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Entries in studio (2)

Monday
Jun202011

Notes from the Field: Pat Sweeney's acoustics makeover

Pat Sweeney has worked very hard to create a home studio environment that provides the level of quality he needs to play a bigger game.  I'm really proud of the progress he's made since I met him on the VoiceLympics Cruise in 2009!  

Pat said:

Our session yesterday was probably the best investment I could have ever made. Applying a foam pad beneath the mic, adding the acoustical foam on the office dividers and cloud panels plus most importantly the stack you created me has really improved my sound and probably increase my bookings. Have a listen to the difference. The key difference between the two samples is that one did not have any auralex beneath the mic and the second sample did have some foam beneath the mic.

Here's the Before and After audio from Pat showing the importance of having absorption on the desk top surface when working seated at your desk.  Listen in headphones and you'll really hear the difference!   Yes, it's subtle, but that's the different between OK like everyone else, and GREAT!

Monday
Aug092010

IMPORTANT INFO for Source Connect and AudioTX users on the go

It's been a rough week for some voice actors who are traveling during the busiest vacation season we've seen since we've started supporting the needs of voice-overists on the road.  Connectivity problems and other glitches when reaching hotels and other destinations have gotten in the way of important ISDN bridging sessions.  In most every case the problem could have been avoided with better preperation. 

Here are the important things you must check before you plan your trip.

1. Before you book your travel, will the Internet access at every destination during your travels be adequate to support your connectivity needs?  Here's a check list:

  • Speed test-  Fast enough download AND upload?  Ask a representative at each destinatation to check this for you.  We recommend using speedtest.net  Source Conncet?  At least 300kbps up/down.  AudioTX, at least 140 kbps up/down.
  • Ping test- Speed is only part of the equation, quality of connection is not all about speed.  After you check the speed and it is good, use Pingtest.net to ensure the lowest "jitter" and "ping time" possible.  The longer the ping time, the worse the delay.  The higher the jitter, the greater number of glitches in the audio stream you'll hear.
  • Ethernet-  Are you forced to rely on WIFI?  Ethernet is always recommend and far more reliable, no matter how fast it seems the connect is.  
  • Firewall or Proxy-  Is the Internet access protected behind a firewall or proxy that can't be disabled?  Clues include if there is a very slow "ping time" (latency) during the speed test, or the speedtest.net map shows the nearest location to the test location as somewhere far away.  Also, Marriot hotels employ a proxy service at all of their hotels and chains.  SOMETIMES this can be rectified by the IT department, which a call can clarify in advance. 

2. Before you pack your gear, test your entire system in the configuration you'll use during the trip.  Do this early enough to allow for fixes, especially if you are borrowing or renting equipment from someone else.
Hook it all up, test it, shut down, and test it again.  

3.  As soon as you arrive at your first destination, setup your equipment and arrange a test with your ISDN bridging service or another studio you plan to work with.  Source Connect users can connect to the "echo" contact at anytime and do a self test.  If you connect and hear yourself clearly looped back to you with no glitches, you are in good shape.

4. Make sure your agents and/or clients have your contact info.  It's crucial that everyone been well informed of how they can connect with you, so be sure to have any ISDN or user account info you'll need.  Also, please have your agents contact the bridging service in advance of the session to ensure preparedness and availability. 

We hope you get to travel as much as possible this year, and by following these steps you'll have a worry and troublefree trip and still make your clients (and agents) happy!