Botched Audio Facelifts

This post ties to my other post about why I don't make stacks for processing voice actors files. A friend was recently telling me about a plastic surgeon who was saying how the pandemic boosted his business tremendously. The reason? People have been on Zoom all-day every-day seeing their faces, and decided it was time to make changes. The same thing is happening to voice actors who used to spend time running around for auditions and really only heard themselves when they actually booked something. Even then, they’d be in a studio recording for a bit while an engineer cleaned it all up and mixed it. With all voice recording shifting to home recording during the pandemic, voice actors were now spending a lot more time on the mic than they might have previously. Just like the folks staring at themselves on Zoom all day and deciding it was time for cosmetic surgery, voice actors hearing themselves so much started to become obsessed with every mouth noise and other anomalies. In their attempts to mitigate their perceived flaws, they very often give themselves a botched audio facelift.

In my early webinars, I showed how quickly and easily software like Izotope’s RX Elements Voice De-Noiser can strip out consistent and minimal background noise in a pinch. I’ve even demonstrated how you can do that in real-time down Source Connect if need be. But you need to be careful! One concerned talent agent reached out early on and told me that “Voice actors are getting carried away with trying to be engineers, and they are ruining their auditions!”. When I teach my classes on using RX Elements (more classes coming soon- so stay tuned to the events page!), I would always stress moderation. The analogy I give is that of young, good looking people on social media feeling compelled to add filters to their images to smooth out their skin. In so many cases, people end up looking like aliens! I totally understand that people get self conscious… but your voice is probably a lot better than you imagine, and the flaws you perceive are most definitely not what clients are listening for during casting.

The biggest issue people obsess over is mouth noise. You’re human. Your mouth makes noise. The best solution to fixing so many problems is to address it at the source. Things to consider: