My Studio Gatekeepers!

Well,  I have heard many of my fellow voice-over colleagues refer to their pets as watchful gatekeepers of their home studio. I thought I had better take a few moments to introduce the two gatekeepers of my studio, or when I am on the road traveling – our horse trailer!

Dixie & LuLu

Well, here  are our two Jack Russel Terriers (JRT’s) Dixie and LuLu! They are pretty quiet most of the time allowing me to record a lot during the day, except for the occasional squirel outside in view of the picture window, or the mailman! OK, a retake or two because of them barking isn’t the end of the world right?

They are some of the most traveled JRT’s having traveled to many states while working different professional rodeo events around the country.  They are truly special and definitely a very important part of our family!

Louie as we call her is kind of the quiet type around strangers, and as for Dixie?  She has been known to chase rodeo clowns and team ropers off if they get to close to our trailer!

Well, I needed a short break in the studio today and decided I had better include my special gatekeeper’s in my blog today.  I hope you enjoyed getting a peek at them.

Do you have a studio gatekeeper?

Noise Gates

Whether you are a voice-talent with a home studio, a public address announcer, or providing live sound for an event, noise gates have a very useful purpose keeping background noise at a minimum. I recently ran across a well written article that explains the basic functions and how to set up a noise gate by Dan Lenard.  Dan is not only a great voice-over talent, but he is also known as the “The Home Studio Master” helping folks with their home studio problems. He also co-hosts along with George Whittam on their Ustream channel show EWABS (East West Audio Body Shop) broadcast live via the Internet on most Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. A show that discusses different topics each week regarding home studios. I have covered more details about their show in an earlier blog.

Below is a link to this article which explains how a noise gate works, the variables, and settings to use as a starting point to help you get started in setting up your own.

Do you use a noise gate in your studio audio chain? If so what settings do you find work for you?

Great show for those with a “Home Studio”

For the past year there has been an excellent resource available for those that are wanting to learn more on the technical side of operating a home recording studio. EWABS otherwise known as East West Audio Body Shop is broadcast on the internet most Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. You can find the live stream along with past recorded shows on their Ustream channel here .  The co-hosts are Dan Lenard “from the East” and George Whittam “from the West” both are experts in audio engineering and specialize in helping people that seek solutions for their home studio problems.

Dan is from the Buffalo New York area and you can visit his website here  George is based in the greater Los Angeles California area, he is Virginia Tech graduate and was the personal studio engineer for the late Don LaFontaine who was the voice-over guy that starred in the Geico TV commercials and one of the most famous movie trailer voices of all time. George’s website can be found here

Both offer services to those that need help troubleshooting and properly setting up their home studios.  They both offer free evaluations of your current audio from your home studio that can be uploaded to their websites. From this sample they can make suggestions of changes that can be made to improve your audio quality. Both are very reasonably priced and very efficient. I have personally used George’s services setting up my own voice-over studio and through Skype and remote software he was able to help customize the settings that I needed specifically for my recording space environment.

The voice-over industry has changed greatly in just the past few years and now most voice-talents not only have to deliver superior reads, but also have to be able to produce professional quality audio from their home studios.  EWABS is one very important resource that can help us all provide the quality audio necessary to be competitive in todays voice-over marketplace.

What steps are you taking to ensure that you are producing the best audio quality from your home studio set up?