Posts Tagged ‘voice-over recording’


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Podcasts are one of the fastest growing media sectors. Maybe you have thought about creating one for your company or for yourself. A podcast is a great way for a company or individual to create more brand awareness or reinforce or grow a perception of industry sector expertise. For musicians it could be a good way of engaging with fans. Relevant content delivered by people with a passion for the subject can make for compelling or informative listening.

But it can be hard to know where to start – even if you have a great idea for a podcast – recordings made in an office or other work or home environment almost certainly won’t sound very professional or be that easy on the ear.

As ever increasing numbers of people consume podcasts it becomes much more and more important for a their producers to apply the same kind of high production values as the best professionally produced radio shows. You need a good quality listening experience to set your podcast apart form the ones produced on a laptop in a kitchen with someone using a USB mic.

Studio microphone and pop shieldThe way people listen to podcasts is intimate – often on headphones or earbuds – and so you don’t want any imperfections in the quality of the production to irritate. You certainly don’t want distracting background noises like traffic, slamming doors or dogs barking. Voice levels and dynamic range need to be consistent and voices and other content to need to be well recorded and produced without any harshness or lack of clarity that might impede the listeners understanding.

In the near future it is likely that podcasts will be streamed like music is now in which case your podcasts need to sound as good as, or better than, the others it is listed alongside on the streaming service. These quality concerns are similar to those of audiobook production of which I also have experience.

Content is key – it is important to plan and script so that you know where the podcast is heading from the start and what ground is going to be covered.  A script might actually turn out to be more of a series of bullet points rather than something to be read out verbatim – that generally doesn’t work well with those inexperienced at voice presentation.

We can help with structuring the podcast episode if needs be – or we can just focus on the technical aspects while you deliver the content! Of course I will take care of editing and post production after the recording session is finished – this might include adding music or other audio elements like intros and outros.

Using more than one presenter can make the podcast more interesting and we have space in our live room for at least 3 seated contributors so if you want a double or triple header  – or maybe an interview – it’s no problem.

Radio production experience is important when producing effective podcasts – it helps to know the ways that audio can be produced to make the podcast flow in a way that works well for the listener – keeping them informed, interested and entertained.

dVoiceBox mixerAt dVoiceBox I already produce podcasts with people like former BBC Radio 2 presenter Frank Renton – his podcast Still Listening to the Band gives his listeners an insight into the world of brass band music. I’ve been producing that for the last couple of years.

My previous experience also includes 22 years in radio which included several years producing award winning (New York Radio Festival) social action broadcasting content in the days when commercial local radio still did speech based content. My studio specialises in spoken word projects and so I know how to record voices and produce voice based audio that sounds great and which listeners will want to listen to.

Got an idea for a podcast? Give me a call and lets get started!

Contact 07866 784925

Chris Radley

dVoiceBox Studio

Studio Upgrade

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dVoiceBox mixerMy studio is  built around my medium format 32 channel Soundcraft Ghost mixing desk.  It is almost certainly the case that if I was starting out now I would not have a desk like this but 18 years ago when I bought it new I was recording a lot of production library and TV music.

Back then I was running lots of hardware samplers, sound modules and synths and I needed to be able to mix them all at the same time. At first the studio had them all hard wired in. These days if I do music projects it’s all done “in the box” – in the computer using Logic so I wouldn’t really need 32 channels.

Nevertheless I have no plans to get rid of this desk – it’s great for tracking sessions – I love the pre-amps on voices and recently I’ve also been loving them for drums.  There is also the other thing that when a client comes in to record for the first time – they walk in the door and instantly what they see visually says “professional recording studio” – it puts their mind at ease.

Studio mixer fadersBecause I don’t plan to get rid of the Ghost I had to decide what to do recently when the rack mounted power supply for it appeared to be on the way out: it was buzzing very ominously.  I went onto ebay to look for a replacement as I know they come up from time to time.

While searching Soundcraft Ghost power supplies I found the studio systems website – run by Tim Jones.
I discovered that Tim is an analogue mixing desk guru who refurbishes and repairs all kinds of wonderful analogue conoles.  But even better than that as far as I was concerned – Tim builds replacement power supplies for analogue desks under the Blue Dog Power Supply brand name.

Tim told me that he’d built lots of power supplies for Ghosts.  I decided it would be better to have brand new power unit rather then buy a secondhand Soundcraft unit which might be ageing (and buzzing) like my existing one.
Blue Dog Power 03
I ordered a Blue Dog power supply and it arrived within a few days,  I put it in the rack yesterday, connected it up and fired up the Ghost. Tim claims his power supplies give a much lower noise floor on the mix buss.
I’d seen lots of people reporting this too but wondered how a new power supply could make such a  difference.  All I can say – it does! The noise floor is loads lower.

So far I’m very happy with the Blue Dog – Tim was very helpful and answered all my questions, the unit came quickly and it works just the way I want – Thanks Tim!

Blue Dog Power 02You can find out more about Tim Jones on his website or Facebook page

Chris Radley

dVoice Box Studio


AT4033 Shockmount repair revelation

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What do you do when the elastic breaks on the shockmount of an AT4033 microphone?
That was question that formed in my mind this week when, at the end of a studio session, I discovered that the elastic in one of my AT shockmounts was rather “slack”. Closer inspection revealed that it had broken on one place and was worn and about to break in another.
I’ve used this shockmount for many years as it’s the one that came with my very first AT4033 – right back when I first started getting into voiceover work.
I quickly discovered on a variety of on-line forums that other AT users where quite rude about the AT shockmount and the elastic – but in all the years I’ve had mine (more than 15) it’s never broken before.
Which is why I didn’t know what to do.

The particular shock mount in question is the AT8441 that came with the original AT4033 (it’s got 4 “legs” that stick up and down) – the current mic is the AT4033a and the current shockmount is the AT8449 (which has a metal “O” rather than the “legs”) – it looks different overall but the elasticated middle part of the mechanism that holds the mic is the same.
The trouble is a new shock mount is more than £70.

So I wondered about a DIY approach. There’s loads of ideas on different forums about how you could go to the pharmacy and get some scrunci hair ties, or maybe you could get quite fine elasticated cord from a ship’s supplier’s, or the rubber bands out of certain vacuum cleaners. Others suggest buying some document binders and somehow using the elasticated cords that hold them closed.

Many, many intriguing ideas…. and I was entertaining at least some of them because I was scared of the price or a new shockmount – and all because the elastic on my current one was gone.

In the end I did what I probably should have done in the first place and went onto the Audio Technica website – in fact I’d done a search on-line using “How do I repair my AT mic shockmount?” and found just the page. Not only was there a sequence of photos showing me how to re-thread the elastic but it also linked to the page on their webstore where I could buy the elastic.

In the end I fixed my AT4033 shockmount for less than a tenner and they sent the parts within 2 days. It took some time researching on the internet to sort it but it was worth the effort.

One tip though – if you do have to do this yourself – make sure you’ve got scissors handy to trim the cord because it frays every time you push it through a hole in the mount. If you don’t trim it then you can’t get it through the next hole!

Chris Radley
dVoiceBox Studio

New look website

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The dVoiceBox studio has been in existence for a few years. As I’ve explained on the “about” page the studio specialises in spoken word projects. This is because the studio is ideal for this kind of work. I started off recording bands but the set up isn’t very good for bands and in Leamington there are loads of other studios that are far better set up for band recording.

I’ve been a voiceover artist for much longer than I’ve run my studio and I know from first hand experience that although all studios offer to record voiceovers some are rather better at it than others. Voice work is an extra service that other most other studios offer, in addition to their main work which is recording music.

At dVoiceBox we only do voiceover, vocalist and spoken word projects – voices are what we focus on.

I recently decided that the studio website needed to be updated – it had served pretty well but what had looked great a few years ago was starting to look tired. I also wanted to have a website that performed better in SEO which these days seems to mean using a platform like Word Press. In addition my analytics were showing that more and more people were searching on mobile devices – so I wanted a site that worked well for those people too.

I’ve recently worked with web designer Duncan Arrow on a project to set up a fans only website for the band Firedaze so he seemed the logical person to bring in on the project.  He’d recently created his own WP theme which we’d used on the Firedaze project now he was keen to hone it’s functionality further. I briefed him on the look of the site – which I wanted to echo my main Chris Radley Voice Over site – and so he created the structure and the look and I wrote the content.

It’s still work in progress – but these day’s all websites are – For example I’ve still got to upload some audio examples of clients’ work and, up until just now, I still needed to write a first post for this blog. So now I’ve got that box ticked.

I hope to write regularly here. I’d found on my Voice Over blog that I was sometimes getting into the more technical aspects of the best mics to use and reviewing new equipment. A studio blog seems a more logical place for that kind of content.

Plus I hope to add some info and advice to help people starting out in the world of Voiceover.


Chris Radley