Who is this Bryan Showalter guy I keep hearing about?
I've been working in the VO industry for 17 years as a professional mixer, sound designer, and audio engineer. I grew up a musician and after 10 years on the road, my band imploded 3000 miles away from home. Upon returning to LA, I decided to focus on recording and put performing on the back burner. My career in the voice over industry began as the personal engineer for movie trailer voice and promo announcer, Ashton Smith. After setting up Ashton's home studio and teaching him Pro Tools, he referred me to Dave & Dave Recording Studios where I served as head engineer for 12 years. After making the decision not to join D&D on their merger with North Hollywood Sound, I designed and built out 3 studios for LA Digital Recording where I was chief engineer from 2018 until Covid19. Then the pandemic became a blessing in disguise. I was able to launch my own business and start a new studio. Finally, all of my ideas and passion to make the voice actor's experience second to none have come to fruition.
Is the All Things VO Studio located in the offices of Carroll Casting?
Yes! I have been extremely blessed to be able to share space with one of the most respected casting directors in our industry, Carroll Day Kimble. Quite simply, Carroll hears voices. She hears the complexities and nuances that make them unique; the texture, tone and character that professional voice over actors possess. Not only does she know a great voice when she hears one, but she provides the direction they need to fit any project. Whether it's selling beer or luxury cars, from industrial narration to cartoon characters, she makes them all special. She has cast voices for some of the biggest brands and companies on the planet. And through her years of experience as a casting director, she's able to provide top notch training for voice actors: www.CarrollVOcastingClasses.com/newclasses and for her casting services www.CarrollCasting.com
I already have my VO tracks for my demo recorded, now what?
One of my specialties is turning your raw voice tracks into an amazing demo, for only $489 for commercial demos and $589 for Animation demos. You'll send me the raw unprocessed files, either in wav or high quality mp3 format, and within a week you'll have a demo that has been mixed and mastered with incredible sound design that you'll only get from an engineer who has been doing this professionally for over 15 years. I can pick out a demo that was engineered by a voice actor looking to supplement their VO career 9 times out of 10. You might not know the difference, so here's a hint: A dead give away is when the music level is the same in every spot, the voice level is the same in every spot, and the mix is the same in EVERY, SINGLE, SPOT.
I realized I went to the wrong person for my demo production, can you help?
I have salvaged dozens of demo over the years. If you can provide me with the individual elements; voice separate from music separate from sfx, I can remix it and turn it from one of those demos that was obviously done by someone other than a professional engineer, into an award winning, truly professional demo. We can also choice some new music because there's a good chance the music they chose is stale, overused, and doesn't support your voice tracks on the emotional level they should.
What are the expectations for a "home studio" and how much will it cost?
The good news is that the equipment you need for recording a professional level has never been more affordable. I can put together a complete package for auditing, podcasting, and zoom for as little as $300. The next step up would be more for recording sessions form home, and ranges from $600-$800. And for the pro package, you're in the $1000 range. This covers the gear, which is the easy part. The hard part is often having a quiet and dead space to record in. Dead as in soft. Imagine 4 hard walls being "lively" and reflective. And 4 padded soft walls being "dead". Walk in closets full of clothes make GREAT booths. Bedrooms full of bookcases and junk can be great booths. But if your voice is competing with leaf blowers, those tiny high pitched birds I love/hate, the neighbors who like to argue outside, etc., you could be looking at $5000 for a name brand booth to keep that noise out of your recordings. Or around $2500 for a custom built booth with someone like myself consulting and advising your carpenter.
Is there anything you don't do?
I don't do voice over. I'm not a voice actor. I don't coach voice actors. But after having been a part of our amazing VO community for so long on the other side of the glass, I've seen a lot and I've HEARD even more. I envisioned this website to be truly be All Things VO. If you need something I don't provide, I'm happy to refer to some of the best and most respected names in our industry. I'm part rock star engineer and part your biggest fan.
I need a demo, TAKE MY MONEY will ya?!?!
Only if you're ready. Both of our reputations depend on it. You need to be able to deliver, live and in real-time whether it's at a meeting with a potential agent or an in-person audition. It might be a bold statement, but I can edit just about anyone into sounding like they are well on their way to a pro VO career. That would be a disservice to us both. If with my 17 years of experience I feel you're ready, I'll GLADLY take your money! If not, I'll compassionately give you my opinion as to what steps I think you need to take first, and help guide you in the right direction. Most often that is more training and coaching. Be patient, don't rush your first demo. If you saved up a grand for a demo but have had no formal training of any kind, spend that $1000 on training and coaching. By the time you've saved another grand, you might be ready for your first demo!
So what really went down with Dave & Dave and LA Digital?
Wix limits me to a certain number of characters for my $16 a month package. Sorry ;)
Can you help me start a podcast?
In every way imaginable. My favorite part of podcasts is that they give you a voice and an audience. I can help you with every step along the way. From setting up a podcast studio in your home, to editing your podcasts with fully produced music and intros, to creating your distribution outlet, to designing your graphics. Check out my podcast above, the 5Q VO PRO Podcast. I can do the same for you.
What mic do you recommend if I just getting started?
Great question because the first thing you need if you're going to start learning how to do voice over is the ability to record yourself and playback. The AT2020 USB PLUS, the Samson G-Track Pro, and the Apogee Mic Plus are all great USB mics that allow you to plug headphones into them. You might be thinking, what about the Blue Yeti? I didn't mention it on purpose ;)
Do you have a special talent rate for when the actor has to pay?
Most certainly. Actors only pay $100 for the first hour, and $50 for each additional half hour. If your session doesn't take the full hour, I encourage you to stick around and I'll record any auditions you might have, do some editing on your demos, or teach you tips and tricks for recording at home. While I don't charge $1 a minute like some studios, once you work with me and learn about what I can offer beyond hitting the record button, you'll understand the value in what I offer.
I've been told I have a __________ voice, should I do animation?
My whole life I've been told I should play basketball because I'm tall. Believe me, 5ft nothin' Julie Maddalena and Debi Derryberry could beat me on the court. Beyond all else, this is voice ACTING. We all have a voice, some cute, some deep, some quirky, some funny, but we can't all act. And more than ever before animation is voice ACTING not voice OVER. If you want to start doing animation, I can't stress enough that need to focus on acting and improve. And getting coaching from an working industry voice actor is paramount to your success.
I appreciate your humor, but I don't see my question here?
Drop me a line at Bryan@AllThingsVO.com and I'll be glad to answer any and all questions you may have. I just ask that you throw in a bonus question related to space or space exploration, preferably in the Mercury or Apollo eras. I won't know the answers but I'll enjoy googling it.