Nathan Lang is a young, hip, versatile voice over talent and storyteller for Commercial, Narrative, Promo and Web brands. Book him via ISDN, Source-Connect or Z/IP IP Codec. @nathanlang #nathanlang

Go Vote! voiceover project for AFL-CIO

01/23/2015 01:53 PM

Go Vote!

The right to vote is a fundamental cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Ordinary men and women have fought—and even died—to gain voting rights and to protect people’s right to vote without intimidation or obstruction. Yet states across the country continue to pass voter suppression laws designed to limit the voice of young people. Our generation, the Millennial generation, is the largest in American history—representing 80 million young people. By 2016, we will represent 36 percent of the voting-age population…so our voice matters! GO VOTE!

Go Vote! voiceover project for AFL-CIO
Starz New Original Series + Power + Radio Promo

01/23/2015 02:14 PM

New Starz Original Series Power

Radio Promo for the New Starz Original Series, Power. Premieres Saturday, June 7th at 9pm ET. Only on Starz.

Nathan Lang - Starz Power Radio Promo

Nathan Lang is a young, hip, versatile voice over talent and storyteller for Commercial, Narrative, Promo and Web brands. Book me via ISDN, Source-Connect, or Z/IP One Codec. + @nathanlang #nathanlang

Starz New Original Series + Power + Radio Promo
New eLearning voice over project. Social Determinants of Health and HIV.

01/23/2015 01:53 PM

Just completed new e-learning voiceover work for CA PTC.

Check out a few of the modules here: Social Determinants of Health Perspective.

This new e-learning project spanned eight months of work to get completed."

Social Determinants of Health and HIV
The social determinants of health as defined by the World Health Organization:

The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices."

California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center goes live with Social Determinants of Health and HIV online course module! This one hour course is based on their popular 2-day instructor-led training. It provides learners with an overview of social determinants and their role in HIV treatment and prevention. The course is interactive and uses videos and scenarios to illustrate key concepts. The course is free and designed for a variety of providers. Continuing education credits are available (BBS, CHES, and CADAAC).

You may register and view the course online by clicking here:

Check out their other online courses by clicking here and see other online resources at their website www.stdhivtraining.org.

New eLearning voice over project. Social Determinants of Health and HIV.
Is ISDN on its last legs in the voiceover community?

01/23/2015 01:54 PM

Is ISDN still viable technology for the home-studio voice over Actor?

The future (or lack of) ISDN as it pertains to the Voiceover community, and the use of IP Codecs.

Its no secret that ISDN has been on its last legs for a few years now, at least here in the US. In Europe and other parts of the world, its alive, well and having cocktails and tanning as I write this.

In my area (Metro NYC), Hurricane Sandy so battered us that, again as I write this, and probably well into future so many people are still struggling to get to the next ?normal?. Studios in particular I?m told ? that are in the downtown area have had many, many problems with their copper-line infrastructure and by proxy ISDN service. I decided not to wait until Verizon (who is my ISDN Carrier) up-ended service, or decided to up charge my service as a premium making it so cost-prohibitive, that I?d be forced to find reliable ISDN alternatives ? probably at a time I need this type of service most.

Enter the Codecs
As usual, I dove in head (and heart) first into the Audio IP Codec market. I did a fair amount of research prior to buying the Telos Z/IP One IP Codec. Currently, in addition to my Phone-Patches (bluetooth and 1/4), and Skype, I also use Source-Connect. As many talent will affirm, Source-Connect will bit rate you (attempt to keep you connected factoring in dropout and jitters) at almost 64k max depending on your up/down ISP bit rate. While this is certainly acceptable audio-quality. We also know that 64k version is a VO talent vanilla version, and in order to push that audio-package bit rate higher we?d need the ?Pro Studio Version? at about double the price of the individual. But the real problem for me is the whole ?Source-Connect only plays with Source-Connect? thingy. In 2013 technology neutrality (I will be using this word ? neutrality ? more than I care too) is really where it?s at. If smartphones can negotiate interoperability, why can?t other technologies? Now quite frankly on my basic days, I?m just happy that the stuff works. Some days I go into my booth to record an audition, and the very same setup I used not more than 17 hours ago ? no longer works. So nope. I don?t look gift horses in the mouth. Anyway, back on topic.

Software IP Codecs (Source-Connect)
I could find no way to get a Source-Elements (Source-Connect) connection with other IP audio devices. Dave Immer up at Digifone ? who as all things audio connection guru ? has ways to ?Bridge? Source-Connect and ISDN lines together for interoperability as far as I know. But I wanted to ?in the name of device neutrality? find a widely compatible solution to audio over IP. While I have spoken with Dave many times, he was not queried for this particular piece.

Now at this point I sense a good deal of the ?Luci Live/Studio? force, and you would be right when it?s mentioned in the context of ?Mobile? solutions for me. But I wanted to focus on two things: Hardware and In-Studio IP solutions. So, realizing that (1) I have never been supremely fond of tracking sessions on my end (via Skype or Phone-Patch direction). And (2) that I needed an In-studio solution that allowed the Production end to track the session, much as we do with ISDN. It was clear that Source-Connect did not, and as far as I can tell will probably not create viable ways to initiate sessions outside of the SC interface setup (as fas as I know). It was also clear I needed to figure this ?IP device neutrality? thing out so in the end I?d have a viable ISDN alternative should it be required.

IP Audio Compatibility Quest
The plan was simple enough: reach out to all the major Audio IP Codec manufacturers to ask the (what I thought was a simple) question of:

With your device, is it possible to achieve the same or comparable broadcast audio quality that I now get via ISDN with connections to other IP Codec manufacturers? Or, in the alternative ? the minimum stream from my Musicam Prima LT that sounds great pre and post production work is: MPEG L2 128k JS/Mono, and I need to achieve that same quality via IP Codec.

What I found was very interesting.
Codec device manufacturers, much like any kind of tech company hold their cards very closely to their chests. Being inherently proprietary, every manufacturer wants an advantage in the hard-fought land of R&D. That being said, there are myriad IP technologies out there, mostly proprietary and unique to the independent devices: ACT is a Telos technology, FEC is an correction error technology developed by Tieline. There are many, many others. All essentially doing the same thing more or less. They rearrange or do a simple (or most times complex) plus or minus redundant send/receive protocols (I?m an idiot, and more creative than Tech, so I?ve grossly over or under-simplified it) so that audio packets can be buffered for bad IP connections and dropouts, drop-offs, or jitters.

Every device manufacturer can guarantee QOS agreements and pristine connections when it comes to interoperability between their own peer-to-peer devices. But get individually branded devices to work together and, well... Not so easy.

Enter the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) the organization states it is a: ?Professional association of national broadcasters that negotiates and advocates for interests of public broadcasters in Europe?. They function to do a lot more than I care to address here, but suffice it to say, most of the major players in the Audio IP Codec game and that would include Comrex, Mayah, Tieline, CCS (Musicam), APT, and AudioTX all sat down to develop standards for device manufacturer interoperability. It seems no one wanted a repeat of the original ISDN Codec fiasco whereby devices ?we not playing nicely? with one another. The standards that came out of the development meetings bourne (am I using this context correctly?) the features we now take for granted when we dial out, or are dialed into on our ISDN Codecs: Auto-Negotiation.

SIP Auto-Negotiation
To me one of the single-most important implementations to come into existence for ISDN codecs is the Auto-Negotiation features. Think about it. Imagine not being able to connect to someone via a call on your smartphone, because your smartphone is an Android, and the party being called has an Apple device. I know, it makes noooooo sense. So, this body, the EBU along with NAICP ? I?m told ? refereed standards for device compliance and compatibilities ? specifically SIP implementation. Telos ? I?m also told through many sources ? declined to participate at the EBU Meetings. This might be the reason that the Telos ZIP One may not be fully compliant with EBU or NAICP standards. Which brings us to the next point. This ?standard? takes advantage of a technology referred to as SIP ? Session Initiation Protocol. If you?ve ever used Skype, VoIP, Google Voice or any of the many SoftPhone devices, then you?ve used the SIP technology. SIP essentially initiates a call and ?introduces? itself via various handshaking protocols: ?Hello, I?m AAC-HE, or MPEG L2 @ at 128kbps ? Ya got a minute, can we talk?? There are many algorithms (code for compression models) from AAC to MPEG 2 and 3, to PCM, even down to G.711 and G.722 (Both which are essentially the equivalent resolution/quality of a regular phone-quality call). As a voice talent, my sessions need to be the same or better quality that I currently achieve with ISDN ? that was the ultimate test.

Reaching out...
I reached out to Telos on several occasions. Disclaimer: I bought a Telos ZIP One Codec on the strength of its Brand name, IP interoperability with its Zephyr product line, and its supposed NAICP SIP-compliance. On first contact, I found that this device was primarily for the RADIO STATION community who do the on-off site calls ?live? back at the station.
Oh, and LUCI LITE or LIVE can NOW work (several rom updates to 1.7.0 later) Very subtly I was informed that this device wasn?t really developed for the ?Voiceover? community. Made sense I guess. Why on earth would they want to cannibalize their ISDN product lines? Another important trend I found disturbing was, and this was consistent among all the device manufacturers, that each company had basically its own ?SIP-server?. When you bought a device, you registered the device online with a manufacturers server to effectively ?see? other (place brand-name here) devices made by that specific manufacturer. In the case of Telos, it was a ?little happy ZIP One Radio Station community?. Now in addition to using the SIP-Server, I was told I could setup an Asterisk PBX on a spare computer and use it as a through-line for SIP registration. All of which did not strike me as easy or necessary to have to do. There?s more: That Zephyr IP compatibility I mentioned above as one reason in deciding on as a factor for the purchase and thought of as a feature, requires a Studio (which by all accounts) currently uses that same Zephyr device as the ISDN codec they?ve come to know and love as a tethered ethernet IP Codec (which the Studio may not even be aware of) would require a Software revision BEFORE it can achieve IP viability. Can?t make it up. In a roundabout way, it was also inferred that I might mention to the current studios/producers/directors I work with, that if they too purchased a ZIP one we could end ISDN sessions almost immediately given the point-to-point SIP-server IP connection we would now enjoy. Thats sound a lot to ask of one person. Essentially, I would be saying to a producer ?hey I know my ISDN line is complimentary (I don?t charge for initiated calls) but you pay a ton in per minute charges calling me from the UK. If you went and spent 1100 Euros on the ZIP One, you and I can start sessioning (like that word?) via IP ? no more ISDN charges passed on to your client!? Not a burden I want to shoulder, because it means consequently all non-ZIP One IP Codec users would be up ?shits creek, without a paddle? as my Mom used to so fondly put it. In the end, I found ways to register for SIP Server Registration through various companies ? Iptel and Sip2Sip and but two in the realm of Registrars, and both work quite well.

I don?t mean to sound sour. Nor do I intend to. I?ve since learned how to call/integrate/initiate a call to any SIP device using whatever algorithm I need to connect. No, I?m not happy that as a creative person I?ve had to figure it all out without the help of the company that created the box, but nevertheless it was time well spent.

I will have more on the information as I hear back from Codec vendors. In the meantime:

Have you as a Producer, Voice Talent or Studio used SIP Audio reliably as an ISDN alternative? Meaning connecting via SIP on codec algorithms like AAC, AAC-LE, AAC-HE, MPEG 2, PCM, or even aptX? I don?t mean Luci Live ? which I have not properly tested as yet. I?d love to hear your experiences! Better yet, I?d love to test/share an IP connection out as well!

Is ISDN on its last legs in the voiceover community?
Endemol Celebrity Blob

01/23/2015 01:54 PM

Celebrity Blob!

The next jump in entertainment!

It started as a comical part of Winter Wipeout... And now Blobbing is ready to become a hilarious new hit! Five teams of three celebs fly to a place where everything is taken care of. They sleep in a beach house, where life is like a luxurious holiday... But once a day we ?Blob? them into a different world. The world of jumping and splashing. The world of Celebrity Blob.

Blobbing is an outdoor water activity in which a participant sits on the end of a partially inflated air bag (known as a water trampoline or blob) and is then launched into the water after another participant jumps onto the air bag from a platform on the opposite side.

In each episode, the celebrity teams are trained on a variety of different jumps. At the end of the day, they show off what they learned whilst being judged and scored on how high or far they jumped or the number twists they made off the blob. Each stunt adds a different point to the team?s overall score.

Five teams of three celebs each compete in "blobbing". What is blobbing? This is Blobbing:

Closing the episode, all the teams get one last shot to earn extra points by attempting to break the high jump record. The team with the most points at the end of the week wins.

Can't see it in your browser? See it here on Vimeo:

Endemol Celebrity Blob
Welcome to AdVo

01/23/2015 01:56 PM

Welcome to AdVo

is a powerful video advertising platform that enables viewers to directly buy products that appear within the video they are watching, while they are watching. How cool is that? The core concept is for Publishers and Owners, Product Owners/Sellers and Content Viewers. The work was created by the UK company ? The Department. A cool group of guys who do awesome work. They?re a creative agency delivering projects across a wide variety of media, with extensive experience in branding, design for print, web and animation. See it here on Vimeo

Created by The Department + the collaboration of voice over talent + Nathan Lang.AdVo

Welcome to AdVo
BrightPearl Inventory Management Animation

01/23/2015 02:00 PM

BrightPearl Inventory Management Animation

CRM, Virtual Stores. Cool stuff for virtual and brick and mortar selling. Nathan Lang - Narrator
New VO work for BrightPearl

BrightPearl Inventory Management Animation
Missouri History Museum

01/23/2015 01:55 PM

Civil War in Missouri - Missouri History Museum.

Based on the exhibition done at the Missouri History Museum on the Civil War. Missouri was among the most divided states in the Union, with Pro-Unionists in St. Louis opposed to Confederates who occupied much of the rest of the state.

Missouri History Museum