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Matt Dratva's studio features a Rode NT1000 mic and LCD monitors for reading scripts - and avoiding paper rustling.
Matt Dratva
Voice Actor
By Paula T. Lin
Senior Editor, VoiceOverXtra
Dec. 11, 2008
Voice talent Matt Dratva believes in “the power of writing your dreams down on paper.” Why?
His goal earlier this year was to quit his day job to become a full-time voice-over talent and ... it happened! Yes, indeed, Matt’s dream recently came true.
“I landed an ongoing gig with an international company for narration, so that’s been pretty exciting,” says Matt. “I also landed my first 60-second national radio commercial, so again - also cool!”
"Apart from that, I'm busy auditioning and working my butt off!" he adds. Indeed; his client list includes the likes of McDonald's, Bell, Logitech, Push Pedal Pul, Panasonic, Messier-Dowty and more.
He also recently voiced a children's teaching aid DVD, singing and performing several characters - "which was a blast!" - and is active with radio and TV commercials, podcasts, videogames, "webmercials," and corporate narrations.
With all this gain comes technology. Here’s a look at the set-up Matt uses to keep him on the road of success.
“The arrangement is such that I have a separate building with a low noise room floor, which I lucked out with," he explains. "My active monitors are at 45 degrees, sitting on an 8-inch shelf, and a boom stand for my mic.
“I run Adobe Audition 3.0, and with sound baffles on the walls, I record sitting down but I can also stand if I choose.”
In addition, Matt has two LCD monitors to keep him paperless for reading scripts and to avoid paper rustling.
Specifically, his studio features this equipment:
  • Adobe Audition 3.0, Waves Native Gold effects bundle
  • Rode NT1000 large diaphragm condenser microphone
  • dbx 286A mic preamp/processor
  • Yorkville YSMP1 active studio monitors
  • JK Audio INLINE phone patch
  • Source Connect 3.0
  • Samson headphone AMP
  • Behringer Eurorack UB1204-Pro mixer
  • M-Audio Delta 44 sound card
  • Noise reduction baffles
  • FTP site for archiving / upload / download
"The equipment choice was suggested by my good friend and mentor, voice talent and coach Todd Schick," Matt says. "He basically said I could go either of two ways: get an inexpensive studio, or a more expensive, high quality one. Since I'm serious about this, I chose the later."
"I always knew I'd be doing something with my voice," says Matt (pictured last winter on a trip to Hawaii). "From an early age, I was impersonating cartoon characters, singing, and making unusual sound effects.
"The first time I saw Robin Williams as Mork on Happy Days, I was inspired! Of course, I didn't think doing voice-overs as a profession was feasible."
But a Google search of "voice-overs" three years ago changed that opinion. He landed at Schick's web site and met him for an evaluation.
"He critiqued me and said if I worked hard, I could make a go of it. I guess it's one of those things where I needed to hear it from a professional," Matt says.
Based in Toronto and starting part-time, Matt mostly landed jobs through the online casting sites Voice123 and And being bilingual helped to get jobs voicing scripts in French.
He learned fast. Last spring, Matt received accreditation from SaVoa, the Society of Accredited Voice Over Artists.
"My former day job was somewhat creative," says the new full-timer. "But my real love and passion is to be in front of a microphone, acting."
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