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Old February 16th, 2007, 11:54 PM   #1
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Pop guard with a Rode NTK?

I've just acquired a Rode NTK for VO work, and I'm wondering whether it's worth me using this with a pop guard (I have a stedman proscreen xl).
Thanks
Greg
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Old February 17th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #2
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The real question is who are you going to record and how is their (your?) VO technique?

A really experienced voice talent can work virtually any mic - even the most sensitive - and NEVER have a problem with the kind of plosives that screens are designed to prevent.

Amatures are a whole different story. For newbies, the more efficient the pop screen the better.

Like Ty and some others around here, I've been doing VO work for decades. If a screen's on the mic, fine. If it's not, fine. I hear the suggestion of a popped p in a session, and I just change my angle of attack or pull back on the breath at those letters.

Try it yourself. Put your hand in front of your mouth and keep saying PETER over and over. It's perfectly possible to pronounce while simultaneously controlling the amount of air you expel.

The trick is to do it without sounding like you're changing anything AND to avoid having your awareness of what you're doing affect your read or delivery.

Typically, that comes with lots and LOTS of practice.

Another reason people hire VO folks to do VOs.

Oh, and since I'm handing out VO advice - think about this. Your voice is controlled by MUSCLES. Few people think they can go out tomorrow and RUN A RACE and be successful without conditioning your leg muscles.

But somehow people think they can buy a mic, hook it up, and start doing VO's immediately. Kinda strange if you ask me.

If by chance you want to "do it yourself" Great. Just treat it seriously. Just like you would if you had to run a race. Read out loud for 10 minutes EVERY DAY for a week. Doesn't matter what. Read the phone book if you like. After a week, go to 15 minutes. Spend a couple of weeks there. Then go to 20 minutes and spend a couple of weeks there. Take an occasional day off to let your voice rest, just like an runner would rest their legs.

In about six months, you'll start to notice that things have changed. Your voice is stronger. More controllable. More flexible. Big surprise - you're muscles are adapting, just like those of a runner.

This MAY put you on the path to being a talented VO person. Or not. Cuz just like most people can't be competative runners, most people can't be professional VO people, because it's not just the muscles, it's a BUNCH of other things.

To be great at it, it takes precisely the same thing that it takes to be great at anything else. That elusive "talent" thing - combined with constant practice and refinement.

Really, do the reading out loud thing. If you're meant for this work, it's the start that will eventually lead you to where you want to go.

If you're recording others, well - perhaps someone here IS thinking of doing their own voiceovers and maybe this will help them.

For what it's worth.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 12:11 PM   #3
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Bill, thanks very much for your comments and advice.

This is probably a dumb question, but is voice over talent normally given a chair to sit on or expected to deliver standing up?
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Old February 18th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn
Bill, thanks very much for your comments and advice.

This is probably a dumb question, but is voice over talent normally given a chair to sit on or expected to deliver standing up?
Some like to stand, many like something like a bar stool (and after the session as well <g>), and some may prefer a chair. Don't forget to offer a music stand for the script. Just ask them what they feel lets them give their best performance.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 09:55 PM   #5
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Thanks Steve - I wasn't sure if there was a standard position, so to speak. For example, many singers stand so they have correct diaphragm position.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:26 AM   #6
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Why not use the pop filter? It doesn't hurt the quality noticeably, and why would you take the chance of pop spikes in your audio?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ben Winter
Why not use the pop filter? It doesn't hurt the quality noticeably, and why would you take the chance of pop spikes in your audio?
Well Ben, this is my first foray into using this kind of equipment, and I read in a couple of places that the pop filter attenuates some of the sound frequencies. I've had a chance to play around with the NTK a little, and it seems that I really need the pop filter when getting close to the mic, which is where you can get some of the most interesting vocal qualities - and when this mike pops, it basically shuts down for a split second, so it looks like I'm going to need it.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn
Bill, thanks very much for your comments and advice.

This is probably a dumb question, but is voice over talent normally given a chair to sit on or expected to deliver standing up?
Greg,

First off, IMO, the only "dumb" quesions are the ones you WISH you'd asked but didn't. Learning how to ask and learn politely, without trepedation is probably the single most important hurdle everyone has to leap on the way to "professionalism."

Now, my opinion on "sitting" for VOs.

Hardly ever in commercial spot work. Most of that requires a "forward" read and standing, as someone else mentioned here, allows the diaphram better "push."

Longer narration work is a different story. Most studio's I've worked in have comfortable "barstool height" chairs for narrators since you want the postition you start the recording in to be the same as the position you finish in.

But ask the talent. In the long run, making them comfortable, within reason - is what helps get you the best performance.
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