To be a voice over artist, there are a multitude of things you need.
A place to use as your studio.
Acoustic treatment and/or soundproofing to ensure a good quality, excellent sounding acoustically ‘dead’ recording space.
A good quality microphone that suits your vocal tone well.
A Preamp to get that mic talking to your computer and NLE (non-linear editor), or editing platform.
Plus of course, all the associated computer and electronic equipment that all come part and parcel of any studio and business infrastructure; as well as the mindset that voiceover is, like anything else – a business.
However, there are certain things that a voiceover artist does NOT need!
We are inherently aware of making sure we look after our voices, since it’s the tool of the trade. We actively avoid people we know that have colds, sore throats and the like, and ensure we don’t stress the ol’ chords unnecessarily, like with screaming or shouting at a football match (if you like that sort of thing).
But then something creeps up, completely out of the blue, that isn’t something that, possibly some of us, don’t pay quite as much heed to – our ears.
Just over three weeks ago I woke up to around 70% deafness in my left ear. No biggie, I think, presuming it’s just a bit of a ‘vacuum effect’ from having my head pressed into the pillow, thinking it’ll clear within a few mins/an hour.
No such luck – it remains, for days. And gradually got more and more painful, with a nice dose of tinnitus just to add insult to injury. So, I get an appointment with the doctor, who upon checking it out confirms that it is indeed an ear infection, with my eardrum and surrounding area red and inflamed.
No idea where I could have got it, doc said it could have been a bit of airborne grit that flew in and started it off, as I’ve certainly had no bugs or viruses (let alone, thankfully, the dreaded Covid). It was ‘just one of those things’ unfortunately.
After using my prescribed steroid and antibiotic ear spray for 10 days, it’s at least dealt with the infection itself, so the pain’s all gone. But according to the doc, the deafness and tinnitus could well take several WEEKS to come back.
So…..that’s not good.
For too long I’ve taken my ears for granted. I know they’re there, because they hold up my glasses. But like with anything, as soon as something doesn’t work properly, you become all too aware of their fragility!
I’ve been assured that my hearing WILL indeed come back, but it’ll take as long as it takes, so I don’t need to start dressing like Beethoven (the composer, not the dog) just yet. It’s certainly more challenging recording and editing voiceovers when you can’t fully hear what you’re doing! But I’m managing.
Moral of the story? Look after your ears! (And everything else of course). I’m now more than ever aware of this, especially as I’m just over 12 months away from turning 40.
So if you ever see me wandering the streets of Warwickshire in baking sunshine and comically oversized ear defenders, you’ll know why…