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Caliban
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Post by Caliban » October 12th, 2007, 12:54 am

Shepherd wrote:Another thing: 50% of verbal communication is actually visual. Facial expressions, body language, and hand gestures all "sell" what you're saying. So to emote in voice-only communications, you have to "over-sell" the read. .....
Applause! Applause Applause!

(only 50%?)

Cal :lol:
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Post by philchenevert » October 20th, 2010, 3:28 pm

a.r.dobbs wrote:...
Has anyone here besides me heard the absolutely astonishingly exquisite Nigel Planer read Terry Pratchet's Hogfather?
Yes! and your adjectives are spot on: he is absolutely astonishing! I listen to the Terry Pratchet books over and over again because of the writing of course, but also because of the narrators. They bring the experience to another level for me.

hmmmm.. think I'll listen to one right now. thanks for reminding me of that source of joy in my life. Now which one......hmmmmmm :D :D

Mangozapp
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Post by Mangozapp » April 3rd, 2011, 5:25 pm

Understanding V's bluffing from an actor's stand point:
Bluffing with authority is OK in certain contexts but a little risky in others; I've found in the past that lines that never quite 'come off' are often those that I am confused about somehow. Being certain of your meaning at the moment you open your mouth or walk across stage is absolutely crucial. It's impossible for a performer, however highly skilled, to clearly convey the concept or emotion contained in a text if they themselves don't know its meaning. That's the job of the reader or performer, convey the words, it's as simple as that, all the rest is dressing (admittedly, I myself like the condiments more than the meal). Queries over text outside those of 'long words' often have no right or wrong answer so it's a case of making a choice based on your own understanding of the piece - that's fine, as long as a decision is made and stuck to for the duration.
I've found that if I glaze over my initial confusion or ignorance it's likely to trip me up later on. I've found this most striking when working with Shakespearean text because most of it is complete gobble-di-gook at first reading. Working out what it all means, sometimes word by word, is the first and arguably the most important job of the whole production. If this step is ignored it'll either impact on the final piece or cause a headache when it's suddenly realised that a character has been lovingly built atop the wobbly foundations of misinterpreted text.

And a quick note for them as likes to do different voices an' that:
Put an initial at the start of each line of speech so you don't have to wait till the end of the line to find out who's talking.

Isn't Librivox brilliant! Hats off to the creators! :)

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Post by Wesseling » February 13th, 2012, 12:52 pm

I'm not exactly experienced in these matters, but it is very true what a number of people have said here. In order for your recording to be as engaging as possible, you need to make gestures and expressions and the good thing about recording is that you are entirely alone, and don't need to worry about people seeing you make an idiot of yourself with all your exaggerated movements.
And of course read your text through before beginning to record.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. — Edward Gibbon

Barilise
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Post by Barilise » May 18th, 2012, 7:41 am

Something that helped me was something I learned in debate class. If you're having trouble with slurring or diction you may find this helpful. Take a pan and hold it horizontally between your teeth like a bit. Read aloud (slowly) the piece/page with the pen in your mouth, trying to make each word clear. This will get your mouth used to making the proper sounds with more effort, so that when you take the pen out and read the piece again, you'll make the right sounds with less effort.

*This is not a pretty thing to practice and you may drool a bit.

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Post by CalmDragon » May 29th, 2012, 2:13 pm

A cork from a wine bottle is more tolerant to drool and less likely to spill ink on you!

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Post by CalmDragon » May 29th, 2012, 2:20 pm

jennette wrote:I once heard a professional narrator say "Don't read ahead." Not meaning that you shouldn't pre-read work (that can be helpful) but meaning that while he is recording he focuses only on the words that are coming out of his mouth, rather than scanning ahead to see the next words he's going to say.
Scanning ahead has caused me to 'translate/improve' the grammer in my head, and then say a completely different sentence with the same meaning! ...This is something that I am working on today.

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Post by kayray » May 29th, 2012, 2:27 pm

jennette wrote:I once heard a professional narrator say "Don't read ahead." Not meaning that you shouldn't pre-read work (that can be helpful) but meaning that while he is recording he focuses only on the words that are coming out of his mouth, rather than scanning ahead to see the next words he's going to say.
Good heavens, that's the opposite of what I do. My eyes are always ahead of my mouth, and that lets me make sure I'm giving the words the right emphasis for the meaning of the sentence! :)

And I never never never pre-read.
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CalmDragon
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Post by CalmDragon » May 29th, 2012, 2:31 pm

Proves that it "takes all kinds" and that there is no "one" right way to volunteer for librivox!
Still, the more tips that can be shared, the more chances of someone relating to how they work.

Panphobia
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Post by Panphobia » June 30th, 2012, 9:41 pm

I don't know if this is mentioned somewhere else, but there is a cure for mouth noise: 1. correct mike placement (as noted in the opening post) 2. lemon wedge 3. herbal tea 4. be well hydrated before recording. I know this because for some reason I have horrible mouth noise.

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Post by Cori » July 1st, 2012, 1:39 pm

All those can help mouth noise in some cases, but I am a poster child for them not curing it.

Likewise green apples, lozenges, throat sprays (and you have to be careful not to get numbing ones, else you can damage your vocal cords), layer of vasoline on the teeth (eww!), saliva-enhancing mouthwash / toothpaste or avoiding dairy (myth!).

The best things I've found are a good warm-up with tongue-twisters, and hydrating well. The lemon can work but I don't want that much acid near my teeth on a regular basis. One I've not tried but read about recently is greasy potato chips (not pringles, proper fried potato!) The grease smooths things down and the salt cuts through mucus. Maybe. :lol:
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

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Post by philchenevert » July 1st, 2012, 1:57 pm

Cori wrote:All those can help mouth noise in some cases, but I am a poster child for them not curing it.

Likewise green apples, lozenges, throat sprays (and you have to be careful not to get numbing ones, else you can damage your vocal cords), layer of vasoline on the teeth (eww!), saliva-enhancing mouthwash / toothpaste or avoiding dairy (myth!).

The best things I've found are a good warm-up with tongue-twisters, and hydrating well. The lemon can work but I don't want that much acid near my teeth on a regular basis. One I've not tried but read about recently is greasy potato chips (not pringles, proper fried potato!) The grease smooths things down and the salt cuts through mucus. Maybe. :lol:
Really? avoiding dairy is a myth?? I have been avoiding milk in my coffee and everywhere to cut down on my mouth noises. Please tell me that is is indeed a myth!!!. I rinse with a nighttime oral rinse before recording that seems to help. I will try the tongue twisters.
*sigh*. My solution is to do what I can, accept the sad results and edit out those hundreds of clicks, pops and smacks.

Oh and another problem has arisen: phlem that coats my vocal folds causing a thickness of voice and the urge to clear my throat a lot. I know that's bad for the vocal folds but how can I stop it from happening so much?
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Post by Cori » July 1st, 2012, 2:07 pm

Oh, even with the stuff I do, I still have mouth clicks to deal with. But fewer, relatively. And the warm-ups cut down on the number of nasal-krunks I have to edit.

Lengthy dairy discussion here, with lots of people contributing their experience. This is the post that echoes a lot of other things I've read online.
I wasn't going to chime in, but then I just had to say that this whole dairy thing has been debunked by study after study. Unless a person is lactose intolerant, or has some kind of allergy to dairy products, there's just no scientific proof that it's a problem for voices. In fact, I call warm milk and honey "nectar of the gods" and prescribe it (as a voice coach) for throats in all conditions, sore or otherwise.

It's the same with caffeine. Yes, caffeine can be drying, but if one has a sip of water for every sip of caffeine, then it won't be a problem.

There are old wives' tales, myths, and "we've-been-hearing-that-for-years" tales that no one knows the origins of, and the mucus creating problems of dairy are one of them. I have personally never seen it affect a voice, and haven't experienced it myself, but HAVE seen studies online that say it simply can't be substantiated.

Ultimately, a voice-over artist must do what feels right to them. We all know smoking is bad, but I know successful voice-over artists who smoke. I have a bag of tricks I use for vocal maintenance when I'm coaching on set, but usually only need to use them when the artist experiences fatigue, stress, bad resonance placing or an illness (or has post nasal drip from recently quitting smoking). The use of a dairy product has never been a reason for needing to dip into my bag!

Just my observation.
Best regards,
Mirren Lee
Re. phlegm -- how much water are you drinking? Washing it away by a mouthful every paragraph or two might help?

Also, smoking, since I hear it's very drying, that would help, right? :twisted:
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

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Post by JohanLiebert » July 2nd, 2012, 3:02 am

This might help you guys so I'm writing this in:

I eat rice (the stickier, the better! It triggers more saliva, trust me :)) with stewed beef/pork/chicken before I record and I don't experience dry mouth for an hour. An hour after I drink ginger tea in between sections to be recorded. :)
I needn't cut the mouth noises out since I started doing it... :D
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Post by sjmarky » August 5th, 2012, 9:12 am

Some hints from Scott Brick, which I've tried and they do help (I'm regarded as "very mouthy"):
1. Take a small sip of water at every page turn. You need to keep hydrated to avoid sticky mouth, and the vocal cords are muscles, and muscles require water.
2. After each sip, put a drop of concentrated mouth freshener (such as Binaca) on the tip of your tongue. The water washes out the saliva, which can cause cotton mouth; the Binaca stimulates your saliva glands and quickly corrects it (the drops were discontinued for a while and may be hard to find; I've used the little spray bottle - it's okay, but tends to apply too much).
3. Dab a small amount of lip balm after the above routine. This helps lubricate and prevent little "p" sounds when you open your mouth.

That's about it. It doesn't make all the noises go away completely, but does help quite a bit. Personally, I've never had a problem with dairy products, but salad dressing gunks my throat up something awful. Also, don't get too close to your mic; I've noticed significant differences between 6 inches and 10 inches. There's also a spray mouth moisturizer called Oral Balance you can buy at the drug store that can help. I use it once in a while.

Final side note: We've gotten obsessive about mouth noises since the advent of digital editing and home recording. It wasn't always so. Back in the days of reel-to-reel when I first learned and editing was done with a razor blade and adhesive tape, editing-out mouth clicks and breaths was inconceivable because it was impossible. And studio recording used ribbon and tube mics, which helped blur-over tiny defects. Quiet, solid-state condenser microphones today are much clearer, but then they pick up more faults.
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