Who can remember the days when as a voice actor you arrived at a studio, was offered coffee, handed a script, had someone set up your mic, had an engineer press the red button and a producer directing you and when you were done you said goodbye and waited for the check to arrive?
This still happens but not from your studio at home.
More is put on the shoulders of the actor and this can be a major learning curve or an expensive mistake if you get it wrong.
These days most voice talent will have a studio at home, it may be audition quality or broadcast quality.
It is important to know the difference and what is expected when you say broadcast quality.
With broadcast quality the expectation is you can deliver the same results as a professional studio and to do this you need to have a good understanding of what it means and more importantly what it sounds like.
When you are working in professional studios have a look around, check what mics they use, where do they place them, which way do they face you in the room, what headphones do they have?
There are industry standards like the U87, 416, Avalon 737, Genelic and AKG 141’s. This doesn’t mean you have to have them but use them as a reference when setting up your studio.
One thing to always remember, keep everything sounding as flat as possible, a good engineer can work with this but if you add color at your end chances are they cannot remove it.
With the room get advice from a reliable source, this will save you time and money. Get a good audio engineer you trust to help you, they understand treatment, isolation and set up.
Technology has changed the way files are delivered. Apart from ISDN the new kids on the block are internet based and offer high quality connectivity at a good price.
There’s also FTP, phone patch and Skype.
To cover yourself you need all of these to be considered a professional set up.
How are your ears? Unfortunately for me years of headphones and seeing bands have taken their toll and certain frequencies have gone. So I have to be aware of this when I’m changing settings.
The things to consider when you say broadcast quality are;
• Can you deliver a large sound file?
• Is the sound of your room and equipment up to speed?
• Do you know industry standards and expectations?
We as talent are expected to know much more than ever before and have to be ready for change.
So what is the future of voice over? We can only guess but one thing is clear, if you are not moving with the times and able to offer what producers expect you will soon be wondering why things are going quiet.
At Realtime Casting we have a depth of industry knowledge and have been working hard to gain an insight into the future. We believe the union industry is very important and needs the tools to compete and prosper.
We will continue to support the real industry because we believe now more than ever we need to speak with one voice, so join us today.
Lets keep it real!
Realtime Casting Founder