VAC 11 Judge Review:
This piece really really needed some background ambience or music. This sounded like you were recording in one take. Recording lines separately and fashioning them together helps create a sense of realness, especially when they overlap at certain spots. It helps push the flow of the piece as well as cuts down time. Other than that, your acting was okay. There could have been more vocal variation and some mixing work on the voices to differentiate who was who. Simply some slight reverb on the secret agent could make him sound like he’s on a different plain than the narrator and would differentiate those characters more. The story was okay, it was kind of dull but I think that might be because of the amount of silence and the general mood of the acting not really fluctuating; the secret agent could have sounded way more surprised by some of the narrator’s comments. Overall, this is a decent piece that needs more work to really make it stand out.
Thank you for the review. I would have added background noises, but as it turns out, the websites I found were going to make me pay for them and money is not something I can afford to waste right now (if you know of a place where I can get free sound effects then I would be very happy if you would tell me where). Also, would you really expect a lot of noise to be made around a top secret base where the agent is trying to be quiet? The only sounds that would come to mind is a grappling hook and the footsteps of the secret agent scaling the wall, and maybe some wind. (The lack of sound in some parts also leaves ambiguity as to who to believe, the agent or the narrator). And the silence between pieces is intensional to represent real time in conversation (Not everything is said within two seconds when someone stops talking, but it seems that people aren't appreciative of this so my next comedy audio submission will have less of this. I could have easily smashed all the audio together).
I recorded voices in multiple takes, but even I'll admit that I should have gone back to add more vocal diversity (I can do a lot of different voices, shown through my demos, but it would seem somewhat cheap to try and work these voices in, like trying to shove a square block through a round hole). I don't really know what you mean by "reverb", but I recorded my voices based on what I see and hear on television and real life and for the most part, the narrator's voice is usually the same as the people in the story, as if the narrator is in the room with them.
You are correct that the secret agent could have sounded more surprised at the narrator's comments, but should he? If he loses his temper that easily, he wouldn't be much of a secret agent. And flipping out in entertainment is often too overdone to be humorous. Why should a person getting angry be entertaining or how is it unique when every movie today uses this strategy at some point?
And lastly, you say the story was dull, but this might have been due to the lack of background noise or music? That's not very good judging from my perspective. You should be able to separate the story and production quality since these are two different things, which reflects and calls into question your judging skills. This is the only story that I've ever heard to follow this plot. I would, however, definitely agree with you that this is not grade A work, but it is definitely more unique than you give it credit for, despite its lack of polish.
I hope you enjoyed my review of your review and I'll be sure to enter your contest next year, whether or not I win and whether or not you hold a grudge for anything I wrote in this comment. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Great job, fellow entrant! I'd add sound effects (from freesound, or other places that offer copyright-free sound effects) because right now it just sounds kinda stale with just voices. I like the plot, with the characters interacting with the narrator, but I always like plots like that. xD I'd try to find something to make your voice sound a bit...fuller. Right now, it sounds a bit like it was recorded in a box, and the sound is very hollow and kind of has a dull echo. Other than that, this was nice! Good luck!
Thank you. I may look into the sound effects this weekend. However, I don't know what to do about the recording quality. I don't really know what else I could have done better. This is as good as it gets I guess.
The voices themselves were decent, and you show good control over them. I'm also a sucker for dry humor, but if I had to be critical on something, it seemed like there was too much "space" in between the sentences of each character. It almost seemed like someone paused it for a half a second and then played it again, which sort of disrupted the flow of it.
Other then that, I'd say it was swell and fun to hear. Good luck in the competition!
Thanks. I tried to leave pauses to represent pauses that would occur in the situation. I could have easily just stuck all of the audio together, which looking at what people have to say about it, I'm beginning to think I should have.
I don't get it, but thanks for the review.
Alright, you are on the right track with this one; only going in reverse. I enjoyed the writing for this. A nice little take on the secret agent theme. Same goes for first, fits nicely. It feels empty, however. Ambiance, music, sound effects, whatever would have helped this out nicely. Some of the voices seem a tiny bit forced and too spaced out. Another thing that would have helped is sound absorption. I understand not all of us (including me) can afford decent sound recording studios, but blanket on the walls or something would have eliminated enough reverb to increase the quality. Overall, I'd compare this to a well-baked cake, albeit with not enough frosting to make me wanna pig out on it. Keep working on it though, I do enjoy your voice and believe you can do something with it if you just work on a few things.
I do agree with you on many of the points you made. However, I do not have access to music and sound effects (I'm not sure if I'd even be allowed to use some of those things since they might infringe on copyright). Also, I don't know how else I can increase absorption. The space I worked in was basically one big blanket except for my computer and me. I am thinking of re-recording a few things on the track especially the secret agent's voice (I might make him sound more like Solid Snake). Are you part of the judging of the contest?
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.