Mike Durocher

Mike Durocher, May 21 2019

You studied music?

So an interesting fact about me, I studied music in university. Not only that, my instrument was the human voice. That's right, I am a classically trained opera singer.

"That's great, Mike, but why do I care what you studied in university?"

I'll tell you why; there are two very important aspects to voiceover, performing and editing. My background in music gives me a leg up in both.

So, performing. The performing part of voiceover is probably the easiest link to music performance to make. But even below the surface we should explore it a little more. Voiceover is an interesting beast. It's my job to take written words, and while reading them make it sound like I'm not "reading" them. The words need to jump off the page and get the author's message across. The same is true of music.  

The next part of performance is not so evident. I've been in many musical groups over the years. And I'm not talking about an angsty teenage punk rock band. I've performed with world class orchestras, professional choirs and some fantastic musicians. The difference between a professional group and an amateur group actually has nothing to do with talent. It has to do with listening. Listening to yourself to ensure what you are producing is accurate (on pitch, on time, right feel) and listening to the whole group to fit in with the balance of the music. You also need to accept the direction of the person in charge and follow their overall musical direction for the piece, even if you feel you know better.  

This second part is what sets me apart from other voiceover artists. I know I am the instrument of the script, and it's my job to interpret any creative gaps not given to me. But it's also my job to listen to the composer, director, author and be collaborative in my approach. At the end of the day it's their party, I'm just there to help.

Now that we have that out of the way we can talk about editing. What you may not realize is what goes on behind the scenes of a voiceover. For every minute of audio you hear, there is anywhere from 5-10 minutes of recording. The recording then needs to be listened to and edited down to the final one minute. This can take another 5-10 minutes of time. So for 1 minute of audio, you are talking about anywhere from 10-20 minutes of mastering that go into it.  

The key to success here, again, is good ears. When editing, every mouth click, mispronounced word, long "s" sound, breath and ambient noise needs to be removed. All this happens and still needs to sound natural. Again being an above average musician has blessed me, and cursed me, with good ears. It's true that my ears have taken away the joy of going to the local church choir performances, but it has given me the advantage of hearing every little thing wrong in an audio file. It's this skill that I use to my voiceover client's success every time.

Thanks so much for reading everyone.  Don't forget to share if you know anyone who would find this interesting and if you need anything voiceover related contact me through my website www.mikedurocher.com or by email, [email protected]



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Mike Durocher


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