Joe Cipriano's distinctive sound is heard everyday as the voice of Fox, CBS and shows like Deal or No Deal. Yet he still devotes time to help others. Catch Joe Cipriano once a week here on VOICEOVER UNIVERSE . COM -
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ASK JOE - January 2010 CBS ISDN Session

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  • Hi Joe,

    I'm not sure how to submit a question to your show, so I'll just ask you here if that's OK: We saw (And as always, thoroughly enjoyed) the part of last weeks episode where you gave us a peek at your "Remote" set-up, (In addition to rescuing Don with a glass of water – sure it wasn’t vodka?) and that was great, thanks...but I have an additional question: During a really long-distance source-connect/ISDN bridge session, is it better to have a phone patch for talk-back...or is the delay still minimal enough to conduct it through the headphones? I've got my laptop and my home-studio set-up and ready to seems to work great from remote/out-of-state locations, but I have not yet tried the set-up from other time zones or outside the USA. Also, are you connecting through source-connect pro's VPN...or, just a regular, straight peer-to-peer source-connect pro session? Any feedback or tips you can offer would be greatly appreciated! (If I'm in the wrong department, please have mall security escort me to the proper kiosk)

    Thanks again for all the great, entertaining insight you put out there for everyone!

    (My son's latest "Nielsen ratings": Teletubbies - 1 ... Joe's show - 3!)
  • Hey Joe,
    I'll echo the recording flat. I do everything flat and then post it with a number of different settings based on what type of read it is (promo, narration, commercial, etc.). I use Sound Forge and that lets you program a chain of presets. Makes things really easy and fast after acting,,, er uh recording. If an eq or compression needs a slight tweek after it's simple.

    And I don't use headphones during a read either. When doing a phone patch I read and then get back on the sets to take direction and move on. All this makes it simple and easy to focus on the main thing, a good delivery.

  • Good luck on the links today... hope you did better than I did. :-)

    I didn't :-) LOL
  • I hear ya... no EQ or Comp, it's like going naked. After this little "discussion," I am going to bypass everything (except the mic-pre) on the Focusrite, when I get promo & TV auditions, and see how it sounds. I still really worry about the radio guys... young producers in small markets, PD's doubling as imagers... if you don't give them that extra 'punch' from the outset, you can end up sounding bad.

    My wife and I are really into tennis. At first it was mainly to get in, and keep, in shape... but it has become a real passion for us. We're at Lake Toxaway, NC for a "working vacation" right now. Golf yesterday... tennis today... sessions in between... pretty productive vacation. Good luck on the links today... hope you did better than I did. :-)

  • I know how hard it is to start talking into a microphone without that beautiful support of eq and compression. It's like swinging in a comfortable hammock :-) It's good to just start getting used to your pipes as they are. You'll be surprised at how much depth and character you can get out of your voice when there's nothing on the chain. So, I applaud you for giving it a go.

    We share the same love of tennis and golf. Randy Thomas and her husband Arnie are in town and we just played 3 sets of doubles at a friend's house in Malibu yesterday, followed by dinner at Nobu there. Today I'm just heading out the door for golf with my buddy John in Sunland. Push those sessions to 1pm!!! :-)

  • Joe... Thanks for your comments. This is really cool. And I really appreciate your input. I'm sure many others do too.

    I started about two weeks ago to "try" and emulate the setup I had at home wtih plug ins because I really didn't want to have to lug my Focusrite all over when travelling. It was while I was A-B'ing between a "processed track", and a track that I had recorded with my 416 straight into the laptop, that I realized what you said... un-processed IS cleaner and nicer and shinier and (gasp) fuller and deeper! But I have been using my chain for over three years... so I will be making a gradual change. Or, I'll just start offering the "clean" chain as an option, and see who bites.

    Ah tennis... I've got golf on my mind this morning... tennis this afternoon. :-) Thanks again Cip... cr
  • Hi Chris...the M5 is just the pre-amp for the mic. It doesn't add anything in the way of compression or EQ. I do use the LA4 compressor for radio stations for the pump for liners and things like that. I find though, many times they'll ask for my NBC read or something TV Promo style, that's when I'll take the LA4 off. Because believe it or not, we all "think" the compressor makes us sound "deeper" but in reality, it's the clean...flat...microphone-to-preamp-to-protools (or ISDN)....that has all the good stuff in it. The LA4 gets rid of my "range" by squishing the top and bottom for the fake balls...but the flat stuff is where the "real" bass...balls...grit is.

    Try it. Record without any processing. Just preamp and THEN sweeten it afterwards. Don't throw the bells and whistles all over it, just start working slowly on EQ, ease in some compressing...don't kill it. I think you'll see there is a lot more dynamic range when the source isn't all squashed going to "tape" so to speak. I hope that makes's Saturday and I've got tennis on my mind :-)

    P.S. Yes, I agree completely. If you have to have that compressed, eq'd sound of yourself in your ears when you're recording...just put it in your headphones while you're recording and keep it off the program chain. :-)

  • Hey Joe... I hear you on the "do everything flat" thing. Unfortunately, and you know this first hand, radio likes it "loud and proud." There are producers who like it flat, so they can do the work; and there are producers who like it punchy, so they don't have to do the work... and then there are producers (usually the PD doubling as the imager) who don't know what to do with "flat," and you end up sounding bad. It's a battle... a struggle... a conundrum.

    Although... I am confused. You say you add nothing to the 416, on the road or at home. Yet in your July 12th video you talk about your love for the Avalon M5, and the fact that you add the LA4 in your chain for radio sessions... for "extra pump." I know neither of those are EQ's... the M5 is a pre and the LA4 is a compressor. But they both add something... warmth, kick, sweetness, etc... do they not?

    Or am I missing something? I do like the idea of having a earphone/monitor amp where you can tweak it until you "think" you sound right, thereby making yourself more comfotable.

    If I ever get into the "Joe Cipriano job" universe, I'll just bypass everything and send the tin-can sound. LOL

    Thanks again Joe... cr
  • Thanks for the tips, Joe...I'll give it a try!
  • Chris Rollins:
    Wow.... what a hilarious video!! (Week 11) I laughed and laughed... and then...well, I won't share anymore.
    I've only watched one video so far... "water for don" and already I've learned that my road gear is not as messed up as I thought it was. A strategically placed chair here... a blanket there... hi-speed internet... and you're in business baby!! One question though. I don't see a mic-pre or processor! No Manley VoxBox, No LA2 or 4... no Focusrite... not even a 528e... nothing! Did you just not show that in the video? Or do you do all processing with Plug-ins?

    Thanks Chris. On the remote gear, the microphone plugs into the Mbox mini. That has phantom power and is the pre-amp.

    I don't use any processing on the mic on remote or in my studio. I know it's difficult but you really should get off the processors, EQs and compressors. You should be recording or doing ISDN sessions completely "flat" so that all of the processing is done in post by the radio station or studio you are working for. It's tough to kick the habit of having processing in your headphones, but it's the way it should be done. When you give the mixer a processed voice track, he or she is stuck. Can't undo it. So always send flat. Start getting used to it, give it a try.

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