Random Watercooler Thoughts & Stuff

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, its a little stupid, but hey if you’ve made it to this page and are reading these words then its not that big a deal. So yeah, the secret is that I would probably post more on my blog if I didn’t have to come up with a customized image for each posting.

See… I told you it was stupid.

Today’s post, (and so soon since your last one too taji) is a bunch of brain farts and things that I wanted to put out there and discuss with my readers.. or myself, out loud.

Chest Allergy

A few years back I went on Pilgrimage to Mecca, as a muslim that’s one of those important once in a lifetime things (except if you decide to go another time) and while I was there I contracted some kind of illness (from one or a few of the 4 million other souls also performing their pilgrimage) and this flu or infection or whatever was so bad that it turned my phlegm orange. Now I don’t know if you are aware of the different stages of phlegm discoloration. But for me I’ve never gone past green… and all of a sudden I’m in orange country. It was very disconcerting, and in any case it left me with a nasty cough that lasted way after the pilgrimage was over.

Turns out that after that incident I developed a chest allergy that flairs up during winter every few years. Very annoying and in some cases gives you Asthma like symptoms.

Very difficult to record with a cough sneaking up on you sporadically.

So There’s that!

SoundStreak

A service free for voice artists that provides a similar service as does Source Connect. Currently only works with Mac computers and the windows beta is about to be released.

This thing has the potential to be Legend (wait for it) you know the rest!

Seriously I think I might contact these nice folks and see if they’ll be interested in giving us some insight into this seemingly amazing service.

Has any of you folks used the service? can we get some kind of  comparison between ISDN, Sourceconnect and the Soundstreak Service?

http://soundstreak.com/

Mouth Noise

It seems that the  rant against mouth noise for vo artists isn’t a new one, its one of those things that might eventually cause you to punch yourself in the mouth from frustration. I’ve been reading some blog posts here and there and it seems that there are a number of remedies for this issue, From green apples before recording to using something to spray water into your mouth (like one of those breath freshner sprays but with water instead of that nasty halitosis killing concoction.

Are there other remedies? Do you have any suggestions? practices you would like to share to minimize that annoying clicking / smacking sound your teeth / mouth make while you record?

Voiceover Marketplace Subscriptions

voicebunny

The other day I got an email from something called Voicebunny. I read through the site, registered but never completed the profile. Its some kind of fixed price voiceover market place brought to you by the nice people at Voice123. I don’t think I’ll ever be completing that profile. The idea of having my rates standardized with every other vo actor is not to my liking.

So voicebunny people? Would you like to explain your strategy in this? Leave a comment and if the topic takes off I can wrote an article on your site… or not.

Voices.com

In my last article I mentioned that I was going to go full time with my voiceover career. So I figured I should take a look at the voiceover marketplace sites and the first one that I had successfully used back in 2008 was voices.com

So I checked the site and found out that the old subscription paradigm has been shifted. They  no longer have 2 tiers of annual subscriptions… rather a free guess membership (have a little honey so you can get hooked) then you have the monthly “Lite” account that in the long run is about $100+ more expensive then you have the yearly $300 usd Premium subscription.

Its been almost 4 years since I got my voices.com account so I can’t really complain that they changed their account subscription system. Still now I have to rethink whether I should rejoin them or not… We’ll see

Reviewing Voiceover Gear & Products

For folks who wish to promote their voiceover related products, be they books, microphones, recording accessories. I would gladly write an unboxing and review article about your product. You’ll need to send me this product so I can test for a few weeks before I can review it. Then you’ll have to take whatever praise or critique I gave as something constructive.

So Far I’ve only reviewed my own gear which I have purchased with my own money. If you think your product is strong and can withstand being put through its paces then send it on over. Email me with your request and I can provide you with a shipping address.

That is all… carry on.


8 Comments


  1. Hi Taj,

    First, I’m concerned about your orange phlegm! It sounds like a bacterial infection! http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/askquestion/62973/orange-sputum-orange-phlegm.html

    Eating a green apple before you record will help dry up the spittal/mouth noise-clicks-smacking.

    I still get the majority of work from voice123.com. Checkout Freelancer.com. I often see requests for international languages. And have used their services to hire many different languages.

    thanks

    Kim

    • Hi Kim,

      that was back in 2005, haven’t seen that colour phlegm since. But I will check out the link you posted to see what’s what with that incident.

      Yesterday the asthma symptoms were pretty bad. Took some anti-histamine and things are much better. Problem is taking the meds before driving (it makes you drowsy).

      But in the scope of things… breathing is important, and I’d like to retain the ability to keep breathing.

      I will also check out freelancer.com, we use their services for developing applications at the company I manage and the majority of people request that they get paid outside the freelancer.com system which is a breach of the site’s agreement. But so many are bothered by it that I have doubts about that site… have you done work through freelancer.com? have they delayed payment on you?

      your insight would be most helpful.
      taji

      • I have both worked for hired using Freelancer.com. I had no one want to work outside of the Freelancer.com payment system. I find the rates are often too low, but sometimes getting a new client that will be a repeat client outshines that.

  2. Hi
    Great to see you back Taji – whether is you you or me who was away matters not a whit! Good to hear from you.
    all the best

    andy

    • Hey Andy!

      Always nice to hear from my vo buddy up north (technically that is where Turkey is). Yeah I was thinking of the excellent progress you’ve been making in the Turkish media-sphere and figured that if I was half as diligent as you have been in expanding your career options then I should be just fine.

      Kudos on becoming a regular on Turkish TV! Hopefully I can keep the stream of articles coming since pretty soon I wont have a day job to monopolize my time.

      Taji

  3. Best wishes to you Taji. When I hear of news from Egypt, I worry about you and your family. Always send wishes of safe keeping your way!

    • Hello Dan,

      The current unrest in Egypt isn’t anywhere near where I live, rather it is close to where I work. It only happens during the weekends so I’m never close to those areas. My sister’s home is close to where the unrest is but thankfully the worst that has happened to her is that the smell of tear gas has blown her way.

      You might not know this but I am Palestinian, my family was one of the thousands of 1948 refugees that were forced out of Palestine. My home town is currently under occupation. I was born in Kuwait, and my nuclear family then (father, mother and sisters) were from the refugees that left Kuwait during the first Gulf War. I still have family living in Gaza and the West bank in Palestine and compared to them and the oppression and disruption that they go through daily, what has happened to us here is a walk in the park. The worst and most worrisome period in Egypt was during the Revolution and me and my nuclear family (my wife and children) have already gone through that and thankfully survived.

      Although I wouldn’t mind discussing the politics of things, at this point in time I am no longer interested in doing so, just because that is all everyone and anyone around me talks about.

      In fact I’ve banned the employees that I manage from discussing politics because I have seen how heated people get and I honestly don’t care for that anymore.

      Many thanks for your kind wishes and all the best to you and your own!

      Taji

  4. Thank you for the update. I’m not wanting to prod you into discussing politics. When the world news covers stories in an area where I ‘know’ someone, my concern goes up.

    I have a friend in China that I have chatted with many times on Skype. She is doing well and I’ll get a message from her if we haven’t had conversation for awhile. I’m sure she hears the news about the USA and wonders if I’m ok.

    One thing about the internet that has forever changed things…we have nearly instant contact with folks all over the world. One of my Facebook friends lives near Spokane, Washington. She posted information about a planned trip to Australia. I got updates on her journey…probably from a smart phone web connection. So I knew she made the long trip safely.

    Best wishes to you and your family! (And may you find places to practice your craft, profitably!)

    Dan