Staying Cool In My Home Studio

I hope you are managing to stay cool during this incredibly hot summer. Here in Memphis we are faring much better than other parts of the country. Today's summer rain is much welcomed. Most days I have to keep a fan blowing in my studio or I wouldn't make it. Last week I did a phone patch session that lasted over an hour during which I turned off all fans and AC. By the end of that session I was working up a sweat. The joys of working from home. As it turned out the producers put music behind the VO track which would have masked any noise that my AC might have made. Here is one of the videos that came out of that session. The producer in me can't help but notice that YouTube dumbs down the audio quality of the voice over a bit.

In an ideal setting I would have an HVAC with large enough ductwork and vents so that the flow of air did not make noise. Also the attic AC unit would be far enough away so that you would not hear any mechanical noise. In previous studios that I designed and built that was the case. The work around in this location is to turn down the AC an hour before the VO session. Cool things down first and then it's not so bad.

This week I did a corporate narration for a client in England who will not be putting any music behind the voice. That is when the shortcomings of your studio can be exposed. That is why I went to a great deal of effort when I first moved in to build a dozen sound absorption panels. These are filled with mineral wool insulation that is acoustically rated. While these don't control outside noises they do dampen and control the sound inside the studio.

Here is an excerpt from that session. You'll notice that even though I am using a high quality condenser mic (U-87) which picks up everything the room is pretty quite. A noise gate also helps.


That's all for now. Stay cool. And stay quiet.

Cayerio Cast As Voice Talent for Franklin Graham Event

I have produced promotional spots for hundreds of concert events over the years. This year my friends at Billy Graham called me again to create something to run on urban stations in the Milwaukee area.

Here is how Memphis hip-hop musician Cayerio sounds as the voice talent for this Franklin Graham/concert promotion.

It's really dope! :-)

Download here

Listen on your iPhone:

Rick Tarrant with Jack Parnell on Elvis Radio

Here's another radio blast from the past, although not too distant past. This was captured a few years ago when I was program director at Sirius Satellite Radio's ELVIS Channel. My guest this Sunday afternoon was voice actor Jack Parnell. This is a short edited aircheck. If I can find the original it would be fun to hear the long form conversation.

Listen on your iPhone:

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare A Voice-Over?

Rick With Cardboard Sign I’ve watched with piqued interest the Ted Williams story that broke about two weeks ago. You know, the homeless man with the “golden pipes” story.

One day he’s homeless on a street corner selling his voice for a “dollar a holler” and the next he’s appearing on network radio and television and being offered big time voice-over gigs that many voice actors will never live long enough to see.

When I first saw his video my heart really went out to him. I thought, “there but for the grace of God...” and said a prayer for him.

I went through a tough time a few years ago and I’ve often thought that had it not been for my loving wife I might have ended up carrying a cardboard sign. I began to understand why the hobos of the Great Depression hit the road.

Unknown Blues Singer

In your pocket not one penny and as for friends you don't have any...

If I get my hands on a dollar again I’ll hang on to it till that old eagle grins

“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.” - Jimmie Cox (1923)

When you are down and out, whether through poor choices or life circumstances, it can be hard to get back up without a helping hand.

I was happy to see people offering Mr. Williams an opportunity to use his God-given gifts. I hope that he can parlay that help into a successful second, third or fourth chance.

Everybody should get another chance, especially in America.