In the bleak mid-winter flowering into the spring of this passing year, Bob Souer auditioned for a voice over job through Voices.com that was literally of biblical proportions. In fact, Bob landed the gig and was happy to let both David and I know all about it at the Voice Coaches Marketing Conference in Colonie, NY on a sunny weekend in June. Join me in my feature interview during the Christmas season with Bob Souer as he shares news about his journey narrating through the all-time #1 best-seller and the greatest story ever told from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation.
Stephanie: It’s amazing that you are recording the entire Bible! Could you please specify which version of the Bible it is and the total word count?
Bob Souer: This project is for the world’s largest publisher of Bibles, Thomas Nelson. We’re using their “New King James” version. Word count is about 774,000.
Stephanie: What has the process been like so far working on such a large and monumental project? Do you do anything special to prepare for your sessions?
Bob Souer: The process has gone amazingly smoothly. I’m in my home studio in Charlotte, NC, connected via either Source Connect or ISDN (most of the sessions have been done with ISDN thus far, but with the new version of Source Connect coming in about a month we’re hoping to be able to move to that system more often) to the main production studio in Nashville, TN.
I try to get a short nap before I start my session each day. In a typical week, we record for 4 hours each day Monday through Friday for between 5 and 7 hours on Saturday. Sunday is a day off for all of us.
Stephanie: Which stories are your favorites? Any verses in particular that you enjoy reading aloud?
Bob Souer: Reading the Psalms was a great joy. They lend themselves to being read aloud so very well. Also, some of the familiar passages in Isaiah were very interesting to read in the context of the entire book. In fact, the single most striking thing about taking part in this project is getting an opportunity to experience these familiar stories in the whole context. No matter how familiar an individual story or passage is, it takes on a different flavor when read as part of the whole.
Stephanie: Is there an element of voice acting involved (differentiating individuals in the Bible) or is this project more of a straight narration project?
Bob Souer: We’re not doing “characters” as we read, but as I mentioned in conversation with my friend Dan Nachtrab the other day, the key for me has been to keep in mind that it’s simply telling stories. Even the genealogies are the story of a family, told in a way that sounds strange to our 21st century ears; but still a story.
Stephanie: Which company hired you? Were you given any specific direction from your client as to interpretation?
Bob Souer: The production and editing are all being done at Northstar Studios in Nashville, TN. They have an audio editor and a producer who are overseeing every detail, both of whom are monitoring the script as I read; so very few mistakes slip through. We have pick-up sessions now and then to go back and correct those few places that we didn’t catch as we were recording initially.
Stephanie: How will people be able to purchase / access the recordings and will there be a CD series with all the recordings on them? Have you completed the job as of yet or is there a deadline you have set for yourself?
Bob Souer: This project, as I understand it, is being recorded for distribution as a daily podcast so that at the end of a year, you’ll have listened to the entire Bible. I believe that’s going to take place through the Thomas Nelson website, possibly through iTunes or another distribution site, too but I don’t know the specific details.
As an additional note, I’d just like to say that I’m very grateful for Voices.com and for the way you’ve helped me connect with not only this project but a number of other clients as well. I wish you, David and your entire team much success.
Stephanie: Thank you for talking with me Bob. It’s always a pleasure.
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