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Travel? Don't Leave Home (Studio)
Without Checking This Checklist ...

Note: The author presents Double Divas voice over workshops with voice talent/coach Elley-Ray Hennessy in Calgary on Oct. 14-16, and Edmonton on
Nov. 4-6.

By Deb Munro

Voice Talent & Coach

The following is a list of things that I take into account before I book my holiday trip.

OK - you may think I'm nuts to work on my holiday. But in my opinion, there is always someone to replace me, and clients want things yesterday so I make myself available nearly 24/7.

Of course, you need to do what is right for you.


1. Will there be Internet access at your destination(s)? Even more important, where is the access? In your room, a lobby, business center or Internet café? Uploading large, time-consuming files can be troublesome as you sit in a hotel lobby.

2. Can you control the noise? For instance, air conditioning fans, vents, loud music, noisy appliances, etc. If camping (I know I'm nuts), your car is a great way to get as quiet a sound as possible. In a hotel, try to find a room on the building's quieter side, and one with a closet to record in.

3. Will there be a sufficient power source?

4. Create a checklist of recording equipment you will need.

5. Is your equipment transportable? For instance, boom mics need to be checked if traveling by air, as they are considered an instrument/weapon that is not allowed as a carry-on.

6. Do you have your equipment in a portably protected environment? I pack everything in a Porta-Booth (created by Harlan Hogan), and I take that as my carry-on instead of having to put my equipment in checked baggage.

7. Make sure you bring headphones for editing, and necessary cables.

8. Bring a light source for recording in dark, closed-in spaces where it is very difficult to read copy.

9. Notify your agents and clients that you will be away, and that recording quality will not be the same (more than likely), or that you won't be available. They are fine with you taking time off (for the most part), but they need to be notified.

10. Learn how to use noise reduction features on your editing program.

11. Consider recording room tone (just hit record in your recording environment and let it record for at least 60 seconds) so that you can layer it under your recording in case you have background noise issues and can't produce a clean sound. This will help to balance it a bit better.

12. Check with your family to see if they won't be offended if you have to record for a few hours in the a.m. each da.

13. If you've just recorded a job before you leave for your trip, make sure you bring it with you in case you have to do pick -ups (which will be hard because the recording environment will change).

Well, I'm sure you have additional experiences and suggestions to share, to add to this list. Feel free to do so below in COMMENTS!


Deb Munro is a leading voice talent, coach, and owner of Chanti Productions, in the Vancouver, B.C., Canada area. She offers private voice over coaching by phone and Skype, and MIC 'N ME and Double Divas workshops on voice acting, business and demo prep in many Canadian cities.

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Comments (2)
Jane Ingalls
10/5/2011 at 3:57 PM
Hi Deb,what do you actually pack in your Portabooth? I've had great success carrying mine on, and it would be ideal to put more in it- Mic? Cables?
Thanks for the perfect packing list.
Dan Deslaurier
10/5/2011 at 5:56 AM
John, I can't start my day without checking in with VoiceOverXtra! Thank you for yet another helpful, practical column.

And Deb, I especially admire and appreciate how you share your advice, experience and practical knowledge with this (and other) columns - yours is one of the "voices" I keep with me while going about my day-to-day VO work while building my career. Many Thanks!

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