The VO Version of a Fishing Tackle Box

by | Mar 1, 2016 | Equipment

fishing-a…Or it could be the VO Version of a Golf Bag, or a Mechanic’s toolbox, or a skier’s pack.

We’re into our “stuff”, and voice actors tend to be as geeky as the best professional photographer or plumber when it comes to equipment.  

Yes, we like our GEAR…and nowhere does this come into play more than those days when you have to hit the road; meaning the safe confines of your closet or whisper-room, or booth are not available.

We talk about this endlessly…I’ve written at least 20-30 blogs about it over the years.  We offer up our Behringers, or our tablet DAW, or our Centrance Mic Port Pros like everyone knows what we’re talking about.  We don’t, ’cause we have our own app or USB mic, or Scarlett pre-amp that we’ve discovered as THE solution to the challenge of the motel studio.  Just look what a cool set-up I made with the ironing board!

Bottom line:  our mobile recording solution is NEVER going to sound like our home studio.  Maybe not worse, maybe even better…but not the same…and therein lies the problem.

A new audition or gig is no problem, but the repeat client who needs a pick-up or a tag to something you’ve already successfully submitted to said client?…THAT gets to be an issue. 

First of all — the most important factor:  your recording environment — is never going to be the same as your studio.  So it doesn’t really matter if you schlepped your Senny 416 to the Atlanta Airport Hilton… that tag  your client needs is NOT going to sound the same.  So you do your best, and cross your fingers, and HOPE the client won’t notice.  Or you tell them UP FRONT you’re not in your home-20, and the sound will be different.  I’ll be home Sunday night.  Can it wait till then?  Ha!

Funny story:  a friend voice actor going to VO Atlanta for the first time worried that his ship might come in during the 4-day event, and would he be able to find a mic somewhere to record?  What about an ISDN request?

I smiled.  With 400+ attendees, I guaranteed him that at least 200 of them would have portable recording set-ups that they’re just DYING to share with someone else, ’cause they brought such a righteous portable audio chain, and because, well… voice actors are so giving!  My guess is, Gerald Griffith — the event organizer — has an answer for the ISDN talent.

So what am I bringing?  Oh, you don’t wanna know!  I am the worst.  I usually go to these things with the possibility of at least 3 or 4 unique audio chains.  I include 3 diff mics, two laptop computers, 2 tablets, one portable recording device (Zoom H6n), tons of cables, plugs, converters, apps, programs, a portable recording booth (VocalBooth ToGo), stand-alone portable pre-amps, OMG, the list goes on and on. It doesn’t help that I’m a pack-rat AND a geek. 

Sometimes the smallest things you forget to bring can hold up the biggest project.  Here’s my list of everyday items that should be in your travel pack:

  • extension cord or power strip (the ones with USB plugs are the bomb!)
  • 3-to-2 prong wall plug-in adapter
  • extra AA batteries
  • extra AAA batteries
  • portable keyboard
  • wireless mouse
  • rubber bands
  • sharpie
  • super-glue (seriously)
  • Booklight
  • extra SD card
  • adjustable tripod
  • adjustable mic stand
  • pop filter

…just a few ideas.  I’m sure you have your favorite inconsequential thing you forgot in 2011, and you’ll NEVER forget again!!!  If so, add it to the comments below.

Get caught at VO Atlanta without your favorite patch-cord?  No problem.  Find me.  I probably brought two.




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