've got a crap quality microphone you don't want that. If you're going to do something properly. As I said you know costs permitting you know saying that you should break the bank but you know within a certain reason you spend as much as you can on your gear.

Mike Russell: So let's look at let's look at the rest of the gear you've got in your studio. Like you say it's a pretty straightforward set up you've got a lovely voice over there. So you've got the U87 I'm assuming you need some kind of audio interface so what kind of other gear if he got there?

Darren Altman: So I've got my U87 that goes into my Apogee Duet when I first started on my journey. I inquired because I run I've always been a Mac as a boy as opposed to PC. I've now got a beautiful iMac sitting on my desk. I did have a Mac Mini which sort of fell over quite regularly it couldn't really take what I was doing. So I've now got an iMac the Apogee that goes into the Apogee Duet and basically people said that if you're running. I know theres lots and lots of preamps and sound cards whatever you want to call them Focusrites and is it Avalon? No it's not Avalon that's the name of a production company. Delete that. There's lots of different preamps that you can get different makes and models. I was told that if you're running a Mac the Apogee Duet again is a very clean honest representation and I didn't want anything that would particularly color my voice to be honest. And it's been absolutely fine. It just does the job. There's very little settings on it which is good for someone who's even though I do do production I'm quite a layman in terms of the technical aspects so I just make sure the level is good. It's not coming in too hot. It's not coming in too low and then yeah I just want to like I say a nice clean honest representation of my voice. I've got a Mackie 802 desk because if someone is directing me over ISDN or over Skype and I am self recording. I don't want to hear them so I can mute the channels and just record my voice and that's generally it. I've got little it's called an M-Patch 2 to controller for my speakers and I've got some Alesis M1 active speakers and that's it. There's no outboard gear really. I don't have any finalizers any outboard compression units that's it it's as simple and as clean as I can make it.

Mike Russell: That's good and like you say you just need the equipment that does the job that gets you that clean sound. It's not about sticking a load of stuff there in the chain to like you say color the voice or add any kind of EQ or compression it's about getting the cleanest sound possible and it really does sound like you got there Darrend and so some really good equipment suggestions. Maybe someone's listening to this podcast right now and they're thinking I want to get into the audio industry or perhaps in your case more specifically they're thinking I'd like to go into the voiceover industry. It's such a competitive industry there are so many people doing voice overs at all levels. So perhaps if you were to speak to that person listening now maybe they're young they're aspiring to to get started. What would your advice be to them?

Darren Altman: My advice would be to if you wanted to do it full time. I mean actually as your day job so you get up. What do you do? I'm a voiceover artist. I would just take it all very very seriously. The amount of people that say you know oh I've been told I've got a good voice oh great. You know thats good but you just get lessons. I studied with a fantastic teacher in L.A. called Nancy Wolfson who's now a very good friend and I studied because when I used to voice when I started off I mean it makes me cringe. I used to go into what I call voiceover mode. I always used to go to the back of the throat and talk like this and sound like a cock. So I basically studied her just to get that out. And it's funny actually might cause her being in L.A. and me being in London. I thought she's going to love me. You know on my God your voice is so good. I love your British accent. No way. She actually no no no she actually tore strips off me. She would absolutely roast me in lessons she didn't. She could hear everything. She's such a good ear. Yeah. And so she never let me get away with anything she wasn't seduced by that you know the sort of the British voice. So in terms of advice I would say get lessons learn how to voice you know you don't want to be in a situation where your down the line with the producer it's a 30 second ad he says to you you know that was 34 you need to take four seconds off or that was 27 you need to give me three seconds. Do this inflection do that give me this go up go down I want you to pull out the words more and big I want you to make less of the words you know five ninety nine three ninety nine. And you've just got to do this split second get it over and done with and be off the line if you're panicking which I've got to hold my hands like I did when I first started. If I'd had a session with the producer a big producer from a major radio brand and it was an ISDN session and used to get nervous but you just learn how to deliver and be professional.

Mike Russell: That's good and I love that advice definitely get a coach and like you say that's really good advice try and find one that's not going to sort of you know Colour Your World and make you feel like you're so good. Get one that rips you to shreds. Get one that questions you. With anything in life find somebody who will give you the honest truth about what they really think about what you're doing rather than just oh yeah that's good. It sounds alright. You know so yeah really really cool advice for young and aspiring audio producers and voice artist there. It has been a brilliant chat Darren really enjoyed it and if anyone would like to find you online I know they can type your name into a search engine and they'll find various videos probably of your performances right on Britain's Got Talent that was fantastic by the way just before we get your address to find you online. Tell us a little bit about that. How was that?

Darren Altman: It was it was an incredible experience. Yeah I did one. I'd never performed I want to caveat it by saying that I was not a performer. I didn't have any background in impressions on stage. And I did one prelim preliminary audition which I subsequently found out was all the Britain's Got Talent researchers thank God I didn't know at the time. I was so nervous when I was it was at the upstairs at the Hen and Chickens which is a very famous sort of comedy theatre pub in north London and I was so nervous in the waiting room at the back. I was very very nearly sick. I just thought I cant do this went on stage. There was a microphone I didn't want to touch it.

Now I just pick the microphone up move the stand to the back. Good evening ladies you know but I just didn't touch it. I was oh it was awful. Anyway they must've seen something they like because they said would you want to go on stage in front of Simon Cowell and the other judges. So I did that on the video you can see I got a standing ovation and some really really good comments and I enjoyed the experience it was great it was. It was good for me. I now subsequently do stand up comedy and impressions. And it was also good for the voice over career so it didn't do me any harm at all.

Mike Russell: Thats really really good to know. Amazing stuff so yeah. Obviously people will find you organically but if someone specifically would like to go and check you out online where is the best place to find you online.

Darren Altman: If you go to Darren Altmann dot com D A R R E N A L T M A N you can see all my voiceovers theres loads of characters and impressions fun soundboards look at my stand up stuff my voiceovers on Twitter Im just @DarrenAltmann. I think Instagram I'm Darren_Altman don't know why. But yeah just social media like everyone else. Quite like social media have a love hate relationship with it but you can always say hello and I will definitely say hello back and if anyone wants any advice or tips or tricks for what its worth Im very happy to. Happy to have a chat.

Mike Russell: All right that's fantastic. Darren Altman dot com. Go and check Darren out right now. And Darren thanks so much for joining me on the show.

Thank you for inviting me. It's been good fun thank you.

That concludes this episode. Would you like an extra chance to win the awesome audio gear giveaway? Hit subscribe and review this podcast. Then email the details to podcast at MRC dot fm for an extra entry into the awesome audio giveaway. Good luck.

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