BOSS Audio: Top Tips for Great Audio

2020 has been a critical year for talent to up their game and provide top quality audio to their clients. Now more than ever, your home setup must meet the same standards as a traditional “brick and mortar” studio. Listen for the best audio and business performance tips from VO Tech Guru Tim Tippets and VO Boss Anne Ganguzza. Learn how to achieve pro standards, properly ask for help, and be proactive. Head into 2021 like a #VOBOSS!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Be proactive, not reactive. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Invest in backup equipment, such as an interface, mic, computer, and even backup internet access

  2. If you’re not educated in technology, your VO growth is going to be stunted

  3. Educate yourself. When you don’t understand something, research and ask peers and experts until you do understand.  

  4. Make it a goal to understand everything technical that is involved in running your business

  5. Have a hard-wired connection to the internet. There’s nothing like losing a connection in the middle of a live session.

  6. Once you get your equipment set up, take pictures and label everything, so you can easily troubleshoot and put it back together, if necessary

  7. Do not overburden your resources. Including, coaches, teachers, and friends

  8. Get consensus when looking for tech advice. And if that doesn’t work, hire a pro to get things set up.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Learn more about audio by taking Tim’s Courses!

  2. Hear more about tech with Anne and Tim here

  3. Recorded on ipDTL


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my very special guest cohost, audio tech guru, Mr. Tim Tippets. Hey Tim! How are ya?

Tim: Hey Anne. Doin’ good. How are you?

Anne: I am amazing. You know, I always start off our episodes with questions to you, and I thought that because we’re kind of wrapping up the year, it would be a great idea for us to kind of just go through what we both feel are our top audio tips for our listeners. So that would be maybe the Top Tips from Tim Tippets. [laughs]

Tim: Yeah and even some tips that may not necessarily be directly related to audio.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Tim: You and I have talked about this, and there’s some stuff that you threw in there, making some good points.

Anne: I think they all affect our audio.

Tim: Yeah, they do at the end of the day. Whether there’s performance, it’s still audio, so it counts.

Anne: And I know that we come across as both you and I, I mean in different ways constantly, so we thought it would be a good idea to kind of give you guys some tips based upon our experiences. So Tim, what would be your first tip you are wanting to let our listeners know about?

Tim: Well, the first tip that I would have would be to be proactive and not reactive.

Anne: Ahh yes.

Tim: There’s nothing worse than reactive management. You don’t want to be put in a position where you don’t know what to do, because you didn’t get ahead of it, and you’re panicking, and just everything is going to hell in a hand basket, you know. And it’s just, you need to get in front of everything.

Anne: Yeah.

Tim: Because things can go sideways really, really fast.

Anne: [laughs] Oh yeah. Like, like the other day, when my interface failed. And thankfully I had another interface that I could use, and that was — it had happened to me a long time ago when I only had one interface, and it failed. And then I was stuck because a client had, you know, was asking me to record something. And I’m like, oh no. Now I’ve got a panic, out in a panic go buy something. It just was not a good thing.

Tim: Exactly, you go into —

Anne: I learned from that. [laughs]

Tim: You go into panic, into panic ranger mode, right.

Anne: Mm-hmm, absolutely.

Tim: Then just everything from there, it just gets worse, and worse, and worse, it just kind of builds on itself, right?

Anne: Yeah.

Tim: You get yourself built up into a frenzy, right?

Anne: We’re not just talking interfaces. Like I think honestly you should have a backup mic, right? You should have a backup computer.

Tim: A backup interface.

Anne: A backup Internet connection.

Tim: Yup. A backup mic, cords, you know, etc. Absolutely.

Anne: And I think it’s so important that when you — you know, I know it’s cost, it’s got a little bit of cost assigned to it, but it’s part of your business investment. I believe that when you’re starting your businesses out, you need to really take that into account, into your budget to have the backup. Because this is your livelihood. This is job.

Tim: Yeah, that’s one of the things that I like to say, is when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Anne: Yep. Absolutely.

Tim: That’s just the reality of it. Yeah, it’s just, don’t create a nightmare scenario for yourself. Have backups in place. I get it. Not everyone’s got the budget, you know, but that’s ok. If you’ve got a more expensive mic, and your backup mic is a less expensive mic, at least it’s a mic. And if you’re in a live session, and they’re recording on their end, you know, you can get a decent signal out of, you know, just about any mic these days, with some exceptions. You know, if you have a $3500 U87 that goes down, you don’t necessarily need to have a $3500 U87 as a backup.

Anne: Yeah, yeah, I get that, although —

Tim: Maybe a TLM 103, something that comes close.

Anne: Yeah, that would be nice. But you know, I think that might segue in nicely into what I think of as another great tip, which is to make sure that you are educated about your equipment technically..

Tim: Yes.

Anne: For example when things fail, right, in the middle of a session, and you need to like disconnect that mic and reconnect a new one or change out your interface, I think it’s so important that you, you have a handle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with students who don’t even know what their equipment is called. Like I’ll ask what brand are you using, what brand, and they don’t know, and they don’t know how it’s connected to their computer. I’m sure you’ve run into it probably even more than me.

Tim: Well I run into it all the time, and that’s why I created the audition ready online course, which again, I want to qualify, it’s not just for Adobe Audition. It’s for all DAWs. You know, learning about EQ, compression, downward expansion and much, much more than that. It’s why I put it together in the first place is because we are now in a situation with the disaster of the pandemic, where the paradigm shift has occurred permanently. And I feel sorry for a lot of brick and mortar studios that are not going to be there when this thing goes away. And frankly we’re getting some very, very high quality stuff out of existing personal pro studios, and the reason why is people are educating themselves. They are getting the right equipment of course and learning how to use that equipment. But actually being technically educated on all of that stuff has become so important, I can’t stress it enough. You are running a studio that needs to meet the expectations of a professional brick and mortar studio. Ok? And so if you’re not educated, then you know [laughs] you’re not gonna move forward, or at least your growth is going to be stunted, right? With that said, I also like to tell people that, when you are educating yourself, when you run across something that you don’t understand, you need to make sure that you get that cleared up before you move forward to the next step. Because if you don’t, what ends up happening is your brain, subconsciously or not, ok, you’re stuck on that thing that you don’t understand. And it’s taking up all your bandwidth. So everything that comes next is either not being heard or can’t be understood because you don’t understand the foundation. It’s very much like a house, right? If you build the foundation, then you can start building the walls. But if someone is still working on the foundation, and you’re starting to build walls on top of that foundation, it’s gonna be train wreck, ok?

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Tim: So that’s really, really important, yeah, really important. Stop and take the time to make sure that you absolutely understand what it is that you’re learning before you move on to the next step.

Anne: And I think even beyond understanding your audio equipment, understand your, you know, everything technical that contributes to running your business, including what is your Internet connection. I speak to students a lot, when they’re connecting to me for the first time. I’ll say, ok, so are you, you know — there’ll be a glitch in the connection, and I’ll be like, are you connected hard-wired or wifi? And you know, what is your Internet connection speed? And there’ll be people that won’t even know, you know, their speed that they’re connected to the Internet. I think education has to go beyond the audio equipment but also anything that ties you into this business at all. I would say that, in that light again, it’s a nice segue into another tip about your Internet, is that if you are using wifi, I think you can even like — we’ll probably say this in unison — get yourself a hard-wired connection when you can.

Tim: Yes. Yep, yeah.

Anne: How many times I’ve said that to people, it’s so important. Tim, tell me why it’s so important.

Tim: The reason it’s so important is because — I mean, look, I have a 1 gig Internet connection at this point.

Anne: Me too.

Tim: The speeds that I get are ridiculous, whether it’s download or upload. And I’m extremely grateful for the fact that that is a thing now. That said, even when I’m on wireless on my iPad, I’m getting ridiculous download numbers, I mean stuff that I never saw on my desktop computers even with a hardwire. But it’s still wireless, ok?

Anne: Yeah, exactly.

Tim: Yeah, because it’s wireless, not hard, not hardwired, because it’s wireless, that signal can be interrupted.