I recently received my MFA from CalArts in southern california and am now working as a professional stage actor at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in southern OR.
I have been interested in VO's for 3 years now; lending my voice to student projects so far. Right now I am aiming to get into the field professionally.........and I need advice.
First of all I need minimal and EASILY trasnportable equipment to start a home (auditioning/recording) studio in my closet. I have a macbook with garageband and am looking to get a USB microphone. My sound designer friend says that USB is shit and I should be getting an Mbox. There are two things wrong with this:
1. I don't know what an Mbox is used for, and
2. I really want minimal equipment as of now. Afterall, I am just getting started.
I have researched some USB microphones and have almost decided on:
SAMSON CO1U Condenser
Podcasting Package, With SONAR LE, Shockmount, Desk Stand, and Case
Is this a good USB microphone?
Do I need to use another software program if I am already using Garageband?
On another note:
Does anyone know of a voice over class that I can go to in southern Oregon?? It would really be helpful.
I have been using a free trial on voice123.com to try to get some $75-$300 start up work. I like the website a lot so far. They send me a lot of auditions that I get to choose from. But, is it cool that they are charging over $20 a month for this service? Should they be charging at all? Are there site like this, just as good, where I won't have to pay so much? or at all?
The free account won't get you auditions, just lets you make a page and look around a bit. I am no recording expert, but if you have that equipment, practice making recordings and see how it sounds. Otherwise, I have heard the snowball is a good usb type mic to start with. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in, but hopefully I was of some help.
Recording equipment - I suggest keeping it minimal - partcularly for auditions. They are auditions, and a USB mic recorded in a quiet space should be sufficient. Where we get into trouble is with how the auditions turn out and if the self direction was sufficient. Something of an eternal question with voice persons. Alot of higher paying gigs will have to come to a pro studio (and it's a question to clarify at the time of the audition and proposal) If - scratch that; WHEN you get the gig, you can record in studio either by your choice or theirs. Just be sure you know who is paying for what in advance of your audition. For smaller non union jobs, in this day and age you should be prepared to record at home or build in the cost of a studio session into your proposal.
The websites you mention may or may not get you work. some get alot of work form them some get nothing. One thing is for sure - if you are good at netwroking and promoting your voice business, you will go far. This is not the easiest part of the business, but certainly a necessary element, unless you have endless funds.
Doing voicemail systems for friends and web narrations is a great way to start. You do a good job, you ask for referrals, and you're doing what you should be doing, in my humble opinion.
Nothing in the business world is really free, so paying for goods and services (audition websites, business cards, voice services, studio time, etc) is the norm.
Networking is the least favorite thing to do for alot of people in business, but is by far the most profitable!