face for radio


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Ok, so it’s been quite a few months since I last posted – again I’ve had a number of posts sitting in my ‘drafts’ bin… it’s time…

For years I said, “face for radio – keep me out of pictures”…

Even in the early days of radio that didn’t really work for me when I was thrown into the deep end and sent to the TV station for a telethon.  (side note: mum cried when she saw my LONG hair, those days have certainly passed!)

As much as I’ve tried over the last several years to stay away from the public’s sight… it hasn’t been working.  I hate with a passion being on stage and in front of people, but for the last 10 years or so I’ve been talked into hosting a number of stages at a major music festival here in Toowoomba.

Then a client asks me to do a ‘to camera’ piece to compliment a bunch of voiceovers I was doing for some training material.

And now in recent months, I’ve been in front of the camera for “More than Magic” an up coming national TV series, pieces for Journalism study materials for USQ, a submission for the Australian Learning & Teaching council…plus a TVC.

After literally thousands of voiceovers for TV ads over the years, it’s funny to actually be asked to be on screen as the actor.  I worked with Kris Woldt  (Thru a Lens Media) on the More than Magic TV series – and he obviously thought I’d be suitable for this TVC.

Although I might still try to use the catch phrase “face for radio” … it seems it’s not the only place I can be found anymore.

artist impression..

Since 2004 I’ve worked at the University of Southern Queensland and one of my favourite projects every year has been working with the talented third year Acting students, introducing them to Voiceover. The final product of the work is a Voiceover Showreel for the students. As mentioned in previous postings here, my time with the Lecturer and Students is never just a one way learning experience. I always walk away with more than where I started.

Company 2010 was a talented bunch again – but I’d like to highlight one – not for his acting skills, (although I’m including his Voiceover showreel below too), but for his graphic artistic skills.
Luke Phillippo put out a call – “Poor student needs cash to travel – portraits available now” – I’d heard about Luke’s art works, so support a poor student I did.

As far as I understand, Luke is self-taught and just draws to relax and escape. Check out his deviantART gallery As mentioned, here’s Luke’s voiceover demo too: 

A talent young man indeed!

now hear this…aussie sfx

Today I have my producer hat on…(not the voice artist hat)…

As a commercial producer and as a post-production editor, I’ve been in the situation where I’ve needed a very specific sound effect, whether that be a specific sound or ambience. High quality genuine/real sound effects of nature are sometimes hard to find.

Over the last few years I’ve started bookmarking and keeping a register of websites that offer for sale or offer Royalty-free sound effects. This has certainly on more than one occasion got me out of trouble. But one thing that seems elusive are Australian sound effects. A number of years ago (early nineties) an Australian company released some SFX CDs that were predominantly Australian, but I have NO idea where to source these today, as I can’t find the distributor. So when I was chatting with someone who records and sells his “Australian Nature Sounds” – I was very keen to bookmark and preview these effects.

I was at the ‘Apple University ConsortiumCreateWorld Conference 2010‘, where I met up with Dr Eric Fassbender from Charles Darwin University. Eric’s “hobby” is capturing Australian Nature sounds – and he does a darn good job at it ! australian-nature-sounds.com

Certainly in my career, and I know I’m not alone here, I have been in many situations where I simply can’t find the effect I can hear in my head, and need to finish the product I’m working on.

So I encourage you to stop by Eric’s site and at least preview his recordings, you just never know when you’ll need them for that next project.

Just as I was about to upload this post, I received a very special offer for YOU from Eric: “The automatic coupon code feature is not implemented yet, but if they send an email to admin@australian-nature-sounds.com with the recordings they are interested in and the “code” ‘Jason Myatt’ somewhere in the text, they’ll receive a 50% discount offer valid until January 7 2011″ Pretty awesome deal, thanks Eric!

As usual, I’d love to hear your comments on the fx.

mic review – sE RNR1

Again, thanks to some very generous suppliers, recently I have been testing some pretty darn impressive microphones.  Quite simply, the sE RNR1 comes from amazing heritage – Designed and built by Mr. Rupert Neve and sE Electronics, this mic is very nice indeed!  So, like in the last posting, the audio sample below is a basic voiceover in the very well treated room.  I’m using a JoeMeek threeQ preamp – totally flat.

Here’s a little blurb from the Manufacturers website:  (link to full article)

For many decades Ribbon mics have been used by engineers for their extremely natural sounding reproduction of source material. The nature of their performance differs greatly from condenser mics, which by comparison sound very ‘up front’ and lack the harmonic depth of a good ribbon. Rupert Neve’s new custom circuit design now allows high frequencies to be captured and output from the capsule for the first time ever in pristine detail. Standard performance of the RNR1 is an unprecedented 20Hz to 25KHz – three times the frequency range of even the best available competitor ribbon mics on the market today!

The microphone is exceptionally well built, very solid and sturdy with a lovely shockmount.  It was a pleasure to work with this mic, both behind it and on the other side of the glass 🙂 …but for me personally, on my voice…not my favourite. As with the last review, I’d like for you to make up your own mind from listening to the sample below.  Feel free to go back and listen to the other samples from previous and future reviews – it’s nice to have comparisons.

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Please leave comments below, I’d love to hear what others think of this mic.

I don’t want to seem biased in any way, remember my previous caveat …everyones voice is different and the same mic does NOT suit everyone.

mic review – peluso tr14

This has actually been a long time coming… some months ago, I decided to write a series of very short blog posts reviewing microphones that could possibly be suitable for VOICEOVERS.  Thanks to some very generous suppliers, I have been testing some pretty darn impressive microphones.

This week, we take a look at the PELUSO Vacuum Tube Ribbon Microphone.

Here’s a little blurb from the website:

“This is the Vacuum Tube version of the R 14 Ribbon Microphone. It offers enhanced output level and a stunning response due to the perfect impedence match with the amplifier. The design of this microphone is inspired by classic ribbon microphones with the addition of a tube stage to provide added gain. It has a natural rich and silky sound with additional harmonic complexity provided by the tube stage. It is the perfect complement to your microphone collection, offering a distinct color difference from condenser microphones.
The microphone comes as a complete system, with Microphone in Wood Box, and Shock Mount, Power Supply, 7-Pin Cable packed in an attractive Flight Case.
Made in the USA.”

As stated, this unit comes with it’s own power supply/preamp. My testing method was to record a similar script for each mic, in the same booth and with no processing.

Audio MP3

I actually don’t want to say much about the unit – I’d prefer you to hear and decide for yourself. (Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section) For the money, this mic didn’t cut it for me personally, but in saying that everyones voice is different and the same mic does NOT suit everyone.

Soon, another mic to listen to – that you’ll be able to compare with this one.

mobile devices & flash…sigh

Those who know me well enough, know I love new gadgets – I’ve owned all kinds of PDA’s and Smartphones, every incarnation of iPhone (including the 2G not released in Australia), and now the iPad & iPhone 4 too.  I simply dig this type of technology and particularly Apple products – (some would call me an Apple Fanboy – a title I hate, but begrudgingly fit into).  But as you may or may not know, most portable devices (like the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) do not support FLASH. This can be problematic for those of us who want to run things like audio and video on our webpages. Times really have changed, once upon a time there were so few website that included audio let alone video – but now, it’s rare not to have this sort of material on a site.  For #VoiceActors it’s even more important to have this stuff on your site to promote yourself – and with the onset of mobile applications like “Talent Please” (mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago) where prospective employers can find a #VoiceActor via their iPhone, having “working” audio and video players is imperative!

With all this in mind, and in an effort to make my webpage viewable on ANY device – I’ve been researching how to get around the problem. Steve Jobs would say the way around this is “HTML5” – yep that is true – I’m not going to argue with Steve! …but how do I implement HTML5 within this WORDPRESS environment? After some very defined searching, I’ve found there are already a number of Plugins emerging that meet this issue headon. As I just mentioned, I use a WORDPRESS environment for most of my web presences, so which plugins am I using? Let me say this, my primary goal is to have my audio and video play happily on iPhone and iPad, and ALL desktop browsers too – so I’ve tested a bunch of plugins with differing success, but for mp3’s I’m using Degradable HTML5 audio and video & for video I’m using Stream Video Player. For video I’m uploading FLV and MP4, depending on what type of browser you’re visiting from Stream Video Player will either use a flash player or Quicktime player.

I’m not going to say these are perfect, but so far they have done the trick for me and my site.  Gone are the days where I had endless hours available to be writing everything in code and re-uploading a page. That’s why I’m using WordPress, and now with wonderful folks freely developing tools like the afore mentioned plugins – my site is looking neat, tidy and easily viewable on ANY device.

Please feel free to leave comments and thoughts – if you’re having issues viewing anything on my site – please comment with details – I need the feedback 🙂

Standby, next week I’ll start the Microphone review series !

back from my break… awards ?

I may have been away from blogging over the last few months… but NOT away from the studio, or the MIC – it’s been fun, as always! A while back I posted “nice tvc…but worst – sean – ever..“? It was quite a popular post, feel free to read that post and it’s comments before reading on…it may just be worth it!

Anyway, as I mentioned in that post, I felt Kris produced a great TVC – well, it’s way past time to congratulate Kris Woldt and Keleigh Newman for winning “BEST COMMERICAL UNDER $3000” award at the Queensland MultiMedia Awards.

Congratulations on the award guys !  …but I still think it’s the worst – Sean – ever.
Kris & Keleigh won this award while employed by SEVEN Toowoomba – but since, have taken the leap to work for themselves.  Their business, Thru a Lens Media, produces television commercials, promotional and web ready videos, training material and more.  Recently they were signed to work on a project with Australia’s Celebrity Magician – Christopher Wayne.  I’ll share more details on this little doozy when I’m allowed to talk more about it 😉
Also recently, Thru a Lens Media produced a TVC for the Doritos competition – check it out.  The commercial “Doritos Bandits” was shot locally at the Jondaryan Woolshed.  The voiceover on the tag is Jake Stormoen, who I also mentioned in a blog post about 12months ago (Meet JAKE!).  I love this ad – I think it’s beautifully written and shot – Nice Work guys !

iPhone app :) talent please

During my hiatus I’ve been periodically writing blog posts, but saving them in my drafts section, I thought it was about time I started posting them! So here we go with some hot news !

I’ve been a massive fan of mobile devices ever since I got my first Smartphone (iMate Jasjam) quite a few years ago.  Since then, in my opinion, the Windoze Mobile device has been totally overshadowed by Apple devices like the iPhone & iPad. (Yes I am opening myself up here to anti-Apple comments.. but so be it) There are simply hundreds of thousands of cheap and free applications available for the iPhone, making it an extremely powerful mobile device.  In a recent post I read that Apple have sold over 100 million mobile devices (iPod Touch and iPhone). These days it’s hard to be anywhere and NOT see someone wielding an iPhone. So I thought it was time to see if I can get the iPhone working for me from a marketing perspective !

I’ve just signed up to be part of a brand new iPhone app developed by Melbourne studio GASinc.  In their words: TALENT PLEASE Talent at a Touch: The world’s first independent iPhone app connecting Australia’s best voiceover talent & sound studios with ad producers & casting directors worldwide.

If you’ve got an iPhone, check it out while the app is FREE (it will upgrade in the coming months and be a paid app) – if you’d like to be listed or know more – email.  Throughout July, the folks from Talent Please travelled Australia speaking with Freelance Artists and Agents, and it appears that they have signed onboard a whole swag of not only Australia’s best, but Artists from the UK and US as well.

I’ll keep you informed of how this goes for me.  It’s just the start of my new marketing strategy for my Voiceover work, this blog and social networking(@mvo1) being the other parts to my plan at this point.

Also a big thanks to Andrew Frame at bafSoundWorks for assisting with my demo which can be found within the app – so download and check it out !

…a short hiatus

Before I head off for a short hiatus, I wanted to share a funny little comic strip I’ve been subscribed to for a little while. Called “Voice-Overload” by voice artist Jeffrey Kafer, this weekly web comic has really tickled my funny bone on more than one occasion. I’d really love it if you’d check out the comic that was in my inbox this morning: voice-overload.com

As I mentioned in the opening sentence, I’m off for some much needed R&R …but as always the MIC WILL BE ON! I’ll be posting again in 2010 with some new reads, demos and inspirations, plus I’ll be posting with some MIC reviews – I’ve been testing and I’ve got some interesting results to share.

Thanks for stopping by !

Cheers
Jason

bring on some characters…

A few years ago when I was a fulltime writer/producer, I used to read quite a few ‘character’ reads.  Now days as a fulltime producer, that has really slowed down since I don’t write for ME anymore. I guess that was one of the luxuries, as a radio writer, producer & voice guy, I got to write for my strengths, these days I need to really try to sell the fact that I can pull off these different character styles.

I really love the opportunity to act, which we’ve heard over the last few weeks with some of the great copy I’ve been able to read, but getting to act as a character is just that little more challenging. Check some of my older characterisations on the Voices page.

Last week one of my old team, Peter Laurie, now Creative Director at Sunshine Coast Radio Centre, sent me a script to be a ‘snooty Professor type’.  This characterisation came easy for some reason, and it was fun!  I’ve included the ‘snooty Professor’ plus another script from Peter, a straight read, below. The direction on the straight read was to read quite ‘deadpan’ …but not too much. Please take a listen to both and leave your thoughts.

  • Audio MP3