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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor


joan_baker.JPGNEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 2009: As the manufacturer of the high-end vocal microphones that have been integral to the voiceover industry since its inception, Neumann is pleased to announce its endorsement of Joan Baker.

In an amazing career that now spans two decades, Joan 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 countless others of equally high profile.

However, Baker is more than one of the most sought-after voiceover artists in the country, she is also an educator. She regularly shares her insights and techniques with students just breaking into the business, and she authored the voiceover artist’s bible, “Secrets of Voice-Over Success.”

Baker is also a long-time Neumann devotee, who learned her preference for the nuance and power of 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, and on those rare occasions when they gave me something else, I noticed the difference. It was very disappointing.”

Baker learned the importance of asserting herself. She always requested a Neumann so that she and the client would be assured of a satisfying finished product. 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, where students benefit from hearing both the pleasing nuances of their voices and the flaws in need of improvement.

“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 twenty-one 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 Joan Baker’s father, a hundred 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. The TLM 67 features the K 67 capsule from the classic U 67 along with some of Neumann’s latest technological advances. “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.”

ABOUT NEUMANN Neumann’s award-winning line of microphones has set the standard in the industry since 1928. In 1999, Neumann received the prestigious Technical Grammy(r) for its 70 years of innovation in microphone design and contribution to the music industry. A continuing commitment to provide innovative, technically-refined products and engineering solutions of proven quality ensures that Neumann’s stature will remain unassailable.

Neumann is proudly affiliated with the Sennheiser Group, which also encompasses Klein + Hummel (renowned sound reinforcement solutions) and Sennheiser Communications (technologically advanced headsets for PCs, offices and call centers). Neumann products are distributed exclusively in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean through Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, located in Old Lyme, Connecticut.


PHOTO CAPTION New Neumann endorser Joan Baker, one of leading voiceover artists in the country and author of “Secrets to Voiceover Success,” has been a devotee of Neumann microphones throughout her two-decade career.

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June 2009
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