Sometimes people ask me how I got into voiceover?
Well, like many of my colleagues, it was a combination of things. I started out under the guidance of a talented film maker producing my first film narration several years ago. Eventually, after much trial (and error) I got some training, practiced (a lot) and learned about what works and what doesn’t.
Also similarly to many of my colleagues, I’ve always been interested in audio and recording. From making tapes on my portable cassette player in my bedroom in the late 70’s – to recording in the 80’s on a 4 track recorder (Yamaha MT-120) through my mixer (Realistic 32-1200) mixer via my digital delay (Yamaha REX 50), a cheap mike and failed attempts to hook it all up to my Atari 1024st!
This was the kit which took pride of place in my bedroom back in the day:
I wish I still had this gear, hopefully someone somewhere is getting some use from it! These days you can do everything the above did with a modern smartphone, and a handful of apps!
And today’s apps don’t need to come with a pencil:
But I love music, I love playing with sound – and I love gorgeous kit. I’m a sucker for it!
Unfortunately my love of the latter is tempered by overriding priorities to my family, life and the inconvenient need to eat every now and again. This has meant that I am usually an ‘observer‘ of sexy kit instead of a consumer!
The cover image is of course what a DJ works with these days when playing out, although this one seems to have forgotten his records!
I do all my VO work on good quality but relatively modest equipment, and I’m rather pleased that age has taught me to be able to focus on how I deliver my sound well – not doing it via the latest FLASHIEST gear. In my early 20’s I WOULD happily have all the gear and no idea, these days wisdom has kicked in – thank goodness!
We know that voiceover is about the delivery, and you don’t need the most expensive gear to deliver great quality work to many happy clients.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t LUST after lovely stuff – and I’m TOTALLY envious of my colleagues who enjoy gorgeous vintage mics, powerful computer hardware and ‘racks of beautiful studio gear doing nuanced and sumptuous things with sound’.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting these colleagues haven’t earned the right to use this great equipment through many years of work, dedication and practice.
(There are a few people who DO think that having shiny kit is all you need. But I don’t really consider them colleagues, and I do wish them luck as it must be tough making a living $5 at a time.)
I know my place, I know what works for me, and my clients seem to be very happy with the results.
But, in the spirit of that walk down memory lane – and my once youthful desire to own the next best shiny and new thing – I’d like to know:
1) What piece of equipment have you owned in your audio life which you have fond memories of?
2) What would you LOVE to have plugged into your setup which you currently don’t?
Your answers to number 2 will increase the size of the ‘stuff I want’ folder on Evernote – but DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU!
Now, where’s my TANDY catalogue gone…