Here is Jeffrey Machado answering our questions today:
Let's start with some ice breaking quick questions
- What’s your favorite book?
Right now, it’s “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. So much wisdom in such a small book.
- Mac or PC user?
- What was the last software or hardware you purchased?
Izotope RX10. Amazing!!
- Analog or digital recording?
Digital. I’m a child of the 70s and will always have a warm spot in my heart for analog, but you can’t beat digital for ease of editing.
- Do you play any musical instrument?
Keyboards, and I’m just now getting my feet wet with bass guitar.
- What’s your favorite Digital Audio Workstation for editing sound?
- What are your top 3 favorite music bands?
The Police, Depeche Mode and Styx, although Styx hasn’t aged as well as the other two IMHO. Can you tell I grew up in the 80s?
- Most recent concert post covid times? And what’s your favorite concert ever!
Sad to say, I haven’t been to a post-COVID concert. Favorite ever has to be INXS in 1994, because a) I got all the bandmates’ signatures, and b) it was my first date with my future wife.
- What’s the most famous person you’ve met?
Probably Arnold Schwarzenegger. I got to interview him briefly when he was running for governor of California. That dude’s big up close!
- Imagine if you could meet a person you wish, who would that be??
Living: Andrea Romano. In every interview I’ve heard with her, she sounds absolutely delightful. No longer living: Walt Disney, hands down.
- This holiday: beaches or mountains?
- So what's your preferred weekend?
A walk in autumn nature. Bring on the fall colors!!
2. Career Path & Insights
- Where are you based?
Roseville, California, near Sacramento.
- How did you start in the industry?
I started in radio, as a morning show host and production director. It was a small station so we all wore a lot of hats, but that gave me a lot of hands-on experience with voice work and audio production.
From there, I became a copywriter at an ad agency. One of our clients found out I used to be in radio and asked if I could voice a scratch track for one of their commercials. They liked it so much they used it for the actual spot, and they became my first client as a voice actor.
I’ve been fortunate to have some great mentor/trainers, including J. Michael Collins, David Rosenthal and Robin Armstrong. They’ve all taught me different but equally valuable lessons, and they’ve all been generous with their time and knowledge. I may get to a point where agents and the union play a bigger role in my career. But right now I’m a journeyman non-union voice actor, and I love it. For where I am right now, both geographically and in terms of my professional development, being non-union gives me the most opportunity.
- Current projects you have at the moment that you can tell
Freelancing. I just wrapped up a series of three audiobooks for children, and I finished my first audio description script/narration project.
- Could you tell us some of the projects you enjoyed the most? Your outstanding project!
It’s probably the first big job I had, where I voiced the main character in an indie videogame. It took three days to record and my voice was wrecked at the end, but it was a blast!
- What makes you a great VO artist?
I don’t think I’m great - at least, not yet. ;-) But I’m very proud of my track record of service for my clients. I love taking the extra step for them.
- Which part of your job do you most enjoy?
That moment where I step into the booth but I haven’t said anything yet. It’s all potential and excitement.
- Which is the thing you enjoy learning more?
How to control my voice physically. Subtle changes can make a huge difference!
- How do you think learning in this industry has changed?
I think it’s amazing that you can now learn from a huge body of teachers without ever meeting them face to face.
3. Home Studio for remote recording
- Do you have your own studio? Could you tell us what setup, tech & hardware it consists of? How did you build it? Which kind of
interface, DAW, setup, mic, headphones, speakers...
I do have my own home studio. I use a Rode NTG5 shotgun mic and an RME Babyface Pro preamp/interface. It all feeds into Adobe Audition running on a Windows PC. I built it all, including my booth, which was my COVID summer project.
- What are your favorite places to record?
In the booth, baby!!
- Tell us also about your software.
Aside from Audition - and, of course, Source-Connect - I use the heck out of Izotope RX. I just upgraded to version 10, and it just keeps getting better.
- Which kind of services do you offer with your studio?
Voice acting for a variety of genres, and as of this month, AD scriptwriting.
4. Remote working with Source-Connect
- How has the pandemic been for you work wise?
A roller coaster. It started strong, then fizzled out a bit in 2021.
- What percentage of your work is remote now?
100%, at least for the voice work.
- When did you start with Source-Connect? What has been your favorite recording session with Source-Connect? Could you tell us some of the benefits of having remote collaboration tools?
I started with Source-Connect in 2021, and I used it for the first time a few months after I got it. That first session was my favorite because it was so exciting!
The clearest benefit to remote collaboration tools in general, and Source-Connect in particular, is that geography is no longer a limiting factor in the creative process. I can work with any audio producer anywhere on the planet, and as long as I maintain high quality on my end, it’s like being in the studio with them. Just amazing.
- Are you Source-Connect certified? If so, what has improved since then regarding knowledge and work?
I am. As I’ve gained more knowledge about Source-Connect, my confidence in using it has skyrocketed.
- How do you see working with remote tools in post-pandemic times?
They’re essential. They’ve enabled virtually all of my business growth.
- What is your favorite thing about remote recording?
The short commute. ;-)
- Are remote collaboration tools here to stay?
- What challenges have you faced when working remotely?
I’ve had to become my own engineer, which had a bit of a learning curve. But now I have a new skill set, so it’s been a total win.
5. Industry, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- How would you describe the media industry? And more specifically, tell us about your experience in the industry (unions, agents, auditions, networking, ...)
I’ve worked in radio, advertising and voiceover, so I’ve seen media production from all sides. At its worst, media is used (or misused) simply as a vehicle to generate cash, or as a means to divide us. At its best, it’s an incubator for amazing creativity, a source of collective knowledge, and a powerful force for unity. I’ve been lucky enough to experience much more of the good than the bad, particularly in the voice acting community.
- Would you like to change the industry? If so, what would you change?
I’d like to see fewer opportunists who exploit new voice actors just to make a buck.
- What's your perspective on diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry at the moment?
Bring it on. It means more opportunities for everyone.
- What’s the future of the industry looking like from your perspective?
I think most low-budget clients are going to switch to AI voices, which means there will be a handful of clients who care enough (or have a big enough budget) to hire human voice actors, and a handful of elite actors to service them. So in a sense, it’ll resemble the industry as it was before the Internet.
6. Advices to other VO artists/people in the industry
- How would you describe your job to those who know the industry well?
I’m a marketer who occasionally gets to do voice acting.
- What sort of personal qualities do you think are best suited to your job?
Creativity, a willingness to play, and an ability to self-motivate.
- Do you have advice for other professionals in the industry?
I don’t think I’m qualified to dispense advice to other professional voice actors - but I’d definitely recommend that they continue to be as welcoming, generous and supportive as they’ve been.
- Who have you found useful to watch or to learn from?
Oh man. J. Michael Collins. Bill DeWees. Robin Armstrong. Celia Siegel. Too many others to list.
- What advice would you pass on to someone who's trying this sort of remote workflow out for the first time?
It may seem intimidating, but once you get over that first hump, it’s a bliss.
- What would you say is your recipe for success?
Always be learning, and keep on moving.
- What would be the thing you would most like our listeners to take away from this interview?
That I’m not a self-obsessed blowhard.
Don’t forget to say goodbye!
Source-Connect is so freakin’ cool!!
More about Jeffrey Machado:
June 7, 2023
June 7, 2023