For episode 6 Dan and Josh tour the professional recording studio of Amy Taylor Fernandez. She has a great set of pipes and nice mics to capture them.
After carefully analyzing the audio recordings coming out of Telly award-winning Amy Taylor Fernandez’s studio, Dan practically begged her to be a guest on Show Me Your Setup and share her setup with the world.
Amy’s signals are so clean that Dan had to know why. Once Amy shared the secret, he knew that both Josh and their audience would want to learn more about her gear.
00:25 Amy answers
01:08 The big reveal!
02:04 More gain
04:00 TLM 103
06:23 Not picky about cans
08:18 Low noise floor
09:55 Label everything
13:30 Optimal light level
17:20 Primary workstation
24:50 Monster power
26:30 MacBook Pro
30:50 Telly awards
31:50 Amy’s range
32:50 Ensenjame su equipo
35:50 Editing breaths
37:41 Contacting Amy
38:37 Amy asks
41:50 Thanks Amy
46:30 Record when people arrive
49:49 What is ModPod?
50:48 Pocket Casts
Episode 6 begins with Dan and Josh introducing their first guest, Amy Taylor Fernandez. Her usual workstation and vocal booth are visible in her background.
Within the first two minutes Amy drops a bombshell surprise on the fellas when she reveals that she built, and is using to record this episode, a Record-In' Box of her own! She even ups the ante in terms of portability over Dan’s version by using a Centrance MicPort Pro as the USB audio interface to connect her Neumann TLM 103 to her MacBook Pro. The MicPort Pro is much smaller than a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, so it makes a great portable solution for providing 48 V phantom power to a large diaphragm condenser microphone.
Amy explains that as a voiceover professional, she found herself making pillow forts for mics when travelling. But after seeing our episode 3 she decided that it was such an easy solution, she had to make one for herself. It’s easy to fit in a carry-on, and fun to make for anyone who likes to make crafts.
After showing us her TLM 103, she shows us her U-87 which wis her dream microphone. “For me, it sounds great, I don’t need anything else. For now.”
Amy has numerous sets of headphones around the studio, each with a short story attached. She’s not picky about headphones in general but does have some guiding principles. Comfort is important, and length of cord is paramount. But in Amy’s setup, you will not find any headphones that creak or clink when worn during speech, as those noises are unwanted. Thus, any such cans were removed long ago.
The raison d’être for this episode is covered next when Dan describes why he wanted to tour Amy’s studio. Her noise floor is so low and her audio captures so exceptionally clean, as an audio nerd, Dan needed to know how this could be? Amy shared her secret, and it sent Dan off on a wild ride of research. But not before he asked her to please, please, please share her studio with the world.
This episode is rife with hot tips for any audio recording enthusiast. As stories are shared, insights and industry tricks are liberally shared. You will want to listen closely and take notes for future reference!
The video version of the episode has many images of the inner workings of Amy’s studio and gear. As items are described, they appear onscreen.
Many images of the inside of the 4x4 WhisperRoom are shown. Lighting is discussed - all other gear, acoustic treatment, and surfaces too. Next to the booth, Amy made a standing desk for all her editing, organizing, and sending. She uses this workstation for a lot of her voicework. It has two microphones. A Shure SM-7and an Electro-Voice RE-20, both in shock mounts on boom stands, ready to swing into action. These microphones are connected to the Mackie ProFX12v3. This and all other peripherals are plugged into the Monster Power line conditioner which keeps them safe from lightning strikes and other power irregularities.
The ‘brains’ of the studio are a MacBook Pro. Amy trusts the stability of her system to upload several 45-minute recordings daily. She’s connected to the grid via high-speed internet with solid, business-class service.
Amy shows ahigh-level of organization throughout. Everything is in its place, and a place for everything.
Josh asks about the trophies, and Amy explains that she won Telly awards for her work as a voice artist. One of key things to know about Amy is that she records both in Spanish and English. She is a self-described one-stop-shop for commercial voice services. E-learning is also a sweet spot for her career. Like many voice professionals, Amy would love to voice cartoons, but these days automotive recordings pay the bills.
Amy helps Dan wrestle with some Spanish to create an alternative show intro.
Discussion continues, covering the editing of non-English languages and all that entails. Editing preferences are described, from breathy to breathless. Everyone weighed in with their opinions.
Amy is happy to communicate with other audio nerds. Feel free to reach out to her atamytaylorfernandez.com with any questions.
After thanking Amy for joining us, Dan and Josh talk a little bit more about the origin of the Record-In' Box.
Final note of advice from the studio...always hit record when people arrive. That is how you catch the random ‘gold.’
- AKG Headphones
- Centrance MicPort Pro
- Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator
- Electro-Voice RE-20 Microphone
- Electro-Voice 309ASuspension Shock Mount
- MackieProFX12v3 12-Channel Professional Analog Mixer With USB
- MacBook Pro
- Monster Power
- Neumann U-87Microphone
- Neumann TLM 103 Microphone
- ShureSM-7 Microphone
- Sterling Volume Control for Headphones
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Pro Vocal Recording Booth Testin'
Dan sets up the MXL 990 in a professional vocal booth to record baseline audio using The Official SMYS Tongue Twister Vocal Warmup Cheat Sheet.