BOSS Audio: You Are a Tech Boss

You are a tech wizard. Yes, YOU! If you want to have a successful voiceover business, technology is at least half the battle. In this BOSS Audio episode, Anne and Tim discuss the importance of understanding the technology involved in delivering successful voiceover, including noise, gain levels, compression, and stacks. Boost your tech confidence like a #VOBOSS! Listen to this episode and see how technology can elevate your business.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. You have to be adept at handling technology in this industry

  2. Unless you want to spend a good portion of your income hiring tech people, you have to know the VO tech basics

  3. We need to be able to roll with new tech in order to navigate your businesses and be successful

  4. If you believe audio tech is going to be hard, you will be right

  5. Avoid recording in a noisy space

  6. Know your gain and input levels

  7. Know the basics of compression – an automatic volume leveler

  8. Compression allows you to be a little bit louder or quieter without moving closer or further from the mic. Proper compression settings imitate good mic control.

  9. A stack is a series of effects or post-processing that are applied to your raw recording to help clean up your audio

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, with the one and only amazing VO Tech Guru, audio master, Tim Tippets. Hey Tim!

Tim: I don’t know about, I don’t know about all that, but hello, Anne.

[both laugh]

Anne: Hey Tim, you know, I’m thinking about VO Tech Guru. You know, you are a VO tech guru, and I was in technology for over 20-some-odd years, and I think we both are passionate and possibly geeky about it. I think it’s something that’s so important in our industry, and I think we should really — let’s talk about technology and why it’s so important to be, you know, you have be adept at handling technology for this industry.

Tim: Yeah. In this day and age, you do have to get into the tech side of it unfortunately, unless of course you want to spend a good portion of your income constantly, you know, handling tech issues.

Anne: Calling, or calling tech supporter, yeah. Hiring that out.

Tim: Yeah, right? And then you get the, “is it plugged in?”

Anne: [laughs]

Tim: You know, and the, like “are you sure,” that sort of thing. And sometimes it is something really simple you otherwise could and should know about.

Anne: Oh absolutely.

Tim: At least the basics, right? But here’s the thing, Anne, is that everyone who owns an iPhone for instance has — I don’t remember what they say. It has like 10 times the amount of computing power that we — of the Apollo that we sent to the moon. That’s a pretty powerful statement, because you’re carrying that around in your back pocket.

Anne: Sure.

Tim: I’ve had a lot of people come to me and say, “now you don’t understand, I’m not very techy,” you know? And —

Anne: Oh my gosh, people say that all the time to me too, and I’m like —

Tim: Yeah.

Anne: — “you need to reframe that.” [laughs]

Tim: Exactly, and that’s why I say each of us, we’re already tech wizards, each and every one of us. If you think about what we have to do on a daily basis in order to get through life, Instagram, Facebook, any number of things that someone might use who is not at all technical —

Anne: Sure.

Tim: — uhh according to them, but will run circles around me all day long with these apps. And I have to use them. You have to use them. They are, we are voiceover professionals and coaches, and so if we’re not using Facebook, and Instagram, and LinkedIn, then we’re, you know, we’re hurting ourselves, right?

Anne: Well that, and we have to navigate files and send files to our clients as well.

Tim: Yeah.

Anne: So we need to know how to do that properly.

Tim: Yeah, so that’s really what I want to do is kind of like reframe the conversation about technology, because what ends up happening too often is someone will go in search of information — I’ll give you a really good example. So they’ll go into a forum and ask a tech question like “hey guys, I don’t know if I should be compressing or not, but what is compression?” Ok? And I’ve said this before, but suddenly everyone wants to sound like the smartest person in the room. Right?

Anne: [laughs]

Tim: And it’s like “well, it depends, you know, threshold, ratio, attack, the release,” and it’s like whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. People, we get it. You’re smart. But can’t you just tell this person first that it’s an automatic volume leveler and start having a human conversation? We understand you’re super smart, ok, but this person is looking for information, and all that’s really happening here is you’re taking them from being confused into a vortex where now they’ll never ask that question again.

Anne: And they’re even more confused.

Tim: Right.

Anne: And that’s so interesting, because I always say, in order to be a good teacher, because I was also a teacher for many, many years, and still actually coach one on one, of the best things you can do to be a really good teacher is to break things down and make it simple so that it’s easier to understand. And I think that if people were to have the proper guidance in terms of technology, and things were broken down into simpler pieces, it would be a lot easier to absorb. And it wouldn’t scare people. I know technology scares people sometimes, and I really, really believe — I’ve always stood up on my soapbox for this — I really believe that people need to embrace technology, and that includes all the technology that’s coming down the pike, like AI and all of that stuff, because we need to be able to roll with it in order to be able to really navigate our businesses and to be successful in our businesses.


Tim: Yeah, you’re incredibly spot on with that, and you know, I like to call it the tech gremlin. Right? That’s usually how I refer to it, because — the tech gremlin, what was it, Mugwai from the movie? Always in there tearing wires apart, and “I don’t know what went wrong,” and “I flipped the wrong switch,” or whatever. It’s almost always something simple too, and I get people who are talking into their mic backwards because they disassembled their studio, and —

Anne: Or my favorite, my favorite is when they don’t realize — and this is gold, by the way, and not everybody realizes it unless you’re dealing with studio headphones on a day to day basis, you know, when you’re new to voiceover. That end really does unscrew. So if you need to plug those headphones into a different jack, you have a different size. And that always gets people. And I’m like, “hey, have you tried unscrewing, you know, if you need to plug that into your computer, have you tried unscrewing the end?” And they’re like, “oh my God, I never knew!”

Tim: I know, and that’s when I tell people, “look, that’s ok, because you don’t know what you don’t know.” And people feel incredibly embarrassed when they call me and say “there’s a problem with my microphone,” and then I say, “ok, well you’re speaking into it backwards.” And then they laugh, and they feel embarrassed, and they turn red and all that, but as I always like to say, you’re not a true pro until you’ve spoken into your mic backwards.

Anne: Absolutely! [laughs]

Tim: Because as we go through our careers, we make changes, we get new microphones and all that, but as I like to tell people is that, you know, if you believe tech is gonna be hard, you’ll be right. If you believe audio tech is gonna be hard, you will be right. Ok? But if we break this down and think about it, our brains are super computers, right? They’re the greatest computers on the planet. And when we open our minds to things, we — they tend to stick. A good example of that would be, think about when you were young and you heard a violin for the first time. And you asked mom or dad, “hey, what’s that sound?” And they said, “well honey, that’s a violin.” Think about this for a second. Because you were open to it and you heard a violin just one time, later on, you didn’t need to see a violin. You didn’t need to see someone playing a violin. You just knew one when you heard one, right? Same thing with piano. Same way we distinguish the difference between one person’s voice and another person’s voice.

Anne: Absolutely.

Tim: Like Anne, if I called you up, I’m now imprinted upon you, right?

Anne: Oh I know a Tim Tippets voice, absolutely. [laughs]

Tim: You’re right. Because you’ve heard it enough times. If I call you up on the phone, and I say, “hey Anne, it’s Tim,” and you’d be like, “uh yeah, I know,” right?

Anne: Absolutely.

Tim: Because the frequencies and patterns of what I say and all of that is being imprinted on you over time. That’s how smart your brain is. I mean, think about that for a second. You are a tech wizard. Your brain has all the capability to take in anything that you’re interested in. So if you’re interested in having a successful voiceover career, right, technology is at least half —

Anne: Oh my goodness, yes. Yeah. It really is. And like I always tell my students, like you really have to be adept at working with technology. Otherwise — so if it frustrates you, or you get angry about it, or you don’t want to deal with it, it’s not going to really work well for you, because it’s something we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. And I have to say, I really loved what you said about, you know, you’re not a pro unless you’ve, you know, kind of fallen down, you know, or you’ve either broken something or, you know done, talked in your microphone backwards. Because when I used to be riding horses and I used to take lessons, you know what? They always said you were never a pro unless you had fallen off your horse.

Tim: Absolutely.

Anne: And so the education comes in getting back up and getting back on the horse, just as technology, when something doesn’t go right, and you’ve got to try to figure out, you know — not many of us have at our beck and call a tech person, right? So in the heat of the moment, if you have to try to fix something, and you have to try to, you know, troubleshoot it, that is where all the education comes from. And that’s pretty much what I did in my job for 20 years. I was a problem solver. And I think that that’s what we all have to really develop and fine-tune our skills in problem solving for tech. And that goes for audio as well, right, Tim?