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0887 – Studio Anxiety

Season 3, Ep. 887

2023.06.06 – 0887 – Studio Anxiety

Anxiety is persistent and may not be linked to a specific situation. The intensity may ebb and flow, but it never completely goes away, and with ongoing feelings of unease or dread, anxiety can prevent you from doing something you enjoy and make it difficult to focus and go about your day. Persistent anxiety has links to physical illness including gastrointestinal conditions and heart disease.[1]


Again, all of these thoughts feelings and emotions may be heard in your voice, and that’s what we’ll be looking at over the next few days/pages.  


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  • 996. 0996 – The Diction-ary of Voice – R – Part 2

    2023.09.23 – 0996 – The Diction-ary of Voice – R – Part 2Riding the gain (or ‘riding the mic’ or ‘riding the levels’) – the constant adjustment of the input levels as the sound unexpectedly (and often unprofessionally) varies in volume dramaticallyRoom Tone - the ‘indoor ambience’ or background noise in a room, which should be as close to silent as possibleROT (‘rot’ or ‘R.O.T’) – a recording of what went out on air: Recording Of/Off Transmission Royalty Free Music – music that can be used (with varying restrictions) after paying a one-off feeRP – Received Pronunciation (‘The Queen’s English’, ‘BBC pronunciation’, ‘Standard English’) and English accent without ‘perceived’ regional accent, usually of the type heard in south east England
  • 995. 0995 – The Diction-ary of Voice – R – Part 1

    2023.09.22 – 0995 – The Diction-ary of Voice – R – Part 1**RRate – the speed of someone speaking or readingRate – the amount paid to a voice-over for a day, hour or scriptRaw audio - unprocessed recorded audioRead (or ‘take’) – a recording of a script (or the ‘copy’)Reaper – a DAW Red-line the meters – to push the audio volume level to the maximumRender – saving and/or converting your audio so others can access itResiduals – payment over and above the initial payment, based on the number of times a commercial is runResonance – a full-bodied voice (not necessarily a deeper voice), achieved through the sound of one’s voice vibrating in different parts of the body such as the mouth, throat, nose (sinus) and chest areas – collectively known as ‘resonating chambers’Resonant cavities – the parts of the body which enhance sound and in which resonance develops. Ribbon microphone – the mic type which picks up sound by the use of thin (ribbon-like) metallic elements, suspended between magnets. These vibrate when sound is detected, and converts it into electrical energy
  • 994. 0994 – The Diction-ary of Voice – P

    2023.09.21 – 0994 – The Diction-ary of Voice – P  Polyp - usually unilateral (one vocal fold) mass that grows off the surface. Can be hemorrhagic (filled with blood) or not, and’s usually due to voice misuse or overuse. Pop – when a plosive sound is too close to the mic and causes distortionPop guard (or ‘pop screen’, ‘pop shield’, ‘pop stopper’) - a fabric, foam or metal shield between the mic and the mouth to help disperse ‘breath blasts’ from plosives and so reduce the likelihood of distorted sound being recorded  Post - the point at which a voice appears, or the start of a sound or part of a sound, for example, a specific drum beat in a ‘bed’: “make sure you hit the post”, that is, stop talking a beat before the drum comes inPost (‘post-production) - the final step in a recording process, including the editing, mixing. “It’s OK, we’ll fix that in post”Predictive eye – the name given to the process of scanning ahead as you read to give prewarning of what's coming upPre-produce - to mix or record a piece or interview in advance of a live show, perhaps for technical or timing reasonsProducer - the producer can have more than one role (much like a director), but usually the one who hires the voice actor and other staff, and liaise with clients and agenciesProduction master – a final, ready audiobookProduction studio – where programmes are recorded rather than go out liveProduction value – the ‘effort’ (including duration, complexity, and post-production) put into the making of an audio or video show. One lasting an hour with several guests, archive footage, and theme tunes would have ‘high production values’. A single presenter ‘read’ lasting just a few minutes is likely to have a ‘low production value’Pronunciation - a general term for the way a word is spoken (see: ‘enunciation’, ‘diction’)ProTools - the accepted professional standard for a DAWPSA - Public Service Announcement such as a government or charity appealPTC – Piece To Camera: style of a video presenter, looking directly at ‘the viewer’ Punch – an energetic reading style Punch and roll - a form of ‘continuous editing’, where you scroll back and record from a convenient break, and then start re-recording where the mistake was made
  • 993. 0993 – The Diction-ary of Voice – P - Part 2

    2023.09.20 – 0993 – The Diction-ary of Voice – P - Part 2 Pharynx – the area between the larynx and the nasal cavitiesPhonation – the process of making sounds into words, which articulation turns into recognisable speechPhonemes – the different smaller sounds which when combined form a wordPhrasing – delivering groups of words within a sentence to enhance meaningPickup – when you go back to re-record a small section of content, such as a sentence, because of a slip, trip or mispronunciation. A ‘take’ is a longer piece of content. Whereas a Take may be annotated 1, 2, 3 a Pickup will be marked A, B, C, so you may have “Take 21, Pickup C”, which helps the producer keep track of the ‘best bits’.Pickup pattern – the three-dimensional area in which a microphone will best detect soundPitch - the relative highness or lowness of the register of voice, determined by the frequency of the vibration of sound: the faster the vocal folds vibrate, the higher the pitch that they create.Placement – where you put your tongue in your mouth to create certain word-soundsPlayback on smalls – playing back a recording on small sub-optimum speakers to replicate how people will hear the produced version, at home or in the carPlosives - the group of sounds in the English language which cause a small ‘explosion’ of air from the mouth, often at the start and end of words (‘stops’) such as b, d, g, k, p, t. (Put your hand in front of your mouth as you say these letters and feel that rush of air.) Plosives are sometimes called ‘breath blasts’, and travel from a speaker’s mouth directly into a microphone’s diaphragm, causing a moment of deep distortion
  • 992. 0992 – The Diction-ary of Voice – N and P

    2023.09.19 – 0992 – The Diction-ary of Voice – N and P **NName check – saying your name on airNarrative non-fiction – a true-story podcastNarrative voice - the voice you use for the storyteller/author part of the story, rather a character voiceNasal sounds – speech sounds heard in words with m, n and ng letters: ‘many nice singers’, when the back of the tongue is raised against the roof of the mouth (the soft palate) thereby closing off to sound the resonance chamber of the sinus cavitiesNatural – a delivery which in itself is not noticeableNodules (‘nodes’) - bilateral (both vocal cords) callouses that form on the vocal folds due to voice misuse or overuse. Usually these are reversible with corrections in vocal techniqueNPC – Non-playing character in gameplayNSV - Non-Scripted Vocals: any kind of vocals which don't actually contain scripted dialogue, for example, pain hits, exertions, breathing and so on. **OOmissions – when a speaker leaves out certain sounds in their speech omitted such as “cal-forn-ya’ (California)Omnidirectional microphone – one with a pick-up pattern that is equally sensitive to all directionsOptimum pitch (or ‘home tone’) – the tone at which someone is most comfortable speaking; their natural pitchOvermodulation (or ‘over-modding’) - distortion caused by too loud a soundOver-the-top – a presenting style for emphasis or excitement. Not always done deliberately or appropriately**PP2P – ‘pay to play’, online casting sitesPace – the speed of a readPad – extra talking usually ad-libbed to “fill for time” that is, until a pre-determined end-time is reachedPan pot – the ‘potentiometer’ is an additional dial (rather than a fader) on a sound channel. Turning it to the left or right (‘panning’) will cause more sound to come from (or be recorded to) the left or right channel of a stereo mixPatter – informal, adlibbed, unscripted talkPeak - the maximum instantaneous level of a signal or audio waveformPer hour – the hourly rate based on the length of time you spend at the studio (rather than ‘per finished hour’, when the level of pay is based on the duration of the finished production, which is usually much less especially in audio book production) Per project - a flat rate for a script, regardless of the time spent recording or producing itPer session - a flat rate for the time spent in the studio regardless of the number of projects recordedPer spot - charging a flat rate for each commercial spot, regardless of the time spent recording itPfh - per finished hour (see ‘per hour’)
  • 991. 0991 – The Diction-ary of Voice – M

    2023.09.18 – 0991 – The Diction-ary of Voice – M Marking copy – different markings on a script (underlinings, arrows, circles) to show which words require different voice presentations such as inflection, characterisation or changes to volume or speed, difficult passages, odd pronunciations and character thumbnailsMask – using sound to cover a bad edits or to smooth a transitionsMastering - the process of preparing and transferring an edited and mixed audio file from which all copies will be producedMic fright – the fear of talking in an audio or video situationMic level – the volume of the microphone input channel Microdynamics - the difference between the loudest moments and the quietest moments over a short timeframe, usually referring to transientsMicrophone – the device which picks up sound and turns it into electrical energy so it can be broadcast or recordedMix - to combine several audio sources into a single finished pieceMixed audio – see ‘dry’ audioMixer – the equipment that allows various inputs of audio or video to be broadcast or recorded at different times and levelsModal voice- your usual speaking voiceMonaural (or ‘mono’) - sound on one, single channel, that is, not stereoMonitor speaker (or ‘loudspeakers’ or simply ‘speakers’) – used to hear studio or playback outputMonotone – when a person talks with little or no variety in their pitch, volume, and speedMontage - several pieces of audio combined sequentially to create a single sound elementMonthly retainer - an agreement in which the voice-over is paid a set amount each month for ongoing work, based on the average amount of recording minutes or scripts per monthMouth axis – the direction of your mouth in relation to the microphone: ‘slightly off axis would mean that you are not speaking towards the mic and so you will be heard slightly indistinctly Music bed (or simply ‘bed’) - music played underneath a voiceMute button – the manual switch which significantly quietens an audio feed, maybe completely. This is automatically activated on studio loudspeakers when the microphone goes live, to avoid feedback
  • 990. 0990 – The Diction-ary of Voice – L

    2023.09.17 – 0990 – The Diction-ary of Voice – L **LLabiodental – very few sounds use the sound created when the upper teeth rest on the lower lip, but say ‘very’ and ‘few’ and you will hear twoLapel (or ‘lavaliere’ or ‘lav’) microphone - small microphone attached to clothing of a presenter or guestLaryngology – the study of the professional voice. An ENT is not a laryngologist, who can give sophisticated diagnosis and treatment of voice disordersLaryngoscopy - the process of using a flexible scope in your nose or a rigid scope in your mouth to see your larynx (or ‘voice box’)Larynx – connecting the trachea (windpipe) and the pharynx (between the mouth and nose) this area is the location of the vocal foldsLevel ('volume') - the amount of audio signal strength usually measured with negative numbers “-12db” means it could be 12 decibels louder without distorting. See “Clipping”Limiter - a really fast compressor designed to reduce the level of loud peaksLingua-alveolar – the speech sound created when the tip of the tongue (lingua) is against the upper gum ridge (alveolus). Ironically it is very prevalent in the phrase ‘tip of the tongue’ (and not heard as much in those who speak with a glottal stop in words such as ‘butter’)Lingua-palatal – a really rare sound when you say ‘r’ noises (such as in “really rare”) when the tip of the tongue nearly touches the roof of the mouth.Lingua-velar – if you have done phonics with your child you will be familiar with the ‘kicking k’ – and this is how you make that ‘kicking k’ sound: with the back of the tongue up against the soft palate (the velum) at the back of the roof of the mouth, and the tip of the tongue on the mouth floorLip mic – a microphone designed to be used very close to the mouth to cut out extraneous noise, for example at a sports event
  • 989. 0989 – The Diction-ary of Voice – I

    2023.09.16 – 0989 – The Diction-ary of Voice – I **IImpromptu (or ‘ad libbed’) – a comment made ‘off the cuff’ without a script or prior rehearsalInflection – the lifting or lowering of the pitch of an individual word or different parts of a word to indicate significance (see: ‘cadence’)Insurance takes - when the director wants one more take, ‘just in case’Integrated loudness - the average loudness across an entire recordingInterdental (or ‘linguadental’) – the speech sound when the tongue darts through the lips. Used when people say “theoretically, this third thrush threads theatre throws”Interface - hardware that connects to your computer that allows you to record audioIn the mud (or ‘muddy’) – a low or distorted volume In the red (or ‘hot’, ‘distorted’) – a high or distorted volumeIPDTL (ipDTL) - Internet Protocol Down the Line: an IP codec running in a web browser, used for remote broadcasts in television, radio, and voice-over and a replacement and compatible with older ISDN audio codecsISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network: a system similar to the newer over the digitalised circuits of the public switched telephone network IVR – Interactive Voice Response: technology that allows phone users to interact with a computer-operated telephone system through the use of voice. A voice-over artist will record, say, movie titles on show and the screening times and ticket availability, which a caller will interactive by responding to voice promptsiZotope – a software company providing plug-ins that repair audio, doing things like removing background noise, distortion and mouth noises
  • 988. 0988 – The Diction-ary of Voice – H

    2023.09.15 – 0988 – The Diction-ary of Voice – H**HHaemorrhage (‘vocal cord bruise’, ‘hematoma’) - a collection of blood in the vocal fold that develops after considerable voice use and leads to severe hoarsenessHand signals – gestured directions given to a presenter to, for example, start or stop Handling noise - undesired sounds picked up on a recording caused by touching or moving the microphoneHard copy – a script that is printed outHard sell commercial – a script that is presented in a loud, urgent and emphatic styleHeadphones (also ‘cans’, ‘earphones’, ‘headset’) – worn over the ears so a presenter can hear themselves, the mix of output and any direction given to them while their microphone is liveHeadroom - a recording volume range in decibels (dB). It’s the difference between the typical operating level, and the maximum operating level when the audio will start to sound ‘clipped’. So, giving yourself “10db of headroom” means that you set your recording levels so your voice frequently peaks at -10db, and if it gets unexpectedly louder it won’t distortHigh Pass Filter – an audio filter that cuts out any frequency below a specified point (letting the higher frequencies pass through) and can help prevent plosives and wind noiseHindenburg - a DAW Hit hot - to begin playing at full volumeHit warm - to begin playing at medium volumeHoarse – a raw, scratchy voice (not necessarily low in pitch) which may signify overuse (such as shouting or talking loudly), abuse (such as drinking and smoking) or both (a late-night party for example). At its worst it may be a signifier of a more serious conditionHold / maintain - to keep the volume at the existing levelHook – a line or statement at the start of a commercial designed to ‘hook’ the listener or viewer in by catching their attention, often by using a question: “have you booked your holiday yet?”Husky voice – a lower-pitched speaking soundHypercardioid - a microphone pick-up pattern that is most sensitive to sounds directly in front of the microphone, even more so than a supercardioid