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Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup

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Mike McCloskey
Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 11, 2010 at 1:52:33 pm

I need some expert advice...

My company has a host (a celebrity) who has agreed to do Voice-overs for us regularly. The issue is we don't want to have him fly in several times a month to do the VO's in-house. I am looking for suggestions on a set up that we can place in his house that would enable us to record his VO in Broadcast quality in Real Time over the internet. Since he isn't technically inclined, the EASIEST possible set up would be needed.

Is this possible at all? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.



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Tom Koveleskie
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 11, 2010 at 3:04:54 pm

Yes this is possible and easy... You can give him a portable voice over booth that works fantastic. I use one all the time. You can buy a pre-made booth or make it yourself as I did.


Use 2.5" acoustic tile cut to fit in a 14"x14" Whitmor collapsible storage cube sold by Target and Amazon.com, line the top, back and sides. The bottom doesn't need covering. I have added a few pics for you to see. Hopefully I posted them correctly...

Put a decent mic on a stand with a pop filter in front of the mic... (I am showing my mic without the pop filter installed) and you are good to go. You'll just have to decide what audio recording device you have for him to use..





I graduated from "Hardnock University".


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Mike McCloskey
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 11, 2010 at 4:04:58 pm

Thanks Tom!
I think we will go this route for the Mic setup...however, we need to be able to record the VO Live...so we can correct any mispronunciations or flubs ("gonks" so to speak)...We can get away with using a speakerphone for the communications back and forth.

Is there a way to monitor the mic as it's being recorded with, say, Audacity or something similar?
I think I have it figured out, that we could just VNC in to his computer, we run Audacity,and cue him over the phone...my worry is if there is a hum in the line, or he accidentally hits the mic, we wont know until we email the files to us for review..

Thoughts anyone??



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Sam Mallery
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 11, 2010 at 5:40:17 pm

I think you should consider having a local sound person engineer the sessions. It just seems like you're leaving a lot to chance doing everything remotely. Something as simple as dialing in the gain could get really complicated. In the event that you need to trouble shoot the hardware, you're helpless. It just seems like unless the celebrity is technically inclined you could potentially lose valuable time when things go wrong.

That said, I do have some recommendations for gear. This is kind of a ready made version of the solution Tom mentioned:
http://www.seelectronics.com/rf.html

Here's a mic that does a good job of canceling out ambient noise without the need for acoustic treatment:
http://www.coleselectroacoustics.com/miccommentators.shtml



http://www.sam-mallery.com


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John Fishback
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 11, 2010 at 6:23:51 pm

Have you discussed this approach with the celebrity? Does he or she understand what you're asking him/her to do? This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I've worked with a lot of celebrities and none of them would want to be responsible the technical side of a recording session. That's not what they do. And when you run into problems during the session, they are likely to get frustrated and "unhappy" with you. You need a very good phone patch at the talent end and a mixer capable of feeding your comments into talent's headphones and sending his/her audio down the line to you and at the same time to a recorder. At the least do what Sam suggests, or find a VO studio in the talent's area and do it from there. Everyone will be happier.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Richard Crowley
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 12, 2010 at 12:38:32 am

I gotta agree with Mr. Fishback here. Unless the celebrity is a gear-head tech nerd type, asking them to have any responsibility for the technical aspects of recording speech is just asking for disaster and hard feelings.

The only way I can see this working is if you go to their place and do all the physical arrangements, paying particular attention to acoustics of the space. And then if you could take remote control of the computer and run the recoding app for them. Assuming also that you had some additional (back-channel) way of hearing the performance and talking back to them.


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Tom Koveleskie
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 12, 2010 at 3:00:21 pm

Mike, a problem that came to mind with your planned setup is computer background noise... You said you need the vo's to be broadcast quality. In a quiet room you may pick up what ever is running in the background. This happened to me. The past six months I have been doing a lot of voice overs and additional dialogue replacement for a program. With the first vo I had my computer running and recodred the vo's directly into my NLE program through the sound card. The result was that I could hear the computer in the sound file... and my computer is fairly quiet. I now do the recording with my camera, which is inaudible, and turn off all the equipment in my editing bay. Now I get super clean vo's. Also air conditioners and other household ambient noises are another thing to watch out for... The person doing the vo must be aware of any noise in the background that could be potentially picked up. The booth will help quite a bit, but depending on the mic used it can and will pick up some extraneous background. You would need to keep the computer as far away from the booth as possible.

I also prefer to monitor the vo person. I can catch mistakes and also direct them to speak in a certain way to fit the tone of the script.

I graduated from "Hardnock University".


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Rodney Morris
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 11, 2010 at 7:37:31 pm

Easiest doesn't always equal cheapest.

IMHO, an ISDN connection would be the easiest for the celebrity, but probably the most expensive. Have a qualified engineer setup an ISDN box at the celebrity's home. It can be setup so that all the celebrity has to do is flip one switch (power) and it's ready to go. Of course, you would need an ISDN box on your end in order for this to work. The boxes plus the service may be more than you have budgeted, but what you want to do will cost you money no matter which way you go. There are some useful plugins that work with many different DAW's that allow studio quality audio to be "broadcast" over the internet, between two secure stations. But both ends (the studio end and the celebrity end) would both have to have the workstations (with the plugins) up and running for this to happen. I think this may be more responsibility than the celebrity may want to accept.

The next easiest thing (for the celebrity) is to find a studio close to his home that specializes in v/o work. They will be able to provide either an ISDN line or a phone patch that would allow you to listen in and direct the talent. Studio time with engineer should be approx. $100/hr (or less depending on where you go). If there is no studio close enough that is able to handle this, then consider hiring a sound recordist to travel to the celebrity's home and set up a mobile recording studio and phone patch for communication.

Hope this helps some.

Rodney

Rodney Morris
Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Ty Ford
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 12, 2010 at 2:38:16 am

Hello Mike and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Our ad hoc expert's team, as usual, has given you very good advice all around. Geting good VO recordings is not trivial. The technology is cheap, but the curve is steeper.

You not only need gear, you need the right environment and you need the right ability to operate the gear. If the talent does have some technical chops and a nice sounding room. you can use a headset telephone or skype as a talkback circuit.

An AT2020USB mic will work if he/she has a really, really quiet computer and some sort of recording software and a pair of headphones. Sony MDR7506 or Audio Technca ATH-M50. He/she then needs to know how to export the files and burn them to something or upload them to a server.

There is a realtime computer to computer solution provided both parties have a cable modem; Source-Connect. I've run it here to another studio and it works fine. If the studio buys the "big" version that's about $1500, the added benefit of automatically being able to pull the actual wave files back after the recording is done. To do that, the talent has to record the files to their computer, not just talk live in real time with data compressed audio.

Maybe have a local tech set the system up and give lessons and be on standby for a few sessions. Where is the talent?

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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steven childs
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Jun 30, 2010 at 6:13:17 pm

This is a good idea, but you may be leaving too much to chance with the microphone. Sending some kind of standalone mic/recorder (like an H4) might be a better idea just because there aren't as many wires to deal with, but even that could get complicated.


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Maria Gath
Re: Need a recommendation on a remote Voice Over setup
on Aug 14, 2010 at 2:19:43 pm

I suggest you hire a professional who has the equipment you need and can do many voices....have you though about Michael Mish? Have you checked out LinkedIn?


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