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Voiceovers And My New Computer – The Not Silent Blog 6/26/18

Dig my new computer!



How I got it is a bit of a saga and a lovely cautionary tale for y’all. But that’s why I write this blog: to spare you from all the ways you can screw up. 🙂

For about two years I had been using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as a pre-amp to replace my Presonus Inspire 1394 which crapped out after ten years of loyal service. I was never happy with the 2i2. I didn’t like the lousy gain control and it didn’t play well with Adobe Audition 1.5. Yes, 1.5. I know it’s ancient but it had been a stable platform for a very long time and it if ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, it got to the point that Audition wasn’t recording anymore and since I wasn’t crazy about the 2i2 I figured let’s replace both.

My first call is to friend, fellow voice talent, and tech guru Brad Newman of Uppercut Audio who recommended the Universal Audio Apollo Arrow interface as my new pre-amp.


It’s great for a bunch of reasons, but Brad stressed that it has a Thunderbolt 3 cable which uses a USB-C connector that will eventually replace the regular USB connectors. The point is that if I’m going up to upgrade, I should get something that will be usable for a long time to come. I got the Arrow and a Thunderbolt 3 adapter cable only to discover that I can’t plug it into my computer. I assumed the Thunderbolt cable had one regular USB end (hence the word adapter), but noooo, it has the USB-C on both ends.

I go to the B&H here in Manhattan to get a Thunderbolt card to put in my PC. The guy asks me what kind of motherboard I have. I tell him. He laughs. It was more of a snort, actually. I had my computer custom-built in 2012 and it has a Intel 3 processor. The latest one is an i9. He said my motherboard is so old that it doesn’t even have the port needed to plug the Thunderbolt card into it. Now I need a new computer. Sigh.

My next call is to another friend, fellow voice talent, and tech guru Sean Caldwell who helped build my last computer as well as my laptop. He recommended the Intel NUC.


This thing is tiny and powerful! BTW it’s sitting on top of a Seagate external hard drive. So I hook it all up and it works! BUT, everything is fuzzy-looking. It turns out the resolution on my 19″ HP monitors isn’t high enough. I need a minimum of 1920 x 1080 pixels. I do some research and Staples has a sale on a 22″ AOC E2470Sw monitor. I buy two: one for the desk and one for the recording booth. I also got a VGA/HDMI adapter because the NUC doesn’t have a VGA port.

The final thing I need is a monitor riser because the cable connecting my TASCAM speakers isn’t long enough for them to sit on either side of the new monitor. I get one from Staples and I’m good to go. Well, almost.

Now I need a new DAW to replace Adobe Audition 1.5. After some trial & error with other versions, I relent and subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud 2018. There is almost no learning curve so I’m up & running almost immediately. Yay!

I figured this would be a good time as any to get my domains and website hosting reorganized. I was using GoDaddy for the domains and CloudNovo for the website and I haven’t been thrilled with either of them. Brad Newman is on the case! With his help, I migrated my website to Upper Level Hosting and my domains to NameCheap.

Here’s the bill (rounded up/down to make the math easier)

  1. Apollo Arrow + Thunderbolt 3 cable: $500

  2. Intel NUC + software: $900

  3. AOC Monitors + VGA/HDMI Adaptor: $250

  4. Monitor riser: $50

  5. Upper Level Hosting: $145

  6. NameCheap: $25

GRAND TOTAL: $1,870

A HUGE thank you to Brad Newman, Sean Caldwell, and my webmaster Nikki Saco. If you ever need any help with hardware, software, or website help I strongly recommend them!

TIP OF THE WEEK

I am willfully ignorant of the technical end of the voiceover industry. I know just enough to be able to do what I need to do. There are many of you out there who are avid techno-files & microphone hoarders and that’s awesome. I’m just not. If you’re not either that’s cool, just make sure you keep half an eye on what’s going on in the technical world of voiceovers so you don’t have to cough up such a big pile of dough in a short period of time like I just did. If you’re free on Monday nights, you should definitely watch the Voice Over Body Shop. Dan & George will keep you up on all things VO-techie-tastic. They have a lively chat room during the broadcast and will answer your questions on the spot.

Oh, and it’s a 64-bit world. If you have anything 32-bit you should upgrade as soon as you can to make sure all of your hardware and software get along.

Also, It will soon be a USB-C world. If you plan on upgrading hardware, look into it. Eventually the USB-C will replace regular USB. Be prepared!

NEWS AND NOTES

I was a guest of the “Stories from the VO Booth” podcast! You can listen to it here.

The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 10 is out! I had the pleasure of narrating four of the stories. You can check it out here.


Thursday, June 28th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Marketing 201” webinar topic will be ‘Brand Yourself’. We’re going to talk about how to make you distinct as a voiceover business without having to burn yourself with a hot poker so the agents can tell us apart.  Click here to sign up.

November 9-11: MAVO is coming! I will be one of the guest speakers and it’s going to be a blast. Be sure to get your tickets now while you still can. Learn more at MidatlanticVO.com!

HAPPY HAPPYS

Happy Chocolate Day and Paul Bunyan Day!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK


From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.

Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a voiceover business and marketing consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.

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