My short bio: I'm Mike Russell from Music Radio Creative a professional British male voice over artist. I've been heard on the radio over the last 20 or so years on stations like Capital Radio, talkSPORT, Guardian Media Group radio and more.

Now, I voice and produce jingles on a daily basis!

I'm here today to answer your questions about the voice over and jingles business along with reading (almost) any script you'd like me to during my live video stream.

My Proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyA85IkLV4Q

EDIT: Update - the live stream has finished so no more script recordings. I'm happy to keep answering your questions in this thread so ask away :)

Comments: 148 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

MattBaster135 karma

https://i.imgur.com/3YdJs.jpg

ARE YOU FUCKING SORRY?

mike_russell29 karma

Sorry, couldn't do this one.

ACulturedBaboon53 karma

How about doing this silly item description off Amazon?

The claw is an enigma: many animals have claws as natural weapons yet it is something humanity lacks. Perhaps this is why humans seek to wield them, and in a morbid twist, the Skeletal Hand Claw is a combination of humanity and the weapon it lacks. This wicked item combines a metal skeletal hand, set with resin skulls on the knuckles with a trio of wickedly long claws extending from between the knuckles. Each of the blades is subtly curved forward, with a single edge on the inside of the curve. The skeletal fingers extend out under the claws, bent slightly, to form a sort of claw on its own, as the fingers end in unsharpened points. A rubber handle provides grip and, more importantly, leverage for striking, while an arm strap keeps the claw level and secure. Resting atop the mount for the arm strap is another skull, wickedly grinning with a large chip taken from the forehead. Humanity's greatest nature weapon has always been ingenuity, and now, human ingenuity have given us the Skeletal Hand Claw, an unnatural weapon we've always lacked.

https://www.amazon.com/Skull-Bones-Gauntlet-Style-Limited/dp/B00S3CL9IE

mike_russell25 karma

Did your request at about 17 mins in! :)

Rummy_Martian18 karma

this sentence is a memory you are having in the past. count how many seconds it takes you to stop thinking about it.

mike_russell13 karma

This one is down at the 20 min mark :D

Anthony_groovecityfx11 karma

Mike....can you read this......."As night falls and the day slowly fades to gray,,,,,your listening to Quiet Storm on Groove City FX dot com"

mike_russell13 karma

28 mins in done for you!

Rummy_Martian34 karma

Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.' hows this?

mike_russell15 karma

Done at 41 min :D

Hypergrip32 karma

Well, this is the internet, so we can't let you go without having you read the famous roof scene from "The Room", can we? ;)

Script:

I did not hit her. 
It's not true. 
It's bullshit. 
I did not hit her. 
I did not. 
... 
Oh, hi Mark

Feel free to either try to come as close to the famous original or put a completely different spin on it!

Also a question: Do you have any experience working for audio books or video games? If not, are those things you'd be interested in trying?

mike_russell12 karma

Done at 1h 13mins! :)

frehsprints27 karma

I don't like the 'DING' email sound. Could use a new notificaiton sound: Could you do...

"Hi. It's me, your telephone. Just wanted to let you know... someone has sent you an email message" ?

mike_russell11 karma

Done at 52 min mark :)

hotchnuts24 karma

Can you do this legendary intro for me please?

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.

mike_russell10 karma

Done at 1h 3mins in :)

Limro24 karma

Would you please read the following?

In the city - you must fight to survive.

He sold tortilla on the corner - but the mob wanted in.

Double the action!

Triple the excitement!

More excitement!

They didn't know who they were.

This year - he is...

Little Tortil' Boy

mike_russell9 karma

Done at 51 min mark!

Nimja_15 karma

The voice does sound familiar. Anyway, my questions:

  • Do you have a home studio?
  • What was your favourite work?
  • Which type of voice do you enjoy doing most?

mike_russell23 karma

  • Yes, on the Isle of Wight, it's 2mx2m and perfectly sound treated.
  • I enjoy creative radio imaging work the most. Anything that involves radio sound effects, music beds and crazy flangers!
  • A deep, dark, scary voice over. Mwuah ha ha ha!

Agentbondy4310 karma

VICTOR 5, 10-55 on a yellow cabbie, market and main, code 4 for now.

Deputy Arturo Meraz, San Andreas Sheriffs Department.

May I view your license and registration please?

Sit tight.

You were going a little fast back there pal.

Youll be recieving a citation for failure to abide to a traffic controlled device, you have 72 hours to pay this fine and you may do so at city hall.

You can go, have a good one.

VICTOR 5 is now 10-8

mike_russell5 karma

Done at 1h 41mins :)

rocketlaunchr9 karma

How did you become a voice actor? are there places where you could study voice acting? been interested for a while, but can't seem to find a "how to get started" type of thing.

mike_russell6 karma

Join a voice over class either online or in person. Something like Gary Terzza's VOmasterclass or find yourself a vocal coach.

Join a professional voice over networking body like The Voice Over Network from Rachael Naylor.

I started voicing while I was working in the radio industry.

inhumantsar3 karma

Do you know of any similar resources for North Americans?

mike_russell5 karma

Watch Bill DeWees and Terry Daniel on YouTube. I'm not sure if they offer courses at present but they offer great advice.

oyog2 karma

How does one get into working in the radio industry?

mike_russell5 karma

I worked my way up from hospital radio to local radio and finally national radio. If you're starting out ask around and send demos out to programme controllers. Most start out working for a low wage and gradually work your way up.

Today it is so easy to start your own radio station online too.

oyog3 karma

Thanks for the reply!

I've never heard of hospital radio. What is that?

mike_russell5 karma

It's a unique thing in the U.K. A radio station that broadcasts to patients in a local hospital. A great training ground.

Student radio and community radio are also great places to learn.

rocketlaunchr2 karma

cool! are there any online courses that I should avoid? (like, scam-sites/just plain useless)

mike_russell3 karma

None that I'm aware of but do check testimonials and ask around if unsure.

LogicalDuck9 karma

I used to live on this island when I was a kid, before I moved to america. Can you say; "I love cape horn! Gooo Wahooligans!" to support my dad's old boating team?

mike_russell7 karma

Done at 39 min mark :)

Rummy_Martian7 karma

thanks, if there aren't any more at the moment can you read out "Martian Motion Pictures presents" ?

mike_russell7 karma

Done at 32 min mark!

3838b386 karma

Do Al Pacino's Eddie Barzoon monologue from The Devil's Advocate:

Eddie Barzoon, Eddie Barzoon. Hah! Oh, I nursed him through two divorces, a cocaine rehab, and a pregnant receptionist. Heh. God's creature, right? God's special creature? Hah! And I've warned him Kevin, I've warned him every step of the way. Watching him bounce around like a fucking game, like a windup toy! Like 250 pounds of self serving greed on wheels. The next thousand years is right around the corner, Kevin, and Eddie Barzoon-take a good look, because he's the poster child for the next millennium! These people, it's no mystery where they come from. You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire, you build egos the size of cathedrals, fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse, grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold plated fantasies until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own god, and where can you go from there? And as we're scrambling from one deal to the next, who's got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours, and even the bees honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity. And it just keeps coming, faster and faster. There's no chance to think, to prepare. It's buy futures, sell futures, when there is no future! We got a runaway train boy, we got a billion Eddie Barzoons all jogging into the future. Every one of 'em getting ready to fist-fuck god's ex-planet, lick their fingers clean as they reach out toward their pristine, cybernetic keyboards to total up their billable hours. And then it hits home! You gotta pay your own way, Eddie. It's a little late in the game to buy out now! Your belly's too full, your dick is sore, your eyes are bloodshot, and you're screaming for someone to help! But guess what? There's no one there! You're all alone, Eddie. You're god's special little creature.

mike_russell4 karma

Done at 1h 52mins :)

mrbbku6 karma

I always thought that voice over has to be a fascinating job. I was wondering how well it pays? How often do you have to work for a decent living? And how do you even start a career?

mike_russell11 karma

Answered at 1h 9mins.

It can pay anything from $5 for a single line to 5 or 6 figures for a script. It all depends what level you're at and what project you're working on. Audiobooks and TV ads can have huge budgets.

The best thing about voice over is that you can work whenever you want. Recording scripts is a small part of a voice over life. In today's market you really need to master online and offline marketing too on order to get known.

Start with simple equipment and create your own website. Promote the heck out of it and put a good demo on there. Build your client list and stick at it.

landmonkey5 karma

A long long time ago, I was watching the TV show "COPS" and they were arresting a drug addict. They were searching him and searched his pockets. And then they searched inside his waistband, and it turns out he was wearing a second pair of pants. And I heard this line, which I've never heard anyone use since.

"I can't believe I got this many pants on!"

Could you say that for me?

mike_russell4 karma

Done at 1h 31mins!

frehsprints3 karma

"The first rule of space travel, kids, is: Always check out distress beacons. Nine out of ten times it's a ship full of dead aliens and a bunch of free shit! One out of ten times, it's a deadly trap, but... I'm ready to roll those dice!" ?

mike_russell3 karma

1h 58mins done for you :)

DylanCO3 karma

I recently got into audio books and they'll have different voices for different characters. I was wondering is it one person doing all those voices or is voiced by many people and mashed up?

mike_russell2 karma

Done 1h 32mins :D

Many times you get a talented voice actor who will do all of the different voices. Sometimes multiple voice overs are used on bigger productions.

Thediciplematt3 karma

Morning, I apologize being late for this AMA. I am an instructional designer for a major utility company in the Bay Area, feel free to guess the business name, and I frequently do voice overs for my work. I am a complete amateur and hate my voice, so....

1) any tips for creating good quality work?

2) what tools do you use?

3) recommendations for recording voice (e.g. Breathing, standing vs sit, etc)

I currently built a small vocal box with audio foam and a cheap laundry or clothing container from Walmart. My mic is a snowball blue, and I mostly use Camtasia Techsmith.

Any other tips would be helpful! Thanks in advance.

mike_russell5 karma

Thanks for the great questions.

1) Always warm up your voice before recording. Hot water and lemon is awesome! EQ and compression also help after you've recorded to get that 'golden sound'.

2) I use and love Adobe Audition.

3) Always stand when you are able to. It opens up your diaphragm and really allows you to inject more energy and passion into your recordings.

Kinakuta3 karma

Is the voice over industry hard to break into? People occasionally tell me that I have a nice voice, so I thought it might be fun to narrate audio books for a living.

Although my biggest problem would be that I have zero acting experience, not sure how big of a hindrance that would be...

mike_russell7 karma

There is certainly a place to start out online. You need a good quality condenser microphone and the will to succeed. Have a professional demo created and go get 'em!

The barrier to entry into the voice over world today is super low :)

metalslug1232 karma

What are some common misconceptions in voice over work that most people have about this industry?

mike_russell3 karma

That voiceovers play and sleep 23 hours of the day. Then spend 1 hour recording and walk away with enough cash to buy another yacht.

deckard19802 karma

Hi mike! I'm an actor and recently I recorded my voice reel, I've been shopping it round but as yet not had any joy. As a gamer I'd love to get in to that sort of work. I'm a bit crap at promoting myself so do you have any tips and are there any agencies that you know of that specialise in voices for games?

mike_russell3 karma

If you want to get into game voice overs go right to those that need them. Attend a gaming conference. Get some nice business cards printed and ask attendees if they use voice overs in their games. You'll likely find a bunch of people who do!

Look for new app developers on the App Store or Google Play and reach out to them too.

goatcoat2 karma

I've been told I have a good voice and would like to find some side work doing stuff like this. How do I get started?

mike_russell3 karma

Build a brilliant website, create a demo, get a pro microphone and market yourself.

Consider joining a voice over agency.

Theres_A_FAP_4_That2 karma

How do you get into the business?

mike_russell3 karma

The first step is recording a demo with some samples. Send it out to agencies and share it on the web. Get feedback and improve!

SuperstarTinsanity2 karma

What does it take to do this as a living beyond "People have always said I have a nice voice"? Because I'm sure it involves way more.

mike_russell2 karma

You need to work hard and put plenty of effort into recording and producing new voice over demos.

Network and learn from other voice over artists.

Become a student of online marketing and create an amazing website to showcase your talent.

muelmuel_2 karma

hey mike, what plug in you use in adobe audition?

mike_russell2 karma

Answered at 1h 50min.

I use many including iZotope Vocal Synth, iZotope Stutter Edit and the free Melda Production Ring Modulator. 3 of the best in my opinion.

Ess2s21 karma

Hi Mike! I'm very interested in breaking into voiceover. I have a wide range, I can do multiple accents and impressions, and from working in theater, I know how to handle a mic.

What should I be looking for/doing to start in the industry? Is it better to be good or know someone?

mike_russell2 karma

If you're good at what you do that is the best start. Knowing people also helps so make sure to get networking and be sure to market yourself online.

tommy-gee371 karma

Where can we watch the stream?

ryanvango1 karma

I'm running a DnD campaign shortly. what are some tips to have a bunch of different character voices I can keep track of? I can do like 6 distinct ones, but its like a kid making silly voices rather than having voices for legit people. like, I would need a bunch of different sounding gruff males, some sneaky guys, and some women. how do I adjust and sound good and not like Im doing a shitty impression (especially for women voices)?

mike_russell2 karma

Pitch shifter is a good place to start. Search for pitch shift on my channel https://www.youtube.com/musicradiocreative

percussionkevin1 karma

Hey Mike! Any advice for someone with very little experience trying to break into the voiceover biz? Thanks!

mike_russell2 karma

Never give up. Keep on creating great demo material. Try a variety of voice over genres from radio imaging to medical scripts or audiobooks. Find out where you fit in best.

Snuffaluffakuss1 karma

How did you get into doing this? It's a dream of mine. I do many many voices and really want to put my mimicking skills to the test. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thank you!

mike_russell1 karma

I started out in the production studios of radio stations voicing station IDs, promos and commercials. Go learn as much as you can and start cutting your own demos.

Ant_Sucks-1 karma

Hello, I'm a text to speech AI. Do you think text to speech programs like me will make your job obsolett?

mike_russell1 karma

At the present moment AI voices cannot deliver the power, passion and enthusiasm of a real voice artist. It's also not possible to tell them how to say a certain line of a script.

This world is changing fast and with Amazon Polly, Google TTS and more getting better every day who can tell where it will go.

Also, check out Adobe VoCo. A project that can clone any voice after listening for around 20 minutes.