Category Archives: Featured

Conversant Labs Saykit SDK Explainer Video

Conversant Labs is building software that gives your app a voice – helping the blind and making life easier for just about anyone. Here is their explainer video, voiced by me and produced by OrionVega media – see it here!

Could I be the right voice for your next tech explainer video? Contact me today to request a sample read and more information!

Science Direct Feature Videos

In this series of videos, several features of Science Direct, a major platform for scientific publishing, are highlighted, which can help scientists with their research. I voiced the videos, which were produced by Ping Media. See them here!

Could I be the right voice for your next scientific video? Contact me today to request a sample read and more information!

What you need to set up a home studio for voiceover

Hi friends, welcome to my studio!

It’s time to make a blog post out of this content, which I’ve had on my site for a year as a static page. I’ve recently updated it and want to share with you the (not-so-secret) secrets of my home studio.

A lot of people ask me, “How do I set up a home studio for voiceover?”

Well, hopefully this post will help in providing some ideas for you. Let’s get right into it!

I built my home studio myself, with the goal of creating a professional quality sound from the comfort of my home. I consider my studio “open source,” so I’m happy to give you a tour and tell you exactly how I produce the sound that you hear from me. Here’s a picture of my desk, where I work every day:

standing desk

I’d like to describe several elements of my home studio for voiceover:

  • Microphone
  • Sound equipment
  • Computer and software
  • Standing desk

Microphone: My main vocal microphone is the Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone, used with the DBX 286s Microphone Pre-amp Processor. The RE-20 is mounted on the Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom with Electro Voice 309 A Shockmount, which works very well in my standing setup.

To connect the mic to the pre-amp and the pre-amp to the mixer, you’ll need these cables:Monoprice 109441 6-Feet Premier Series 1/4-Inch Male Right Angle to Male Right Angle 16AWG Cable and Hosa Cable MCL103 Series Microphone Cables – 3 Foot.

The RE-20 has an internal pop filter that’s pretty good, but I still think it needs some additional dampening, so I use the MXL WS-002 Foam Windscreen.

I have some pop filters made from these: On Stage ASFSS6 GB Dual Screen Pop Filter, mounted to these: On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand, Black. They are not necessary with the RE-20.

However, I also have two of the Audio-Technica AT2020 Side Address Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone. They are not really high quality enough for recording voiceovers, but I used them for years, and still use them, for podcasting. They provide great sound for the price (less than $100) especially when combined with a few simple accessories – the MXL WS-002 Foam Windscreen and On Stage ASFSS6 GB Dual Screen Pop Filter with On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand, Black mentioned before.

I also have a Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Platinum that I don’t use for voiceover, because it’s not really appropriate for that purpose. However I do use it for Skype calls, especially ones that are going to be recorded and turned into podcasts, and for podcasting sometimes. It plugs into your computer via USB and just… works. The platinum model has some nice controls for gain, volume, and recording type (it can capture sound omnidirectionally, bidirectionally, or in a cardioid pattern.) It’s heavy, which can be an advantage because it doesn’t move easily, but it does pick up vibrations from the table it’s sitting on and is not easy to hold in one’s hand. There are better microphones for handheld recording of interviews and podcasts, and potentially for recording voiceover auditions while traveling – my favorite being the Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder. Neither the Yeti or the H4N really needs pop filtration, especially if you direct your speech over the top of the microphones to minimize plosive sounds.

Gosh, I could yammer about microphones forever, but let’s move on. If you have questions about microphones, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer your specific questions.

Mixer: My mixer is the Behringer XENYX X1204USB 12-Channel Mixer. This mixer has some built in compression and equalizer settings, which are nice and really improve the sound quality if you don’t have a separate pre-amp processor. It’s great for podcasting with the AT2020 mics. However, although they are pretty impressive, the compression and equalization on this mixer are not as good as a standalone processor.

20130710 In studio with waveforms

Headphones: We need a good pair of over-the-ear headphones to monitor our voices in real time and receive that important feedback. They have to be comfortable enough to wear for a long recording session (3 – 4 hours). I am using Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones, and I have been really happy with them. They allow the listener to hear a wide range of frequencies so you can monitor the whole vocal spectrum, and are comfortable to wear for a long time. They are consistently rated very highly among radio professionals (and in fact these are the same headphones we use in the studio at Free Talk Live. In the past I have used a couple of other pairs of headphones – the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Headphones, which are good quality in their frequency range but not as comfortable as the Sony MDR7506, and the Audio-Technica ATH-M20 Professional Studio Monitor Stereo Headphones, which aren’t as good quality as either of the headphones I described previously – but hey, for $20, you can’t beat ‘em.

Monitor: I needed a nice, large monitor for audio editing tasks. I’ve been happy with the ASUS VS228H-P 22-Inch Full-HD 5ms LED-Lit LCD Monitor. I usually read text that I’m narrating off the bottom half of the screen while keeping my DAW in a narrow window at the top of the screen. I use a noiseless mouse because I know you don’t want to hear clicking in your recordings!

Studio Computer:  I’ve gotten this far and haven’t said a word about my studio computer. Doh!

The main consideration for me when choosing a studio computer was finding a machine that balanced quietness (i.e. no loud fans!) with having enough computing power to render audio quickly. I chose the ASUS EeeBox EB1033-B048E Desktop with Windows 7 Home Premium. It is awesome and does everything that i need it to do! It’s super quiet – and small – look carefully in the picture of my standing desk and you may be able to spot it (but it’s kind of like playing Where’s Waldo). Yep, that’s it, perched on top of the subwoofer! It’s almost like it’s not even there.

DAW: Of course, I use Audacity as my DAW (digital audio workstation). It’s free and runs on Windows, Apple, and Linux. Enough said! Audacity is another clear winner that does everything I need it to do. I use it all day, every day. I’m currently working on creating a Udemy course on using Audacity for podcasting. Stay tuned!

Standing Desk: I can’t say enough great things about doing voiceover work from my standing desk. It keeps my energy up so much better than with sitting all day, and it even helps with acting to get the whole body involved in delivering the voiceover. If you haven’t looked into the health benefits of standing desks, it’s worth some exploration!

I’ve created a setup that allows me to ergonomically record anything from 5 second tags to audiobooks. The key to this setup, which I spent a lot of time researching, is the Workez Standing Desk Adjustable Sit Stand Desk for Laptops & Desktops (BLACK). This is an affordable solution to converting an existing sitting desk into a standing desk. You stack the standing desk on top of the sitting desk, and put the keyboard and mouse (or perhaps a laptop) on the small platform, and a desktop monitor on the large platform. The position of everything is adjustable, from the height of the platforms to the angle. This works super well for me. I am 5’8”. My partner who is 6’1” is comfortable using it too.

Now, the monitor is at eye level, allowing me to see the waveforms comfortably during editing without straining my neck. The mic comes in at mouth level from the side, so I can also read whatever I’m narrating off of the monitor. The keyboard is a little below elbow level. The mouse is at about the height of my hand where my arm hangs naturally, with a little downward bend to prevent wrist strain. I also use this Genuine Joe Anti-Fatigue Mat, Beveled Edge, 2 by 3-Feet, Black underneath the rug. It provides a bit of squishiness to make standing for hours feel quite comfortable.

I hope you’ve found this peek inside the my studio helpful! If you are a voiceover artist and you are inspired to purchase any of these items for your studio, I appreciate it if you follow the links in this post because I will get a small referral tip through Amazon.

If you like my studio, why not hire me for your next voiceover project?

Hi, I’m Stephanie!

 

How can I help you bring your next audio project to life?

headselfie 2I’m a professional female voice talent with over seven years of experience in the industry, having voiced hundreds of projects – from tech explainer videos to medical e-learning to radio and TV advertisements. I am a top-ranked talent on Voices.com, and my previous clients have included many major national brands.

My past clients have described my sound as “warm,” “friendly,” “conversational,” and “professional” witha feminine wow-factor unlike any other.

I can convincingly portray a sweet young mom, a savvy and informative business professional, a concerned and compassionate healthcare provider, a friendly telephone greeter, a sultry and sophisticated fashionista, a compelling storyteller, and a whole host of other voices that have appeared in my past work.

I’ve been lending my vocal talents to professional projects since 2009. My experience includes voicing thousands of client projects, as well as 7 years (and counting) as a talk show host on radio and podcasts.

I have written, voiced, and produced dozens of short :30 and :60 commercials, narrated several tutorial, explainer, and fundraising videos, introduced many podcasts, and narrated and produced several audiobooks. To hear some samples of how I sound, simply check the sidebar or one of the categories in the navigation bar above. Or, check out my profiles on Voices.com, Voice123, and ACX.

With plenty of happy clients served, I’d love to see what I can do for you. 

headselfie 1

“Choosing Stephanie was the best decision I made. She did an amazing job, stuck to the deadline, and over delivered on the job. So glad I went with her. She is a true professional.”

– Micah Soelberg, Fitness Audio Course

 

No matter what you are planning, I can offer my skills and expertise to turn your vision for your next audio project into a reality. Have a look at some examples of my recent work on this site and, if you like what you hear, get in touch!

 

Here are some of the voiceover services I offer:

 

  • Video narration. A great explainer video can help communicate your company’s message in an engaging and pithy way. Do you need a voice over to bring your explainer video – or perhaps a tutorial or educational video – to life? I’m passionate about projects that are designed to inform or further a cause, so get in touch!

“It was great to work with you, the most professional voice recording I ever experienced!”

– Aaron Koenig, BitFilm.com

 

  • Written and fully produced radio commercials and voiceover for TV commercials. Need a professionally produced commercial for your product or service, but not sure where to start? I can write and produce it, and work with you every step of the way to make sure it sounds exactly how you want it. I can even suggest media contacts for advertising your business. I have years of experience writing and producing radio commercials, and I can help you get the results you’re looking for – website traffic, brand recognition, and sales – with your ad campaign.

 

“Stephanie has the most superlative female voice in talk radio.”
– Mark Edge, host of nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live

Stephanie-in-FTL-Studio-with border

 

  • Podcast Intro and Outro. Want to instantly give your podcast a more professional sound? Consider hiring me to produce an intro and outro (and even segment intros or bumpers) for your show. I am an experienced podcaster, having hosted several podcasts since 2009 – Porc Therapy, Free Talk Live, Let’s Talk Bitcoin, and Sex & Science Hour – and appeared on dozens more as a guest. I currently produce the the technology podcast Sovryn Tech (listen to any show for numerous examples of my voice and audio production work). I’ll work with you to create a professional and unforgettable intro for your show – I’ll even write it if you wish.

 

“I worked with Stephanie in her studio when she recorded my podcast intro and outro, and I can confidently say that she is a true expert.

The attention to detail she brings to her narration work is extraordinary, getting the intonation and mood ‘just right’ for my project. She clearly has extensive experience doing this work. She records many ‘takes’, editing and choosing just the right one. And her judgment on what ‘sounds good” is excellent. I would easily hire her again.

If you are looking for an expert to do voice or narration work for your project, I urge you to consider working with Stephanie Murphy.”

– Max Peto, Long Life Radio – longlifelabs.org

 

  • E-Learning, online courses, corporate videos. My pleasant and conversational voice is perfect for projects that are designed to help the viewer learn. I have narrated dozens of corporate training videos, e-learning modules, courses, and tutorial videos – how can I help with yours?

 

  • Audiobook narration and full production. I have narrated and produced several audiobooks for distribution on major audiobook outlets like Amazon and Audible.com, as well as for independent distribution. My voice is pleasant for the listener from start to finish, my pacing and timing are second to none, and I deliver a full finished, flawless audiobook that is retail ready.

 

“Stephanie did a great job narrating my audio book, Pelvic Yoga. I wanted a very specific combination of a compassionate voice and a professional approach for my health-based yoga book – and Stephanie provided exactly what I was looking for. She was a thoughtful narrator, with appropriate emotion and emphasis throughout the text. I was also amazed at her ability to make appropriate corrections – she caught a few typos that professional editors had missed in my text, and improved on the book in the audio version.

I highly recommend Stephanie for narration services, and will certainly work with her on future books.”

-Kimberlee Bethany Bonura, PhD, RYT – www.drkimberleebonura.com

 

  • Voiceover for phone systems, on hold messages, and automated greetings. Need a friendly and professional voice to greet your customers when they call your company’s phone number? I can work with you to provide the friendly greeting that will help your customers feel welcomed. See my other website, Voicemail-Greeting.com for sample office voicemail scripts and templates. When you’re ready, you can purchase a customized voicemail greeting directly through the site, or contact me here on SMVoice.info!

 

  • Medical and scientific voiceover. Before becoming a voice actor, I completed my PhD in Biochemistry and also attended medical school for two years. I chose to make a major career change, and now I love my job in voiceover! But my medical and science background has left me with valuable experience and comfort voicing medical and scientific projects. Whether it’s an educational video for patients, an advertisement for healthcare services, a doctor’s office phone greeting, or a scientific technical manual, I can communicate it in a natural way.

 

“Having collaborated with Stephanie on several audio projects, I wouldn’t go to anyone else for voiceover work. She is a total joy to work with from start to finish.

Even though I know she’s fast, I’m always bowled over by her turnaround time and the outstanding quality of her work. Her professional knowledge is second to none and I’ve greatly benefited from her expert guidance in podcasting and audiobook production.

If you’re looking for help with an audio project, I can say without hesitation: hire her, and get ready to be amazed.”

– Hannah Braime, BecomingWhoYouAre.net

 

Past clients have loved my reasonable rates and fast turnaround times, as well as my attention-grabbing voice and conversational style. I know you will, too!

 

I accept most common forms of payment, including PayPal and credit cards. Since I work from my home studio, I can deliver you the fast turnaround time you need for my professional services.

 

Send me a few details about your next audio project to request an audition sample and rate quote

 

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’What kind of audio project do you have planned?’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Explainer Video,Medical or Scientific,Phone System / Voicemail,eLearning / Tutorial / Online Course / Training Video,Radio Ad / TV Ad,Podcast Intro / Outro / Bumpers,Animation / Cartoon / Character Voices,Audiobook / Article Narration,Other’/][contact-field label='(Optional) How many words are in the script OR what will be the finished length of the audio?’ type=’text’/][contact-field label='(Optional) Paste the script here.’ type=’textarea’/][contact-field label='(Optional) Please give a few adjectives to describe how you envision the voiceover sounding.’ type=’text’/][contact-field label='(Optional) Please introduce yourself! And%26#x002c; any other notes about the project? (For example: timeframe%26#x002c; budget%26#x002c; or additional direction.)’ type=’textarea’/][/contact-form]