2023.09.24 – 0997 – The Diction-ary of Voice – S

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Scratch Track - a temporary recording that is a ‘place-holder’ for the final voice-over. Not ‘broadcast quality’ it is used to help producers feel the pacing and style of a project before a final voice over is added

Self op (‘self op studio’) – when the presenter controls their own technical equipment, they are ‘self operating’

Session – the single block of time (say, an hour or a day) spent recording with the voice actor, who is often paid ‘per session’

SFX – short for ‘sound effects’

Shock Mount - a microphone mount that tries to minimize handling noise by using shock absorption

Sibilance – excessive ‘s’ sounds (fricatives) while speaking which are prone to becoming unpleasantly loud in audio recording

Sing-song delivery - when a speaker’s voice rises and falls in cadence in a predictable ‘nursery rhyme’ type fashion

Soft-sell commercial – a script that is read with low volume, low emphasis and in a natural, low-key style

S.O.T – ‘sound on tape’, what’s been recorded

Sound-alikes – these voice actors are similar to celebrity impersonators, but whereas impersonators usually perform exaggerated and comic impressions of the star, sound-alikes create the vocal tones and mannerisms (style, cadence and inflection) for short retakes or dubs in movies, tv and radio, and commercials. This saves the cost and time implications of getting the original star in the studio to re-record just a few words.

Sneak - to slowly fade up or out

Speech personality – one’s individual speaking-style

Spilling over – a distortion caused by too loud a noise

Split-track – audio with different content in the left and right channels, to allows for independent control of levels during production, for example, two guests. Audio must be ‘mixed down’ before it can be broadcast

Stand by – the verbal ‘get ready’ direction given just before a programme or recording starts

Straight-read commercial – a script presented without flourish or over-emphasis

Stroboscopy - an advanced way to view the vocal folds. This usually involves a scope that goes through your mouth to properly identify and define vocal problems

Supercardioid - a microphone pick-up pattern that is most sensitive to sounds in front of the microphone, even more so than a cardioid

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