This week’s featured actor is Mike
How long have you been a Voice Actor?
Since late 2008.
How did you get into the business?
I, like so many other folks, had been told over the years; “Hey, you got a great voice, you should do voice-over!”, so in early 2008, I finally put my money where my mouth was and started taking lessons. My thought had been to do VO on the side until it supplanted the income of my j.o.b. However, I was forced into the business full-time in late August of that year in a rather unexpected fashion – I was one of 5% of the workforce that was let go one morning. Talk about being pushed into the deep-end of the pool!
What are some of your favorite projects?
Honestly, I don’t have specific projects that are my favorites as they all sort of blur together after a while. Overall though, I really enjoy medical narrations – whether they be e-learning or of a more corporate nature. I have no idea why as I’m a degreed Electrical Engineer (at least that’s what the paper over my desk says) – but it may have to do with the challenge of figuring out how to read medical copy and make it sound like I know what I’m talking about. 🙂 Beyond that, the projects that are more post-production than straight VO tend to be favorites as they force me to use a different skill set and hence learn something new.
Do you have a Voice Coach and why?
I don’t have a current coach per se, but I’ve been involved in an online (audio-only) improv group for the past 2 years. The ‘Masters’ level group (which I’ve been a part of for about a year) meets weekly via Skype. It’s helped tremendously with getting the right ‘movies’ to run in your head when reading copy and I highly recommend it to all VO’s out there. If you’re already part of a regular improv troupe, you can duplicate what we do by turning out the lights and doing everything via audio cues – it truly is a challenge. 🙂
What kind of equipment do you have in your studio?
My current go to mic is a Studio Projects C3, which is then routed into a True Systems P-Solo pre and then into an Mbox2. From there, it’s into Pro Tools 11 for recording and editing via Alesis M1Active 520’s. I run a QA pass on the audio via Adobe Audition since it has a spectral view of the waveform, but since I cut my teeth on Pro Tools, I’m much faster in it.
How do you feel about sound quality?
Sound quality is king, simply put. While a lot of people say; “Good enough is good enough”, too many people are using it as an excuse to put out sh_tty audio. Starting with your recording environment and ending with your levels and whatever processing you do – you HAVE to know what you’re doing – and that includes mouth noise as well! You’d be amazed how many demos I’ve heard from other talent out on the various pay-to-play sites that sound like they were recorded at the kitchen table with a low-end USB mic right after having coffee with a cheese sandwich. Of course, while part of me wants to educate the newbies on the importance of good audio quality, I’d rather spend my time educating clients on what quality audio sounds like and how it’ll make their lives so much easier than working with the drek that’s out there.
What else should we know about Mike?
My usual response when folks ask to know more about me is to recite the opening line of Steve Martin’s “The Jerk” (I’ll let you pull it up on YouTube). That having been said though, there’s not much more to tell. My wife and I have been married since ’94 and while being an entrepreneur isn’t always the easiest row to hoe, she’s been supportive of me throughout thick and thin. We’ve got two beautiful and smart kids – one in college and one in high school. Assuming I survive the angst that is a 14 year old boy, we’ll eventually have one in grad school and one in college – but that’s still a few years off. I do have an intern that tries to help out around the studio as best he can, but all he ends up doing most days is sleeping in a sunny spot, leaving fur everywhere, or sitting between the computer monitors – trying to catch the mouse with his paw. …He still thinks he’s transparent and I have the power to see through him… 🙂