My work as a full time voice over talent depends on my voice always being in shape to work. More often than not, especially during the winter months, friends ask me what I do if I catch a cold. The short answer is, I don’t.
I do have a few tricks up my sleeve in the unlikely event that I do catch a cold, but the best defense is to sidestep them. Notice how I don’t say “eliminate” a cold because the common cold is, well, common…and impossible to entirely eliminate. But imagine if you could lessen the severity of a cold when you do get them.
Introducing this little concoction that my wife and I have been taking every morning for the last two years.
Here’s What You’ll Need
Fresh Organic Lemon
Why Organic Lemons?
Organic lemons are smaller, more juicy and don’t have any chemicals in them. I also feel that the medicinal component of organic lemons is more potent.
Why Organic Honey?
Most off the shelf honey is filtered before it’s bottled to get rid of impurites in the honey. Unfortunately, by filtering the honey it also takes out the component of organic honey that will boost your immune system.
I am far from a health food, granola type but trust me when I say that using organic lemons and honey is the key to the success of this drink.
How Much Is Enough?
Depending on how juicy your lemons are you’ll want to use a quarter of a lemon…you need about a table spoon of lemon…squeeze that into your cup. Lemon is a powerful antioxidant, it protects the body and strengthens the immune system.
Then squeeze out about a table spoon of honey into your cup and top it with your hot water.
Make sure your honey gets dissolved into the water…stir it up to be sure.
Drink this first thing in the morning, every morning before you eat your breakfast to make sure it gets straight into your system and starts doing it’s thing.
Do this every morning and you’re sure to survive cold season unscathed. If anything you’ll find that if you DO catch a cold it’s not going to be as severe.
As easy as that, you now hold my secret weapon in fighting off a cold!
Try it out and let me know how your did in the comments below!
Whether you work in a radio production studio, post production sound studio, TV edit suite, a bedroom project studio or world class music recording facility, the placement of your reference monitors matter.
When making critical decisions about EQ and stereo placement…if your studio reference monitors are not placed correctly your audio mix will not translate outside of your studio environment.
I’ve put together these 6 tips to getting your reference monitors properly setup and placed so you can get the best out of your studio recordings.
1. Don’t Use Consumer Speakers
It must be said straight away that using so called “consumer” speakers as a way to mix your audio is a mistake. Most consumer speakers are made to enhance the sound coming out of the speakers, to make it sound more pleasing for the casual listener. In your recording environment you want the flattest, most neutral sound possible to help you make the right decisions for your mix.
I remember many years ago when shopping for a pair of new speakers for my home, the salesman placed the speakers right up against the wall, going as far as to cram a cassette tape box between the speaker and the wall to “bring out the bottom end” as he put it. When you place a speaker against a wall it gives it an accentuated bass response…something that may sound cool in your living room, but simply won’t do in a recording studio environment.
Freestanding placement of your reference monitors is ideal. See my example below.
Most studio reference monitors come with recommendations to compensate for your room if you need it. My Behringers let you adjust low frequency, high frequency and give an option for room adjustment (see photo below). Read the manual that came with your reference monitors.
3. Keep Them Symmetrical
When you place your studio reference monitors keep them positioned symmetrically. The distance from the speaker to the left and right wall should be identical. Likewise the 2 monitors should be the same distance from the back wall.
4. The Ideal Angle
Putting your reference monitors too close or too far apart from each other will give you a false sense of the stereo image you’re trying to create. Ideally, place your speakers about 3 feet apart and each speaker 3 feet from your sitting position. The ideal angle for your reference monitors is 60º…or 30º to the left and 30º to the right of your listening position.
5. Watch Out for Reflections
To get the most out of your reference monitors you’ll want to have as clean a monitoring environment as possible. This means minimizing the amount of reflective surfaces in your room. Keep in mind that reflections don’t just come from the walls but also from unavoidable surfaces like your mixer or table top, maybe even a TV screen. Minimize the amount of reflective surfaces directly between you and your monitors as much as possible by laying down a thin rubber mat on your table tops, perhaps lift up the rear of your mixer to change the angle of any reflection bouncing up at you from it. You’ll also need to think about your ceiling…reflections will be bouncing down towards you unless you place acoustic treatment up there also.
Don’t forget reflective surfaces behind and/or to the side of your listening position. They will add longer (delayed) reflections and influence your mixing choices.
It goes without saying that working in your studio at high volume levels is not good for your hearing over the long term.
In the short term, mixing at loud levels will give you bad results when your mix is listened to at average, lower levels.
It doesn’t matter how much you paid for your reference monitors, it’s a scientific fact that the louder you listen to music the more the lows and highs drop off. Trying to EQ the low end of your project while blasting your speakers will leave the bottom sounding flat when listened to at normal volume, the same goes for the high end. The phenomena is best explained through the Fletcher-Munson curves.
If you want to get the most out of your reference monitors use them at a reasonable volume in the range of 80-85 dBspl.
Setting up your studio reference monitors properly will enhance your recording studio environment and ultimately the audio output of your studio.
I hope these tips have helped you. Do you have any tips to add? Enter it in the comments field below.
Contrary to popular belief I’m not in the voice over business…I am in the storytelling business. Every script I receive is a story in one form or another and I’m hired to tell that story. If you’ve attended one of my lectures you will already know that this is my core approach to everything I do.
That said look at this awesome :30 second story, told without a voice over at all:
Why does Pro Tools make it so difficult to love them?
I’ve been using Pro Tools for the last 14 years, always upgrading when necessary even though they were typically slow to keep up with the Mac OS updates. I’ve been using the original Mbox with the LE version for most of my time with PT. I used to use Pro Tools FREE in the OS9 years (that was truly brilliant marketing).
As things slow down for the holidays I’m finally sitting down to look seriously at upgrading to Pro Tools 9…excited at the idea of not being tied down to using their hardware. As it turns out I’m not even eligible for their upgrade/crossgrade because I own an ‘original’ (meaning ‘old’) Mbox and will have to buy a full version ($629)…so much for rewarding my loyalty!
My recent purchase of Logic Studio ($499), which comes loaded with a lot more stuff than Pro Tools ever did has left my budget for purchases a bit thin so I don’t see the upgrade to Pro Tools 9 happening anytime soon.
So should I bite the bullet and cough up the dough? Or keep running on OS 10.5 with Pro Tools 8.0.1 (version 8.0.3 doesn’t work with my Mbox)… Or migrate all of my production work over to Logic and kiss the whole Pro Tools fiasco good-bye?
David Tyler is a creative communicator and voice over talent with 25+ years of experience in the broadcast world of TV and radio.
His mantra of 'Stop Communicating and Start Connecting' is his counsel to anyone attempting to use media, old or new, broadcast or online.
He writes and lectures on "The Art of Communicating Ideas".
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