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I’m always on the lookout for ways of changing something frustrating, difficult or sad, …into a positive.  It’s a little game I play with myself.  I know…I know… sounds like I have too much time on my hands, and that is.. the Truth.​​
But why and how I have this extra Time, is the subject of another blog; this one deals in what I wrote in the first sentence above.
 
“An ample example please, Sir!”

When You Say:
"NO PROBLEM"

mean it!


Nov. 10,2017

​My VO studio is as simple as it gets.  I wanted it this way to try to keep from my usual going-overboard with a new interest.  My VO experience is long, but engineers usually did all the audio stuff up until recently, so doing it on my own is like taking out a new boat.  (I’m a sailor, so that ‘means’ something.) All I want is a clean, clear, quiet waveform but even with my Aston Origin to Steinberg UR12 to Reaper to Sennheiser HD 280 Pros, I am still getting a noticable ‘hisssssss’.  It isn’t just room noise either.

Running my mic at 90% and my headphones at 100% on my interface, in order to get a decent, non-screaming volume in my cans, I get the ‘pushing-the-amps-too-far’ hiss.  If I could back off either, the signal would be a lot cleaner.

The point of this blog is that I have purposefully tried to turn the quest for a better end result… into a positive journey, that doesn’t raise my diastolic, my stress level or my bad colesteral. I have borrowed, rented and stolen (I haven’t stolen, but I needed a third thing there) different pieces of equipment, from different music stores.  I have burned gas and driven kilomiles, bugged friends and storeworkers and even bystanders, in my efforts to solve this.  It could all have been a monumental hassel, but I turned it around into a search for learning… a knowledge gathering trip… and a war on my ignorance.  I vowed not to be defeated by this sometimes gigantic foe, and it did seem like that after the first few failures to lessen my noise.  What I did was turn it into an enjoyable visit with store folks who actually seemed to want to solve my problem.  I turned it into an endeavour to educate myself in this area of VO.  

I love learning, and this may be why I do this.  There is nothing noble or prestigeous here.  It is just an effort to not let something defeat me.  My difficulty with this problem was customized and molded into another form; one which drove me on with fun, comraderie, moments of understanding and clarity, time spent studying, lots of laughter, and a real purpose.  Visiting Long & McQuade, and the whole drive to reverse my problem, became something I looked forward to instead of trying to avoid.

I do this with as many Life ‘tribulations’ as I can, and being posed near the last few bites of my cake, I have bested many difficulties this way.  The old “See Problems as Opportunities” line is too easily dismissed, but it is true and really does enhance your years….AND….here’s the great part:  It gets easier every time. Pretty soon, YOU are the one surging ahead, while the others can’t get past that mountain of defeatism.
 
Be the one who refuses to be defeated… in voice over, prosperity and Life.  It all adds into Who You Are

Sometimes, ...in some ways, ...we are our own worst enemies.  I'm sure you've heard this cliché many times.  For me, it's the failure of the Triple 'T's: ......TTT.  I'm too rushed or excited to ' T hink T his T hrough'.  If I had, I wouldn't have gone through a whole 2 months of ​​ WTFITIMW? (A not very well known acronym for 'What The F**k Is That In My Waveform')
I gotta say here....Isn't it weird that all the unwanted noises in our VO waveforms....are ugly little cretins?  Anyways....., I kept seeing these gargoyle marks and hearing these strange background bumps in my reads, that should not have been there.  My pop-screen should have been catching these and eating them up.  Well, because of TTT failure, I was suffering the holy hell of waveform clean-up, on a large scale, every day.  

T T T:
FAILURE

wtfitimw?


Nov. 12,2017

Let me flesh this out a bit................ 
My mic is mounted on a small tripod which sits on a pedestal.  It is all insulated with various materials and a bump to the stand does not pass a thump to my mic. The mic cord is carefully positioned too so as not to cause noise.  But  (and here, it should be spelled BUTT) on a visit to the music store I acquired, for free, a little plastic clamp that they were using to hold sales promo ads.  It was shaped in such a way that I thought I could use it to hold my pop screen (which I made). Sure enough, it did the job perfectly....except for the fact that I had clamped it onto the metal end of the XLR cord, where it plugged into the mic.  Looked cool, elegant and functional.

So now....when my pop screen caught a plosive, a too tight 'T', a crackling 'K', or even a bubbly 'B'.....it transmitted that bump directly through the mic itself.  The thing that is supposed to prevent the problem... caused the problem.  Why?  Because of 'TTT' failure. 
I didn't Think This Through!!!
There is this song a friend of mine, Bob Snider, wrote years ago called: "What An Idiot 'E Is".
I just hope they spelled my name right, at least!

Might it be possible…just possible…that many of us are using our pop-filters wrong?  Luckily, a fairly substantial radio occupation taught me (forced me) to learn how to voice without popping ‘P’s, blurting out ‘B’s, and crackling my ‘K’s to a great extent.  It is a ninja ability I learned from a guru on top of a mountain, involving rolling the lips in and thrusting the jaw outwards.  I have my green belt in this.​

'PLOSIVE:
PREVENTION

position + or -


Nov. 25,2017

I’m so proficient at it that I still use a pop-screen.  It is a home-made one that still has me apologizing to my wife for a huge hole in her pantyhose. Hey, I thought she wouldn’t notice it if it was in the bum area.  What do I know?

I wanted to do my own analysis of this audio phenomena, so I spent time doing ‘P’ riddled reads while moving the pop-filter ‘to and fro’ (I’ve never used that descriptor before , in my whole life, and never will again). Surprisingly, it made a world of difference.  From all the folks I’ve talked with, read about and seen pictures of…..pop-screens are placed about an inch from the mic.  My excellent scientific study of this has found it to be erroneous.

The puff of air from a prominent ‘P’ dissipates as the square of the distance past the filter.  For me, that distance was 3.5 inches. (In Canada, in metric, that’s…..uh……17 meters,…no wait, I’m sure that’s wrong.) Anyways, using this 3.5" distance virtually assures my ‘P’s, ‘B’s, ‘T’s, and ‘K’s all wimp out …before reaching Mr. Mic.  

WARNING:  Do not feel that increasing this distance, times 2, 3 or 5 times, will add to the safety, as it will only make your mic sound like you got it from a gumball machine (unless you have a shotgun mic).  

Don’t listen to me (I wouldn’t), …Go experiment, and you will see a possible improvement that costs you nothing.
 
“Now go get in-front of your mic and record something great.”  {Oh, I’m sorry, …that’s the Booth Junkie’s closing line.}