Dec 172009


How does an 8 year old do his spelling homework when he has access to a high-definition digital studio?

By voice-over of course!

We hit upon this idea when it became clear to us that ordinary spelling homework is, well, ordinary. We can do better than this I thought — and off to the Mad Lab we went with spelling words in hand.

Now Ian not only gets his spelling right; he also gets to do something most people never experience… When is the last time you did a voice-over in a real recording studio?

Here’s how it works: First we set up a recording session with all the bells and whistles. Then Ian reads his spelling words as clearly as he can and leaves enough space in between each word so that he’ll have time to write the words down when we play it back. Then we play it back for him (hopefully without stopping) and he writes them down. This is much more exciting than having one of us read his words to him – and there are added benefits.

In addition to spelling he is learning about the way things work in a studio — especially the recording process. This covers a lot of additional skills and knowledge. There’s science (mic positioning, setting levels), planning and following a process, teamwork, communications skills (not just the voice-over itself, but the interaction between the engineer and the performer too), patience, etc. He also learns what every voice-over artist learns— there is no hiding from that microphone! The details matter and so as he progresses he’s learning to speak clearly, to avoid making unnecessary noises, and to pay attention to the details.

He’s also having a blast with it! And so am I.