Books, Podcasts and Other Great Resources

Great Books:

For VO:

The Art of Voice Acting by James Alburger

Voice Acting for Dummies

Voice Over Legal by Rob Sciglimpaglia Jr.

Rodney Saulsberry’s Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm Ups

Word of Mouth: A Guide to Commercial and Animation Voice-Over Excellence. Third Edition. Susan Blu, Molly Ann Mullin, and Cynthia Songé.

There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is: A Complete Insider’s Guide to Earning Income and Building a Career in Voice-Overs. Third Edition. Elaine A. Clark.

How to Start and Build a Six-Figure Voice Over Business. Bill DeWees.

VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor. Harlan Hogan.

Voice Actor’s Guide to Recording at Home… And on the Road. Harlan Hogan and Jeffrey P. Fisher.

Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen. Paul Meier.

Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic. Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal.

Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm-Ups. Rodney Saulberry.

Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success. Janet Wilcox.

Voice-Over for Animation. Jean Ann Wright and MJ Lallo.

 

 

ACTING TECHNIQUES

Acting for the Camera

Tony Bar

Acting In Commercials

Joan See

Acting in Film

Michael Caine

Acting in the Million Dollar Minute

Tom Logan

Hitting Your Mark

Steve Carlson

How to Book Jobs in TV and Film

Cathy Reinking

How to Make an Audience Fall in Love with You

Deryn Warren

How to Stop Acting

Harold Guskin

Intent to Live

Larry Moss

The Power of the Actor

Ivana Chubbuck

The Science of On-Camera Acting

Andreo Morris

True and False

David Mamet

COMEDY & IMPROV

Comedy Bible

Judy Carter

Truth in Comedy

Halpern/Close/Johnson

Improvisation for the Theater

Viola Sporin

AUDTIONS

Audition

Michael Shurtleff

Casting Directors Secrets

Ginger Howard Friedman

Confessions of a Casting Director

Jen Rudin

 

 

For Presenting and Public Speaking:

Show and Tell by Dan Roam

 

 

For Vocal Health:

Broadcast Voice Handbook by Dr. Ann S. Utterback


 

VO Podcasts:

East West Audiobody Shop

Julie William’s Podcast

http://www.vobuzzweekly.com/episodes

 

Know of other great books, podcasts or articles?  Please contact us and we’ll post them here.

 

 

Accents and Dialects

Here are our best resources for learning dialects and accents:

 

Paul Meier

Paul Meier is an outstanding dialect teacher located in the midwest.  His book is worth every penny– and includes CDs.  In addition to his book and downloads online, Paul worked on the website below.  It’s a compilation of real people reading in most dialects you can think of.  If you need real examples of dialects, use the following link:

IDEA website— IDEA International Dialects of English Archive

 

For dialect coaching in the Seattle area or by Skype:

Gin Hammond, Voice Specialist and co-founder of the Seattle Voice Institute is available for private coaching or to come and work with groups.  Gin has coached at the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Book-It Repertory, Seattle Public Theatre, and for online games at Bungie and more.  You can book Gin through this site.  Just head to “Contact Us.”

 

Dialect Resource is the website of Gillian Lane-Plescia, another great resource for dialect coaching:

http://www.dialectresource.com/

 

And for fun– and great training, check out Amy Walker.  She’s amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/user/accentswithamy

 

More on speech work:

Knight-Thompson Speechwork is a highly effective, skills-based approach to speech and accent training for actors that places emphasis on developing the speaker’s detailed awareness of—and deep engagement with—the precise physical actions which make up speech. By combining a rigorous investigation of those actions with playful, experiential exercises, this work moves quickly and effectively past the usual interference that can make speech work difficult for many students.The primary guiding principle is curious, attentive interrogation—interrogation of what we’re doing physically when we speak; interrogation of what physical habits we may bring to the act of speaking that inhibit free and flexible expression; interrogation of what it is that makes speech intelligible or unintelligible; thoughtful investigation of what any text, moment, or medium might require from the actor in terms of skilled speech; interrogation of what, precisely, makes up what we call an ‘accent’; interrogation of what it is that allows actors to most efficiently, skillfully, and accurately adopt different accents.

http://ktspeechwork.com/accents-intensive/

 

Home Studios

Voice-over has changed dramatically in the past 10 years.  What was once mostly in-studio work, done at a few production studios is now a combination of professional studios and home studios.  With the advent of on-line auditioning sites, home studios are providing broadcast quality talent for producers all over the world.  For voice artists with agents, home studios have become the primary place to record auditions and send them on to the clients.

 

Right now, the voice-over world is a wild, wild west with many options out there.  In this online library we will list many options and keep them as up-to-date as possible.  But know, you don’t have to spend $5000. We have many options from $75 to as much as you want to spend.  Your goal: broadcast-quality sound files.

 

The Physical Studio

You need a quiet place that will not bounce sound around.

1.  No windows or cover them with blankets

2.  If you use a music stand, cover it with a piece of carpet scrap

3.  Clothing around you (the closet) will reduce sound

4.  You will need a lighting source to read your material

5.  You need room to move your arms– and a place to either sit/stand or both.

6.  You want to dampen the sound in front (and optimally) behind you.  Acoustic tiles are great for this.

7.  You want your mic optimally placed for your voice and in a place that will not block your view of the copy. And make sure you are not looking down collapsing the front of the neck which will change your sound.

8.  You may need shock mount to reduce vibrations.

9.  Check for blowing noises (or any other noise) around you.  Refrigerators, air conditioning, heaters.  You may need to set up away from them or turn them off.

Consider how much time you are really going to work in your studio.  For example, if you really want to do audiobooks, you need a comfortable studio where you can stand/sit for long periods.  The studio photographed above is extremely comfortable for long sessions.  The mic is on a boom arm that allows for sitting or standing and the music stand can be moved up and down for perfect placement.

If you are only doing auditions– use the closet!  Seriously.  It’s less than an hour a day.  Or get a large refrigerator box, cut out one side, and put in acoustic tiles.

Here’s an example of a great studio you can set up at home (without breaking the bank)

LarryHudson’s VOHeaven — Quiet Booth

Where to buy acoustic tiles:

Amazon

 

Want a ready made sound studio:

Where to buy $3000 -$10,000 Whisper Rooms

 

Traveling studios:

These are great!  And you could also use it at home for auditions (or make your own….)

Harlan Hogan

 

Equipment for the Studio

With the advent of quality USB mics, you can get started with a laptop (or desktop) computer, a quality USB mic, studio headphones and editing software.  Yes, you can also have a pre-amp, mixer, etc…. but wait on that until you are ready.  These days you as the voice-over artist need to be able to understand a little bit about sound– but you don’t have to learn everything at once.  Learn as you go.

Note:  Every mic is a little different with different voices.  You can go to Guitar Center to test how different mics sound with your voice.  You can also return them if you need to.  Blue is putting out some really great USB mics.  We highly recommend the Blue Yeti and Blue Yeti Pro.

Resources for hardware:

Editing Software:

Audacity is free editing software.  It’s a great place for beginners to learn how to record, make edits and basic mastering.  It’s great for auditions.  For long-form narration, we recommend other software that is less clunky. Adobe’s Audition is outstanding for long-form narration and Pro-Tools is great.  Just know you are learning to fly a jet engine just to drive around the parking lot.

 

Tech Checks and Ways to Know if Your Studio is “Broadcast Quality”

SVI Tech Check- email a file to us and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours with honest feedback.  We work with several local audio engineers and we are happy to put you directly in touch with them as well.  We charge $25 for this service to check up to 1 minute of recorded sound.

Edge Studio – Edge Studio has a huge selection of professional development tools– including peer to peer feedback and feedback from professionals.  They have competitive pricing and they are very responsive.

 

Other great resources from Seattle Studio Training:

Spring classes announced

This spring we are offering five great classes.

Stay tuned as we set up our online registration.  For now, please email us contact@seattlevoiceinstitute.com or call (425) 954-7818 to register.

PPH-Blog-Have-your-voice-heard-resized

  • Voiceover Toolbox – 2 day workshop on the basics of getting started.
  • So, You Think You Know How To Use That Microphone— 3 hour course on how to effectively use microphones and improve your pubic speaking skills.
  • Tele-Promptor Training
  • Dialect Reduction
  • Port Townsend Audiobook Narration Seminar – two and a half days, two nights including lodging and lunches.

Northwest Voice Teachers

The Seattle Voice Institute recognizes that there are many great vocal instructors in the Pacific Northwest.  This is an incomplete list.  If you would like to recommend someone to be added or want to add your listing, please contact us by phone or email.  Our goal is to provide trusted resources and help make connections between students and great instructors.  Also, every student and instructor relationship is different.  The only way to know if a teacher is right for you is to contact them, meet with them and make your own decisions.

Voice Instructors (Singing)

 

Voice and Voice-over Instructors 

  • Gin Hammond (Seattle)- voice and voice-over, demos
  • Klem Daniels  (West Seattle) – voice-over, commercial, demos
  • Scott Burns (North Seattle)- voice-over, demos, commercial, animatio

Not in the Northwest– but accessible by Skype