Who doesn’t love to save money? It’s one of my favorite hobbies.
I mow my own lawn…I buy my own groceries. Imagine having to pay for that? A lot of money wasted, especially since it’s relatively easy.
But the hobby of saving money buy doing it yourself has diminishing returns as you move along the scale of tasks from easy to hard.
Sure I save on landscaper costs when i mow my own lawn, but when i try to add sod or cut down large trees, I run the risk of doing it improperly and inadvertently costing me more in the end when i need to replace the sod i laid down incorrectly or when i need to pay for my neighbors roof repairs when the tree i chopped down fell onto his house.
The same is true for any profession. In my industry, people try to cross lines all the time. Writers think they are voice talents, voice talents think they can write, producers think they can predict what commercial will work and what won’t.
For the most part, none of the above scenarios work. Because each professional is trained in a different yet similar aspect of the radio industry. Sometimes they overlap, and that’s where the confusion enters.
Let’s take the producer. He/she works with scripts every day of their lives, and to some extent, their opinions on a scripts worth, is…worth something. They’ve seen it all, from good to bad and all in-between. BUT, that ability to pick out a bad or good script, does NOT mean they are writers. All it means is that they have a general awareness of something they see every day. Like a building you pass by on the way to work. You know the one side of it’s wall very well. But there is a whole building inside you know nothing about…have yet to enter and probably wont.
It’s not that the producer knows nothing…they know a lot…but 99% of their knowledge is about production, and how scripts relate to their line of work. The inner workings of how that script came to be are unknown to the producer, and as such, renders what they know about writing to being very limited.
Let’s take the voice talent. They have a microphone, a computer and an audio program to record their voice. They have the basic knowledge of how to turn it all on, get a signal, record, and render to an mp3 or wav. Which is all they need to know – because their focus has always been on the read, the sound and cadence of their voice, as well it should be.
Some notice in their audio program, the ability to compress, eq and other effects. They have heard of these, so why not do it myself? Of course, this is similar to saying you know how to properly cut down a tree because you know what an ax is.
When voice talent start moving into the producers field, all sorts of accidents can happen. Too much compression, improper eq, sometimes even reverb is added. This has the same effect as the tree. It will cost you money since producers will shy away from using you since you have already pee’d in the pool.
Just like scripts are not a producers forte , a voice talent’s eq and compression settings are not theirs to handle. Put the ax down.
I know voice talent who tell other talent to compress the heck out of their voice, as if it will help them sound better and in turn get more work. It does not. It’s like your neighbor telling you to poison the heck out of your lawn so you won’t have to mow it anymore. Sure, you don’t have to mow it, but it’s also dead. The neighbor has no ill will, they are just ill-informed. Which makes them unprofessional.
You, and your voice, or your scripts or your productions, SHOULD be professional. Stay in your lane, and let the others do their job. Make sure what you’re doing helps the other professionals in your surrounds to do their jobs. ie: record a clean signal of a great read, don’t add ANYTHING to it, render it to the preferred format, and done.
The goal here is to let the landscaper do their work. Mowing the lawn is one thing (akin to recording your own voice) but landscaping is quite another. Let the professionals do their thing, and you can do yours.