In the time when we weren’t actually working at the mic, discussion in the class turned to equipment, I think on the 2nd day of the 4 day workshop.
It’s important to feel in any class, that what you’re learning is what I’ll call “best practices”. Knowledge and information that is current, accurate and applicable.
There is a wealth of info on the internet, as I’ve previously noted, about everything you need to know about equipment, DAW software programs, recording, EQ-ing, editing, peripherals, etc. etc. etc.
You may not be able to understand it ALL at first, but with due diligence, you can easily educate yourself not only on the basics, but also “best practices” from people who really know what they’re talking about.
I don’t want to detail all of the erroneous information that was discussed. When it comes to recording for VOICE OVER, whether for auditions or for final product, there are a lot of specific differences from recording something like a podcast, or vlog, music, etc.
Back in the day, a working VO actor went to a studio to audition and record. Now, most of the time, for most types of recordings, the audition is at least done at your own studio space, whatever that means for you. That means you need to have your own equipment. It also means, you have to have relatively GOOD equipment. You also have to know how to use it.
- You should know if you own and use a sub par, entry level microphone.
- You should know that a usb mic isn’t up to industry standard recording.
- You should not skip using an interface because you “don’t want to have to deal with that”.
- You should know which equipment/peripherals are a rip off, bad investment, unnecessary, worthless, or do more harm than good. And don’t recommend them to people.
- You have to be able to use your DAW (Audacity, ProTools, Adobe, Reaper, etc.). You must know how to edit your wave files and navigate the software.
On the second class, the Audacity settings were not ideal for replaying the separate audio takes, making edits, or scrubbing. The previous configuration had been lost somehow. It was the same problem for 3 of the 4 weeks. It didn’t get looked it up online, the studio space was never notified, and it never got fixed.
So what was the breakdown for the Value for Money?
- I spent $289.
- Four, 2 hour sessions over a month.
- My coach was extremely knowledgeable and did provide solid, actionable, insightful feedback and direction. Could it have been more in depth, absolutely, yes, yes. Still, really good.
- My peers were truly peers. We were all at roughly the same level in experience or talent or knowledge or ability to learn.
Time at the mic?
- If I’m generous and break it down to 10 minutes per day:
- I spent $72.25 per day, for each 2 hour class. Not Bad Right?
- Wrong. I paid over $7 per minute of actual work at the mic.
- Realistically, more than that since I’m totally lying about getting 10 minutes per class. 5 or less. I never even read a 60 second piece of copy.
- The coach earned $2,312 for 8 students for the 4 weeks.
- Say there’s a 50/50 split with the studio space. I doubt it’s that high, but who knows?
- Maybe it’s a studio fee($300-400 for 2 hrs) plus web/email advertising. Maybe $500 to $800 total? I don’t know.
- Lets say it’s a 50/50 split:
- $1,156 then, from the students. $289 per day, she made. Probably more than that.
A 1 hour, 1on1 coaching in person in NYC can be around $125.
The same coaching via Skype with the leading professionals in the industry, IN THE WORLD, is between $100 and $200 an hour.
After that class I was both happy and sad about my progress. I NOW knew without a shadow of a doubt, that 1on1 coaching was the direction I needed to go in. I did feel that I’d been wasting time and money.
I don’t want to take anything away from, or bad mouth people, who do group coaching.
In fact, I am at the time of this writing, about to start a 4 week 3 hr per week remote group session with 5 others. We’ll be 6 in the class, with one of the best VO coaches out there. We’ll get plenty of time on the mic, and terrific feedback. All of our copy will be emailed to us in advance each week, so no cold reading.
For me in this upcoming group workshop, I’m confident that I’ll get from it as much, if not more, than I put in. But I’m confident because the coach is also my weekly one on one coach.
It has to be worth it, and you have to be honest with yourself as to what are you looking to get out of the experience.
If you want lots of mic time and feedback, do one on one. In my opinion, there’s no replacement for that solid, devoted time, with the best coach you can afford. If you want to ease into a new genre or study, maybe look at a group.
I’ll talk about some one on one coaching later. For now, thanks for reading this small novel!