What sort of project is it?
What are your aims, hopes and desires for this project?
How long is it? How many words? (By all means just send me a script and I’ll work that bit out) You’ll find some useful pointers on timing under ‘Things to remember when creating your project’.
Do you need my voice to fit into a certain time frame? Perhaps you’ve made a film and you need a voice to fit.
Where is it going to be seen/heard?
Is it for broadcast (TV and/or Web use, or Radio)?
If it is for broadcast, is it an information film, or are you aiming to increase sales?
Or, is it non-broadcast – internal use, perhaps something for your sales team or an exhibition?
If you’re putting my voice to a film of any kind, it’s always great to have a bit of room to manoeuvre. So if you are able to fit the film around the voice –in other words get the voice recorded first – that’s great; it means the sound will flow perfectly then the pictures can be adjusted to suit and the whole film will work better for it. We can discuss this together so we’re both clear.
If you’re recording a guide voice so that you can get an idea of timings, the best thing to do is to read it a bit slower than you usually would. The voiceover artist will lean towards acting – it is voice acting after all – so there needs to be some room for expression and emphasis. You can lengthen or shorten the timings pictures are shown to fit the voiceover, but the only options with a voice are to slow it down or speed it up…neither of which are great solutions. Remember, the voice might be helping to tell a story, to teach, train or simply give information so, whenever possible, give it some room to breathe – you’ll be pleased you did.
If you’re timing a project yourself, be mindful of the fact that when you give it to me to quote on, the read I give may come out at a different time as I’ll be reading it in a voiceover style. So if you’d like an accurate timing for your project right from the start, it’s always a good idea to hang on until I can read it for you. Better to be safe and get your budget right first time.
You can hook up with me via isdn (Integrated Services for Digital Network)
In the words of the technical experts, Isdn is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission, in this case, of voice and potentially music, and we would basically connect over an isdn telephone line. Importantly, both of us (you or your chosen studio – and me) need to have an isdn facility – and we can chat through this if you’re not familiar with it. In laymen’s terms it’ll mean my voice will be in the studio with you and it’ll sound like I’m there in person, you just won’t be able to see me.
For my isdn connection, I use a programme called Audio TX and if you or your preferred studio happen to use it too, we also have the option to connect by VOIP – voice over internet protocol; connecting our voices via the internet. This means there’s no telephone call charges as it’s run over the web so, like Skype etc, it’s free!
With the isdn option, whilst you will very likely be recording the session your end, I can also offer a backup and record the files my end. There are occasions when connections glitch and we don’t necessarily notice during the session, so the backup files offer a great solution for making sure we have a perfect recording throughout. Back up files are recorded in wav format which means they are an even higher quality than the recording sent over isdn.
USING MY STUDIO AND RECORDING FACILITIES
You can give me a steer/some direction, up front and I can record everything here (I can edit and produce too, if required – more on this further on) Then I’ll simply whiz over the files via We Transfer or by email if they’re small enough. You may even have an FTP site you’d prefer I upload to.
Alternatively, I can record here and you can call in via a phone line in my booth or Skype (or Source Connect – below), to direct the session – then I’ll deliver the files as above.
CONNECTING WITH SOURCE CONNECT OR IPDTL
Both are internet based connections which allow the audio to be transmitted between two computers. Simple to set up, they run in the Chrome browser (either end). No proprietary hardware or special phone lines. You just need a computer, and audio interface or USB microphone – and of course a good internet connection. Only one end needs to be signed up for the service and then supplies the other with a login and password. Simple, high quality audio through your broadband connection. And you can hook up anywhere in the world as long as you can get on line. Generally speaking, I’m invited to share your session, however I can easily invite you to a Source Connect Now session, run from my side. Internet based solutions are also good options if you’d like to direct the session but don’t have isdn, and would like a better quality sound than a simple telephone call.
I can come to a convenient studio to work with you face to face. In this day and age this is not a necessity but, for some, a preference – however this will generally be the best option if we’re recording a documentary together as the voice is placed to the picture during the session.
If you’re utilising my recording facilities, I can either provide you with a raw, unproduced version of my voice – with the mistakes removed – or I can ‘clean it up’ for you. That means, removing and/or cutting down the level of the breaths; taking out the squeaks and smaller sound errors and then making it sound fuller and richer so it’s ready to drop into your project.
You may well have your own production team or favourite outside company who will be putting my voice to film or dropping it into the relevant audio slots, but cleaning up the voice is often very useful for them so it’s worth consideration.