VO On The Road – How I Became Inspired To Fix My Mobile Sound

I don’t know if you know this but I spend a lot of time outside of my home studio and doing VO on the road. Well, I guess I have become synonymous with travel and voiceover. Late 2023 I got an email out-of-the-blue from Jerry Peletier saying that he, Steve Kett, and George the Tech were going to be in Atlanta demonstrating VO on the road recording techniques. At first, I wasn’t interested and had planned a trip away around the same time as the seminar.

I get a lot of emails from people promising that if I buy this or attend that, it I will improve my business by 10X. Most of it is BS. But my sound is something that I have invested in heavily and dare to say that it is one of the cleanest-sounding VO studios out there. I use an Apollo X4 coupled with a Sennheiser 416 and Apollo plug-ins like the Manley Voxbox and Avalon VT-737 among others. Replicating that in foreign, unpredictable environments is hard.

 

Pillow Forts and other techniques

I have done it all to get my sound right but it never seems to work just right. I have recorded from the closet of my hotel. I’ve pulled the blanket over my head and the microphone. I have traveled with a portable box booth around the world. And of course, I have done the pillow fort. I don’t know who invented the pillow fort but it’s the technique that most talent use when traveling. It’s results? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t perfect.

Recording from Medellin 2023

I spent a month in Colombia in an apartment with tile floors and a concrete ceiling. It definitely wasn’t built to be a

VO On The Road Medellin Colombia
My Mobile Studio in Medellin Colombia

recording studio. It had a beautiful view of the city and was cozy, but it sounded like trash. I used several plug-ins to clean my work up including Clarity VX Reverb, which is normally good, but was no match for this echo chamber. I tried Izotope De-reverb which many other talents recommend and I even have my own secret plug-in that normally works great. None of these produced the results I wanted. For 30 days, my brand (my sound) suffered.

The Weirdest Places I Have Ever Recorded

Medellin wasn’t the first place I have had to record in a weird or uncomfortable place. My favorite was the bathroom at IAH. I was flying from Fort Lauderdale through IAH to Brazil when I got an email that one of my stations needed me urgently for a promo voiceover. The flight to Houston was relatively quick and the layover was about an hour. With no place to record, I went to the bathroom stall, pulled out my phone, and recorded the promo with it. We all know how terrible bathrooms sound, but somehow the engineer made it work. When I sent it back to him, he said it was “no problem.” He must’ve known the VO on the road tricks, but at the time, I didn’t. I was just the voiceover guy.

The Solution

I was free to attend the VO on the road session with Jerry and Steve. They had such great energy. They talked about how important having a consistent sound is for your voiceover brand. Your clients can know you are on the road but should never hear you on the road. They did several demonstrations including one where Steve was recording on Source Connect from his car out in the parking lot. They showed us several sound mitigating solutions that weren’t pillow forts that made sense. It’s important to do as much as you can to dampen sound in your environment and they gave multiple solutions. But the main thing was what they called their secret sauce, and the funny thing is, I already had it. It is baked right into the Apollo and I own it and use it, but wasn’t using it correctly. That’s where George The Tech comes in. George offers a service called tonal match, where he can match your home studio sound.

Listen to The Difference

So, after attending the one-day seminar, learning the techniques of sound mitigation and working with George to tone match, the sound is so much better. I sound more like myself. There is still some tweaking that I am doing to make it work for me better but here is a sample of the work in progress.

VO On The Road

If you would like more info about VO on the road click>>>> Here

Watch my interview with George The Tech Here from my home studio where he reveals his new AI Bot. >>>>Here

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