The Sound Off Podcast. The show about podcast and broadcast starts now.
Jodi Krangle is lots of things audio, professional voice talent, podcaster. And the show she hosts is called Audio Branding; The Hidden Gem Of Marketing. She's hosted well over 100 episodes on the subject of audio branding, why we love it, why we move to it and some of the best ways to associate our brands with it and of course that includes podcasting. Now you've come to know the Sound Off Podcast as a place that is searching for the intersection between broadcast and podcast. Well, Jody's show is found the crossroads between voiceover and podcast. And now, Jody Krangle joins me from her home just outside of Toronto.
I have never started off a podcast with this question, but I thought I would do it with you. And that's do you have an early memory of how sound moved you?
Oh, pointed back on me. My parents were very musical. And so they raised my sister and I are doing sing alongs instead of storytime. So we didn't read stories at bedtime. We had singalongs. My dad played the guitar, and we would all gather on one of one of the kids beds. My sister and I and my parents and our dogs, and everyone would join in in a song or two. And it was a really wonderful memory. And they definitely instilled the love of music in me from a very early age. I think I started singing when I was about six.
What were some of those songs?
All the diamonds in the world? Bruce Cockburn- that was one of their one of their favorites. My parents harmonize together on that song, my dad plays guitar and my mom sings and my dad sings, but doesn't like to say he sings. And it was recording that I remember from a really early age, and I have always loved that song.
Was singing the gateway drug to voiceover?
You know, I think it was mostly because it got me comfortable with using my voice in a well, professional capacity not just as a hobby, because I went through high school, doing the music, concerts all through my high school years. And I was never actually a member of the program. So I don't read a note of music, and I never have. And that was part of why I couldn't be in the music program in high school, but I was already writing and singing my own songs on the piano. So I would do the Christmas concerts and just perform a song of my own making in the concerts. And I did that all through my high school years. And then in grade 12, they actually awarded me the Music Award for the school with someone who was part of the program. So it was it was interesting. It was it was a lot of fun. And I did that for a long time and really enjoyed it wrote songs, graduated to having a website on songwriting, in 1995, called the Muses Muse. And started asking questions in HTML format, having people send me their responses and email and then putting it up.
How did you get started in voiceover then?
Voiceover was a progression from volunteering my time at the CNIB. And for anyone who is not in Canada, that's the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. I did that in 95-96 and we were reading magazine articles on to reel to reel tapes at the time for the blind. And it was a very educational experience, both in the voicing and in the use of the tech, which I found both to be equally fascinating. So because of my early experience on the web, and my love of computers and all this stuff, I'm kind of right and left brained. It's kind of a weird, like, I have this logical part of me that loves computers and everything the Internet has to offer and running the tech. But I also have a creative side, which was being filled by songwriting at the time. And then when I did the songwriting website, I ended up facilitating a lot more that I ended up actually writing and so that creativity kind of pulled back a little. And when I was exposed to voiceover, that kind of fed a different part of my creativity in a way. And it was all behind scenes. So I was happy. I didn't want to be in front of the camera. I like doing podcast interviews, because people ask me questions, and I get to answer. But it's not something that I typically would seek out as far as like doing film or theater or anything like that, like that just never, never was my go to I'm I'm too shy, kind of. It's less shyness, it's more introversion. And being on stage and having a spotlight on me, I can do for a certain amount of time. And then I absolutely need to flee. And having to make a living like that would be super, super uncomfortable for me. So yeah, voiceover took a while, actually, because I did that in 95-96. I was doing internet marketing and SEO. That's because I started my songwriting website, I was promoting it on nothing. And I figured out how to do that in the early days of the internet and then people started hiring me to do it for them. So that's what I was doing. On my own. I was already self employed by probably about the year 2000. And when I got really, really bored with SEO and internet marketing, and Google was it, there was nothing else left. I just said, okay, time to switch the shingle. And I just switched my focus because I was already self employed. So just just I just had a decision on what to focus my attention on. So I focused it on voiceover in 2007. And never looked back.
You mentioned that you started out doing some work with the CNIB. Have you ever done any descriptive audio for television or video?
No, I never did that. I never did end up doing that. I mostly settled into the corporate narration commercial. In the beginning, I was doing E-learning. And that kind of world, because I had a lot to learn. And those were the opportunities that I found and that my voice apparently lent itself to. So those were the things I was getting hired for. And in our business, you do what you get hired for, right?
It's true, I thought I had the voice of monster truck and some classic rock and something like that. And then I was told, yeah, you're going to be the voice of our adult contemporary market, radio stations. And then the next other job that came up, I was doing a kid's voice and so you think you're one thing, but then it's always somebody else who says, yeah, you're actually something else.
Yeah, well, I mean, you can always fight against that there's not nothing saying that you can't branch out into different things. But you need a demo for that you need training for that you need all of those requisite tools to make that possible. And then you need people to listen to you in that capacity and hire you through that. So it's a bit of a process. It doesn't just happen overnight. So when you're just starting out, going where you're hired, at least pays the bills so that you can move into whatever other direction you want to go into.
I've always thought you know, the riches are in the niches when it comes to podcasting, and you've chosen one that's quite unique. And that's audio branding. So what makes sound so special?
Oh, so many things. My goodness, sound can influence what you taste. It has so many wonderful, emotional qualities to it, it makes us feel. And I often tell people this with the analogy of turn off the sound on the movie or watching. Just turn it off and watch the movie. Do you care? You know what's going on, but do you care? And that's the big question, right? Music, audio voices, they make us care. They give us emotional context. And so if you really want to put a fine point on it, that's how we relate to the world in a lot of ways. So it's not just our eyes, all of our senses were together, first of all, but there's something really special about sound and as a voice actor, as someone who makes my living in the area of sound on a daily basis, and you do too. So I couldn't not make this podcast about awareness on how important this subject actually is. Because I think in a lot of cases and you've probably experienced this too, when we are contacted by a client, often where the bow and the present are the icing on the cake or you know the last thing that they think about just to finish off the project, right. And I find that that is kind of a backwards way to do things. Because if it hasn't been thought of from the beginning, then the visuals and the audio aren't quite working together. They're they're more pasted on each other. And that doesn't make a cohesive project, it doesn't really hit people where they live. So if you really want the gold, you need to be thinking about how those things relate together, and how they work together, and where one fits into the other, and how they enhance each other. Because it's not just one or the other.
Walk me through what happens when you get a script, you get the script from the client will use corporate narration, which you do a lot of, and what's your thought process to how you're going to be able to bring those words to life on the microphone?
Well, a lot of it has to do with the script itself, because the script itself will have words in it that are indicative of who that corporation is what you want them what you want people to feel about that corporation. I'll often ask them also, if they have chosen a piece of music that they're already going to put behind that. Because my voice changes based on the music that they use it that gives me really, they don't have to tell me anything, they can put a script in front of me and give me a piece of music that they're going to put behind it. And I can I can figure it out from there. They don't need to say anything. Because that music, the type of emotional context that they're offering me with that music gets me exactly where I need to go in a split second. And that's really the easiest way to do it. But if I don't have the music, and often that is the case, then looking at the words themselves will give me a big hint. For instance, are they really formal? If they are they're not using contractions anywhere in their copy. If they aren't, then they're they're writing in a very conversational tone. What adjectives are they using? What do they use to describe their company? Is there any particular tone that I feel I'm getting from reading those words? And you know, that just that really tells me exactly what I need to know. Also, they hired me for a reason. My voice goes in certain places, right? Your voice goes in certain places. So they've heard my demos, they know what I do. They've heard your demos, they know what you do. They're asking you to do this because they feel that your voice is right for the project. So just be comfortable with the process.
Sometimes I'll get selected for a voice job and then I'm like, 'oh, I wonder what they want?' Then I have to think 'oh, wait, I auditioned for this. Let's go back and listen to the audition and why I was chosen.'
Sure. Yeah. I just wanted to mention, I often get contacted by people through my website without them asking for an audition. And that probably happens to you as well. So that's really what I'm talking about here. If I had an audition, I definitely would go back and listen to that. But often there isn't an audition, they just decided because they listened to something on my website and they they emailed me.
Then you walk the script over to the microphone. And what is your microphone?
The microphone that I have in my booth is a Sennheiser 416. So that's my everyday mic. And the one that I'm using right now is for podcasts when I happen to be on video, because it just looks a little better than being in my studio. And the video is the cameras a little better as well. But yeah, the studio itself, the booth is a five by four. So when I'm on video in the booth, it's very close. And I don't really like that look a whole lot. So I'm happy to be on camera. If people want me to be on camera in the booth. If they're directing me, I don't have a problem with that. But if I'm on a video podcast that's going to be around forever. I'd like to have the choice. So the one I'm using right now is a Hyper X. It's a gaming mic that I can change the color of as you can see. And it's a USB condenser mic and because I'm close enough to it, it sounds great so ,and as George Widom has said often if it sounds good, it is good.
In 2019, when you had your podcast, you weren't really thinking about video, and then you made a jump into video. And you've been quite conscious about setting up a microphone and being personable. Tell me about that decision to move into video a lot of podcasters struggle with how do I do it? Should I do it? First of all, why did you do it? Secondly, what's been your experience so far?
Well, I did it because I had a YouTube channel and I wanted to put something on it other than a static picture with waveform and I just thought it would add more to the channel. Also, YouTube is a different channel than the rest of the podcasting universe. It's a different audience. And it's an audience that obviously prefers video. So at the first bit of that, I actually wasn't posting my entire interview and if I was doing a solo podcast, I still was not posting video that that had no video to it. But when I started doing what I call 'sonic snippets', I was using, like a little bit of an intro that was less than a minute long to use for shorts. And I was using five minute or less sonic snippet and that was okay. But I think that people just wanted to see the whole thing. So at a certain point, I decided that, you know, I was already recording the video, why not just use the whole thing, it's not going to be perfect. Like a lot of live streams usually are not perfect. But it's something that people enjoy watching and listening to. And like I said, it's a different audience. And so I thought it was worth experimenting with and the experiment has worked pretty well, actually. So I can't complain.
Well, your YouTube channel looks great, graphics are there, sound is great. It's well organized. I like it.
I've had some help. I have definitely had help by myself, I would never have been able to do that.
You and I are recording right now on Squadcast but there are so many choices out there when it comes to recording your podcast. And you of course, have integrated some video as well. What's your choice?
I use Riverside. And the only reason that I'm really doing that right now is because I actually pay someone to be an audio engineer when I'm on those Riverside sessions. So his name is Shawn Savage, and he's a fellow Canadian. And he does a really good job of helping my guests feel comfortable and helping them go through any tech issues they may have and knows what they're using on his end, because it shows him exactly what what their audio hardware is. And so he can troubleshoot pretty easily and, and get them into a place where they feel comfortable enough to do the interview, as opposed to me doing that by myself. Where I mean, I'm totally patient. And I have no problem with people who have tech issues. This happens. We all know this happens. But I don't always know the best way to fix the problem. And so that adds stress to all of us. And if Sean's there and he can fix the problem and knows how to address it, and has come across that problem multiple times. That just takes that off of my plate, and I can concentrate on the interview and making my guests feel comfortable. And that is really the most important point for me. So I pay someone else to run the session. And it's been a godsend.
So you strike me as a very techy person. Yet, you've got people like like, Shawn, and you've already mentioned, George, who are really tech experts. What do you love about tech so much?
I find it exciting. I just find it exciting to experiment and try different things. And what I find really to be the most worthwhile part of that is finding the things that work for me and sticking with them. So I don't mind doing these things. To start off by myself, I obviously had to learn enough to have many interviews before I hired Sean. So I was using Riverside, I was using Squadcast actually as well. And those have been definitely options for me. But at some point, I kind of figured out that that was not my zone of genius that these particular places were things that I was interested in, and I liked experimenting with but people who had that kind of training already, we're going to help me get a lot further a lot faster. And I don't want to spend for instance, four hours editing my video. I don't want to do that. Someone else can do that for me, I could maybe do it. Maybe. I could teach myself how to do it but I wouldn't be nearly as good as someone else who does it in an hour. So why put myself through that ell?
I mean, same thing with me if you get to the end of this show. There's a whole bunch of credits that happened all those people were actually working on this particular podcast and we thank them for it.
Totally. Oh my goodness. I couldn't do it without them. Umberto Franco is my audio and video editor and he is outstanding. He's amazing. And I couldn't do this without him.
What about the decision, you've made a couple of them to migrate your podcast between podcasts hosts. You can actually look this up if you want. I think Pod News can give you the information, but it's gone from Lipson and then I think went to Buzzsprout and now it's got a nice home on Captivate. What are the things that go into making a decision to move it to another podcast host?
For me, I think one of the biggest things that I was looking at was a company that was interested in expanding and doing more things for their podcasts and I wasn't finding that on Lipson. They had been in a rut for a really, really long time. And, and I know, they were around from the very beginning, so I understand why. But their interface was so clunky, that I found it supremely annoying to just upload my show the simplest thing that you should be able to do and it was really annoying. And I know that they have since changed a bunch of things. So I am not saying anything against you know how good Lipson is or what they're doing now. And I'm sure a lot of people are very happy on their platform, but I at the time in 2019 was not too impressed. And so wanted to make life easier on myself and decided I would go to Buzzsprout, which was the next thing that I heard about on the various different message boards. And well message boards, Facebook groups actually really, and what people were telling me, and I was there for a little while, but they they had a show of their own. And I really appreciated the show, but I didn't see that they were adding a bunch of stuff that would help someone get to the next level with their podcast. I just didn't see that at the time. So I was probably there for maybe a year. And I was also paying a bunch of money to archive an old podcast of mine. And when I saw that, Captivate allows you to have as many podcasts as you want for the same amount of dollars. And it just had to do with I believe downloads and stuff like that in a monthly period, which I had no danger of even approaching at the time. I was I was just moved to go over there and I have met Mark Asquith in person. And he is a pretty dynamic individual and very interested in upgrading everything to do with podcasts because he has a bunch of podcasts of his own. And he's really into that. And I was just liking where the company was going. And I liked what the player looked like, too. That was a big deal to me, that it didn't necessarily have to have the Captivate logo all over it. You know what I mean? I just found that they were an up and coming hungry company that I was interested in seeing where they ended up and I've been there the longest.
So Mark Asquith is somebody that we're going to get on the show, at some point because he's such a forward thinking person. I've heard him on a number of podcasts and you know, his his take an idea on everything from the RSS feed to podcasting 2.0 and what the future could be he's just seems like a very innovative and open person. I can't wait to get him on the show.
Yeah, he he'll be great.
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What impact did the pandemic have on your business?
Oh my goodness, it actually increased my business. Weirdly, there were some industries that quieted down or completely died for a while. But other industries sort of took their place. So what ended up happening for me was that anything travel and tourism, which I love doing and still love doing and would do in a heartbeat now and it's actually powering back up again. Now, thankfully, that all went away. That and anything to do with conferences or movie going or anything like that, like it just died, automotive to automotive went away almost completely and what took its place was healthcare, and finance, and streaming services, anything to do to do with tech that made our lives easier as far as staying home was concerned. And those things are things that I really enjoy doing as well. So it just changed.
You mentioned conferences and I know you're a big champion of Pod Fest, Pod Fest was like the last event before we plummeted into the pandemic. Know, you're a big fan of that event. Tell me why you love Pod Fest.
Because it's a family. It's much more family oriented in the feel of it. It's a lot less about the corporate and the big show, and people talking to you from on high about how great they are. And, and more about sharing a stage with a bunch of people who are interested in what you're doing, whether you are having a million downloads, or 50. And people just starting, are there people who've been there for a long, long time are there and Chris Krimitsos who runs it is a fantastic guy and so easily approachable. And just really interested in forwarding the whole podcasting community, and making sure that we all get as most as much benefit from the conference as possible. So I think he's actually collaborating with She Podcasts this year. So they're going to have a section at the actual conference, which is their 10th anniversary this year. So very excited, and I'm definitely going to be there.
Do we know where it is yet? Because I heard he was moving it out of Florida.
No, it's still in Florida. It's in Orlando. I don't recall off the top of my head, which resort it's at right now. But it's a resort that's a lot less expensive than the one that we were at last year.
And by the way, I think he holds that at a time of year when it's a good time to go to Orlando.
It totally is and I will already be there. That's kind of why I'm I'm already signed up.
You mentioned something earlier, when something is working for you, you go with it. And you've really embraced Clubhouse, I look at clubhouse as being some sort of pandemic thing where everybody piled in, we all had lots to do. And then everybody dissipated, but you're still doing it on a regular basis. Tell me why you love Clubhouse, still,
you know what it to me is the only place where people can directly talk to me about my podcast, unless I'm already connected with them. It's really hard for people to actually have a conduit to you directly. And not a lot of people are going to email you not a lot of people are going to do anything that you ask them to do in a podcast, because it's such a passive medium. That's why they're listening. They don't want to actually have to interact, they just want to listen while they're doing other things. And I get it. I mean, I'm the same way, if I'm listening to a podcast, I don't want to be asked to do anything. I'm just listening, that's what I'm there for. But if people do want to actually connect with you giving them enough places to do that in a meaningful way, can help you build up your podcasts audience and it can help make people into actual fans as opposed to just passive listeners. So for me, the idea of actually having a space where I could have discussions about the power of sound in various different methods, because sound is such a huge topic. And podcasting and voiceovers are only two of the many. I talk about audio branding. So I talk about how sound induces us to buy and what it does in advertising and marketing and branding. But sound is such a huge topic and it influences everything we do. So talking about music, talking about the science of it talking about sound and healthcare, talking about things like podcasting, and voiceovers and public speaking. And all of those things are, I think they're important. And I think using your voice. And actually being able to hear someone speak the words, in their authentic way allows you to make a deeper connection with the people you're having that conversation with. So being on Clubhouse to me is being authentically myself in my voice and letting people get to know me.
Thank you, by the way for inviting me on to talk podcast once a month, Rob Greenlys there too, but you also have different events for voiceover and all those other components. And so it's not like you do this once a month. You're a regular- is it once a week you do it?
Well actually, I kind of do it twice a week. Because Wednesdays is Wednesdays at 2pm Eastern is the usual power of sound rooms whatever the topic happens to be. And we have regular rooms on music now. That Rich Green is running. Rich Green is a fantastic musician himself, but he's also one of George Widom's team. So that's how I found out that he was a musician and into that kind of thing. And he's often on the discussions we have about audio tech, which are also once a month with George Widom and anyone on his team that wants to take part. And Rich talks about music and the love of music and whatever he wants to talk about on that topic. And then we have podcasting and I do sometimes do other talks about, like I said, sound and healthcare and audio branding, and all of those kinds of things. And on Thursdays at 2pm, Eastern, and Anne Ganguzza, Cheryl Halling and myself all have a room called Voices In Podcasting. So what it is, is it's a kind of amalgam of voiceovers and podcasting, because all of us have podcasts, and we're all voiceovers. So we talk about both and we talk about where they meet in the middle. And often it it really, I mean, it kind of depends on who's in the room because it depends on who's asking the questions and what the questions are. So we get all sorts of really interesting questions. But I like to think of that as my party room. Because because we do that every week. And we just have a bunch of regulars show up. And we have discussions about anything we want to talk about, really, and we pull it back into voiceovers in podcasting, but we have fun. It's a big party.
I didn't even know that you could do this, but you can have Clubhouse on a desktop. How does that work?
You totally can. And that's how I do it. It's an app called Clubdeck. So if you go to clubdeck.app, you can download the program and put it on your desktop, Mac or PC. And I really find it much more much easier to use than any of the actual phone apps. And I don't like using my phone for these kinds of things, especially because then I can't really use this mic. Or maybe I could, but it's not quite as easy to do. So I can use this mic on Clubdeck and it comes through very nicely. The sound is fantastic and I don't have to worry about constant going in and out because I'm wired into my internet. So that makes it a lot better and of course sound is my big thing, right? So I want the sound to be good.
Oh you've got music intros. You've got all sorts of things. You have a voiceover at the beginning of the Clubhouse hour.
I do, why not? You know, I do it myself. I am my own brand, right.
There's a few things in podcasting. I'm like, 'yeah, don't do that'. But there's something that you do that, I still think to this day, I would not do that. But you're you do it. And that's divide your episodes into separate parts. So you bring a guest on and then you'll go part one and part two. And first of all, tell me why you do that. And then tell me why that works?
Well, originally, I wanted to do it because I thought 25 minutes or so was about as long as I wanted each podcast episode to be, that was just my thought on that. And it wasn't based on any, you know, data or anything like that. That was just what I wanted to do. And most of my interviews are actually 60 minutes or so long. And I wanted to have some ability to edit, you know, take out stuff that maybe didn't work or whatever, and then have a nice, bite sized chunk of good audio and interesting interview to give to people. But I thought that it actually created a bit of a buzz about the first part, and then leading into the second part. So it would make people more likely to listen to the second part if they liked the first one. So that was kind of my thought process on that. And I don't know, I don't necessarily try for a cliffhanger. But sometimes it works out that way. Sometimes it doesn't. But yeah, I just thought it was a nice way to do things. And then the reason that I've that I've kept up with it is because it's given me a bit of a buffer zone, as far as creating the episodes are concerned. So I've been doing this weekly since November of 2019. And I have never missed a week ever. So what that allows me to do is to program out ahead of time enough of these interviews so that, you know if I'm going to Florida for a month or two in the winter, which you know, we Canadians often do. I can do that. And I can not worry about my podcast because we have enough programmed out there and it's evergreen enough that I'm not worried it's going to somehow be non relevant by the time it comes out. And I just find that it works really well. I've been doing that now for over three years and it works out well.
I have reasons for why that's a bad idea, but at the same time I'm like I'm just upset that you causing anxiety in my life. Oh, I gotta remember to listen to the second part of that episode. Ah man I hope I don't forget to listen to the second part of the episode with Marilyn Wisner. You know, the seven days of anxiety that you cause me to do that, but I can see, though, that it would really help your completion rate. Because the number of times people will you know, you get a 40 or 50 minute interview, like the one we're doing now, people might put it down and then maybe they don't come back. And-
They forget about it. Yeah, like you did with that second part of Marilyn Wisner interview.
You know, just to spite you, I still have to go back and listen to that second part. Okay, I will do it.
Go ahead spite me.
But I'll bet you anything that your completion rates are way higher than they would be, if you put it all together in one part. So there's a benefit.
I think it is easier for people to listen in bite sized chunks. I think that podcasting as itself in an as a medium is okay. I just, I'm expressive with my hands. And I'm-
So, yeah, so I think that people are listening to podcasts while they're doing other things, which is why podcasts work so well. And I think why they're getting so popular because people are multitasking, they're doing a bunch of different things in their life. You know, now they're actually commuting again. So that's happening. But people are also taking care of kids, they're taking care of parents, they're taking your they're cooking dinner, they're doing the laundry, they're going on a walk, you know, they're, maybe there's some other person watching television in the background, you know, like, you don't know. So I think that making it bite sized, makes it easier for digestion and it also allows them to not have to multitask that long. So mentally, I think it gives us a bit more, just a bit of a rest. You know, it's not, it doesn't need to be four hours long.
And you've had Jeff Fiddler from Signal Hill Insights on your show and I think back to Jeff, when he tells me, he's gonna go select the podcast, he's actually looking at how long it's going to be, but you've got this great guarantee that the show is going to be under a half hour.
Most people can spare that in their time, especially if they're multitasking.
I mean, I have some episodes where I bomb people with with a 90 minute episode. And that also creates that same anxiety I was talking about earlier, right?
Yeah. But maybe you split it into two.
I've never done that. But I promise in the next year, I will do that with an episode.
Okay. I'd love to see what the numbers are. I'd love to see what happens.
I'm quite certain the completion rate would be higher.
Yeah, you're probably right.
How do you take care of your voice?
Right now I am not having dairy. That's how I take care of my voice.
Has that been for a long time?
About three months.
Yeah, yeah. And I find actually, that not having it at all, has given me a lot more control, and less clearing of my throat. Because I have a lot of thoughts on this kind of thing. I really don't think that humans are meant to drink milk or have dairy. I don't think it's it should be part of our diet. I know people do it and that they're not everyone gets a stomach ache and that just means you don't have your early warning system. It doesn't mean that you're actually benefiting from it. But you know, it's such a part of our society, that it's really hard to do without it. And I've been discovering in the three months that I'm a little happy to be doing without it.
Same. Something that I've relatively given up I'm not dairy free. The only thing I will let slide is cheese on a pizza or cheese on a burger and that's it. The rest of its gone. But in terms of I ever have pasta, it's going to be pecorino, which is a sheep's cheese, little saltier. And that's really the extent of anything, anything dairy and it does make a big difference when it comes to your throat your digestion, your stomach.
Drinking a lot of water too.
Is a big thing being hydrated, so six to eight glasses of water a day. Really, those are hungers your body needs, your body needs moisture. And if you give it the hungers it needs then you can sort of not be so at the whim of your own better self let's say. So I can I can pass up on things that I know are not healthy for I mean, not all the time and I'm not a perfect person by any means and I'm not saying that anyone has to be a perfect person. But if the majority of times you can say no to the piece of cake, or the doughnut, when you don't need it, and there's no reason to have it, then so much the better for your health, because your health is really something that you need to be able to do this job.
There's a lot of people who have podcasts who maybe are thinking about an imaging voice or a voice for their audio brand. What advice do you have for them?
It's an interesting question, because the voice really needs to go with the rest of their branding, which might also include sound effects, and music and anything else, that they're putting audio wise, also their visuals, because the visuals coupled with the audio are going to make you feel a certain way. So I would say, think of the emotion first, what emotion are you trying to make people feel. And when you can zero in on that, you can pretty much zero in on the type of voice that you're going to need for that kind of emotion. And, really, I mean, it's, it's so subjective. This is, this is not a perfect science, even the people who've been doing it for years, like you ask people that, say, caesium salt, and they, you know, they've been doing this, I don't know, since almost the 1990s, I think, like a long, long time. And even they will tell you, it's a mix. And it's it's more of an art than a science, it's both. But, you know, coming up with that perfect combo for whatever client anyone's working on is, it's a combo deal. It's a, it's a collaborative effort. There's a lot that goes into it.
A lot of people say, well, I don't really need a voice or an imaging voice for my show. One of the things I would recommend, though, is that you should probably have one at the beginning of your show. Let's say your guest on your podcast goes and embeds the show onto their website and somebody comes along and hits play, you want to have that branding at the beginning of the show, so that the viewer or listener doesn't assume that the podcast is from that website, you want to have that branding at the beginning and at the end.
Yeah. Something else that I would mention also is that if you are your brand, then by all means do your own intro and outro. Like if you feel that you can do that, and you want to do that and you are your brand. Go ahead. If you want someone to say nice things about you at the beginning of your podcast to introduce you, it's a little less awkward to have someone else do it for you.
I know you're going to have a unique take on this because you touch everything that is audio. And you know the question I'm going to ask because I can see it on your face now. And even people can hear it through their headphones. Ai? Uh huh. Yeah. What are your feelings about AI as it pertains to either podcast, voiceover or both?
I think it has a potential to help in a lot of ways. I think that there should be some legal issues tackled, in order to make sure that this is actually useful and not harmful to the people that are having their voices cloned or writers that aren't writing anymore. Or, you know, how are these AI learning what they're learning? Are they learning this from copyrighted material that they shouldn't have access to? Or are they learning it from other data mines? Are they taking stuff that they shouldn't be taking and using it without permission? A lot of this is about permission. And if permission is given, then go to town. That's awesome. If money is paid, and permission is given, and licenses are out there on the table, and everyone knows everything that's going on, then yeah, transparency is needed and I think AI could be a wonderful addition to helping a podcast get itself out there in many different ways and helping people figure out how to get ideas for blogs or, you know, make a particular title 160 characters because it needs to be 160 characters to fit into some field of some kind, like, you know, I get that that's just, that's no brainer stuff that I think would be fantastically helpful. But when it comes to voiceover, there's a really weird gray zone that I think that we need to define. So it's all about permission. It is really all about permission. And I want to get ahead of that curve. So I am looking into ways to clone my voice and have me be the owner of that clone and be able to license it out to people, which would be less expensive than my regular sitting in a live session voice or my recording voice. is at home. But, you know, maybe the spark isn't quite there. You know, I think it could be with time. But that would be something that I could license out for, let's say doing long form narration, which I don't do, I don't do anything longer than five minutes of finished audio, that's part of my, my career, I've made that my, my niche. So I just I wouldn't do long form. But if someone wanted my voice to do long form, I would do it with my licensed, cloned voice. And whatever that would cost would probably be less than it would cost for me to do it personally. And then they'd have access to updates and such because of course, they could just substitute in a word or two whenever they wanted to do that and it makes updating a lot easier. So if I happen to have a cold, or you know, if I'm traveling or something, and I can't be there, they could just license my my clone voice and go for it. I really think that that is a great way to stay relevant for voice actors and I think that we should own that and part of my problem right now is that most of the AI options for voiceovers are on subscription based services. And subscription based services basically pay us pennies on the dollar, like Spotify paid to musicians, and I do not want my voice to suddenly become Spotify. It's not what I'm into. So yeah, I'm being careful. I'm aware. I'm being careful. I'm looking for the future.
Well, it sounds like you kind of thought it through.
And I think the voiceover people are ahead of the radio people in this, there's a lot of panic over in radio about you know, what's going to happen. I say, Listen, you have to understand you're now in the licensing business.
And that's a great idea, by the way that you suggested and that's record yourself and then retain it all yourself, and then you can distribute it yourself.
Yeah, the problem becomes that that takes software for learning the clone making the synthesis and so you really do need to partner with some kind of a software company in order to make that possible. But is that software company going to take 80%? Or are they going to take 40%? You know, are they going to take less because all they're doing is supplying a piece of software that you're then paying monthly for? There's so many different ways this could work. But I do think that voice talent will need to partner with software companies in order to make this possible.
Well, it was back in 2019 in the greenroom at Voiceover Norse that we got together and I said you know Jodi, I've got to have you on my podcast and here we are in 2023.
Only took a little while.
Well thanks for still saying yes.
Thank you for inviting me. This was a lot of fun.
The Sound Off Podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski
, edited by Chloe Emond-Lane, social media by Aidan Glassey. Another great creation from The Sound Off Media Company. There's always more at soundoffpodcast.com