New York, NY (July 9, 2009)–Neumann has announced its endorsement of Joan Baker. In a career that now spans two decades, Baker has been “the voice” for hundreds of programs, promos, and commercials in TV, film, and radio. Her clients include ABC News, American Express and ESPN, among others.
However, Baker is more than one of the most sought-after voiceover artists in the country: she is also an educator, regularly sharing her insights and techniques with students breaking into the business, and authored the voiceover artist’s bible, Secrets of Voice-Over Success.
Baker is also a longtime Neumann devotee, who developed her preference for Neumann large-diaphragm condensers through trial and error early in her career. “I used to use whatever mic they put in front of me,” she recalled. “Usually it was a Neumann, but on those rare occasions when they gave me something else, I noticed the difference. It was very disappointing.”
When the time came to build her own personal vocal booth, she built it around a Neumann U 87, arguably the most famous microphone in Neumann’s contemporary line. In addition to jobs, Baker uses her vocal booth for voice coaching.
“A microphone can make or break a voice,” Baker said. “It’s one of the most important aspects of voiceover work. With an inferior mic, an otherwise powerful and resonant voice loses the fullness of its range. This causes the speaker to sound one-dimensional. With a high-end microphone like a Neumann, the voice sounds full and natural. The speaker’s complete range of expression can be faithfully rendered. Importantly, the high-end mic will cut through a mix of other sounds, whereas anything else has a tendency to lose or muddy the nuances.”
For better or for worse, Baker recognizes that today’s voice talent must possess a somewhat sophisticated understanding of audio, and the subject is touched on in Secrets of Voice-Over Success, the second edition of which will be released by Sentient Publications this June. The book takes a chapter-by-chapter approach to gain the perspective of 21 of the industry’s best-known voiceover artists and thus contains within its pages literally centuries of hard-won experience and practical steps for breaking into the business. In honor of Baker’s father, 100 percent of the royalties from the book go to The Alzheimer’s Association.
Baker’s vocal booth is expecting a new resident in the coming weeks–a Neumann TLM 67. “I’m always looking for new ways to bring out the colors of my voice,” enthused Baker. “The new mic adds buttery goodness to my spots and will find a welcome home next to the U 87.”
Noted Christopher Currier, associate product manager for Neumann USA, “Neumann has always been an integral part of the voiceover industry and, now for the first time, we’re taking that relationship to a new level with the endorsement of Joan Baker. I’m thrilled to have her on board and can’t wait to get started on some of the creative projects we have planned.”