25 - Sammy's doin' lines

Recording Dialog for Sammy

It's a sunny, but cool, fall afternoon. We turn right, onto a nondescript street somewhere in Colorado. Even though Absolute Zero is progressing nicely, games without dialog aren't much fun.

After locating our destination we quickly slip Sammy out of the car and into the house, successfully avoiding any paparazzi and religious converters.

Once inside we head downstairs to Studio VMP (Vocal Massage Parlor) and get down to business.
We're briefed on studio protocol, NO DRINKS NEAR THE EQUIPMENT! But farting is permissible.

Dave tickling the plastic

Studio VMP has an arsenal of fun musical stuff to play with, drums, guitars, keyboards... but we're not here to make music. Sound Engineer Dave's running Logic Pro X on a Mac to do all his recording and had recently bought a new mic setup, Dave's Upgrade, which is good 'cause God only knows what the old mic was used on.

More knobs = better!

Although Sammy has several thousand hours of speaking experience, she's never done any voice over work. Yet again, Dave to the rescue. Here's some of his tips to Sammy on how to do voice over work:

Here is what she can do:

  • Get comfortable & relaxed
  • Speak at a normal, consistent pace (for the most part)
  • Speak at a normal volume
  • Drink water
  • Stretch your neck and your face muscles
  • Take a deep breath

When we begin recording:

  • Open your mouth and leave it open… “begin recording”
  • Speak a phrase
  • Only breath between phrases
  • Leave a tiny pause between the phrase and your breathing (silence is easily removed)
  • Leave a tiny pause at the end of the phrase
  • Try to do each passage as a single take, just break it up into phrases if you run out of breath
  • Try multiple takes

Some thoughts:

  • Test to determine when you should breathe between phrases
  • Make breathing marks if necessary (print out the dialog)
  • Try to stick to the dialog, but if you ad-lib or have a better idea (and you should), make sure to write it down and get it to me so I can change it in the docs if I like it
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Nobody is going to judge you. Well, Randy might but fuck him.

Dave contemplating… I wonder what this button does… never had the guts to push it before

I've heard the final product and it sounds great! It's so easy to listen to something and say "yeah, sounds good", but the amount of work that goes into that process is insane.

We recorded somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 tracks for Sammy that day and Dave said it would take him approximately 40 hours to create what's needed to be game ready. And, he still has Mark's recordings to work on... another 30 or so tracks. Damn glad I'm just the blog bitch!

Recording Mark’s lines… every production needs some outtakes!

We plan on getting more dialog recorded soon... lots of fun characters still to come!

Oh, and in case anyone else needs it, here's Sammy's contract rider:
  1. M&M’s, 1 small bowl, only the the green ones. If another color is found, she’s walking out
  2. High ball glass with ice, 2 shots of premium vodka and a whisper of citrus, if the vodka sucks, she’s walking out
  3. The room needs to be at precisely 47% humidity, if it varies by 1% in either direction, she’s walking out
Friggin' divas!

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It was so fun to hear your reactions at the Xmas party!

(I put together a rough cut of one of our Absolute Zero cutscenes and played it on the stereo) :slight_smile: