Voice overs

Natural and unnatural ways to improve your voice

How To Make Your Voice Sound Better

How to make your voice sound better using these vocal exercise tips from Mike Russell and if all else fails you can always run vocal sound effects over your voice in software like Adobe Audition or Pro Tools. Also, how to set up your microphone preamp/processor (video tutorial).

100 Subscribers and Growing

I’ve been up on the iTunes store and out in the public arena with this podcast for two weeks and am absolutely loving the experience of being a “podcaster”. In just under 2 weeks 100 of you have hit subscribe in iTunes or on your favourite podcatcher and that makes me feel amazing and is encouraging me to continue podcasting. I have experience of working in the radio industry since the mid 1990s but this is a real learning experience for me.

I started listening to podcasts late last year and discovered many internet marketing and business podcasts that have given me so much value and inspiration that I really wanted to give back to the community of podcasters and, of course, podcast listeners!

What I love about podcasting is that you can see your audience grow and interact with the show instantly. In the UK radio industry there is still an insane way of measuring audience figures – diaries are sent out across the land and listeners have to remember what they listened to and then tick it in a diary and mail it back to the research company – it’s hardly on the level of Google Analytics or Feedburner statistics!

It’s a common statistic, in radio, that only around 10% of the audience will actually call in to your radio show. I wonder what the statistic is for listeners to a podcast commenting or interacting?

Podcast Platforms

The podcast is on at iTunes, Zune, Miro, Blackberry and more platforms and currently in the approval process for the Stitcher podcast platform. I emailed them the other day and had a reply right back from Rachel Eaton (from Stitcher) who has let me know that I’m near the top of the pile now to be approved – it’s been just over a week since I submitted the podcast feed. This is great news as clearly Stitcher are getting plenty of applications from audio content creators who can see the value of being listed on such a service. I’m excited to get approved and find out more. I’ll let you know my thoughts on Stitcher soon!

Reviews from the iTunes USA Store

Thank you to these American listeners who were kind enough to leave a review on iTunes:

Great Info! by Audiowav of the USA
★★★★★ I am a former radio and mobile DJ and getting started with some part time voice over work. This is a great source for information and I am very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to create this. I’m also registered on your site and appreciate all of the resources. While listening to the podcast, I related to the “things people have said to me”. My pet peeve used to be the drunk people coming up to me asking to play a song, and leaving their drink on my expensive speakers!
– Nick

An Excellent Contribution to the Business by Ron of Rock Remembered of the USA
★★★★★ Mike’s at it again… this time giving back to those in need of an idea or two, a bit of advice, and some (usually needed) motivation to the newcomers and experienced alike. On my show, Rock Remembered, I often need a concept. I can always count of Mike to invest the time to personally answer my emails, point out a possibility or two, even when it puts no money in his pocket. The free stuff on his site is excellent. I can’t always use a British voice on my oldies show, so I am excited that he has inscreased the talent to include American accents. I’ve never met Mike and he probably doesn’t even remember any of my requests or inquiries… but I know that when I turn to him, he’ll be there for me. I am impressed with his “free” and informative new course with the podcasts. Hooah to ya, Mike!

Best DJ Drops by RaVinDraStyle of the USA
★★★★ I’ve never seen a site with so many great voices. Although the price is a bit hefty it’s still worth the price because of the amount of options the have! My favorite is definitely the cartoon voices!

Interesting note from RaVinDraStyle on prices. Just the other week I heard a comment suggesting that anyone selling voice overs and audio production (starting from a low price of £12.99) on a website like Music Radio Creative is “committing career suicide”. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on that – please leave a comment below – listen to the podcast to hear my humble opinion.

Voice Over Tips

Should you take out insurance on your voice, how can you sound older and how can you handle deep gravelly reads? I answer these questions and give out some tips like these: “Drink honey and lemon”, “don’t eat chocolate before a voice over session” and “sing the vowels of the alphabet”.

Voice Sound Effects

If you’d like to artificially tune and change your voice I recommend the Waves Plugins. A particular favourite of mine is the MetaFlanger (listen to how it sounds in the podcast audio). These plugins work with most digital audio editors (like Adobe Audition and Pro Tools). I’ll show you some more effects in forthcoming episodes.

Microphone Preamp/Processor Settings

If you want to sound great you should spend a couple of hundred on a shiny box that can enhance your voice. I like the dbx 286s – here’s a video showing how I’ve set mine up – if you know of some better settings, please, share them in the comments.

Next Week on the Podcast

Rachael – American female voice over at Music Radio Creative will be on talking about voice overs, radio and how to market yourself and get everywhere! She’s an amazing talent with great marketing skills and it shows in her brilliant CV containing film, TV, voice over work, theatre, broadcasting and even modelling.

Also, remember you have until the end of July 2012 to leave an iTunes review to be in the draw to win 6 fully produced radio sweepers (or podcast jingles for podcasters) from any voice over artist at Music Radio Creative with vocal fx, sound fx and music. That’s a prize worth nearly £200!

P.S. I tweaked the processing in this week’s podcast. Did you notice? Better?