The Secret to Good Reads on the Road

During my recent visit to Los Angeles, I found myself complaining—a lot—to my adorable friend and fellow voice actor, Aaron Landon, about the lousy quality of auditions I was churning out while traveling. “I’m actually embarrassed to submit them,” I admitted one evening while hanging out at his studio. “I’m obviously not in on ‘the secret’ to good auditions on the road.”

For years, I have taken gear with me so that I can audition when I travel. And for years, I’ve struggled with submitting quality auditions from the road. It’s hard to control conditions once you leave your home studio. If it’s not the hollow sounding hotel room causing your auditions to sound crappy, it’s catching the traffic noise from your centrally located condo. Or perhaps you’re trying to sneak your read around the sounds of an upstairs neighbor rolling pennies across the floor–just crazy things that can drive a voice actor nuts when all they are trying to do is get a clean sounding audition to their agent. Don’t even get me started on my auditions from my old motorhome!

Oftentimes, I’d burrow myself, my computer and my Rode NT-1 deep under hotel room comforters, contorting my body in awkward positions while suffering from oxygen starvation, and attempt to create an authentic read. As you can imagine, I probably often sounded like I was authentically on the way to passing out.

The next time Aaron and I met up, he said he had something he wanted me to try. “It’s going to mellow you out,” he said. “Help take the edge off.”

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He then handed me a folded up paper bag. Not sure what to expect, I gingerly opened it up and peered inside.

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Inside the bag was an apogee mic. I’d heard of this mic at the last Faffcon I attended in Ventura, California the previous March. I’d wanted to get my paws on one ever since I heard about it, and now was finally my chance.

“It’s yours, until you leave L.A.,” Aaron insisted.

“Really?” I asked. “That is just too freaking cool!”

“I can guarantee the sound quality of your auditions will be much better with this mic. I can’t guarantee the quality of your delivery though,” he chuckled. He then reminded me that I would need an audio editor and suggested that I install the TwistedWave app on my iPad.

I thanked Aaron, took the bag with me, and headed back to my rental townhouse in East L.A.

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After installing the TwistedWave app on my iPad, I got cozy in the closet where I had been doing my auditions.

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TwistedWave took literally five minutes to learn. After figuring that out, I practiced an audition and am happy to report that the rest of the auditions I did in that closet in L.A. were the best sounding on-the-road auditions I’ve ever done!

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My daughter, a future voice-actor in training, could even figure this out.

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I now feel that I am in on “the secret” to good reads on the road.  All you need for a decent  travel studio is your iPad, an apogee mic, and the TwistedWave app. Hooray for technology!

Comments
  1. Tracy

    “It’s going to mellow you out,” he said. “Help take the edge off.” LOL!!! Sorry, I really thought at first he was giving you something else.
    Nice post, enjoy reading up on life as a voice actor on the road.

    • Erin

      Thanks so much for reading, Tracy! We were having such a fun and silly time with the whole thing. I tell you what, that apogee mic sure does do the trick! I felt so lucky that Aaron was in the mood to lend it to me. 🙂

  2. Robyn Moler

    I have been using Twisted Wave on my iPad for a couple of years now and just got the Apogee. I’m looking forward to trying it out and submitting improved auditions myself. I totally feel ya, I pretty much suffocated under the weight of comforters and closets with all my travel auditions. A girl cannot live like that! BTW, you’re super cute and I like seeing all your pictures. Plus Aaron is awesome.

    • Erin

      Hey gorgeous!! Twisted Wave is nice, eh? You were way ahead of the curve!! Let me know how the Apogee works for you. I have to admit, I ran into some audio issues on a recent trip to Florida. Mostly with things sounding hollow. I tested it in 4 spots–an oceanside resort hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale, my aunt’s guest bedroom, the rental minivan, and a refurbished hotel in Tampa. You might still need to use some more padding like that pillow tent I made in the closet in LA. But the good news is you don’t have to suffocate anymore!

    • Erin

      Oh, and I totally agree with you. Aaron is AWESOME! Just thinking of him puts a huge smile on my face. And you, too! 🙂

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