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Voice Coaches Radio #495 – Sound Treatment

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller. She is Marissa Lanczak. We are delighted to have you joining us. Marissa, how are you with this lovely Friday morning? Well, it's Friday, so obviously I'm great. Right. Good. I like it. I like it.

Fantastic. I mean, you're right. It could be worse. It could be, it could be worse. It could be Monday. Exactly. Could be Monday. Uh, but it's not. It's Friday. Unless you're listening to this on Monday. In which case. Sorry. Go get another cup of coffee. You'll be fine. You'll get through it. You got this. You got this, guys.

This struggle bus is gonna be chugging along, you know? Yes. You got it. Chugga chugga. We believe. We believe. Yeah. Um, so cool. So how are things going? How are you doing? Everything's great. Everything's fantastic. Love it. Love it. Um, I know you were telling us about all your different, uh, all your different shows, all your different radio, uh, radio shows.

I do find it, I don't know if, disconcerting is not the right word, but I do find it slightly, um, sad a little bit that, that radio shows, like, aren't done, like, in the city that Believe me, I have felt that way for years. Like, I would have figured, or, or, or like, or live. Like, when I listen to a radio show, which I don't very often, I'll be totally honest with you, but when I am, you know, I, I assume that like, I'm listening to something that's happening right now.

But that's not the case anymore. Not in a lot of ways. Um, I mean, There are plenty of people who are live in the studio and all those things. I think the pandemic really changed the way a lot of these companies think, because they want a good quality product, right? But not everybody is going to move to the middle of the country where nothing's going on for, say, 25, 000 a year.

Like, you know, so they realize... If they want the, the quality, they can pay somebody less than that, but they can stay put and they can record it from home and like, you know, and everything is kind of gravy. Is it, is it, is it hard to like record something and be like, okay, so I need to talk about things that are relevant in a few days in a city?

Well, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not recording it. Far in advance. Um, so, you know, In my head, you've already done it for like a year. Like, you're a year out. Like, Hey guys, Merry Christmas, everybody. How we doing? Happy Holidays. Ho, ho, ho. It's Marissa Lanczak. In the middle of July. I don't know why I figure you talk like that on there, but I figure you do.

No, but I don't. Um, I talk like this. So, uh, but, um, No, I'm, you know, in some cases, I'm doing it the morning of. Sometimes I'm doing it Like, a couple hours before. It really depends on, you know, what the situation is and what's going on in my life and, and how quickly I can know what kind of music, uh, I'm going to be playing in the show, um, so I can talk around it, uh, but, you know, I, I try to keep as relevant and, um, personal as I can.

Like, that's, that's always, you know, when it comes to radio, radio is a little bit different than, you know, the type of voice work that we typically talk about, right? So, like, you know, there's no script involved. For me, yeah. It's my life. It's pop culture. It's stupid things happening in the news that I talk about that's relatable.

It's kind of like Voice Coach's radio, really. Say that again? It's kind of take note of, you know, things that I'm experiencing that I think are ridiculous, that Somebody's probably going to get a chuckle out of or, um, you know, I'm paying attention to what Justin Bieber is doing because that's, you know, important.

Okay, so actually that, uh, okay, it's not, but neither here nor there. It's not to you. Uh, no, it's definitely not to me. Um, But it is when I'm talking into peaches. I mean, I, I, Fairly that's, I mean, yes. Uh, anywho, um, I actually got that reference by the way, I know that's his song. Thank you, good! Um, so yeah, otherwise I would have been like, what, what is, Peaches is Justin Bieber's song apparently.

Um, anywho. Good! So good. But here's the thing, well, and that's another question I have, I, you know, growing up naively, thought and assumed that everyone who worked at a particular radio station did so because that was their type of music. Like they, like I listened to, you know, when I was growing up in Boston, I listened to WAAF, which, uh, 107.

3, which I don't even think is... May it rest in peace. Yeah, right? That's, and that's fairly recently too. That's a, that's a fresh wound. That was during the pandemic. That's a fresh wound. That's actually the company that I work for there. Yeah, that's a, that's a fresh wound. That show, that, I mean, that station, that station.

That sent ripples. Yeah. Like, that was crazy. But, I mean, I listened to it because I, I, I loved the rock music on it and I assumed that all of the, you know, uh, all of the talent on there also loved that and would be listening to that regardless. Is that true or do you just sometimes are like, hey, we're listening to Justin Bieber, love this song.

I hate this song. Let me ask you this. Let me ask you this. Yeah. When it comes to the voice work that you do, do you always love what you're... Always. Like, reading about? Everything. Oh, stop. You're such a liar. 100%. I love everything. I love everything every client has ever paid me to do. Right. Because they're willing to pay me to do it.

Right. Exactly. So, If you're getting paid for the job, like, it almost doesn't matter, because for me, like, I always said that I would never do country radio, because that was never my cup of tea. But, you know, that has kind of... moved into an era of like more pop leaning or more rock leaning country, which I can totally get on board with.

I actually really, really like a lot of the artists now. And, um, so I, I feel like because of my time in country radio, it's made me appreciate. the, the music more. So funny, funny story. So when I was right after college, I took an internship with a baseball team in Pensacola, Florida called the Pensacola Pelicans.

And uh, they're an independent team. They actually aren't around. It's a cute name. It was. Yeah. I have a, I have a shirt off the word. It's the logo is hilarious. Scoop. Scoop was our, it was our mascot. Anywho, scoop the Pelican. Anywho, um, And so I would do, I would do play by play, um, you know, as the number two broadcaster for home games.

And then for road games, I traveled occasionally, but for the most part, I'd be back at the radio station, uh, doing the engineering and the mixing and kind of, you know, like, uh, score updates and the pre game show and the post game show, et cetera, et cetera. Well, the station that we were on was a classic, it was an AM classic country station.

Not like pop country, we were talking classic country. Right. Right. And during very lengthy rain delays. I would have to turn into the classic country dj. And that was, which to me is kind of unfortunate. 'cause I am not a twangy girl at all. You know what? It's funny. I found, uh, I found, I found some Elvis in there, Elvis, that I liked.

Elvis is okay. I liked, um, you know, there was, there was some, you know, some, some songs that, uh, that, that I was able to, to, to, to palate. Um, But yeah, I mean, it was, it was, and again, I'm, like I said, I'm from Boston, I'm a more of a rock guy, and now I'm down in Pensacola, Florida. And occasionally, and during the games, I'd have people calling up and giving me requests, and I'd be like, you're not listening to the station right now.

There's literally a baseball game going on, . Um, it's gonna be a while, but, uh, but yeah, so I mean, yeah, no, I, and, and, and I get it, but again, as a kid, I was naive. Assumed that, you know, that was the case all the time. I will say, I mean, most of us that are in the industry, we are going for the music that we like.

Well, sure. That'd be ideal. You know, so for me, you know, my, my be all, end-all goal was to be on the, the station I grew up listening to, which was here in, in Albany. And I was on it for like 12 years. I, I actually had my dream job for about 10 years, um, when I was there. So, you know, it's like, Yeah, I went for the pop station that I grew up listening to so that has always been my wheelhouse And I'm kind of back in you know surrounding surrounded by that music now, but you know at one point I ended up in country That's how that's what originally got me in Boston So, you know and then I just kind of fell in love with the country world, too I mean you just kind of start to find different things that you really enjoy as you're You know, progressing from different jobs, but the job kind of ends up requiring the same thing out of you, no matter what station you're on.

So if you can do one, you can do the other. It's just a matter of allowing yourself to do it. Well, and again, it's, it's no different from, from voiceover. No, not every job I've ever done is something that I'm super duper passionate about, but... You need to make sure it sounds like you are. Yeah, exactly.

That's, that's our job. That's the acting portion of voice acting. But I do find it interesting, uh, since, you know, you, you do most of, if not all of your, your tracking now for these stations, you know, at home, being able to record at home, obviously for that is something that's, you know, more important than it's ever been.

It's also something that's very important for, for voiceover now. Is it necessary? No, it is not. There's still a ton of work that's happening at. Studios. In fact, I never, uh, I didn't create my, my studio, and studio's a very strong term for what I have in my house. But I didn't create my closet with a microphone and some...

Stuff on the wall. Mine's an adult fort. Yeah, I mean, I said, I didn't create that until like a year ago because most studios were closed at the time and I'm like, well, if I'm going to do it, might as well. Um, you know, but by the way, I just want to say that was an awesome segue on my part. I think we do need to appreciate this fact that I just did that.

Well, sometimes I bring out the best in you, you know? Always. Always. Okay, always. Always. I'll take that credit. It's fine. That's right. Um, so, you know, we need to, you know, you need to make sure it sounds professional because obviously if you're doing a radio show or if you're doing a job in a studio, you're in a studio, right?

You have really nice equipment, really expensive equipment, really, you know, well put together stuff, hopefully. When you're at home, you need to mimic that as best as you can, but again, we don't have the resources of a studio, right? I, you know, I would love to be able to head in the back here at the studio here and just borrow a few microphones and not give them back.

Ever. thousand dollar microphone. But that's frowned upon, I find, so I can't do that. So we need to be able to kind of put together our own, you know, studio of sorts. And I've talked about mine a little bit and how I put it together in, in the, the tiny closet that still smells a little like cat pee, um, in, in my house.

Mine does too, but mine's in the basement. So it smells like cat pee. Well, yeah, cause the litter box is down there. Yeah, yeah. I'm not even going to tell you what the dog does when I'm not home, because it's just disgusting. It's fair. We all gotta do it. Everybody poops. Everybody poops. Um, but, you know, being able to, you know, have some kind of sound Soundproofing is not the word.

We're not soundproofing anything. We're sound treating things. Um, we can't soundproof stuff. We don't have the capacity for that. But we are sound treating things so that it sounds Good, right? So it sounds professional, so that there aren't those ambient noises in the background, so that there aren't those, you know, echoes and reverb that we want to stay away from.

Um, so again, we're never soundproofing anything in general, I mean, you can, um, you don't have to. Yeah. I just feel like it's so incredibly difficult to make that happen. And unnecessary. Well, I mean, think about the fact that, like, We're in a studio right now and I know that I heard Marcy barking in the hallway little ago.

Yeah, I know. I did too. I did too. Yeah. I'm excited. I can't wait to see her. Like I'm in a booth and I heard Marcy barking , so, yep. And maybe you listening in at home did also heard Marcy barking. That possible? She's the cutest little thing that is, that is conceivable. So even at a professional studio, is it sound proof?

But it is sound. Um, and so, uh, you know, what I use for me inside my little, my little closet, my little three by three closet, uh, which is extremely small, is, uh, uh, acoustic blankets. That I've, that I've hung along the wall of the 3 way. I leave the door open behind me to get some ambient sound. Cause I don't want it, honestly, I don't want full soundproof.

That sounds weird. Yeah, it does. It sounds fake and phony. It does. It sounds like this, this vacuous, you know, silence of space. It's a weird sound. It does. I'm recording on Mars. Yeah. Well, I mean, and if you are cool, that's awesome. Awesome. I mean, that's super impressive in which case you can sound that way.

Uh, or if you're doing maybe an audiobook like the Martian or something, I don't know, but in general you don't really want that You want some? Reality in there right you want it cuz all what are we trying to do? We're trying to sound like we're talking to people. I'm just in the room talking to you right now That's what we want to sound like and you know when we do that I don't do that in a completely empty soundproof room in my house because it's not a murder house Right, so I have I have the I have the blankets I have, uh, I have hardwood floors in my house, and um, I put a little carpet down in where I am, so there's not the echo, and I have an acoustic tile that I have, you know, coming down from the ceiling, because it's a very tall ceiling that leads to an attic, and when it rains, you can hear it very loudly.

So I dropped that. That's it. As far as sound treating, that's, that's it. That's all I've done. Do you want to know what I did? I would love to know what you did, yes, and I think our listeners would too. Yeah, no, can I tell you, this is like ridiculous. So, I'm not kidding when I say adult fort. Because in my basement, you know, whoever owned the house prior, uh, they had put a two car garage onto the house, but initially there was a one car garage.

So now that's part of my basement. So there's just like little nook, right, in the, in the back corner of my basement, where... You know, it's kind of, there's three walls, right? So, I built a fake wall with a little entranceway. Now, the fake wall is just all of my old moving boxes. That's all it is. They're empty moving boxes with a bed sheet over the one side.

So, I can't, you know, see from the studio side that it's empty boxes. Um, and, I have like some, some of the styrofoam stuff, like that kind of soundproofing stuff on my, my basement walls around me, and a rug on the floor. That's really it. And I learned that those boxes are like, uh, Sweet mother of God, they are perfection, uh, because when I would record during the pandemic when I was still, like, temporarily at my parents house, I would go in their garage, and they did flea markets.

So they had all these boxes of things, and I would just kind of put myself surrounded by a bunch of them, and dude, it sounded so studio quality. I was like, wow. I know exactly what I'm doing the next time I set my studio up and it works and it's like I've created this little room and, you know, I've got like this piano in there and like some, you know, my, my radio stuff and like my podcasting stuff and, you know, it's How much did those boxes really cost me?

Five bucks? Like, you know, basically nothing. Uh, and that is really what I am going to put all the value into my soundproofing in, are those empty boxes. I mean, and that's, you know, also that sounds like a ton of fun. It's a fort! It's the best! It is, but here's the thing, I also have a five year old, and if I had a box fort like that, it would be destroyed.

Instantaneously. Well, you just have to be like, excuse me, this is daddy's fort. Oh, you think that's going to make a difference? Awesome. You do not touch this. Yeah, okay, that'll work, that'll work. No, okay, I would do that, yeah, because he listens to me. He listens to me. He doesn't. He doesn't. Um, but you know what, the fact of the matter is, that, you know, there's no one way to do it.

There are people who literally take PVC pipes and make a little cube and then drape it with moving blankets. Yeah, that'll work. It's also creative. That is also an adult fort. It is. It also sounds very warm. very dark. All of us in this industry, we are just giant children. That is it. Yeah. We're here for fun.

And we're gonna, we're gonna have fun the entire time, including building our studio. In my defense, my studio is not a fort. It's literally... A 3x3 cube. Yeah, in a closet. I can't even close the door. Yeah, but how did you make a fort with chairs? You had blankets, didn't you? a little bit... It looks like it fit in there.

My point is, it's a fort, alright? That's fair. Just deal with it. I'll take that. I'll take that. Yeah, that's fine. That's fine. Um, so, so, yeah. So, when someone asks me, like, Oh, how do I, how do I do this at, at, at my house? It very depends on the house. Depends on the setup. You know, and there, there's no one way to do it.

Before I put together my little, my little, my little cube of death, I, I actually used to take, uh, my wife's yoga mats. She had a couple yoga mats and taped them to the wall in the corner of her room and, talking to that. You just gotta get creative. Was it great? No. Not especially. Was it bad? No. Not especially.

It works. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, and that's it. We don't care. I mean, we're just trying to, look, we'd all love to have professional studios in our houses. Don't get me wrong. And someday I would definitely like to have that. But not all of us are Kanye West, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Which is probably for the best. That is probably for the best, actually, never mind.

Bad example. Yeah. But, uh, so yeah, so that's kind of, you know, it works for radio, it works for, you know, for recording, for, you know, for what I do. Um, you know, so there's no one way to do it. But you want to find something that you're comfortable in, um, you know, that, that has proper lighting, um, and that, you know, you're, you're able to, to spend some time in.

One, the one knock I have on, on mine, and I don't know what this is like at yours, is it gets hot in there. It can, but I'm in the basement, so it's a little bit cooler naturally. Yeah. Uh, but I have no, especially, oh my god, it's been so hot here lately, like, uh, Yeah, I mean, I might not wear a lot when I'm down there at times, but who sees me?

You know, it's voice. That's true. I mean, that's, that's very true. It's me alone in my adult fort and I will do what I want. I literally just sit in there and just sweat a lot, like a lot. Like it's a workout. It can be considered a sauna as well. Well, yeah, because the fact of the matter is I, you know, I, um, I, I turn off the air.

I have to. Well, right. Right. And so, uh, and so, yeah, so it gets, uh, it gets a little stuffy. A little toasty. A little stuffy in there to be, uh, to be fair. I also don't have the greatest, uh, windows in the world in my house. And, um, you know, installation is not, uh, to get new windows because... You're just gonna have to do a few more audiobooks and save, that's all.

True. To get new windows, I'm gonna have to do more than a few. Okay, do a hundred audiobooks and save. Yeah, and then I might be able to get new windows in my house. Um, if anyone knows a good window guy, let me know. Anywho, um, so yeah, so, so, you know, again, there's, like I said, it's It's all what's going to be best and most efficient for you, depending on your house, depending on your area, and, you know, depending on your requirements.

What are you looking for, right? What are you trying to get out of it? And what are you planning on doing in there? And then you adjust, right? You mess around with it. You change things up a little bit. I've changed a ton of stuff up in mine already. Yeah, I just got a new rug. Ooh, fancy. And talk about sweating, breaking down all those boxes and putting them all back up so it forms one wall and not all like, it's a giant puzzle, man.

See, there you go. Felt like I was on Big Brother trying to create some sort of HOH competition challenge. You lost me. I'm sorry. You completely lost me. It's like I watch. I don't know what any of that means. That was basically another language. There's at least one person that gets me, it's fine. I'm sure there are plenty.

I feel like I'm probably in the minority here, but that's, I mean, I'm okay with it. I don't care. Um, I know it's an MTV thing, in which case... No, it's not. Oh, it's not? Oh. CBS. Oh. Well, I don't know if... It's the old person's channel. That's why I watch it. I don't have cable. I don't know what's happening here. Um...

All I know is I didn't get chosen to be the new host of Jeopardy. I'm a little disappointed in that. Okay, a little disappointed. Anyway, uh, yeah, well, next year. Fair enough. Fair enough. Uh, all right. So, uh, Josh at voicecoaches. com. That's the best way to get in touch with us, but you know that by now. Josh at voicecoaches.

com. If you have anything you want us to discuss, hit us up. Yeah, let us know. We're certainly happy to do that. Love to answer questions. Love to talk about what you want us to talk about instead of just... Just talking, which we're fine doing, by the way, clearly, um, but we'd love to, uh, to actually, uh, you know, provide you with a service.

That's why we're here. So Josh at voice coaches. com. That's the best way to get in touch with us here at voice coaches radio to, uh, you know, Tell us what you think. Tell us if the show's terrible. It's fine. I'll cry, but I'll get over it eventually. I won't. No, probably not. Probably not. But, uh, but yeah, definitely let us know what you would like to discuss.

Questions, comments, concerns that you are having. We're definitely, uh, we're all ears. We are all ears. So Marissa, thank you so much for stopping by this morning. And, uh, yeah, we will be back next week. Same bad time, same bad channel. And until then, so long, everyone. Visit VoiceCoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

While certainly not necessary, being able to record at home has become more common. But how can you make your studio sound like a professional studio? This week, Josh and Marissa discuss sound treatment and what they use in their home setups.