Voice-Actor Friendly Audio Tech: A Conversation with George Whittam – Part 2
“No, it’s true. No, you’re absolutely right. Yeah, it does trigger memories. I remember sitting in my bedroom in my parents’ house hearing certain songs like ‘Double Dutch Bus,’ that song from the early 80s, it triggers a memory instantly. Or Earth, Wind and Fire, playing my parents’ vinyl records, certain songs like instant memory of where I heard that song.” — George Whittam
This episode’s the second half of my interview Voice-Actor Friendly Audio Tech with audio engineer, podcast host, and all-around sound expert George Whittam as we talk about whether rooms or recording booths make for better audio, how podcasts became the new magazines, and George’s most and least favorite sounds.
As always, if you have questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes. If you have questions for me, visit www.audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find a lot of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter will let you know when the new podcasts are available. And if you’re getting some value from listening, feel free to spread that around and share it with a friend, along with leaving an honest review. Both those things really help – and I’d love to feature your review on future podcasts. You can leave one either in written or in voice format from the podcast’s main page. I would so appreciate that.
The Blind Leading the Blind
As we start the second half of our interview, George explains how the needs of musicians and voiceover artists can lead to very different recording environments. “There’s no reverb,” he says about voiceover studios, “there’s no liveliness. It doesn’t help a musician who’s playing acoustically or singing to be singing into a dead void.” We talk about whether he prefers isolated rooms or recording booths for soundproof environments, and why isolation booths often have trouble living up to their promise. “A lot of these companies that make iso booths don’t understand the importance of actually having an acoustics expert,” he tells us. “There’s a lot of the blind leading the blind.”
Sounds, Textures, and Rhythm
We also discuss George’s experience with podcasting, both as a host and listener, and how it’s come to replace magazines as his source of daily news “With podcasts,” he says, “I find there’s less of the, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ type stories and more, more real stories.” We also talk about the power of sound in our everyday lives, from the beauty of a piano piece or solo trumpet to the noise of leaf blowers and construction workers in the big city. “For me,” he says, “it’s always been about the sound, the textures, the rhythms, the way it’s recorded. That has always been what’s triggered an emotion in me.”
Why It’s So Important
The topic turns to audio equipment and how well smartphones can fill in for a studio when we’re out on the road. George tells us about the limitations he’s encountered in trying to make Apple products work with third-party hardware, including an audio interview that was never actually recorded thanks to a notification hiccup. “It makes me crazy,” he adds, “and this is why we’ll never recommend, and even an iPad Pro for real recording use. You cannot count on it.” As the episode closes, we talk about the importance of sound, from advertising to movies, from music to everyday life. “Sound is very, very attached to the emotions,” he says. “That’s, it is for me, so that’s probably why it’s so important.”
- Whether isolation booths or soundproof rooms are better for recording
- Blocking out ambient noise, from city traffic to rural neighbors
- How to get the most out of a smartphone while remote podcasting
- The importance of sound, both digital and within our daily lives
Connect with the Guest
(Use code GTTABP10OFF to get 10% off all services and webinars!)
Connect with George Whittam on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgethetech/
Follow George Whittam on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgewhittam/
Connect with George Whittam on Twitter: https://twitter.com/georgethetech/
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.