Reality Hits Hard

tdanielDid you hear the 4th annual VO holiday greeting compilation put together by my friend Terry Daniel?

You need to…it’s so fun!

Here’s the SoundCloud link.

This is an exquisite example of production, collaboration, and editing.  Terry judiciously included everybody who contributed, which makes the piece 26+ minutes, but who cares?… it’s delightful to listen to.

My reaction?  My piece sucked.  You’ll notice I did NOT mark my place on the timeline.

In my haste to get SOMETHING to Terry, I neither took the time to conceptualize cleverly, nor execute with excellence…and obviously most everyone else did.  I wanted to climb under a rock.

But beyond the quibbling about my lack of creativity, I noticed with probably 80% of the contributions, a sound that struck me.  The sound of winners.  Is that what you-all are sending out for your auditions?  No wonder I’m not booking!  How many of those cuts were compressed to the max?  What effects are you putting on those sound tracks to make my woofers rattle?  I know I don’t have the deepest voice on the planet, but it doesn’t matter…THAT’S the sound of a professional VO, and I fell far short.

There’s a depth, a presence, and a texture from most of the male contributors that makes me green with envy.  Time to call George Whittam.  Time to call in some consulting favors.  I’ve got oodles of expensive equipment… plenty of coaching and adequate pipes, but obviously I’m not using them like I should.

AND… I’m following the wisdom I’ve heard over and over…. “send only plain vanilla sound files to your auditions”.  No processing, no effects… just your voice.  Hmmph!

To heck with that!  If I’ve gotta compete with the likes of what I heard on that Christmas compilation, it’s time to bring out the big guns!

Humbly submitted.






My wife is having heart surgery this morning, and there was lots of preparation in advance of the procedure, so this is a short blog today. 'Came across an interesting site called FreeSound. From the website: Freesound aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, ... released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse. Freesound provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to: browse the … [Read More...]

friendly persuasion

5 Ways to “Turn” A Producer

We’ve talked about this.  All the best laid plans of ipDTL, and Source-Connect NOW, and SoundStreak, and even Skype will be for naught as long as the big guns decide they’re gonna hang on to their ISDN until the TelCos come over and rip the copper wires out of their wall. It’s not that they’re […]

audiotx stl-ip

Uh-Oh…Here’s Another One!

Let’s recap.  ISDN is dying. IP-based technologies are scrabbling to fill the void ISDN will leave behind. Top contenders in this space are: ipDTL Source-Connect NOW SoundStreak Skype Another possibility that hasn’t done much with their patented technology is ConnectionOpen. That’s about it. Just yesterday ipDTL upped the ante by offering enhanced features, and a […]


Don’t Miss EWABS’ 3rd Anniversary, Monday…

…At least not if you want to hear the answer to the question I posed late last week on this blog:  “SourceConnect NOW…Free?” The response to that mention of “free” was viral!  Source-Connect is up to something, and EWABS is the perfect place to make a big announcement about their pricing. ‘Hard to believe that […]


Source-Connect NOW….Free?

No other question dominates discussions about the recent spate of ISDN-replacement technologies:  How much will it cost? Kevin Leach at ipDTL has tinkered with his subscription fee a little since the first release.  SoundStreak offered their service at no cost for the longest time.  Now that it’s out of Beta, it’s STILL free for talent…but […]


It’s In The Cards

Business cards are like FAX  machines.  No matter how advanced the rest of the world gets, those two business left-overs just. won’t. go. away. It’s OK… when the grid goes down because of Iranian or Russian hackers, we’re gonna be glad we hung on to SOMETHING from the physical world.  :)) I’m actually on the […]


Constant Contact Alt?

What do you use for sending out newsletters, tracking email lists, and handling CRM? There are plenty of products that offer simple-to-full-spectrum features in this online space.  And that full spectrum includes the price they charge for it. Am I wrong in thinking Constant Contact and MailChimp have risen to the top of the heap? […]


Groups are Gold

There is a point of diminishing returns in creating meaningful relationships whenever you become part of a population that’s too big. For that reason, FaceBook Groups and Google Communities, and Twitter Lists, and LinkedIn Groups are where the real action is. Even the Voice-Over Friends FaceBook group that I administer (now 1300+ members) remains fairly […]


It’s All About Relationship….

…and an occasional selfie. Some weeks are busier than others.  This one was a blur.  Luckily, smartphones are handy, and well, you know how that goes.  We take pictures of ourselves with friends, ’cause we want to remember the moment, and savor it later.  I’m grateful for that this week….because of the blur, the timeline, […]

source-connect now

Interview with Source-Elements’ Rebekah Wilson

As voice-actors, we get used to being regarded as the lost stepchild of target marketing.  For some reason, musicians, broadcasters, and audio engineers are pursued as viable product-purchasers, but not voice over talent. What do they think?….we make our own microphones, pre-amps, and DAWs? That thought finds refinement on the NAB exhibit floor.  Vendors do […]


ipDTL’s Kevin Leach at NAB

My dogs are tired. Walking the floor of the NAB exhibit hall requires stamina, a plan, and a good pair of sneakers.  Without the plan, you need a GREAT pair of sneakers. Luckily, without planning, I ran into plenty of help.  Mike Laponis and his twin-brother-of-different-mothers Tim Keenan walked up to the Source-Connect booth while […]


Skype Goes Pro Audio: What This Means for VO’s

Sure, everybody loves to bash Microsoft, the most recent owner of Skype…but the truth is, the lion’s share of Skype employees live in Luxembourg, and the development team is mostly in Estonia (the birthplace of Skype).  That’s hardly a typical Redmond-based mishandling of some browser brouhaha.  Skype is one of the smartest things MS did, […]


NAB Week in Vegas

The National Association of Broadcasters hits town this week. Broadcasting?  I thought broadcasting was dead…taken over by the internet, tablet computers, Netflix, and Twitter. …and yet, there it is, the National Association of Broadcasters convention…among the top-5 best attended conferences in a town that hosts the biggest international conventions anywhere on the globe. The event […]


Put Your Demo on Google+

How many times have I said lately, that Google + is the future of Social Media?  I might even be right!  :) SoundCloud is also a form of social media that is ascending to a safe place as the de facto program for embedding or linking to audio (much as YouTube serves that purpose for […]


MS Office on your iPad/iPhone

Digital tools are so important to voice-actors. You will not win or lose a voiceover audition based on having MS Office on your iPhone or iPad (or not), but as you know, tools can come in mighty handy in your workflow, and in a pinch.  The RIGHT tool can be a lifesaver in a panic.  […]


  1. says

    I felt envy too…. What mic is she using? How does she get that tone?
    At least you were invited to the party!

    It was a great compilation– I felt like a fly on the wall,
    and ALL of the ‘bits and bobs’, including yours, were a delight to hear.

    So… Hear Hear! Hip Hip Hooray! Happy Holidays!
    Congrats to all and maybe I’ll be included one day!

  2. says

    You have one of the best mics out there, Courvo! Ask Whittam about proper compression settings on the preamp. I didn’t think your sound was bad. I liked your clip and I think you’re being a tad hard on yourself. Some had a little TOO much processing on their clips. :-)

  3. Derek Chappell says


    I have to agree with Terry on 2 counts. First, you’re being a little to hard on yourself. There was nothing wrong with your clip. Second, I agree that a quick session with George can result in wonderful things. Last year, after hearing the vo holiday greeting, I felt the same way…my sound wasn’t up to par with the ‘pro’s’, so I booked a session with George. He analyzed my DAW and had me send him a short, dry read, non-compressed. He tweaked with it on his end, sent me back a sample until I was happy with the sound, and then he sent me screen shots of exactly how to set my settings on AA3 for that sound. I’ve been VERY happy with the ‘professional’ sound ever since.


  4. Karyn O'Bryant says


    Don’t measure yourself with someone else’s yardstick. It’s demmed tempting, ’cause that other yardstick is so impressive and shiny. But when we do that, it always makes us feel like we come up short.

    Your work is fantastic and it’s YOURS, and you progress in your craft at the speed that’s right for you. Remember your first gig? You’ve come so far since then!


    P.S.: Believe it or not, right this minute other people are measuring themselves by your shiny yardstick, and feeling like they fall far short of the mark.

    • says


      Thank you so much for this reminder. Karen Commins is always preaching this mantra as well. It’s absolutely true, but oh so hard to remember. I’m of the mind that comparisons are always good catalysts. In this case, I’ve gotten a number of suggestions, encouragements (Lance Blair for one), and some impetus to see if there’s not something I can do to my audio-chain to make things better. All-in-all, some pretty good action items!

      You’re great for stopping by to comment and say such kind words.

      Best to you and yours,

      Dave Courvoisier

  5. says

    Dave, your voice and mic are both great. I used to have a 416 that I used in a smaller space and it sounded muddy. I’d take it out of my small booth and into the bigger office and it sounded like I suddenly plugged it into a top-end preamp – rich lows and airy highs. No compression necessary.

  6. says

    I concur with all the other concurrences here: relax! Your piece did NOT suck. As someone who frequently feels hampered by fits of perfectionism (even in trying to compose a simple reply on a friend’s blog), I can testify that self-criticism is the worst kind of crit. If not taken with a grain (or sometimes a block) of salt, it can quickly chip away at one’s confidence. If there truly is something in a given experience that needs to be learned, carefully identify it, note it for future reference, discard the remaining dreck, and (this is sometimes the hardest part) move on.

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>