Extended Interview With Vince Caro

Aug 25, 2009 5:42 PM

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When Good Voice-Over Sessions Go Bad

Generally, I deliver raw audio for our projects as clean and as unadulterated as possible. I try to make sure that whenever we do a remote recording—say we need to record in New York and I can’t be there—that I’m tied in over an ISDN line, I'm listening to try to make sure it sounds good and it’s in about the same space. We make sure the person has about the same distance from the microphone, it’s not distorted, and normally if that’s happening, either the director or the producer is in the room with me, or in our record booth, and they’ll be watching and directing over a video conference line. I’m almost always in on the session, and there will almost always be somebody here with me—the editor, the producer, script supervisor—so even if I’m not recording the stuff, I’m monitoring it to make sure it’s okay.

However, there have been times when I was on another job and I didn’t do that and things went awry. There was one disaster we had in Chicago on a session for Toy Story 3 where an engineer actually had the microphone backward, believe it or not. The only people there was the director and the script assistant editor and the script supervisor, and they didn’t know [why it sounded wrong]. They kept saying to the engineer, “It doesn’t sound good, it sounds distorted, what’s wrong?” And he said, “Oh, don’t worry I have the [TLM 170] scream mic.” The director kept voicing his concern, but the engineer was saying, “It’s fine, it sounds fine in here.”

We got the stuff back, and we said, “It sounds awful. What the heck went on?” But we said, “Well, we can at least use the scream mic, right? Because the 87 is all distorted.”

Then I put up the TLM 170 track and listened, and I said, “Wait a minute, it sounds like he’s talking to the back of the TLM.” And I said to the assistant editor, “Do you have the videotape? Can I look at that?” And upon looking at the first frame of this video, I see that the TLM is pointing toward the camera.”






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