A few years ago, I decided to drop some of my favorite old CDs into my CD player and crank some tunes. I had long ago ripped all my discs into MP3s for my iPod, and have spent many years mostly consuming music on-the-go, between my personal collection and streaming via Apple, Spotify, Amazon. It was jarring how much better the quality was hearing the original CD! It was an experience I hadn’t had in so long, and my ears had become accustomed to the compressed audio streaming world. It’s ironic, because it doesn’t seem all that long ago that vinyl lovers balked at the quality of CDs. But here we are.
The difference in sound quality having an actor in a proper studio after a couple of years or forced remote recording is dramatic.
Today, I’m once again sitting in the studio recording a voice actor. Not my home studio. Not a remote actor in their booth. It’s a live, in-person session. I’ve had this feeling before but couldn’t quite find a way to explain it. The difference in sound quality having an actor in a proper studio after a couple of years or forced remote recording is dramatic.
Don’t get me wrong: Source Connect sounds great! And I also realize that having an actor in a legit studio on a great mic through an expensive pre-amp is always going to sound better than an affordable mic in a closet through a Scarlett Solo. But I think that’s only part of the equation. Hearing the unadulterated signal from a professional recording space to the control room is, as you’d expect, a much richer experience than the streaming audio most of us have become accustomed to- especially for those that have only known home recording or got into the business around the time of COVID.
In a separate article, I’ll be talking a bit more about the terms “pro studio” vs “broadcast quality studio”. But for now, just know that certain clients understand and appreciate the difference. There are always going to be jobs that are perfectly suited for home booths- but don’t take it personally when you’re asked to return to a recording facility. This ties somewhat into a recent video game casting call that had very specific mandates that essentially disqualified pretty much all home studios. More on that another time.
So why mention this at all? Well- quality will always matter. Source Connect is still king when it comes to studio-to-studio and actor-to-studio connectivity. Thankfully, clients are missing the in-person interaction, and actors are being asked to come in more frequently- especially for high-end projects. It’s not a slam to your home setup. It’s just keeping the quality bar high- as it should be.
And now, it's time to reconnect my turntable.