Category Archives: recordings

Talking Telephone Numbers

Emma Carter, Jamie Zubairi

Emma Carter & Jamie Zubairi photo by Joseph Lidster ©Dark Shadows 2014 ©BigFinish Productions

Really interesting article about Telephone Numbers in Radio commercials I thought I’d re-blog here. Thanks Rushton On Radio!

I met the girl at a dinner party at a friends house. We got on magically. It was like the other people at the party just blended into the background. As she left she told me her phone number. “Will…

Source: Talking telephone numbers

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High audiodrama on the set of ‘Dark Shadows’

On Bank holiday Easter Sunday I made my way to Camden in north London for my first ever audio drama recording. I was pleased that Joe Lidster and Big Finish asked me to come in and voice a character called ‘Sketch’ for this Dark Shadows a long running series on television in the 1960s and 70s. It’s now been re-written as audio drama as starring Quentin Collins and Doona McKechnie.

This was my first recording of this kind since my days with Roger Norwood at LAMDA when we did some training at a studio in Primrose Hill somewhere. It was great watching the smooth toned Emma Carter at work, moving from characters and voices effortlessly. It was thanks to Emma that I felt at ease with the technique and just got down to doing what I do best: character voices.

 

The character I was voicing was interesting in that he had to transition from being  quite a low-status character with a foreign accent (Indian accent) who is a runner on a tv show and then reveal himself slowly to something more sinister. Going from one to the other in very few lines during the reveal was really fun and I’m glad that in my acting work because I work quite physically going from one physical characterisation to the next (and sometimes by degrees!) it was something that didn’t phase me.

But what happens to him? Who knows? Perhaps we’ll find out in other episodes!

I really wish I had snuck my smartphone on to record the transformation scene where Emma had to voice the sequence. No real spoilers there but it was one of the funniest things I’d seen. The things we do!

I had lots of fun working with another voice actor. Even though we had very little dialogue together, it is refreshing to do actual drama amongst all the corporate work that I have been doing lately.

It will be available later on in the year from the Big Finish website.

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Translations for Voiceovers

Do video production companies take into account the foreign markets when making their videos?

I’ve been doing voiceovers now for newarly 7 years and am getting to notice things about foreign voiceovers in particular. I speak Bahasa which is a language spoken in Malaysia and Indonesia and, with the current economic interest in the region, there is a growing interest about investing in the oil and gas industries as well as manufacture.

With this investment comes job, with jobs comes regulations and training. With that, comes e-Learning and instructional videos.

I have so far been involved in the translation and voicing of about 20 Bahasa Health & Safety and “how-to” videos for the airline industry, oil & gas, manufacture. There are some which are incredibly easy to voice, especially when it falls into the “e-Learning” category and there isn’t any video to sync to. The problems arise when there is already an existing video, voiced usually in English and all I’m given is the timecode to fit in the translation. Often I’m left frustrated and tearing my hair out as a simple sentence in English  will sometimes be almost a third longer when in Bahasa. I wonder if production companies ever take this into account when they know their client will be using their video for the worldwide market. It’s something to consider. I’m sure it’s the same case in Standard German with their portmanteau words. Bahasa, or any other language where almost every consonant is followed by a vowel, for example:

There’s something in the air tonight = Ada sesuatu di udara malam ini

might look like a sentence of similar length but if you consider that the English has 8 syllables, the Bahasa (in this case Malay) has 13 syllables. Fitting the amount of syllables within the start and end of a particular timecode starts to make the sentence sound ridiculous. The viewer will be have to first get over the hurdle of how ridiculous it sounds before they can start actually taking in the information, which may be about airline safety or toxic gases.

When I am translating for voiceover I am always aware that someone is going to have to speak this at some point (often me) so the translation should match the lenth of the English. I’m often in vocal booths editing words out of someone else’s hard work in order that it should fit the client’s specification. Which increases my time in the booth as well as my fee and the cost to the whole production.

 

Often it’s the case where the voiceover client has the the video production company as the client, so there’s nothing the sound engineer can do.

I would love a situation where production companies producing the video made a slightly longer edit for the foreign markets their clients are selling to. It would help the voice doing the work as well as the person having to take the information in. What is the point of sitting your workers in front of a Health & Safety video if they can’t take it seriously and, by extension, feel that they are not being taken seriously by their employers?

@zoobyvoice

Doing what I love best

Doing what I love best

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Voicereel Demo

My current voiceover demo reel

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Recorded Poem

I wrote ‘The Came On Bicycles’ are few years ago as research for the first Skylarking. I decided to record it and put it here so people can here what a well-spoken Malay accent sounds like.

 

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