Welcome to the Inside Voiceover video training blog, and I’m Susan Berkeley. And it’s the holiday season, so you might be thinking of taking your microphone with you where you go, maybe you’ve got some travel plans. I have been there and done that, both to the positive and to the disastrous. I’ve had every thing happen to me doing voiceover on the road, so I have put together a great checklist for you that you can follow when you tuck your microphone into your carry on.

So let’s get going. Here’s the basic gear you need. Number one, you need something to record yourself obviously. I bring a lightweight laptop, I like my MacBook Air, but it really doesn’t matter what you use. Some people use an iPad or a tablet, they don’t have a problem editing on that. I find it a little tough to edit on a smaller screen. You can even use your phone these days, but at least you’re going to need a laptop. You need a folding mic stand, they’re really inexpensive. Just go on Amazon, find one, very lightweight, a pop screen of course. You need headphones and I always like to tuck a few extra USB cords. Believe it or not, they can go bad, so I have those just in case.

Consider packing everything in a small bag or a TravelCube and you put it right into your carry on and that way if the TSA wants to see it, just pull the whole thing out and give it to them. Test your travel gear before you go. Actually set it up at home, record something, send it to yourself or to a friend. Make sure that the audio quality is top notch. Internet access, now even today, it can vary from hotel to hotel, so you want to make sure you can get it in your room, but just call ahead or go online and make sure ahead of time. You don’t want any surprises, especially if you’re going to be traveling to, say to Europe or overseas someplace where internet is not as frequent.

Here’s something really important you might overlook. If you’re traveling with other people, make a plan ahead of time, negotiate how much time you will be alone in the room and how much time you’re going to spend looking at your phone. Boy, oh boy, this can lead to a lot of fights if you don’t handle it ahead of time. And so you might want to spend some of the meals in the room recording so you don’t inconvenience your travel mates. And if you can, look at a picture of the room online or have the hotel indicate where to see it online, so you can think ahead and plan where you might be recording.

There’s lots of ways you can do this without lugging a lot of extra gear. Some people bring bulky foam booths with them or you can even use one of those Kaotica Eyeballs, which is also a bit bulky to travel. It’s like a foam ball that goes on your mic. That will help eliminate some of the room tone. I never bring mine with me. What I do is I just set some pillows up and I put a towel on a desk, stick my microphone there. It works absolutely fine, and you got to make sure you’re in a quiet room away from the pool and the elevator, if you can. So have a wonderful new year, holiday season and good travels. I’m Susan Berkeley, back next week with more Inside Voiceover.