Are you finding that audio editing is becoming a hindrance to marketing yourself and recording work for your clients?
Many voice talent are outsourcing audio editing to capable audio engineers who can get the job done for a reasonable price and in a timely fashion working half a world away.
To learn more, check out today’s VOX Daily!
Have You Taken The Leap?
When I was visiting The Voice Acting Hub on Facebook, I happened to see a conversation started by Kathleen “Kat” Keesling about how she recently started to outsource audio editing.
Kathleen writes, “I have finally decided to outsource my editing and am pleased as punch! I should have done this two years ago. How many of you have taken the leap? How do you like it? Do you outsource anything else?”
At the time of this writing, there are 26 responses, many of which are included here in this article. Regardless of whether or not they are currently outsourcing audio editing to a third party, all are discovering the potential of doing so as they weigh the pros and cons.
Benefits you may experience when outsourcing audio editing include saving:
Let’s take a look at each of these more closely with some help from our friends in The Voice Acting Hub.
Remember that whole concept of your brand making you money in your sleep? Given the option of outsourcing, you can be saving time and “working” in your sleep. While outsourcing in general terms isn’t new, a number of talent are realizing how much time they can reclaim in terms of spending it with family, pursuing other opportunities or getting a good nights’ sleep.
Lori Furth has found a way to incorporate this time saving strategy to make life a little easier. She says, “I use an editor in the Philippines, and he works over our night, so I get finished files in the morning. Works like a charm! I don’t dislike editing my own stuff…I do it 98% of the time, but when I have six hours of finished audio due and other projects coming, I use my discretion and resources wisely!”
While some talent outsource to outside businesses or freelancers, others are “in-sourcing” their audio editing work to a degree within the home by training their teenagers on how to edit audio tracks. Voice talent Bob Souer has been doing this for some time now and has two of his children, Eric and Karen, lined up to help him with this aspect of his business.
Many teenagers are able to learn how to produce audio and video in courses they take at high school. One of the audio editing platforms some have access to is Pro Tools by Avid. These skills can be invaluable to people joining the workforce in a capacity of content production and if your child has the opportunity to do so while they are still in secondary school, encouraging them to take a course in this area could open a number of doors for them going forward.
It may go without saying but time is money. If you find that your time could be better spent doing something else (like recording for more clients), you may find that outsourcing, although it means paying someone else to do the audio editing for you, may in fact save you money in the long run and even afford you the opportunity to earn more money because you can take on more projects.
Hana Haatainen Caye asked if anyone else woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in their right hand from endless hours of using the mouse while editing. She mentioned that she was in the middle of about 20 hours of steady editing and that her hand was killing her.
Some good advice and a timely response came from a number of people including David Bucci and Diane Havens.
David’s tip provided a technical solution that could be of help. He wrote, “This may not help much, but I started using a pen tablet for editing. You hold a pen instead of a mouse but I’ve found I’m more accurate with it.”
David enjoys editing because while it may seem mundane, he has learned a great deal about his own voice and sound by editing his own material. A passing interest in audio technique has developed into an educational tool and quite happily a passion. David admits that they are moments where editing is cumbersome and time consuming, but he can’t imagine giving his audio editing willingly to anyone.
Diane shared, “I never edit for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. On books and other long form narration, I record for 2 hours or so, then edit for 3 or 4 — with rest breaks. That seems to be a healthy pace for me. Otherwise, it could very well lead to wrist/hand pain.”
Making Editing More Efficient
Scott “Scooter” Fortney was one of the people who raised their hand in favor of editing out of pure enjoyment. He cites, “Editing is a joy to me. I’d have a hard time handing that off to anyone!”
Additionally, Scott has been producing video tutorials on how to edit more proficiently and intimated that depending on the software being used, shortcuts could be created to help to streamline much of the editing process thereby making the process faster resulting in less strain for your mousing hand.
Scott’s videos on Youtube center around Adobe Audition basics, however, I’m sure you could find similar videos for other recording software packages on YouTube.
Here’s the tutorial Scott produced on how to create keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Audition:
Still Holding On
As I mentioned, not everyone is ready or wants to give up the reins when it comes to editing their voice over work. I can understand why! Here are some thoughtful opinions that were shared on this bent.
Lee Gordon offered, “I also enjoy the editing — not enough to offer it as a service to others, but for my own stuff. Even when I’m supplying the raw audio of a session I usually first clean up the dead spaces and false takes and a few breaths and random noises that bug me. If I were to farm out any of my projects, I would feel the need partially clean them up first — sort of the way one might ‘pre-clean’ the house before bringing in a maid or cleaning service, or rinse the dished before putting them in the dishwasher.”
Andrew Heyl relates to Lee Gordon in that he’d pre-clean his audio before sending it over to a colleague to edit, stating, “For audiobooks I do a rough edit but send for post to my friend. He gets it sounding perfect and gets all the levels smooth as silk.”
Once the term “pre-clean” was presented, others chimed in agreeably saying that they also pre-cleaned audio before they sent it off to the editor.
As noted, many talent choose to do their own editing because they enjoy it, however, being the artistic people that voice actors are, artistic license also plays a role in the desire to maintain control over the final cut. Diane Havens, who narrates many audiobooks, shared that she enjoys editing if she has the time and doesn’t have to get stressed over deadlines.
Diane went on to say, “I especially like doing it on my audiobooks since I often change the length of pauses during that time, if upon re-listening I think I can use a beat more here and there — or if maybe a breath sounds distractingly loud, et cetera. Those are the kinds of subjective, artistic choices I’d rather not give up to someone else.”
What About You?
Do you outsource audio editing or are you editing everything at your studio?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions!