Monthly Archives: June 2017


‘Traxers on Audio Tour Narration

DATELINE: BAY AREA AUDIO TOUR BOOKINGS! One of many great things about Antenna Audio Producer/Guest Director PETER DUNNE is that if he overhears us talking about student bookings, he’s all too happy to update us on what ‘Traxers have booked! Lately he tells us of a DeGas Impressionism and Millenary exhibit at the Palace Of The Legion Of Honor, narrated by ‘Traxer NINA GREELEY and featuring character voices from ‘Traxers SCOTT KESSLER and JOHN ELLSWORTH – who also did characters for an exhibit at the Nation History Museum in Washington DC! But the ‘Traxer Peter calls a “bulldog” is none other than MICHAEL RANKINS, who tore through 4 hours on one day and 2 ½ the next for a Patek Phillippe Grand Exhibition at Cipriani in New York! And Michael was kind enough to give us a glimpse behind the scenes:

“I’ve done several previous audio tour projects with Voicetrax guest director Peter Dunne, but nothing quite like the one we recently completed for Patek Philippe: The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition, coming to New York City in July. It was a 10,000-word (!) script, all straight narration (that is, no sound inserts by expert commentators, just Yours Truly speaking). We recorded the tour in two marathon sessions, with a one-day break in between. This was a daunting challenge, in terms of both mental focus and physical/vocal stamina. (Stay hydrated, my friends!) But with Peter’s always positive direction, plus the excellent narration training I’ve picked up over the years from great Voicetrax instructors like Thom Pinto and Chuck Kourouklis, the hours flew by smoothly.

Three keys to a lengthy narration: 1. Keep focused and on task. 2. Stay consistent in character (and yes, your narrator is a character, even if you’re using your natural voice and accent). 3. Don’t let complex or awkward sentences, challenging words and phrases, or your own mistakes throw you off your game. If you flub — and you will — simply pause, pick yourself up, and move along.

P.S. I now have a renewed appreciation for my colleagues who record audiobooks, with scripts several times the length of this one!”



Would you trust these men with your message?

A new class with Thom Pinto is always an event – but how about “Men Only: WELCOME TO ANNOUNCERVILLE!” You’ve seen the specs: “NO Announcers…” “We want REAL and CONVERSATIONAL…” “Announcers will be SKIPPED…” and only in about 11 out of every 10 auditions you receive, right? So you might assume “announcers” have gone the way of the Dodo (not to be confused with any of our statuesque he-men in the class pic, btw). But if you pay attention to what’s actually getting produced these days, you find there’s still a LOT of “announcing” going on out there – and it’s up to a good voice actor to figure out just how much “announcing” to do! Some lucky ‘Traxers learned from the best this weekend, and here’s what a few of them had to say:

“It was an insightful look into the world of announcing as it relates to the auditions we get everyday. I definitely feel like I have a deeper understanding myself of what an announcer is and is not. Pinto worked his magic once again.” – Devin Glischinski

“As it is in most types of voiceover, the lesson here was much more prevalent: pick your moment(s), let most of the copy do the leg work, but put your mark on it by finding a moment in which to put your own personal accent on the piece. Thus making it memorable and competitive.” – Aaron Miner

“We were given permission not just to be announcers as an exercise, but to see and accept announcing as okay (or necessary, sometimes) in the real world, even when we’re confronted with specs that explicitly say it’s not. Learning how to think of and approach announcing as varied and, dare I say, subtle, rather than a binary choice of being bad or not being bad was important and revelatory.” – Christian Nielson-Buckholdt