Live Sessions via Source Connect Standard, Cleanfeed, Source Connect Now, Zoom or Skype…are always better than self-directed sessions. Two minds are always more creative than one!
As Home Studios are now more a thing due to the impact of Covid, voiceover artists had to become studio engineers – fast. We are now dotted all over the map and thanks to some rather clever software, we can connect to clients around the world. We don’t necessarily need to pop into a physical studio in Soho anymore, although that is lovely when we can!
Here is more info on my studio and some voiceovers that I’m delighted to have recorded in my studio recently.
Also Live Sessions allow for exploration of tone, pace, variations in interpretation, immediate script changes or last minute alternate reads, even additional creative that is inspired by the moment. Then playback, approval and final sign off… all within the allotted time and budget.
A much better option than potato, potaaaato-ing with emails back and forth saying: “could you do it a little faster…um…a bit faster than that?” “More assured co-worker confident…with a smile… rather than formal boss type confident, I know that’s what we said in the brief but…” and “maybe stress this word a bit more”…….I’m exaggerating…or am I?! Basically asking the voiceover artist to do the job all over again! Which is another hour record and hour edit of our time. Two hours we could be spending on… what we had planned 😉
The odd word or line change or addition here or there is understandable if you have a relationship with an agency where you’ve both created repeat work for a client and you know exactly what they want, for a client pitch for example. Then bunging us a little something for our time just to: switch on the studio, warm up, check tone notes/ reference files, listen back to the job, record and match up the previous read, slot it in and send the new complete file or just the extra line over to you… just a little something for a cheeky half hour’s extra work is fine. Similarly, if you’ve just helped us see a lovely jump up in our bank balance with a job and we suddenly have a sportscar on our vision board… you know, recording you an extra line is really going to be our pleasure!
I know when I’m booked with my agent the client would cover my time and the studio / engineers. So I don’t personally see the difference between booking me in a physical studio or in my home studio. Especially as many voiceover artists offer our broadcast quality studios, top industry equipment and live connections as complimentary. Some of us might even edit the job for clients as part of a larger budgeted job as a favour and a commitment to the quality we like leaving our studio.
There are no hard and fast rules… obviously. I just feel a live directed session with the end client who has sign off, or the person with the authority to sign off the job, is always preferable. I hope you can see why. That’s why I always offer a live directed session and my studio as complimentary so we can get the client what they want, straight away, no faffing!
There are two options for a live directed session. You record in your studio (I’ll always do a backup) or I record in mine.
Thanks to quality software such as Source Connect Standard and Cleanfeed there is basically no difference for clients from when we VO artists would record in the voiceover booth in your studio to now we’re in our own booth…a few counties or countries away. Both software programs allow the client, production team, agency, engineer and director to sit in their studio…or be patched in from their homes… and stream our voice and record it straight into their studio. They can edit, record to video, playback and discuss the voiceover all from the comfort of their own studio, in privacy. I use Source Connect Standard which picks up the raw unprocessed audio of my StudioBricks studio and transmits it through their software via my hard wired and 5G internet.
If a client doesn’t want to do the editing their side, I can run the session from my studio. We can use free programs such as Source Connect Now, Zoom or Skype for you to listen in and direct the session. My voice travels into my Neuman TLM 103 mic, through my Audient iD14 interface and is recorded in Adobe Audition on my MacBook Pro. I listen back with Beyerdynamic DT770 Headphones and can playback audio to you with Loopback. You can direct me and we can work on the project together. Just make a note of takes you like so I can mark them up. We can then listen back to preferred takes and choose our favourite for approval. I’ll then edit this up and send it to you via We Transfer. If you’d like the whole session edited, so you can choose takes you like, this obviously takes much more time to edit, so please let me know when we’re discussing the quote.
You can see my full process here on my Voiceover Studio, Services and Book page. After your enquiry, my quote, we’ve scoped the project and reached an agreement, this is how I like to prepare and run a session. I hope it helps!
Pre Meet Quick phone call to discuss the project and confirm pronunciations of script if Enquiry was by email.
Vision An idea of vibe, look and tone in adjectives is helpful: conversational, formal, authoritative, luxurious, poetic.
References Video or audio that you would like to recreate or have created, for tone, feel, atmosphere – my work and others!
Guide Vocal Sometimes useful to record before the session to test if you’re happy with the script flow, sentence length, timings and for me to hear preferred speed / emphasis.
Sample If for some reason you really can’t make a directed session I’ll send you a sample of your script for you to approve tone, characterisation, style, delivery, production value and studio sound.
Dial In via Source Connect Standard, Cleanfeed, Source Connect Now, Zoom or Skype.
Record Short scripts: record whole VO for tone check, record until we’re both happy with pace, vibe and pick up lines as needed. Longer scripts: record / approve by sections.
Select Please make a note of preferences so I can mark them for editing.
What’s amazing about having a home studio is I’m learning and finessing how to give my clients the best possible experience. I hope what I’ve suggested in my process makes sense.
I’m super grateful to the team at StudioBricks for my studio, StudioSpares for my equipment, Source Connect for my connections and Rob Bee at B Double E for those “HELP!” moments at the beginning!