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A Very Bad Person, overweight bald guy with a missing tooth, and
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

Karma: 633
Posts: 8427

Sic Semper Tyrannis

« on: June 06, 2007, 01:38:54 AM »

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to handle running out of breath or drooling while I'm on the air.
And I don't seem to have any personality.

"Science Fiction & Nostalgia have become the same thing!" - T Bone Burnett
The world runs off money, even for those with a warped sense of what the world is.
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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Posts: 6773

22 Year Veteran

« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 04:30:36 AM »

You sound like you're bored.
And if you sound bored...your audience will most definitely be bored and probably tune out.

Also, I can hear you take breaths in between some sentences.  Try not to do that.
Yes, you can breathe,  BounceGiggle...but don't let your listeners hear it.

You need to add some spunk to your voice!
Enthusiasm is the key. 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2007, 06:09:29 AM by Ash » Logged
A Very Bad Person, overweight bald guy with a missing tooth, and
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

Karma: 633
Posts: 8427

Sic Semper Tyrannis

« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2007, 12:25:34 AM »

tanx, Ash
Karma for you! Smile

I actually have an excuse for the heavy breathing, which I was hoping to address.
The only chance I've really had to record myself, is when I'm producing Richmond Indy Media Live with Rebbecca Ferris.
These are the ads I read right before & right after each show.
While seeing to the host's demands & dealing with the assorted glitches in WRIR's second hand equipment, I have to do a lot of running back & forth between three different rooms & mixboards about ten minutes before the show starts.
Needless to say, by 12:30 I'm pretty winded when I have to go on the air.

Still, it's pretty helpful to know I need to show a little more enthusiasm.

While I'm working on that, here's another one.
I think the way I say "Greatfull Dead" sounds a little discomforting.

"Science Fiction & Nostalgia have become the same thing!" - T Bone Burnett
The world runs off money, even for those with a warped sense of what the world is.
Bad Movie Lover

Karma: 67
Posts: 434

Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2007, 07:25:32 AM »

One of my friends is a professional editor, and every once in a while I help him out with sound work, namely redubbing audio when the original voice didn't work or the recording was unrecoverable.  It's not that I have a great voice, but I work for free.  Haha.  Here are a few tricks:

You have to breath and speak normally.  Chances are you have a unidirectional microphone in front of you, right?  If you find yourself needing to make a discomforting gurgle (clear your throat, etc), turn away from the mic to do it.  This goes for swallowing too!  If you find drool pooling, pace your dialog in such a way that a two second gap between sentences won't sound terribly awkward.  "Hi, you're listening to Richmond Radio!  What a great song!" *turn, swallow* "Up next we've got..."

As for addressing the cause of excess saliva and heavy breathing:  speak normally.  Both are very common hindrances in public speaking, but on the radio you have the benefit of an amplifying microphone.  Have the sound technician adjust the volume to your casual level of speaking.  It may also help to stare at someone, or a picture of someone, and pretend you are addressing that singular person.

I think you have a promising radio voice.  The "lack of enthusiasm" seems to me like an awkwardness with the medium.  That will fade as you become more comfortable.

Mr. DS
Master Of Cinematic Bowel Movements
B-Movie Kraken

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Posts: 15511

Get this thread cleaned up or YOU'RE FIRED!!!

« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 11:45:29 AM »

I've done some time in professional radio and hopefully can give you some suggestions. 

1.) First let me say your voice has a good tone to it and your inflection is good.  However, as already mentioned, theres a lack of enthusiasm.  Keep in mind thats not necessarily a bad thing depending on what kind of radio format you want to go into.  For example, NPR your voice would fit perfectly.

2.) When it comes to reading spots, I'd try to have more of a range vocally.  Don't be afraid to go high with your vocal range.  Spots are your bread and butter so sounding excited about them is key.  Don't over do it with the enthusiasm though or it will sound goofy.  Pretend your talking about a fine dinner you had to your friends or a great vacation you went on.  I was told in broadcasting school to talk about things on the air no different than you would in real life.  If you don't it sounds horribly practiced.

3.) Breathing control is something that takes a lot of practice especially in live radio.  Take a pause at opportune times like in the middle of a change of subject.  I (and I sadly I had to think about this) do my talking on the exhale after a deep breath.  Don't start until you get the whole breath in you or your bound for getting short of breath.  Drooling I think is going to happen to the best of us.  Best thing you can do is try to swallow in a short breath before a break.  Try not to make it audible though. 

I hope this helps and I wish you luck. 

DarkSider's Realm

"You think the honey badger cares?  It doesn't give a sh*t."  Randall
peter johnson
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2007, 01:10:54 AM »

When I first got involved with acting/forensics as an 11 year old, the first thing they got after us about was breathing.
You will find many different theories/philosophies about breathing and delivery in showbiz -- Much of it can be boiled down to practical/anatomical observation:
1)  The muscle that supports your breath/speech/lungs is called the diaphragm.  The diaphragm is your friend!  It is a muscle, and, like all muscles, it responds to exercise.  Try different breathing techniques to get used to using it.  The best thing to do at first, is to teach yourself to take a breath without consciously using your throat or your lungs.  Instead, consciously push your "stomach" out.  Feel that sudden inrush of breath?  Nobody can really "push their stomach out".  What you just did is use your diaphragm to intake air.  You will get more and better/more sustaining air if you intake air like this than gasping or pulling air down with your throat or nose muscles.
2)  Deep, diaphragmal breaths will give you more air for longer periods of time, and make less noise than throat-gasps.  Now you can work on the process of "sustaining", or giving your breath "support".  Always give your breath support from your diaphragm and don't speak with your throat.  With a huge, deep amount of air beneath your vocal instrument, you can alter pitch and resonance better.  Try pushing air into and out of different places as you speak:  Your nose, your sinuses, parts of your face, your ears.  The face of an actor is called "the mask".  Try making different honking and humming noises with your sustained breath as you tap on your face in different places, as an exercise.  You will be surprised.  For example, you can teach yourself to direct air into your forehead sinuses when you speak, which can give your voice a deeper, more resonant quality.
3)  Sit up straight in front of your microphone, unless you're going for some character voice that slouching would help.  Sitting up, or standing up, straight, with good posture, gives you more control over your voice & enhances your delivery.  On that note, keep your chin up -- place the mike above you, if possible, so that you have to tilt your head up slightly to speak.  All the best radio voices do this simple trick.
4)  Warm up.  A cold instrument is a bad instrument.  Before you go on air, try reading the same paragraph over and over again, with good sustained breaths.  Really stick your tongue out, stretch your lips and make faces.  Stretch!!  Find vocal exercises:  "Around the rough and rugged rocks, the ragged rascals ran.  The tip of the tongue, the lips, the teeth:  Around the rough and rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran!".  Even a simple one like "Batta Gatta, Butta Gutta, Batta Gatta, Butta Gutta", if delivered with enough gusto, can get all the right vocal chords humming synchroniously.
* * *
Anyway, I hope this helps.  Many people out there give vocal lessons for non-singers, if you're a non-singer like me.  I'd say it's worth spending some money for 4 or 5 sessions just to make sure you're doing what I'm outlining here properly.
peter johnson/denny crane

I have no idea what this means.
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