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Voice Coaches Radio #612 -Don’t Skimp

Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover.

Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches radio. And just like that, it's December. Oh my goodness. My name is Marissa. Thank you for hanging out by the way. Uh, and tuning in. Week after week for my nonsense. Uh, but hopefully some things that are a little helpful, uh, at the same time, um, you know, I cannot believe how fast time goes by.

At the same time, feeling slow is all heck uh, it's the getting dark at like 20 after four and feeling like I'm supposed to go to bed by five o'clock is one of the most ridiculous feelings in the world. And I just, I don't know how to fix. that. I don't know how to give myself that extra boost of energy to get through the darkness of the winter, but here we are.

Only way to get to the better weather is to push on through. So, you know, happy December, you know, we're just, we're, we're doing it and we're doing it together. Uh, but hopefully you are in the, uh, hustle and bustle of the holiday season. You're not too stressed out yet, at least. Um, and You know, I, I think there was so many people that went and took advantage of Black Friday deals just about a week ago or so.

Ten billion dollars in sales. Isn't that crazy? And, and so many people, by the way, so many businesses getting called out on TikTok for not really having sales. It was just like their everyday price, but they put Black Friday on the label and, uh, boom, all of a sudden it's considered a deal. And that's probably why I didn't end up buying anything.

Uh, cause I was looking online at stuff and I'm like, this doesn't feel right. All that, like, I'm saving money. Um, you know, cause it used to be, like, big screen TVs are 50 percent off and they did not seem 50 percent off. Not that I looked at a TV, but still, you know what I mean. Like, these sales were not that great, but people still went out and bought.

And, um, maybe it was just amazing commercial work done by y'all. Uh, I don't know. Uh, but you know, this, this time of the year is a good time. To be investing in yourself, and it is because of the sales that are out there, and honestly, there, there are some pretty good ones, especially when you're hitting up some of these, uh, bigger stores that, that do focus on the stuff that we require to work from home, and I've had the, the question always thrown at me, you know, what kind of microphone do I use, what kind of headphones, and, and why, like, what's the importance of the difference, and all these things, and do I have to spend a ton of money, and, you know, it's, Simple answers, I think, to all of those questions of, like, you don't have to spend a lot, but you also don't want to not spend enough, and you want to get whatever you're comfortable with for yourself.

Everybody's a little different in how we like to go about what we're doing and what we're hearing and how we're hearing things. Um, you know, so, I just wanted to go over a few of those things right now, um, and just give you a good example as to Um, Why you don't want to skimp. Um, You know, and things just to be looking out for.

You can save money anytime on these things. Uh, but it's just a matter of understanding what to be on the lookout for. So, when it comes to headphones, I'm just gonna hold mine up right now so I can see them. Uh, what I have, I'm not even wearing them right now, by the way, just because I don't wear them a lot.

I only do for certain things, and I think it's when I'm doing more actual voiceover work. Uh, so I can hear exactly what I'm doing, but that's the thing. Um, When it comes to that, that kind of work, like I do, I want to hear. What you're hearing, um, I've always been that way, like, you know, in a radio studio, doing a show live, you always need headphones.

Otherwise, you can't hear the music, you can't hear what's happening on the air. Um, so, I, I always wanted to hear it like the listener would hear it as if it was coming right out of the radio. So, I needed headphones that, that were that kind of quality, and I'm telling you right now, I could tell the difference immediately.

If I forgot my headphones one day and had to borrow somebody else's, I'm like, Ew, how do you deal with this every day? It just doesn't sound right at all. Um, you know, some headphones have like a tinny ness to them, or an echo, or, I, I don't know, quality just not up to par with at least my personal standards.

So the, the headphones I have are actual professional DJ headphones, and these ones were not very uh, costly at all. In fact, they were very inexpensive. They are Sony MDRs. What I have is uh, V55s. Now, they are Uh, now, I think not in production anymore, and that's what keeps happening to me, by the way. The ones I had forever, I mean, they were kind of like, big earphone headphones that I bought at a music store that were DJ headphones, and they were Sony MDRs, but like, a much different version, older version now, and they, Went out of production and the next time like all of a sudden like the one Headphone just like came off and it was hanging by cords and I'm like no I was trying to be like a doctor and like do surgery with duct tape and it lasted for a minute I still have them actually in in my Like a guest room with all of the stuff from my career.

It's just like a little piece of my career history, but yeah, I was so disappointed. I went to go on online just to find an additional pair and oh my God, the struggle. And when I saw the price on some of these, I'm like, Oh my God, they're used 500. Are you insane? No, thank you. So I was like, all right, let me see what I can do.

And I found these, which are still again, the Sony MDRs. These just happened to be V55s. They're a little smaller than the other ones. little more compact, but they have the same quality. And, and that's the thing that I needed. I needed it to sound the same and, and, and they, they definitely do the job. And, you know, I have actually broken these a couple of times too.

Uh, apparently I'm clumsy. Uh, but each time I've been able to get them thankfully for like 35, 40 bucks. So see, not breaking the bank and getting, getting a good quality product. So go ahead and search for yourself if that's something that. is what you need in your studio. Um, you know, if that's kind of the sound that you want too.

Uh, you know, some people, they do. They, they have different styles of headphones. Some people use earbuds. I don't know how y'all do that. Or like, Bluetooth earbuds. And I'm just over here like, no. I don't, mm mm. That's distracting, having something sticking in my ears. I don't even like doing that on the treadmill.

Um, so, you know, to each their own. But that is what I use. Again, it's Sony MDRs, um, there's various versions out there and you can go ahead and, uh, see what's available for you. Now microphones. Oh God, I'm telling you the cost, it's important. You know, you can kind of get away with a cheaper brand of headphone.

You really can. Please, whatever you do, do not go and skimp on your microphone because you're skimping on your own voice quality at the end of the day, because you can be giving great skill, but if the quality isn't up to par. And. That project needs to be done in home. You're sending in your audition.

Somebody's gonna listen to that and be like, well, they might throw some questions your way if you can make it sound any better. But if it's the microphone that's the problem, eee, then what do you do? Then you have to go and invest in yourself some more, right? Um, so, I'll tell you, what we have in the Voice Coaches studios are the Rode Podcaster microphones.

Um, you know, what I had for myself for a very long time was just, uh, it was a, a condenser mic. It was a Rode brand, uh, condenser mic. And I mean, they're rather inexpensive. I mean, you want to say like 150 at the most. That is all I used for, I don't know, the first, like, probably 14 years of my career, 15 years, whenever I was doing anything from home, and it got the job done.

I mean, I had done some home recording for radio prior, and every once in a while there's a commercial that got thrown my way, or if I was doing a podcast, whatever, it worked. It did the job. It still sounds great. Then all of a sudden, I was just very Lucky, I would say, and I'm very grateful for this, uh, this gift that just popped up on my doorstep one day.

Um, somebody that I've worked with in radio for a very long time, you know, he happens to have a little extra spending money. His mother had passed and just left, you know, a bunch of money behind and he likes to be generous like this. The next thing I know, I've got a Shure brand microphone. That's S H U R E.

That is what I'm using right now. And when I got it, I'm like, I'm not gonna hear the difference. He's over here thinking this thing is, you know, gold. And, uh, plug it in, put my headphones on, and I was like, Oh. Like, heard it immediately. And, I mean, you might not yet, if your ear is not built up for this kind of stuff.

But, you know, when you've been using one for so long, and then you go and you talk in it, and then you unplug it, and you plug in the new one, and you test it out, and Ooh, I'm telling you, there was a difference. Cost difference is about, mm, depending on when you're buying it, time of the year. I mean, it could be, uh, a difference of about 300 bucks from the road, podcaster Mike.

So, it really depends on how much money you want to spend. But this is why quality, quality and price can, can matter. Um, you know, so it's just, it's all about investing in yourself. Now, how do you save money right now? We got a ton of sales going on, depending on where you want to look. Guitar center online or, um, Sweetwater is a great place to check out.

And, oh my God, they are, there's. Um, I think the staff is so good because they'll just check in from time to time with me. I bought some stuff with them just to make sure everything's working okay. They don't need to do that, but they do it and they're fantastic. Um, so that is a great place to be. And, um, again, that's Sweetwater.

Um, so if you just Google them, you'll be able to find it. Uh, but, but yeah, the best thing to also do is if you go on something like Amazon or eBay or anything, Just make sure that you're able to return if necessary within a certain amount of time, but Don't be scared to get refurbished items. I have found this is the, one of the best ways to buy electronics.

Because you're getting a great discount, and somebody has already, like, taken that used product, and made sure it is basically new all over again. Uh, for the longest time, you know, I'm gonna date myself here, but, um, you know, I'd go ahead and I'd get a new iPod shuffle that would hold, like, every piece of music that I owned.

Like, I'd get one of those big ones. I wouldn't spend. 1, 000 on that thing new or whatever they actually cost I would go and spend just like a hundred something and and get that through eBay and get it refurbished and I got the same product that anybody else has. What, it had a little scratch on the back?

Oh, my heart. Like, I'll handle the scratch. Um, you know, so it's saving you money. So definitely check that out. Again, any of these websites, whether it's Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Amazon, uh, secondary resellers like eBay or, uh, anything. I mean, that is where you can go ahead. You can find what you're looking for and the quality that you need and, and potentially, uh, save some money in a big, big way, especially this holiday season.

It is important to invest in yourself. Um, and you will see that more and more as you maneuver this industry. So don't be afraid to do that. I've told this story many times. I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of it all right now, but if I did not do that for myself a couple years ago with a certain laptop, I would have missed out on a whole bunch of work that helped my rebuild process.

So do that for yourself this holiday season, especially. And a brand new episode of Voice Coaches Radio is going to be coming your way next week. So stay safe, everybody, and enjoy the holiday season.

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This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa chats about the importance of the type of microphone and headphones you’re investing it and why right now is a great time to invest. Plus some other helpful places to look!