Get studio quality audio remotely without the stress.
If you’re a studio used to working with voiceover artists “in-person”, then there are a number of things to think about right now.
The first thing to know is that you can get studio quality talent remotely. There are many of us who have been working this way for many years.
The current crisis presents a particular problem. There are many talented voice artists who have only ever worked in studios. Sure, they have talent, but many don’t have the right studio set-up to work from home, or the technical experience to give you the right quality audio.
Not all studios are the same.
Of course, they can buy a microphone and pop to Ikea for an extra duvet (assuming it’s open), but that won’t cut it. So as a hirer, the first thing you should do is ask for a sample demo read. To be extra safe, ask for a ‘dry studio read’ with no processing. This means you can assess the studio sound and recording quality before committing to a project. Make sure to ask for something unique in the sample, so you know the recording was made now, just for you, and not generic audio made months ago. If you only need recorded audio to be supplied for your project, this should be sufficient.
If you’re planning to do a live session, check what connection systems they are using and ask about their level of experience using it. You’ll also want to consider if that system works for you. Ask for a “line test” if you’re unsure. This gives you the chance to dial in, listen to the quality and be confident that you know all the little “quirks” and settings of that connection system. Audio settings and firewall issues are things to look out for.
These two simple steps can make a huge difference. If you do them both up front, you will reduce the chances of finding yourself in an embarrassing situation with your end client.
At the end of the day, a remote voiceover artist isn’t just that. They are a studio engineer, an editor, a producer, a (self) director and a voiceover artist. Home-based voiceover talent have been doing all of these jobs for years.
As you head in to uncharted territory, it’s okay to feel a little stressed. You’re trying to find the system that works best for you and your new “working groove”. That’s where experienced voiceover artists can help. Those of us who are used to working remotely, will be more than happy to have a chat and talk through our experience. We’ll help you get the job done!
A reminder of those two questions:
Ask for a sample demo recording: This allows you to assess the recording chain, acoustics and the talent’s ability to supply a recording at quality.
Ask for a ‘line-test’: This allows you to road-test the connection before doing it in front of your client.
Tony Collins Fogarty is a professional British male voiceover artist and actor, with 30+ years in audio and production. Tony has worked as a voiceover artist full-time for the last 7 years. Tony is best known as the voice of TripAdvisor’s owl in their TV campaigns in the UK, USA and Canada.