When using portable equip. such as iPad & USB mic for auditions, do you mention it to the client in your bid?

+2 votes
As I believe that even with the best USB mic my portable recording equipment is not the quality of my in home studio equipment; I just wonder what the best approach is with the client.  Should we mention that we are using portables for our auditions, or just leave it alone?
asked in Quoting and Rates by susanmanhire (140 points)

4 Answers

+5 votes
I think there are a lot of "if's" that could come into factor for this answer.  Hopefully, you will get more than one reply and go with the majority.  If this is the equipment you are always using, I would not make any special note of it.  They client will hear in the audio quality whether what you are using will or will not work for them.  Also, this information can be listed on your Voices.com Profile under equipment.  

   If you are using these because you are on the road, then my long term suggestion would be to find a means to get your on the road setup as close to your home quality as possible.  I know a ton of people that take their microphones and porta-booths, whether make shift or not, on the road with them to do auditions.  But for this instance, yes, I believe that honesty is always the best policy, but you need to also take a moment and look at this from the Client's point of view.

   The client can only judge you in this circumstance based on the audio that you have provided.  He/she has no idea what the quality of audio will sound like that you will be recording the final on later or or how you sound on that equipment.  The question that would be lingering in my mind as the client would be "what if I give the job to this person and then cannot use what I am later provided with and miss my deadline?" Or even "If they could have waited and provided this on better equipment why didn't they?"

   So I guess my short answer would be yes, tell them.  But understand that as a result clients might go for another candidate who has given them a better representation at what the final quality will sound like.  In the mean time, start a small fund where you can save for some on the road solutions and then it will be a non-issue :)  I wish you all the best in your VO career and hope that my ramblings have provided you with some useful insight.

All my best,

John
answered by JohnHarris (240 points)
+2 votes
While there are several different factors that obviously play into this, I will stand by being transparent with any client. This may in fact influence the client's decision on the the job, but I always say err on the side of professionalism. In this business, because turnaround is key, I'm going to assume the client is interested in getting the best results possible as fast as possible. In auditioning, if you feel your on the go equip is significantly different from your home equip then let them know. However I agree with the last answer that if its not dramatically different then don't worry about it. It's an audition after all. You may want to add that if you book the job you're home equip is superior to what they are hearing in the audition.

Ultimately though, its all about the client's opinion and there's just no way to gauge that. Therefore, be the best professional you can be-and in my opinion that means transparency and ownership for your work, always.

Happy auditioning!
answered by jlew (180 points)
+3 votes
As a voice client, as far as your studio setup and equipment, what is important to us is the quality of your audio. Clean, low background levels, avg audio delivered at -6 to -4 dBFS. Things like that...the quality of your audio file.

You could have recorded with a 1984 Radio Shack crystal mike, yet if the audio is clear, clean, and at the proper levels, it would work for us. Granted, more a more modern setup is going to give you better results. Think broadcast quality. We expect talents in most situations to provide finished audio files to us that don't require us to clean up.

If you are unsure if your audio is up to par, post a short read (voice only) along with a few extra seconds for people to gauge your background levels.

Once you have clean, clear audio at the right levels, what really is important is your read...your interpretation of the script. Thats what we listen for.

Larry@VoicesOnCall.com
answered by LMaizlish (200 points)
+3 votes
No, never. Why would I?
answered by caroler (400 points)