young man dj works in modern broadcast studio Voice Over

What To Do Before, During, and After the Live Directed Session

How do clients and voice actors in two different locations record audio together? Serious voice actors know they use live direct sessions to optimize remote recording. 

You’re probably used to working together in the same studio session. However, as technology helps us stay connected from different parts of the world, the voice talent is no longer limited to recording audio and sending it to the client. 

What Is a Live Directed Session?

Live directed sessions let the client and talent work remotely and collaborate on the same audio recording in real-time. 

Benefits of directed live sessions include:

  • Working from home 
  • High-quality recorded audio files from anywhere in the world
  • Access to national and international voice talent

Keep reading if you’re wondering what tools and equipment a voice actor needs for a live directed session. 

Voice Over Software and Tools

Older technologies like ISDN and Phone Patch used to be the go-to, most reliable tools. Old tech helped voice actors deliver high-quality audio with a simple internet connection. 

However, new tech like Source-Connect, Zoom, Facetime, and Google Meet has made it easy for even newcomers to access live directed sessions. Voice talent can now simply record their reading and share files with their client. 

Zoom 

Zoom gained familiarity by being the world’s most popular video-conferencing application connecting colleges to clients and friends to family. Zoom can offer the listener clear audio without a background movie of the original content for voice talent. 

1. Log into Zoom on your desktop

2. Click the ‘Share screen’ option. Under the Advanced option, choose to share ‘Music or Computer Sound Only’.

However, if you’re also sharing a video file, you can enable ‘Optimize for video clip’.

3. Use the microphone to speak while the video is in play. 

The client should be able to hear your computer audio and your voice over simultaneously. 

Zoom offers voice actors the option to share audio and use an audio mixer. 

Facetime 

Facetime is the perfect choice when both the client and voice talent have iPhones and iPads that run on iOS15 and newer. 

Facetime features a Voice Isolation setting for your microphone that separates distracting background noise from your directed live session so that your voice talents come through clear and client-ready.

 Here’s how to use voice isolation mode in Facetime: 

  1. Launch the FaceTime app
  2. Open Control Center by swiping down from the top right of your screen
  3. Tap the microphone button 
  4. Choose Voice Isolation to enable it
  5. Swipe up to return to the directed live session

Don’t forget to disable Voice Isolation at the end of the session. Instead, keep your phone in Standard mode to preserve the health of your microphone. 

Skype

Skype is an excellent fit for voice overs that have a USB-compatible microphone. This is because Skype lets the client hear the same track that voice actors hear in real-time with the correct audio input. 

Here is how to change the audio setting for a live directed voice over session on Skype: 

  1. Select your profile picture and click Settings. 
  2. Click Audio & Video. 
  3. Plug in a USB-compatible microphone. Skype will automatically adjust your microphone setting. However, you can also change the microphone volume manually. 
  4. Adjust noise cancellation. Skype features an AI-based noise suppression that automatically adjusts noise levels based on your background noise. 

Zoom, Facetime, and Skype are among the most basic yet used software for a voice talent to conduct professional-grade live voice over directed sessions. 

What to Expect During a Live Directed Sessions

Getting past the learning curve of the tech glitches and software you should use for a smooth-running live directed session can be difficult. After all, you want to make an excellent first impression with the casting person. 

Casting directors and producers are busy people just like you, so make every second count: 

Incorporate Self-Care Before the Session

Eat food and drink about a half-hour before your meeting starts and have a water bottle nearby. You want to restrict the number of times you have to remove yourself from the session.

Constantly removing yourself from a live session can be unprofessional. 

And if you have younger children, double-check your internet connection and background noise. They may want to join in accidentally.

Lastly, rehearse and research your script. Arriving at your live session with a well-researched character role will help you stand out from other voice talents and build your confidence. 

Have an Organized Space

As a voice actor, you know that your desk is not only laid out like a garden of scripts but sometimes there are weeds of sticky notes and pens that can snowball into giant distraction. 

It would help if you had your computer, your script, and a blue or red pen to help you take notes on pronunciation and pauses from the producer.

Double Check Your Hardware

Optimize your workspace by double-checking your hardware before your live directed voice over session. Check your microphone, computer, and internet connection for hiccups. This will help you identify the perfect backup software. 

To use your time efficiently, ask your client what specs they want to use for your audio. 

Live Directed Session Etiquette

If this is your first rodeo as a voice actor, a few best practices and etiquette tips stand the test of time. 

  • Take control of your session with a vocal warm-up before the call begins. 
  • Request for a primary leader that can give you constructive feedback and guidance
  • Ask for clarification. You will probably mispronounce words or crack your voice. 
  • If you make a mistake, take ownership of the error, pause, and re-record the line. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not perfect. 
  • Do not touch your mic. 
  • Don’t argue. Voice over is about feedback and team effort. Each line is not going to be perfect. Excuse yourself for a sip of water.
  • Have patience. Sometimes a client and producer will not agree on how a line or single word sounds. Remember, your job is to be the voice of talent and make the client happy. 

Final Thoughts

With all this information about live directed sessions you can feel confident that you’ll be able to handle them professionally. Check the software that will be used beforehand so that you know where all the options are; and prepare the space where you’ll be recording to avoid any mishaps during the session.  

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