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The Voice

The Magazine on the Internet for Voice-overs
and Commercial Producers

ISSUE No.7 - JUNE 1996

Dear All - Even though less and less time is spent tearing up and down motorways, the time saved seems to be snatched away just as fast. The pile of papers on my desk never seems to get any smaller and I seem to stay at my desk later and later each evening just to keep things ticking over. A brief lull in the onslaught, however, means I can irritate the hell out of some of you with another pile of shimmering information, news and views. One thing is clear - you don't like competitions much - so I'll skip that area in this Issue. If there is any area that you feel is being neglected, though, just drop me a line - The Voice is, after all, your paper! Ed.

CDQ PRIMA TIPS - by Ian Britton

Configuring your CDQPRIMA to link to a Telos Zephyr is a useful trick. I have carried out a number of successful links to Telos Zephyr units in America and Ireland. The key is programming the PRIMA to work in Decoder / Encoder independent mode. The key sequence is...
Decoder (Enter)
Indep (Enter)
Yes (Enter)
Repeat the above and select "no" to restore default settings. (See manual page F-30).
You can use the same technique with a CDQ2000, you just move dip switch 6. The same technique can be used when linking to a CDQ2000 or CDQPRIMA "receive only" unit.

I have also discovered recently that our CDQPRIMA left the factory with one of its defaulting settings set wrong. You might like to check your unit. You want to check to see if the Sine Detector is turned OFF, which it should be. To confirm this you need to key...
Encoder (Enter)
Move right
More (Enter)
General (Enter)
Move right
Sine Det (Enter)
No (Enter)

If your unit is set to "Yes" change it to "No. (See manual page F-31) If you have any CDQPRIMA tips of your own please write to the Ed.

Voice-overs in the USA by Chris White

I've always maintained that the most important organ for doing voiceovers isn't your mouth. It's your ears. The people who have hired you will explain to you what they want. Then it's your job to take this information and do your best to deliver it. With that said, let's take a look at some of the "direction" I've heard in the last twenty years in this very weird business.

I was doing an ISDN session recently with a Producer for a car dealer in the UK. Ordinarily, this guy's direction is pretty clear. And it usually contains the word, "Faster!" This time, however, he asked me to do another take with some new direction which was along the lines of, "Chris, this time try it more monotone, but over the top."

Several years ago I was engineering a phone patch session with a new client who gave the announcer, Marv Henry, conflicting direction with each take. Finally, after many takes, Marv politely told the client that he still didn't know what he wanted. The client got angered and said, "Well, THIS time try double-throating it!" Neither one of us had heard of double-throating, but, rather than admitting, we plunged into the next take. Marv read the spot exactly the same way he had on the previous take. When he finished there was a long silence. Finally the client said breathlessly, "That's perfect!" We never did find out what double-throating was but, then, no one ever asked for it again.

During another session with Marv the client told him to read the copy sounding, "Friendly but menacing." How many times have you been instructed to read overlong copy fast, but sound slow? Fast but slow, friendly but menacing, monotone but over the top. And people wonder why stress is the leading cause of death in our business. Luckily, the ISDN has prevented many more deaths by making it difficult for talent to strangle directors.

In defense of the UK Producer, the seemingly conflicting direction was the result of exasperation... he was just trying find some direction, ANY direction, that I could follow.

I'd love to hear some of your war stories.

E-mail me at


One of the newest gadgets available on the market is the BT Ignition, which connects your PC directly to your ISDN lines and also provides two analogue telephone ports. The ignition enables you to take advantage of high speed access to the Internet, Fast File Transfer and also enables use of your down time for telephone and Fax calls and will set you back �329.00 plus VAT.

The alternative is the Digitel, from Digital Engineering in Belfast, which was mentioned in Issue 1 of The Voice. The Digitel has no PC or Data Transfer Interface, it is simply an ISDN/PSTN adapter providing two analogue telephone ports for use with your ISDN lines. The Digitel costs �275.00 plus VAT.

FREE TRIAL OFFER By special arrangement with Digital Engineering, The Voice is able to offer a Digitel unit on a free trial basis. The only cost to you, providing you return the unit intact, will be the two way postage. Contact the Ed. for full details.


Plymouth Sound, crazy as it may seem, want to know what you look like. They would like all their V/Os to send a mug-shot which, I am reliably informed, will not be used for darts practice. I think they just want to wonder at your beauty! The photos will, however, undergo stringent security checks to weed out Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer substitutions!


Creative Audio Productions, in Peterborough, would like to hear from freelance copywriters and from voice-overs who do not work for the GWR Group. Likely candidates should contact Wayne Fitzgerald at CAP on 01733 232974.

what's in an engineer?

Real Engineers...
Real Engineers consider themselves well dressed if their socks match.
Real Engineers buy their spouses a set of matched screwdrivers for their birthday.
Real Engineers wear moustaches or beards for "efficiency". Not because they're lazy.
Real Engineers have a non-technical vocabulary of 800 words.
Real Engineers think a "biting wit" is their fox terrier.
Real Engineers know the second law of thermodynamics--but not their own shirt size.
Real Engineers repair their own cameras, telephones, televisions, watches, and automatic transmissions.
Real Engineers say "It's 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 degrees Celsius, and 298 degrees Kelvin" and all you say is "Isn't it a nice day".
Real Engineers give you the feeling you're having a conversation with a dial tone or a busy signal.
Real Engineers wear badges so they don't forget who they are. Sometimes a note is attached saying "Don't offer me a ride today. I drove my own car". Real Engineers' politics run towards acquiring a parking space with their name on it and an office with a window.
Real Engineers know the "ABCs of Infrared"...from A to B.
Real Engineers rotate their tires for fun.
Real Engineers will make four sets of drawings (with seven revisions) before making a bird bath.
Real Engineers briefcases contain a Phillips' Screwdriver, a copy of "Quantum Physics", and a half of a peanut butter sandwich.
Real Engineers don't find the above at all funny.
From Bill Dixon, WAWC

Publisher & Editor
Stephen Lyons, Cwmcaddon, Ochrwyth, Risca, South Wales NP11 6EL

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