In the mid ‘90s, it was thought that all you needed to be a DJ were two turntables and a microphone. In the early 21st century, it is thought that all you need to become a Youtube or podcast sensation is a home camera or a ten-dollar computer microphone.
At Holdcom, we get scores of voiceover demos from amateurs who one day wake up, decide they want to be a professional voice over artist or radio announcer, and record a thirty-second Message On Hold announcement in their bathroom. Holdcom does not overlook the potential for homegrown studios – in fact, many of our authentic multilingual talents are located in their native countries and, by necessity, record remotely. However, we do insist that they adhere to using only professional-grade equipment in optimum recording surroundings.
The first imperative in setting up your studio is eliminating ambient noise. Air conditioning, computer fans, running refrigerators, and humming light bulbs – all of these sources can produce unwanted sound that is picked up by your microphone. Even though you may purchase a pop filter to cancel out detrimental, performance generated, vocal plosives, such as breaths, clicks, pops, lip-smacking, etc., additional noise may reflect off accoustically "unsound" walls and other surfaces, and contaminate with your recording. You need to eliminate all extraneous noise so that the microphone picks up the direct sound of your voice.
The most effective way to achieve silence is to utilize a soundproof booth, though many seek alternatives due to the expense. Even if one takes a “do it yourself” approach to soundproofing, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional – or, at least research their advice regarding foam, insulation, fiberglass, padding, and other tried-and-true sound-absorbent materials to acoustically modify your space.
The second requirement involves the utilization of professional-grade equipment. You not only need a decent vocal microphone to record your voice, but a mixing board to adjust the signal levels, introduce signal processing and direct the signal path. You will also need appropriate audio recording/editing software to digitally capture, process, format and prepare your final product.
Over Twenty years ago, Holdcom began as a humble basement homegrown studio – but was sure to comply with all the vital steps and requirements needed to produce quality professional audio. In addition to our onsite studios, where we have access to the latest audio production technology, Holdcom works with "remote" voice talents – but only if they fulfill all the standards needed to deliver pro-audio quality recordings, while maintaining accuracy, quality, timely fulfillment, and a positive work ethic.