KAOTICA EYEBALL

February 3, 2015 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

From the very first moment that you want to work online as a voiceover artist, many doubts come up to your mind; obviously most of them are about technical issues: what kind of micro should I use, sound card, computer software and so much more. But there is always a great concern about the acoustic treatment in the home-studio.

There is no doubt that without a good recording studio, even though you have an stunning voice or a cutting-edge mic, without a soundproof studio, everything else stays in the background. And I can claim this from own experience, because when you start in this business little importance is given to this aspect, you may focus more on how well you want to perform with your voice. Big mistake, because once you realize that, if you do not invest, most of your projects will probably be rejected although you have a very nice and trained voice. It all will depend on the standards of quality that the voice agency have. Fortunately today’s standards are pretty high.

I do not want to focus on how to build a recording studio in this post as there is much information on the Internet. However, little has been said about the problems that arise when the voiceover artist has to leave his studio for a few days (either on holiday or for whatever reason) and need urgently carry with him/her the home-studio (daily bread for freelancers).

In my case I always try to close all projects before going on holiday so as not to not worry about these problems. Fortunately, I have noticed that this thriving business is growing rapidly. E-mails in August or during the Christmas season are indicators that this is a non-stop trend. In this situation you have to re-invest in sound quality, and you cannot lower your standards one iota because you could lose customers. I have it clear, when travelling there is no doubt that the best place for recording is within the wardrobe of a hotel (roomy, of course) or a towel covering you head … I guess many of you know what I mean.

Obviously these solutions are uncomfortable to get by. So I have recently bought the Kaotica Eyeball. It is a small sphere made from the same materials that you can find in the acoustic panels in a recording studio; different types of foams. It must be used with condenser microphones and “guarantees” a sound quality similar to a professional studio wherever you are. The set up is simple, slide the micro through the hole until it stops (can be used interchangeably with mic stand or desktop mic) and ready to record. It also includes its own anti pop filter, providing the gadget a very attractive and futuristic design.

However, the design is only appearance, so if it does not promise to be effective its usefulness is invalid. I’ve already tested it. Is it worth? Not at all.
Regarding the price, it is very expensive. Moreover, there must be added the customs duties ( at least if you live in Spain) because it is shipped from Canada. Those taxes are outrageous.

Having seen all this (or better said heard), I’ll have to keep trying new combinations to avoid these unprofessional echoes when you’re out of your study.
It is best to draw conclusions for yourself. I have recorded four audios, the first two in a room acoustically untreated (which could be a hotel room), the first one uncovered and the second one using the eyeball. In both the following the same process but in a home studio. To appreciate the difference it is advisable to use headphones.

I would appreciate opinions!

Soon more posts.

Some curiosities and anecdotes of the most famous films of the cinema

April 12, 2014 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

Did you know…?

…the actor actor who wore the Alien costume was a Maasai warrior?

His name was Bolaji Badejo. He was a member of this African tribe who went to London to study graphic design. But his destiny was to end on the set of Alien by chance. It was while he was having a beer in a pub in London when Ridley Scott (the director of the film) went for a drink to drown his sorrows as he was unable to find the right man to perform the role of the Xenomorph. And there he was, a skinny young man, two meters and twenty centimeters tall, so when Mr. Scott watched him, he instantly knew that he got the monster that he was looking for his new film.

The unfortunate Bolaji didn´t have much fun on the set since the Alien costume he had to wear produced excessive heat and nuisance, but the worst thing he had to deal with was the fact to be surrounded by ribs of dead animals, as the ribs of the alien belonged in the past to authentic living animals. It is also very curious that the lips and retractable Alien´s jaw were made of pieces of condoms.

No wonder that the graphic designer-turned-actor didn´t want to go back to work in film ever.

 

…the model used to play the role of Hulk was the director of the film himself?

Ang Lee does not have evil face, but behind the green monster face we actually find this man. As they didn´t find a good actor to perform Hulk´s movements with motion capture, Lee had to do this work himself. Furthermore the actors had to shoot their scenes performing in front of an empty space, so the only help they had in order to imagine the incredible (and huge) Hulk was a wooden stick with a carton head on the tip. In this way they could know the actual height that Hulk had.

 

…the word shrek means << monster>> in Yiddish?

It is no surprising that it was chosen in this language because the DreamWorks´ fat cats (the film producer) are Jewish, including of course the great Steven Spielberg.

At this point I must write a little bit about the dubbing of this film.

The American audience was delighted with the voice of Mike Myers (Shrek) but what many did not know is that he had this role by chance because originally it was going to be dubbed by Chris Farley ( physically looked alike an ogre ) . However he died of overdose two weeks after he started the dubbing.

Note that in Spain were the comedy duo Cruz y Raya who gave voice to Shrek and Donkey. Another countries followed this same premise, famous people dubbed the film, but what we do not know is how was the outcome …

That´s all for now!

In the following entries I will write about more films stories!

(Español) Signos utilizados por el ajustador-adaptador de doblaje (sólo en España)

March 24, 2014 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

Sorry, this entry is only available in Español.

Types of voice for radio advertising

October 11, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

-Speaker: He is who informs or read an advertising text. It represents the voice of the advertiser and deals with reading slogans identifying the product. For not locutionary radio spots they act as a “guide vocal” commenting the sound images and tell the customer what to think of them.

-celebrity: A famous person explains the benefits obtained by using a certain product. There are several major advantages:

The publicity and the great ability to attract public attention because it is a known character.

Its most appropriate use is when consumers aspire to imitate their lifestyle or when they want to be associated with reference group of famous.

-Voice actor or interpretation: The actor plays a fictional character ad text. They usually appear in dialogued spots as well as special dramatizations. Having no images requires that these voices help listeners to “see” the characters in the ad.

- Natural voices: They are unprofessional voices who thanks to its imperfection and spontaneity give greater credence to certain spots (the witness). It is the voice and testimony usually corresponding with people on the street, but we must also keep in mind that they are sometimes are actors impersonating anonymous citizens. Its most notable features are its sincerity and the confidence they produce.

-Experts: Best choice for rational purchase products and high implication, as consumers give greater credibility to the information provided by an expert.

-Voices of environment: Voices that shape an outdoor environment, from the street.

- Sung voices .

Radio Continuity

September 27, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

Continuity is a type of radio advertising that deserves a special mention as it is advertised by the broadcaster itself. It is used to unify the broadcast, avoiding abrupt jumps from one program to another and also to mark the style of the radio station.

Due to the positions of the stations on the dial are almost overlapped, is why you need to be different from the rest by defining an own corporate identity. To stand in the space of the waves is very important to create a brand image as this will create a sound that will boost the audience to listen your programs.

Radio stations can try to communicate this global image through advertising campaigns (also outside the station) but it is only within the station where we must speak about the concept of continuity.

The most important elements of this brand are:

- Commercial breaks or self-promotion. In order to attract more listeners and enhance their status with advertisers, broadcasters create commercials where they make public its programs or the specific content of some spaces.

- Advertising mention (plugs). A piece of favorable publicity or a favorable mention usually incorporated in general matter.

- Radio jingles. Accurately the term in the context of radio used to describe only those station branding elements which are musical, or sung. These are musical notes or other sounds that place a radio, and allow the listener to know what has tuned.

- The program opening . This is a more elaborate tune with fixed credits or titles that may include other texts.

- The indicative. Brief intervention that reminds the listener the program and / or station you are listening.

- The bridge. Sound used between program elements. It is usually prerecorded.

- The punches. Musical effects that underline and accentuate a character, time or situation.

These advertising formats described are merely indicative since it is increasingly frequent the emergence of hybrid creative ways which are difficult to classify according to the standards.

Audiodescription

September 10, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

Not many years ago that have come back into fashion films in 3D, but let´s face it, this is nothing new , these are trendy things that have reason to be to deal with other advances in the field of the audiovisual entertainment . One of the most bizarre inventions ever seen in this area was the “olorvisión “films which gave the peculiar characteristic of being smelled. It lasted little.

Nowadays there are also very popular films in 4D (noises, vibration and even splashing water on the viewer’s own seat). There are also movies 5D, which happens to be an extension of the above mentioned but in higher level.

All these developments are very interesting  as make it more attractive the cinematic experience  and help , a priori , to attract more audience to theaters at a time when piracy is raging (although the ticket prices do not help to  stop this tendency).

Beyond the purely playful concept (in this case very closely linked to what would be a theme park) films, in its most artistic sense, must also be accessible to all kinds of audiences.

Valencia has been one of the first Spanish cities to offer a cinematic experience for people with impaired vision and hearing. Lys cinemas will host every Monday the accessibility day.

What is this? The hearing impaired will have an additional screen, placed below the main screen, where they can read the color-coded captions, which means everything that needs to be heard will appear as text.

With audio description, visually impaired people have access through headphones, which come with the ticket, to the “speech balloon sound,” a synchronized speech giving information of all that happens on the screen that has relevance for the correct understanding of the film.

A great initiative that removes barriers and also helps to create more posts for all those who are enrolled into the field of voice over acting.

It must set an example.

Titles in films

July 16, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

This article is only available in the Spanish version

I apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.

Some useful tips for voiceovers

July 12, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

If your work tool is the voice, for instance if you are a voiceover, you should keep in mind that thanks to it you will generate incomes at the end of the month. If you do not take care of this, not only you are harming and undermining its quality but you will also lose money. And we don´t want that happens.

Here are some points to consider:

1. Cigarettes and Alcohol:

These substances are harmful to the voice, but consuming them in moderation there won´t be any impact on the quality of it. However it is important to avoid very cold drinks or served with lots of ice cubes, also avoid smoky environments as they dry mucous membranes and may cause temporary loss of voice.

2. Colds and flu:

The great enemies of the voice! Here’s how to avoid them:

- Taking a cold shower (without excess) will help to prevent catching colds.

- Practicing aerobics sports will help to strengthen our body and our defenses.

- Follow a balanced diet, paying attention to fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to chew slowly to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

3. Air conditioning and heating:

It is essential to protect the voice from hot and very cold environments due to they can damage the vocal apparatus. Are recommended heaters which maintain proper humidity indices.

4. Sleep properly:

Rest is essential. You have to sleep at least eight hours so as the body functions properly.  Sleeping less than seven hours or excessively will produce bad voice modulation which is very notorious when waking up. To have a peaceful sleep is advisable to eat slightly and avoid as much stress as possible.

Dubbing in silent movies

July 10, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

I have written in previous posts some interesting news about the origin of dubbing in Spain.

Now I would like to go back a little further in time (until the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century) to highlight some peculiar aspects of the silent cinema, or maybe not so mute …

In fact the word “silent” does not define exactly what the public at the time witnessed with delight. And far from being literally “mute”, this type of cinema was almost a multidisciplinary show with elements of circus, music hall and of course theater.

The cinema was a popular show, screened in theaters with occasional dance numbers and other varieties that complemented the movies such as performances by dancers and comedians. People used to see the movies while having dinner (this has not changed nowadays), smoking or having some drinks with friends. The most showy of all this is that usually the films were accompanied by an orchestra, special effects and occasionally a synchronized phonograph recording (in part) with the images, to give the impression of seeing a real sound film. It was a big show watching films like The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance as its special effects were amazing (thunders, explosions, fire, neighing of horses …)

The explainers “dubbed” in live the characters on the screen, also read the labels (captions) to tell what was going on (remember that many people were illiterate) so as to give a dramatic charge to the development of the film (with Gothic print letter subtitles in horror films, etc).

Also noteworthy is the coloration of the films of this era as using from hand-colored photographic to toning up, was obtained the desired effect for each dramatic situation, e.g. pink for romantic scenes, reds for violent, blue for sea evocations, etc..

So in spite of the fact that how “silent” the cinema in those years was, there is no doubt that attending to these projections was a very voiced show.

Some notes about the origin of dubbing in Spain

July 9, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

Dubbing is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production, in which dialogue occurs subsequent to the original recording stage.

The term refers to the substitution of the voices of the actors shown on the screen by another performers speaking a different language.

This definition is nearly applicable to what we understand as the prehistory of dubbing.

Its origins are linked to the figure of the rather unknown explainer.

We can find since the early twentieth century  some news about these people who were characterized by their great ease of speech and loquacity. Their main task was to entertain the public who came to the theaters (paradoxically movies were still silent) and to read the captions of the projections because the vast majority of people were illiterate.

There was already  someone who reading texts and talking, made understandable something which a priori was difficult to decode.

A few years later, in 1932, was set up the first Spanish´s dubbing studio (T.R.E.C.E. in Barcelona) which held that happens to be the first film dubbed in Spain: Rasputín.

But it wasn´t until 1947 when excellence was achieved in this area with the famous movie “Gone With the Wind”, which yielded an excellent result in terms of the credibility of the performances. So it is from this point that the dubbing starts its golden age.

Although it should be noted that not all films after this year had a sublime quality referred to Spanish dubbing, watch (or better not) “The guardian” by William Friedkin or “The Shining” by Stanley Kubrick, as examples of comic movies instead of terrifying, its original purpose, by the way.

Special reference deserve Spanish postwar years because from this time (about 1941) was virtually impossible to watch a film in its original version. Many viewers would think that Clark Gable was apolitical, would never use bad language and, of course … his native language would be Castilian.

One of the most popular examples in terms of censorship is found in the movie “Mogambo” in which the censor, in a display of quick wit with changes in the screenplay, transformed a infidelity relationship into a simple fraternal relationship; Clearly, with this clever twist of script an adultery became a clear and obvious incest.

Some typical notes on different scripts made by the censor:

Replace in dubbing the words: shit, ass, goddammit, queer, etc..

-Roll 4. º Replace “to come a little” for can move a little.

 

It was very common and an everyday task making use of euphemisms to ensure the hygiene of the Castilian vocabulary.

Nintendo’s Philosophy

July 8, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

It has been a long time since the gaming industry  was an old gold mine, as it used to be. With the crisis, many companies have had to make massive layoffs or even close their doors permanently, though. Sega, Sonic´s mother, the mythical and powerful Rare or even Sony have had to make major restructuring in its organization.

Much worse it has been to LucasArts or THQ, companies which have had to leave audiovisual creation, at least for now. But there it is Nintendo, which despite getting discrete financial results in recent months, if not bad, stays faithful to its philosophy of keeping on staff all of their workers.

This was explained by Satoru Iwata, CEO, at a recent meeting of shareholders:

 

“If we reduce the number of employees for better short-term financial results, however, employee morale will decrease, and I sincerely doubt employees who fear that they may be laid off will be able to develop software titles that could impress people around the world.

I also know that some employers publicize their restructuring plan to improve their financial performance by letting a number of their employees go, but at Nintendo, employees make valuable contributions in their respective fields, so I believe that laying off a group of employees will not help to strengthen Nintendo’s business in the long run”.

 

A brave if somewhat reckless decision. Only the time will tell if the big N has been wrong with this movement or, on the other hand, it is a smooth move. Let´s hope that its future will be as strong as Donkey Kong.

Reality is not a binary system

July 3, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

One of the most relevant features of science fiction is the introduction of developed technologies, which were impossible to set up in the time when certain films and novels of this genre were published. Nevertheless time has gone by, and we have been able to make reality these technologies, and what is more we are using them in our everyday life.

Fans of Star Trek were impressed with such a curious devices which were capable of simultaneous translation. Of course when the series was broadcast, a few decades ago, somebody  would stopped to consider whether such a marvel of technology would see the light of day. Unthinkable would say many.

But no. Once again reality overcomes the fiction when Microsoft  engineers presented to the world a few months ago an innovative system capable of demolishing any language barrier.

This invention is a simultaneous translation software among different languages​​, which on the one hand turns your voice into text, then translate it into another language and finally converts it to speech, but what is really surprising is that this particular voice sounds like the original speaker, creating a “copy” of your own voice in another language.

Until now it is just a prototype as it still needs to improve the effectiveness of the translations (I do not want to imagine a peace process between two countries using the half-finished invention). What is undeniable is the range of possibilities that it will be able to offer, although a priori interpreters and translation and localization companies may see this software like a threat, I sincerely believe that the opposite will just happen due to a machine is just only that, millions and millions of cold hard data which cannot enter into the field of the nuances and uses of language, which only a human being is able to interpret. So the more you use these systems, the greater the needing to require the services of a human being to ensure that the machine has not been wrong.

The technology complements and helps the human being, but it should never replace us.

 

Video (about 6:30)

Hello world!

May 2, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

news

Welcome to my new website!
Let me introduce myself, my name is Manuel Señer and I work in the exciting field of online
broadcasting and voiceover, but if you want to know me a little better I invite you to browse my
Website, and discover for yourself the services that I offer.
I have created this section to talk about news and to write articles about media communication
and new technologies.
I hope you like and find it interesting.
See you!