5 ways to Maximise your next Remote Directed Voiceover Session!
Covid has been a seismic shift for the voiceover world. The hesitation to working with talent in their professional home-based studios, in favour of in-person sessions, exited pretty quickly.
Now that we are past the worst, the idea of working with a talent in their home based studio is gaining far more traction and acceptance. It is a quick, efficient and easy way to achieve speed and efficiency on a project thanks to reliable home studios and amazing remote voiceover applications. Everyone from the big agencies and gaming companies to smaller video producers are embracing it. To that end, here are 5 ways to get the best out of the session so as to maximally benefit your production and client:
1. Final Copy ASAP
Nothing hampers a session more, which leads to a greater cost for long form work, when the script is not in it’s final ready to voice and record state. Voiceovers are aided in the job with copy that is correct for sense and punctuation. It makes achieving the reality of the copy easier because we focus on the particular reality of that copy, rather than the punctuation and sense that is not making proper sense.
2. Ways to direct in session
Sometimes direction notes after a read in a session can go like this: “Thanks Paul, how about this time you make it more yellow.” That is so vague that it doesn’t help me to get what is inside the director / producer’s head. I don’t know what the term “yellow” means inside their mind. Is it the general happiness that colour is used to convey? Excitement? Warmth?
Instead, focus on what you want the line read to make the audience feel. That is specific and actionable. So the better direction than yellow is “Thanks Paul, can you give a read this time where you make the audience feel excited?” Actors deal with intention all the time. There is always something being done to the other person. Whether that is a gaming scene or a chocolate commercial, the voicing of the words will have an intended effect on the audience or other character. Use that as a way to help us get a better read for you.
3. Define the technical parametres ahead of time
Unless you tell us, voiceovers will revert to standard formatting options for the end audio files that are created and sent to you. But these may not be right for the project. So it’s best to alert us ahead of time if you need something particular like 24 bit, 48 khz. This also applies to what remote application is being used to enable the remote directed session. There are differences to using Skype / Zoom over applications that are specifically designed for remote voiceover sessions like Source Connect and ipDTL. Most voiceovers will be conversant with a broad range, but there are specifics to each one that help us to better run the session.
4. Use a wired Internet connection
Professional voiceovers know to use a wired internet connection (Cat 5/6 ethernet cable) during a remote directed session. Without it, call quality is going to be compromised, which can affect the resulting audio file.
The same for you as the client / producer. Your ability to make the most out of the session and to be fully in it is better with a wired connection. That way you can focus on direction and getting the read that’s right for the project, rather than technical issues caused by a dropped connection.
5. Do a Raw Studio test ahead of the session
If the voiceover is new to you test their audio. Those with strong studio set ups for audio quality will have raw demos for you to send on to your engineer or sound person. It can be analysed to make sure you can actually use the resulting audio.
Because voiceover is the only area of acting operating close to full capacity there has been an influx of newer voiceovers to the market. That means that a lot of clients and engineers are receiving sub standard audio over the past months. Get out ahead of this by requesting a sample ahead of the session to ensure that you don’t waste your time on a call with end-audio that is not useable.
If you are new to directed sessions over the internet, an experienced voiceover artist can walk you through how it works with clarity and ease. That is what years of experience can enable so you can focus on the project and wowing your client.
Happy remote sessions!
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Paul Mclaughlin © Versatile Voiceovers