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B.K.



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:44 pm Reply with quote
Spike Spencer is the last person that should be talking about how to develop a wider vocal range. He's just like Johnny Yong Bosch. He sounds exactly the same in everything he's in. He has no range.
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Yoda117



Joined: 11 Sep 2005
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:48 pm Reply with quote
It's actually good advice, regardless of what you think of the person dispensing it. Most voice actors do not do animation, but commercial or industrial VO. Particularly when it comes to commercial copy, but also with other forms of VO, the versatility of the actor is what often gets them booked, and in many cases is used to develop a strong reputation within the VO community.

Another good thing that doesn't get mentioned nearly often enough is the ability to interpret and follow direction. More often that most would care to admit, a client/director/casting agent/etc. does not know what they want for a voice over until they actually hear it. Being able to "do what they want" and balance that with "what they really need" within the copy is an invaluable skill.

That said, there are other ways of developing one's range that do not involve the vocal range. Improv and musical skills can play an important role in being able to develop consistent characters for the "VO toolkit". It's not mentioned nearly enough, but those two skills are very important, especially when it comes to animation VO.

I did have issue with the following statement in the article, how to deal with excess moisture in the mouth before recording. One suggestion was to eat a green apple...

If you have a lip smack problem (which is an indication of dry mouth), you want to have a green apple. You wouldn't use it to reduce the amount of moisture/saliva in your mouth, but to increase it. I think the person reporting got it backwards (FYI: a small amount of peanut butter will reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, but it's best to take it in the form of a small muffin so that you can easily measure your intake).

That said, there are several products out there for those who don't like, or are unwilling to carry such a thing as an apple around with them.

FWIW: there's a reason that folks like Spike Spencer and Johnny Young Bosch use the same or similar voices for so many of the characters they utilize... they get booked with them (and are probably requested on several occasions). Take a peek at folks like Bob Bergen, Pat Fraley, and Richard Horovitz for a good example of the message Spencer was trying to make.

For a great example of vocal versatility that does not require a wide vocal range (in the traditional sense), look no further than Mel Blanc. Listen to the Looney Tunes characters and you quickly realize that he used vocal placement, and imitations of speech disorders and dialects (which he admitted were often poor) to create the majority of the characters he's known for.

/I could go on about this stuff for hours, but I think you've suffered enough...
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
There was one particular piece of advice that I found fascinating, on how to deal with excess moisture in the mouth before recording. One suggestion was to eat a green apple

I remember Stephanie Sheh and other VA's talking about that in Bang Zoom's Adventures in Voice Acting DVD...but I think I'm one of about a handful who bought that...
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ANN_Bamboo
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 3799
Location: The OC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Yoda117 wrote:

If you have a lip smack problem (which is an indication of dry mouth), you want to have a green apple. You wouldn't use it to reduce the amount of moisture/saliva in your mouth, but to increase it. I think the person reporting got it backwards (FYI: a small amount of peanut butter will reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, but it's best to take it in the form of a small muffin so that you can easily measure your intake).


You're 100% correct. I screwed that up; thanks for catching it!
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Yoda117



Joined: 11 Sep 2005
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:37 pm Reply with quote
No worries... it's a common VO trick.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 10844

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:19 am Reply with quote
Yoda117 wrote:

For a great example of vocal versatility that does not require a wide vocal range (in the traditional sense), look no further than Mel Blanc. Listen to the Looney Tunes characters and you quickly realize that he used vocal placement, and imitations of speech disorders and dialects (which he admitted were often poor) to create the majority of the characters he's known for.


And a lot of those are just his voices sped up or changed pitch. Laughing


Murder She wrote:

There was one particular piece of advice that I found fascinating, on how to deal with not having enough moisture in the mouth before recording. One suggestion was to eat a green apple, but in case there are none available, just by quickly sucking in bursts of air, the mouth dries out, and it allows the voice to be clearer.


That still doesn't make sense. Confused
Why would you eat a green apple to get enough moisture in the mouth or suck in bursts of air that would dry the mouth? Contradictory.
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Yoda117



Joined: 11 Sep 2005
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:59 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:

And a lot of those are just his voices sped up or changed pitch. Laughing


I was hoping someone would bring this up (I didn't want to make my post more confusing by adding this in). You're right... at least until later in his career (when he was better able to control the character voices). At the time, they were recording him using a reel-to-reel, so they would play with the original a bit to come up with characters like Tweety, Speedy, and several others (including Bugs Bunny). It's one of the nifty things about the changes to the recording technology when compared to today. The fact that it wasn't as crystal clear as we're used to allowed recording engineers to do a lot of manipulation to a recording without it sounding too unnatural.

Later in his career though, Mel Blanc didn't require as much processing of his recordings in order to achieve the desired effect.

Several of these characters are now voiced by Bob Bergen, who is also able to do them without requiring additional processing.

/I'm not going to mention the green apple thing as I did so earlier, but you're right... the info is a bit off
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