Acting : Self tape kit by Eyiara Olugunna

Eyiara Olugunna

Self tape kit

Hi lovely people,

So with self-taping dominating the scene now, I usually just use my phone to record but I noticed the sound quality hasn't been so great. I was thinking of getting one of those small mics that you attach to the phone. Is that advisable or would y'all recommend something else?

Laura Buckles

I have a lav mic that I attach to my phone and a portable ring light that I can travel with for an on the go self-tape set up. I also have one of those small bendable tripods so I can set up pretty much anywhere. Just make sure that you get enough cord on the lav mic so that you can get a few feet away from your phone.

Eddie James

Same. Definitely get the mic. I have the mini tripod and ring w/clap for the phone and it is great.

Victor Warren

Its good to have a phone mount and a soft fill for your face.

Victor Warren

also a lav...

Ken Moretti

There are a number of good lavalier mics under $40 available on Amazon, compatible with IPhones and Galaxy phones. They work well to enhance your vocal quality when self-taping. Just make sure you look carefully at the plug specs in case you need the right compatibility with your phone or laptop.

Jason Mirch

Victor Warren nailed it! Those ring lights are game changers for filming.

Eyiara Olugunna

I really appreciate your suggestions - thank you! I've got a ring light and will make sure to get a good mic.

Mark E Holmes

The space you're using for auditions also makes a difference. In a close/tight space, one that plugs into your phone should be more than enough. If it's wide open or allows for echoes, you might consider using a lav to keep the audio capture closer to you. Good luck!

Richard "RB" Botto

Ring light, lav, for sure. And here are some apps that might help the cause as well:

Eyiara Olugunna

Mark E Holmes thank you!

Eyiara Olugunna

Richard "RB" Botto thanks for the link. Had a look at some of the apps and it's pretty cool what they can do :)

Richard "RB" Botto

Happy to share, Eyiara Olugunna

Matthew Cornwell

I've owned a taping service in Atlanta for over 10 years (we're so much ahead of the game with self-tapes compared to LA), so I thought I'd chime in. Basically, I just want to piggyback off of the comment from Mark E Holmes

I did my Masters Degree in Acoustics, and without a doubt the room you record in will have a HUGE impact on the sound quality, even with a good mic. It's why for VO auditions, the quickest way to get good audio is to record in your closet or in a parked car with the engine off. You can get GREAT audio (relatively speaking) with an iPhone's built-in mic if your environment is acoustically treated.

Make sure that if your taping space has a hard floor, that you put a rug (or hamper full of clothes) between you and the camera. For placement, think about bouncing a ball from your mouth to the mic, and wherever that ball would hit the floor, that's where the rug or other soft surface should be placed.

The same geometric analogy should be used for your walls. If you have two hard walls that are close to you on either side, consider putting a coat tree on one side, and something soft on the other to deaden those reflections (again, it should be at the same height as your mouth).

All this can be done for $0, and will help you today with your quality. If you have a reader, that complicates things because without an external lav, they either have to stand far away from the phone (in which case you may need to have a different visual since they won't be in an ideal sight line), or they have to whisper (which always takes me out of the read when I hear those types of self-tapes).

Atlanta is almost 100% self-tapes for TV and film, so our standards are pretty high compared to LA. I imagine as a result of quarantine, LA's standards will start to increase a little more quickly now...

Ken Moretti

Matthew: Love the acoustic tips and “tricks” ! Especially for the “cost-conscious”! I have always had my doubts about “behind the wheel” submissions....”DO NOT DO WHILE DRIVING!!” LOL

Karen "Kay" Ross

Aww, man, this is SUCH good information! Did any of y'all catch the self-tape webinar today? I'll have to watch the recording, but I really wanted to participate live :-P

Eyiara Olugunna Did you by chance take before and after pictures? I'd love to do a post on the Acting Lounge where we can all show off our home studio revamps - I'll post mine if you post yours! :-D

OMG Matthew Cornwell Thanks so much for this! Have you considered writing a blog post with all of this good info in it? Drop Taylor a line if you're interested!

Karen "Kay" Ross

Love to see everyone so supportive Laura Buckles Eddie James Victor Warren Ken Moretti Mark E Holmes and of course Jason Mirch and Richard "RB" Botto - this is exactly the kind of post and response we love to see! Thanks for jumping in!

Wendell Kinney

Some tech advice, when trying to use a smartphone for self taping, it's best to do it in airplane mode for best recording purposes. Before I got a good recording camera, I self taped with my previous Galaxy S6 and notice inconsistent recordings and was able to pin it down to this: if your phone is actively communicating (over wifi, data, etc), the processing power can change from you using your camera application. So for best taping while using your cellphone, keep it in airplane mode to prevent unnecessary skips and syncing with the file for processing. You'll also notice better focusing since the phone processor can fully focus on the camera app, rather than using other processing power with sending/receiving data over networks.

Eddie James

So true! Learned that the hard way.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Hey,, Wendell Kinney ! Nice to meet you! I was looking over your profile, but you don't have much there. Tell me about yourself!

Great advice! I'll remember to keep it in airplane mode, thanks!

Eyiara Olugunna

Thanks everyone for the great advice! So I've got a mic and it's been really good for the self tapes that have been coming in. I've also been putting my phone on airplane mode and having a rug between me and the camera when filming. All this has made a huge difference, so thank you!!!

Kamary Phillips

Sounds good, Eyiara! I've posted a bunch of self-tapes as of late during my lockdown. Take a look if the spirit moves you. Cheers from N.C.!

Karen "Kay" Ross

Hey, Eyiara Olugunna! Would you be willing to post a self-tape in the Acting Lounge for feedback? If you post it, I'll post one of mine to help encourage others to exchange for feedback.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Hey, Eyiara Olugunna! You are quite right! Let's have you post it in the Your Stage Lounge to request feedback! I'll be hanging out there on Fridays as part of #FilmmakerFriday to encourage the S32 Community to join in and comment on videos. If you post for feedback, all I ask is you stay long enough to give feedback as well. Looking forward to your video!

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