Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers – #123

Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers

Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers

Our guest this week is a musician. He’s also a record producer, an artist in sound, and fanatical about the performing talent he sees in others, often choosing to promote and guide those performers in their careers. From being signed to a string of record companies in the seventies, to signing other acts to his label in the eighties, he then went on to launch his professional symphony orchestra in the nineties. But… not content to stand still for long, come the noughties, he turned his attention to professional speaking, and now supports the careers of a select number of aspiring musicians and speakers. QJ welcome to Speaking Business TV.


  • How did you get into sound and sound recording in the first place, and how old were you when you started?
  • You have a lot of experience with speech-based recording and broadcasting, working with professional voice-overs and actors. How is this different from, say, recording music, and how did you get into this particular arena?
  • What are the factors of sound quality that speakers need to pay attention to, whenever they’re presenting online like we are now? And what difference will it make when they “get it right”?

Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers



Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers

James Taylor 0:00
I’m James Taylor, and you’re listening to the SpeakersU podcast a show for aspiring and professional speakers. This episode is with my co-host, Maria Franzoni. Enjoy the episode. Our guest this week is a musician. He’s also a record producer, and artists in sound and fanatical about the performing talent he sees and others often choosing to promote and guide those performers in their careers from being signed to a string of record companies in the 70s to signing other acts to his label in the 80s. He then went on to launch his professional symphony orchestra in the 90s. But no content the stands still for long, calm the naughties, he turned his attention to professional speaking, and now supports the careers of a select number of aspiring musicians and speakers. q-j Welcome to speaking business TV. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 0:56
Hello, and Hello, the viewer. Great to have you with me. This is wonderful. Yeah, no, thanks for asking me. It’s great to be on here.

How did it all start?

Maria Franzoni 1:06
fantastic. Fantastic. What an amazing background you’ve had. So obviously, with your background, you have good ears, and we’ll talk about that too. But how did you get into sound and sound recording in the first place? Did you start with something you started young? Or was it later on?

QJ 1:24
Oh, very, very young, very, very young, I got to age five. Before my parents realized I should probably be sent for piano lessons. So I had piano lessons at age five. But I mean, through my up to sort of age 10, I was interested in records and record players and then tape recorders. And by the time I was in my teens, I was recording I was I didn’t own a tape recorder. I remember borrowing one from a neighbor. And it had this thing called a microphone attached to it. And because I was playing piano, I used to record myself playing piano quite a lot. And I was mucking about with radios. And I can remember having extension speakers and putting them all around the house. You know, rather like we do today, we have a speaker in every room. I’m famous for it at home now. But usually, it’s a different piece of music in every room, drives my wife mad. But anyway, that’s how I got into it. I was just fascinated by recorded sound and broadcast sound. And music, of course, was usually the content that I would be recording – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Importance of having a good ear

Maria Franzoni 2:35
and test it and I mentioned earlier about the importance of having a good ear, have you always you have got good eggs, you’ll often be able to talk to me earlier before we came on. And we’ll go into more detail. And you could tell me what I could do with my sound. And you could you even knew the size of my room, which was incredible. Is that something that you’ve always had? Or was that through experience and expertise and you’re just doing the work?

QJ 2:59
Yeah, I think what happens with any human brain is the more you use that particular sense, and the brain gets used to processing it. It’s working stuff out all the time. So because I was listening to music, listening to the radio, really focusing on what things sounded like, that became more acute for me. And I could hear the subtle differences from a very early age. I guess it wasn’t until I got into having my studio, that I would tend to then kind of recognize what size a room was, or how reflective it was, or what the echo or reverb within the room was what we call the acoustic. But after you know that was a long, long time ago, my first studio was in my parent’s house. In their dining room, I actually took it over and put acoustic padding on the walls and, and all of that, but from that moment onwards, recording in the space like that, and then maybe going out to a church and doing some more recording there, I would very quickly become able to hear the difference in the acoustic environment and the effect on the content, the music or the sounds I was recording. And because you play with that, it’s a completely analog environment. And if you’re interested in it, you play with it, you move microphones around you, you change acoustics, you record things in different places to see if they sound different outdoors, of course, where you have no walls or ceilings. There’s no acoustic there’s just you know, the bird, the bird song that you record, and it’s quite a pure recording even though you’re some distance from it. So yeah, I can now after many many years be very good at hearing an acoustic a name kind of what size that room is or whether it is recorded outdoors. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Change in performance since virtual

James Taylor 4:51
As I speak a little bit like a musician or a composer the place in which you perform impacts the care performance that you give in different So like in music, for example, the reason that Mozart sounded like Mozart is that it was played in that kind of high ceiling, rectangular rooms, choral music, that kind of slower notes. Because anything very syncopated doesn’t work in those spaces. Or if you go to a club, like a basement club, having that low bass noise that works well, as a speaker, I mean, speaking, someone knows about sound as well, I’m interested in how you feel, speakers have perhaps had to change their performance from going and speaking on stages of conference rooms, to those kinds of very, kind of, they have a certain kind of sound, many of that kind of rooms, to what we’re doing today, where we’re all in kind of like smaller, have you seen that change how performance speakers perform? – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 5:48
I wouldn’t say so much about how speakers perform, I think what has changed is the awareness as a speaker that one needs for the sound to be as good as it should be, or could be in this environment. Because if, if most speakers, let’s face it, before the pandemic, were going out speaking on stages, and those stages, even if they were in bad rooms, or had bad PA systems, we kind of all got used to that and would sit there with a captive audience for a start, unlike here, where people can just, I should think they’re going off in their droves already. Be with us Don’t leave, don’t leave. So I think that that whole thing of just the environment, you’re so right, James, and it’s such an important feature of, of performance of any kind, the environment in which it takes place, and the acoustic of the environment, the lighting, of the environment, absolutely impacts on the enjoyment the audience gets. So we went in March 2020, from speakers who didn’t even have to think about that, you know, they might have had a little bit of mic technique or thought, you know, I prefer a lapel mic, or I’m, I’m a stand up so I can use it, you know, I can hold Mike, to a position where actually, you’re performing in your home office, most of the time, down zoom, you’re broadcasting on a platform, and you have no idea what you sound like, to your audience, no idea at all. And so we were all on the receiving end as the audience. And some of us were on the delivering end as performers. But, then, you’ve got this whole thing of speakers who Oh, well, I’ve got a mic. And now I’ve got a USB mic. I like this one. And I was going Yep, what does it sound like at the other end, that’s only if you’ve got to get the sound out of your mouth into the computer, then the computer has to send it down the internet and out the other end, and you have no idea what people are listening on, you know, they listening on their phone, or a tablet, or a hi-fi system. And all of those different listeners on different devices, again, would be receiving a compromised signal, an audio signal which is compromised. And because we don’t we’re not as aware of sound as we are visuals. Now it’s easy to see, oh, I don’t like the color of this dress. Or you know the lighting is not very good. People are very unaware. It’s a subconscious thing that sounds like house audiences. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Managing sound

James Taylor 8:31
So I’m wondering like is does that frustrate you as someone that like is obviously into kind of high fidelity into that kind of sound? I remember going to a mastering session in the BTS tower in London it’s just off Oxford Street. And I was working with an engineer there it was for pre-recorded it was a recording. And we were having this discussion and he sat me down he was in the final mastering stage with the put the magic he had has just done Adele’s album, it was no, it was amazing. He was working on the album we were involved in. And he sat us down he said, James, please remember, this is the best it will ever sound now because now someone’s going to download it as an endpoint, an mp3 file, have it in really cheap little pairs of earbuds. And he said you’re going to just have to come to peace with this Have you come to peace with that as an idea? Like you’re gonna have this you’re gonna work with speakers maybe get help and get great like studio great sound. But that person on the other side is listening to that little cheapy about Yeah, – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 9:34
yeah, I mean, I think with music, it’s bad enough. But with speech, it’s even worse because music can hit you, you know, as you say, if it’s in the basement of a club, you know that Boom, boom, boom, you’re gonna work. You know, that doesn’t have to be high fidelity. It just has to be loud. With speaking you’re talking about language. We’re talking about words. You’re talking about. How clear is the article of the speaker in the first place, how well do they speak? Can you hear all the consonants? You know, I was thinking about this the other day consonants, which are, if you take consonants away from the English language, you can’t make them out, our language becomes quite difficult to understand, because of the richness of the vocabulary that we use. It might be different in other languages. But I’ve listened to many online speakers when the top frequencies are missing. And so the consonants are very blurry, very hard to hear. And if what was that word, a sentence didn’t make any sense.

James Taylor 10:37
And that is like mostly dialect. Yes, like here, like here in Scotland, where I’m your dental exam in Scotland, we have a city near here called Dundee. And Dundee is famous for lots of things, German journalism, but it’s also famous because the dialect there doesn’t use many consonants, it’s all vowels. And, and it’s very, very hard if English isn’t your first language, because a lot of the things that we do as native English speakers, we don’t often, you know, finish our sentences strong at the end, we don’t lose T’s, there’s t sans, we can make them a little bit weaker. Because if we’re speaking to someone, and most of our audiences, now we’re talking about virtual, they’re not native speakers, English speakers, and they’re going to struggle. And if you add to that, what you just said, like having some of that top dial down, that’s hard for an audience. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 11:30
It is it’s very hard. And the other thing about that is that we all suffer from hearing loss, you know, from can be from very early ages. So it’s, you know, how many of your audience is older, and already struggling with hearing loss, I’m older. I mean, I, the human hearing is basically from 20 hertz, 20 cycles per second to 20,000 cycles per second, I cannot hear above 10,000 cycles. Now, that’s might be only an octave drop at the very top end. And actually, between 10 and 20. There’s not that much extra information that would impact intelligibility a bit below that, from about 3k 3000 to 10,000. There’s an awful lot of high-frequency information that comes across in this isn’t T’s, and DS and all those less tight sounds that accentuate things. The S is the T’s the V’s, you know, cook, all of that there’s lots of high end in that. If that’s missing, it was – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

poor pulled costs

How can I make my sound better?

Maria Franzoni 12:45
sound a lot like that. Yeah, yeah. I want to take advantage of the fact that I’ve got you here because I like to have a bit of personal consult consultation and advice, and I’m going off-piste on our questions, James, I’m sorry, but I have to take advantage while I have QJ. And so I bought a good mic. I’ve got a good microphone, I’ve got the I don’t know what this thing’s called, you know, this thing you put on top to cover it to stop you know, and you know, the windshield, windshield, I’ve got it all. I’ve got that. And yet, and I’ve got my earbuds in my headphones in. So I haven’t got any feedback. So I think I’ve done everything right. And yet, before we came on, you said to me, Maria, I’m going to tell you the size of your room, I’m going to tell you that you’ve got hard surfaces, I gotta tell you all sorts of stuff. And I’m thinking oh, my God, I thought I’d covered it. So I haven’t. What can I do? What can I do to make my sound better, please q-j?

QJ 13:41
Well, you’ve asked the number one question, or rather the number one answer to how can you sound good, is to pay attention to your acoustics or the acoustics of the room that you’re broadcasting from or recording in. And for speech, if you go to any radio studio, the BBC, or any capital radio, wherever it happens to be, you will find that the room from which they broadcast is pretty dead acoustic, there are very few room reflections. Because actually, all you want to be broadcasting is the sound of the voice as clearly as possible, not as at a high a quality level as possible. Because it can only degrade as it goes down the line. And at the other end, you know, it’s not going to be as good as what James was saying about mastering. That’s as good as it’s ever going to sound. Yeah. So your room the acoustics in which the sound is created through you speaking has reflective surfaces in it. And if those reflective surfaces reflect the sound that you’re creating into the mic, because they’re so fast, they’re what we call early reflections. The microphone can only hear that as coloration or distortion. He doesn’t hear it as an echo. If you’re in a cathedral or you know, Grand Canyon or whatever, and you spoke, you’d hear the reflection as a separate kind of sound. So the brain would be fine with that because it would still hear your voice is very clear, and reflections of something else. But in a small room, about 12 by 1416, this one, I think it was about 12 by 14 feet, that is for in old money. The room isn’t big enough for those reflections to be very long. So all you will get from the room is a coloration, which we perceive, as, you know, a bit of room sound. Now, your room sound is fine. I mean, I wouldn’t worry about it at all. Because, you know, it’s not making the intelligibility of your voice, any less clear, you know, very clear. However, if you, you know, you could have somebody the other end who’s got a room, which is the same sound, a different identity, and all the technical requirements would be, but you could have a room at the other end that they were listening to you in, that argued with the reflections you’ve got on your voice in your room, which could cause cancellations of various frequencies. And again, it adds certain, I mean, James will have more idea of what I’m talking about. I’m sorry, Maria, I’m not putting you down. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Maria Franzoni 16:22
No, no, I know you too. You do understand all this. I know.

QJ 16:27
This gets into a very, it is a very complicated science. And although I helped to build my third studio with an acoustic engineer was fantastic. My knowledge is only limited as well. I mean, I know about reflections and how to cancel them out. You want soft furnishings, you want bookshelves, you want anything that stops the surface from being flat. And being able to reflect your voice straight back into the microphone from a short distance. I’ve got a wall here, which is no ceiling, but it’s curved. Only about three feet away from the mic. So I know the reflections coming back. But I’ve got acoustic tiles in strategic places that keep my sound fairly dead. I suspect what you’re hearing is mainly, or pretty much 100%. Just my voice. Yeah. Kenya. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers

Why wear headphones

Maria Franzoni 1718
Now you sound wonderful. You sound the same as a radio studio. Okay. And that’s absolutely, especially when we have podcast guests, and whatever. And we do these things remotely. But you have to realize that they’ve got a good sound, too. We’re all wearing headphones and headsets. And I always say to my podcast guests, please wear a headset. And I encourage it on zoom meetings too. And yet people don’t get it. They sort of say, Well, I can hear you. It’s absolutely fine. Could you just explain to us why it’s important that people wear something to guide the sound into their ears? Well, it’s

QJ 17:53
very important you hear yourself because then you know what the mic is hearing. If I these are fed, as are yours directly from the mic. So if I move closer to the mic, I can hear the effect as going down the line going into the interweb ether. If I didn’t have the headphones on, I wouldn’t be sure what that sounded like, I can come back off the mic a bit. And again, I can judge, you know, how much of the room Can you hear? And if I know, if I go quite a long way, you can probably start to hear the room now. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I have a dead room, but it’s still there. So just to monitor what the hell you’re sending down the line? Why wouldn’t you want to know that you need to know the quality of your signal? Otherwise, you’ve no idea what the audience is hearing. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Live Sound

James Taylor 18:52
Something else I’ve noticed is I like to have a little bit in my ear of my voice. Because what I found early on doing a lot of virtuals was going one after the other is I was tiring out my voice a little bit more than I would do if I was doing on stage because you were using your body in different ways, you know, on a stage and if I’m on stage, speaking on a big stage, I will normally ask them to do the monitors first before they do the front of the house. So everyone else is so I can make sure my I’m happy I can hear myself and it’s got a good feel. And then they do the front of house and they take care of you know, for the audience. And I was finding that when doing a lot of virtuals one after the other. I was just pushing my voice a little bit more. And I had to do like I changed my breathing my warm-up exercise a little bit more to kind of look after my voice. But just by putting a little bit of myself in my ear. That made a huge difference. Just a little little bit. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 19:52 
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point about the live situation and using monitors on stage. I mean, we were used to it Playing music or singing on stage, but, as a speaker, having a good monitor is a very good idea for the same, the same reason, or wearing the earbuds. Yeah, I mean, singers now have these quite sophisticated fallback systems in their ears. And it does help. I mean, they’ve got issues like singing in tune, but to our speakers, there are similar things that we need to be in control of, you know, it’s when you use your instrument, you want to know whether you’re playing a G major scale or a C major scale, it’s as simple as that it is an instrument, we respond to the voice, in very similar ways to how we respond to music. And at the end of the day, I think the most important thing of all, which we haven’t even touched on yet, is the emotional impact on your audience of what you say, and how you say it. And without clarity, without a clear articulation of your signal, going down the line, again, the emotional impact is going to be altered. And very rarely will it be made better. It’ll be it’ll be less. And those subtle nuances, you’ll hear them in the room, if you’ve got somebody on stage, even on a bad PA system, you’re going to, you’ve got a pretty good idea, you can feel the energy in the room, you can feel the energy of the audience around you. None of that happens when you’re online. You’re one-to-one just like radio, it’s a one-to-one medium. And you want to make sure that when particularly you want to be intimate with your audience, you come across a speaking one to one. And you can’t do that if you’re a mile away from the mic. Hello, I’m just speaking. This is not an intimate sound. But this, dear listener, is an intimate sound. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Maria Franzoni 21:57
It’s fascinating. Yeah, sorry, Jay. Come back in a second. Just on that point. How many speakers get themselves a really good microphone, and then hide it away on their desk somewhere? And you’re saying, You sound terrible? And they put it in their mouth? And then they sound like a nighttime DJ? Yeah, yeah. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Positioning of mics

James Taylor 22:16
But it’s hard. Because I think as in terms of clothes, we’re doing just now we’re creating content. And we’ve had to decide on doing this as to the type of mics that we’re choosing to use just now. You know, from the auditory standpoint, the best thing for us to do is to have like mics, you know, up close, like, like you were talking about there. So the audio is going to be probably the most beautiful, the warmest, yes. But the nature of the way that we’re communicating with each other just now, body language and different things. We’re using different mics, or the mics have been positioned a little bit of a distance from us. So I guess that’s not ideal, is it? – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 22:53
No, and you’d never find a major radio DJ, or presenter speaking miles away from the mic. I mean, they use the mic very, very deliberately. Their technique is amazing. I just saw a clip of actually Tony Blackburn of all people on TV or YouTube. Talk doing? There’s a promo, I think was a scripted thing. But his use of the mic was perfection. It was like, wow, that’s why it sounds so good. Yes, he’s got 50 years of that’sToby’skinds experience, but, the way that he knows where to be about the mic, how loud to be, how the pauses and the silences are the same that hopefully, we learn as speakers. But that whole package if you can nail that if you can get experienced and good at that. My God, you’ll be amazing online. You won’t have to do another live gig if you don’t want to travel. Oh, cool. – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

The future of audio

James Taylor 23:47
Wow. I’m James Taylor, keynote speaker, and speaker business coach and this is the SpeakersU podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations that will help you launch and grow your speaking business fast and you thought possible, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss marketing strategies, sales techniques, as well as ideas to increase the profitability of your speaking business and develop your craft. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free speaker business training at this week’s episode is sponsored by SpeakersU the online community for international speakers, SpeakersU helped you launch grow, and monetize your speak speech-based faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then SpeakersU will teach you how just go to to access their free speaker business training.

Now you’ve got a lot of experience written in there like speech-based recording, broadcasting, working with professional voiceovers actors, audiobooks, things like that. How is this different would you say from doing kind of recorded music and add and how are you seeing as things are starting to progress now and we’re having to always have this hybrid. Where do you see audio going as it goes? In a good place, or is it? Is it? Are we all doomed? When it comes to the quality of the audio? – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

QJ 25:07
I think it’s like any particular arena, you’re going to get people who are good at it, people who are not so good at it. I think it relates to music, or other the experience that I got from the music industry relates to this, in that in music. The voice is everything. I mean, okay, you got instrumental orchestras, which is one kind of music, but in pop music, the voice I mean, Trevor Horn, the famous record producer who produced Frankie Goes to Hollywood and, and others. He used to say, you know, the money is in the voice, you know, you record a voice, a great voice? Well, the lyrics are great, the sound is great. That’s what people want. So if you expand that, for the money is in the voice of the speaker, it’s, it’s all those things. Again, it’s how does he sound? How does he or she, you know, what, what’s the content? How do they speak? How do they put it, but the money is definitely in the voice. Because there’s not much else that we’ve got to offer. We can choose to jiggle our bodies around betcha. If the content is no good. There’s no message there is. So Maria, in the voice of – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

James Taylor 26:23
those speakers that you’ve worked with over the years, who have that kind of money boys who have those voices that you could just listen to, as a speaker all-day

Maria Franzoni 26:32
shows I was going to mention a musician that I saw earlier this week, who for me has a phenomenal voice, I had the pleasure of seeing Tom Jones at Hampton Court earlier this week. And he has a lovely speaking voice as well as a lovely singing voice. So I’m going to because I don’t want any jealousy. And I don’t want anybody writing in and saying you didn’t mention me. So I don’t want to have any problems with speakers. So I’m going to mention Tom Jones, who was phenomenal an hour and 14 minutes, his voice was perfect throughout. He held the audience. It was wonderful, pure joy, – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers 

Money voice

James Taylor 27:08
I’m guessing his voice tone. So that’s going to be there was research done a few years ago in terms of someone’s depth of their voice, and how powerful they are, how powerful they perceive to be. So I think it’s 125 or so 95 hertz, 125 hertz, could you have to help me on this one, he was Duke University did the study. And what was interesting is they also they looked at the CEOs, about 900 CEOs, and they looked at the the the the voice, the frequency of their voice, and then they match that to their salary and how much money they made. And there was a direct correlation between those with deeper random warmer voices, and those that made money. And interestingly, they also match that with those they found those with deeper random voices who were the CEOs of these organizations, also managed companies that on average $440 million more worth more than the ones that with higher-pitched voices. So really, there is a money voice. You know, when we thought about it, the money voice I don’t know for sure how that my voice is probably a little bit too high. I’m doing myself a disservice here. But that kind of great low kind of, I mean, I think Zig Ziglar was the one I always think of as a speaker. That great Texan rank I could listen to that voice all day. Hmm.

QJ 28:34
Yeah. Wow. I mean, so many you answer your question, you know, who had the voices worked with loads of people not necessarily with those rich brown voices? We used to call them probably non PC to call them that now. But Tommy Vance, do you remember him? He was a DJ. Not an incredible voice. Very, very rich, dark. Warm. He had a fantastic voice. The guy that we work with who was very I thought is a good broadcaster is I’ve even forgotten his name was just on the tip of my tongue. Do you know how you forget these anyway? Not Kenny ever it is vintage? No, it’s gone. No. leadman That’s it. Oh, no. Yes, we recorded quite a lot. And the funniest, if that’s a word playing we ever did, as we got a job to make an audiotape of because back in the tape days of how to set up your train set or your scale x trick. After you being given it for Christmas present because what they were finding was after Christmas Hornby who made make those products I still think they still do. We’re getting all these returns are getting trainsets sent back because they were damaged. So We decided Knoll, Edmonds would be the guy, he’d be geeky enough to want to talk about train sets. And we had this two-headed script. And it was him and one of our presenters in the studio just talking about where you get your rail, and you stick it in here and you turn it, you know, transformer in here and all. He was fantastic. I mean, he, he had a long career, didn’t he on as a TV presenter, you know, Swap Shop and all of that. And it’s no surprise because his voice was just very friendly. wasn’t particularly deep, as you say. But he certainly stood out for me in the time that we were doing that sort of work. Wonderful, – Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers  wonderful.

Getting the sound right

Maria Franzoni 30:38
So you’ve given us some factors that will improve sound quality for speakers, is there anything else we need to be thinking about when it comes to presenting online as a speaker with regards to getting the sound? Right?

QJ 30:52
Oh, I think I’m I’ve covered the more technical side. You know, good mic. Good. Good acoustics first. Good mic. Second, I think I would say that just because you’ve got a mic that you think you like or you think is good doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be broadcasting your particular voice brilliantly. I’ve been helping one or two people with being the audience because of course, it’s a great thing, great service, I can provide a jump online, I’ll be your audience, you speak to me, I’ll tell you what you sound like. So yeah.

Maria Franzoni 31:29
And you can tell him what to do to put it right as well, which is

QJ 31:31
great. So people have been trying different mics. And I think that’s if you can go the whole hog and do that. Because why wouldn’t you? You’re a professional speaker. Why would you skimp on this? There’s no point in going into it half-heartedly, we have got a new challenge, face it head-on, is only enough to spend an awful lot of money, a few 100 quid we’ll see you right. And then yeah, you will find certain mics like your voice more than others. It’s as simple as that. So don’t think that just you know, the next Yeti or the latest, whatever it is, is the one that all podcasts are using, or the one that will speak is using. So that’s what the one I’ve got to get. I don’t think I know anyone else is using one of these 4033 as it just Yeah, I’ve

Audio Advice For Keynote Speakers

Getting better quality live recordings

Maria Franzoni 32:20
never heard of it. So yeah. Brilliant. Before we share how people can get in touch with you, and also sharing because you’ve got a bit of a tip for us. I’ve got one more selfish question here for you QJ, I’m just taking total advantage. And James and I both record podcasts, we reward this particular live stream, and we use stream yard to go live, is there a way of getting a better quality recording than recording it simply straight to stream yard? Would you say?

QJ 32:52
Yeah, you’re the sound that you’re creating. In other words from your mic, you could be recording that onto something in the same room as yourself. Yeah. Ideally, you probably need a mixer to do that, or some HD converter, or the analog to digital converter, which you plug your mic into, and it’s got another line output and you can plug that into a record. or even your computer can be set up with a bit of software to record that the challenge is recording the other end. So I’m using a mixer to do that. So I’ve got two mixers in play, one has got this mic in this might as output goes straight to one channel of a recorder. And then the sound that’s coming down the line from you is coming into the same mixer because they’re both USB connected. And then the feed from that I’m taking from a separate output into the other channel of the recorder. And because I don’t want to be left and right in my ears, I’m then putting the signal left and right signal through another mixer so that I can monitor it. And I can hear you know you in the middle and me in the middle. So that’s why I need if you’re happy to monitor it with one of you coming out one ear and the other coming out yet the other one, then you can get away with one mixer. But I’m just choosing to use two. And these are not expensive items. I mean, the mixer I’ve got in front of me, I think it’s 40 quid, it’s nothing. But if you want help with that if you want to do that, so you’ve got the recording, you know, the WAV file or the mp3, although I would recommend you do stick to high-quality WAV files, and then you can turn them into mp3 is later. Get in touch because I can go through it with you and show you how to set that up and give you suggestions about what kit you might need to buy to do that. It’s worth it. Because if you use any third-party software, if it’s zoom or string model or whoever, it’s never going to be quite as good and they’re in charge of it. As well, you don’t have control. James will know from, you know, the music business, we, we like to have that, that master in our possession, it needs to be the thing that, you know we own because there’s lots of copyright in this stuff. You don’t want it flying around, in the atmosphere and the cloud. At least I don’t, you may be happy to do that. But I wouldn’t. That, you know, that’s

Maria Franzoni 35:23
fantastic advice. I understood about half of that. So I will always get in touch. But if anybody like me needs your help, and you know, to get their sound to the next level, what’s the best place to contact you?

QJ 35:36
high-quality sound is my website.

Maria Franzoni 35:39
Fantastic. And we’re gonna link we’re gonna put a link on our the speaking business TV web website as well so that they can reach you for your advice and help. And just and before we get into the tip, do tell us a bit about your podcast, because you’ve got a fascinating podcast, tell us a little about that.

QJ Podcast

QJ 35:56
It’s that thing of if you want to read a book, and you can’t find the book to read, write it yourself. So it’s based on that. I want podcasts to listen to, there’s probably a handful that I thought were any good. So I thought I got to do my own. What do I want to do? Well, I’m fed up with people being boring talk about business and talking about, you know, mainstream stuff, I want it to be different, a bit weird and wonderful. So what would be a weird and wonderful podcast, it would be nerdy subjects like sound, which is just talking about so nobody’s gonna listen to that. I know. But there are lots of people with subjects. I did one interview today, which hasn’t gone live yet. But it’s, it was about adult toys. Not the sex.

Maria Franzoni 36:44
I’m not those guys are good.

QJ 36:47
Adult toys. I thought that’s great. That’s such a nerdy subject adult toys. And it is fascinating. So there are only two criteria that one is the person’s got to have a nerdy subject or topic they love they’re really into fascinated by. And when they come on, they got to make it interesting to anybody. So even things like cricket, I will take I’ve got one of those coming up as well. He’s got a particular interest in a particular country’s cricket, which I’d hardly heard of the country, let alone what know what their cricket team has done. But anyway, so it’s called a nerdy cast, and everything we do on it is nerdy as prefix adjective. So we have a nerdy chat about a nerdy topic on a nerdy cast.

Maria Franzoni 37:31
Fantastic. And if anybody wants to apply it’s q-j at nerdy And you’ve got to be a thorough nerd. Fantastic. Fantastic.

QJ 37:39
Well, I reckon there’s an inner nerd in everybody. So I think anybody can apply.

James Taylor 37:44
James, so Marie, Rhea, I don’t know what your what’s your nerdy thing? real kind of talking about this before? Do you forget you’re learning?

Maria Franzoni 37:54
I don’t know. I’m, I’m going to ask my man what he thinks my nerdy thing is. It’s probably I don’t know, I’ll come back to you on that. I’ve got an inner nerd. I think I’m an outer nerd.

Tool of the Week

James Taylor 38:08
q-j, we always love sharing a great tip or tool here every week with the audience. What would your tip or the tool of the week be?

QJ 38:17
This one’s easy. I think it’s never being afraid of getting support for what you’re doing. I was very fortunate to have supportive parents when I was young. So they, they put me into music because they saw, you know, like, there, it was the right thing to do. And although my dad never actually said, you know, or you should get a proper job. We all know how many parents out there are say to their kids, oh, get a proper job. Don’t follow your passion or do you think and I think to be supportive of anybody at any age is a great thing. So when I launched the orchestra, for example, I just surrounded myself with, people who love the idea of the dancing orchestra, they became the board of the orchestra, they became the promoters of the orchestra. There are always people you know, you might want a social media person to do your posts or something like that. Find someone who loves your stuff, and they’ll probably do it for you for free. People will say, Well, I can’t afford an assistant, or I can’t afford an apprentice. But actually, we were in the band that we had. We had one roadie who did it for free. You know, we had one roadie who was paid but the other guy, he just loved it. So you can’t do any of this success, but not to a great degree of success on your own. You absolutely can’t. So you need other people. Just don’t. Don’t be afraid to ask, you know, would you do that? Would you come on tour with us and I need someone to carry my bags? Where are you going? I’m going to Singapore and you know, Malaya and, and America and yeah, I’ll carry you back. You’ll always find people to support you. And I couldn’t have done any of this without having People who I was just, I was naughty enough to ask, please be my band. I want you to be my singer. Really? Yeah.

James Taylor 40:10
Be naughty. So that’s Toby naughty and ask. I know, we’ve got one speaker Maria and I know who, on a very regular basis, he just asked his audience, I’m looking to speak in any old name the country that he’s looking to speak. And he just gets flooded, like, Oh, you should connect with this person. And it’s just that it’s asking you’re putting that thing out into the world and learning things if you believe in the power of attraction and all those kinds of good things as well.

QJ 40:38
I mean, I am I asked Nigel Kennedy, that world-famous biggest-selling classical music artist with his Vivaldi’s four seasons if you come and play with my orchestra, and guess what? He said, Yes. And he didn’t charge any money. I mean, if that’s not a good example of ask for what you want, and I don’t know what is, I always knew is a good bloke.

Maria Franzoni 41:01
James, of course, you’ve got a tool as well, you’re going to share with us and I mentioned last week you like to spend a bit of money? What have you been spending your money on

James Taylor 41:09
this time. This is not a particularly expensive thing. And I’m regretting having not bought it earlier. So I’ve always had nice, nice cameras and different things. And now that I’m going back and traveling as well, I needed a little bit of a camera stick on the road, I haven’t another one I used specifically on the road on the road. But I have this nice camera. But the problem was I had I was kind of doing like trying to find ways to put up and I ended up investing in one of these, which if for no other reason, probably the name is called a Joby j ob y, which is hilarious for me being Scottish that that phrase, so it’s a job. It’s called a gorilla pod. They’ve been around forever and everyone else is using No, I’m just being late to the party. But it’s they’re stable for just putting the camera on putting the back of the room, you can hook them around things. And it’s just a great little shortcut or spirit level, making sure it’s the right so if you’re traveling with a camera, I’ll quickly mention as well I didn’t have to get another microphone for this, the internal microphone wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I just got one of these rode video microphones, and we’ll put all the links for this if you go to speaking we’re gonna have all today’s links. And we’ll have a link to this here. And also this microphone, and they’re phenomenal, are doing a nice job very easy to move around now. So that’s my tool tools of the week.

Maria Franzoni 42:33
fantastic I made you bigger there so we could all see that fluffy microphone. James. Thank you QJ. Thank you so much. I’m going to go back and revisit and try and decipher the response about the recording before I contact you. And it’s been a pleasure. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself. Lots of really, it’s

QJ 42:50
been wonderful to be on thank you so much for asking. It’s really good to get out once in a while. I’m usually stuck in my office doing strange things which we won’t go into on this occasion. But you know, nice to be in front of the camera for a change.

Maria Franzoni 43:06
Super. I get in touch with everybody and thank you very much, everybody. Music too.

James Taylor 43:12
You can subscribe to the SpeakersU podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. leave us a review. I appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the SpeakersU podcast.