As a voice over talent with a home recording studio, how much should you concern yourself with learning more about (or becoming proficient at) mixing, editing, adding sound effects, and music?
Is it of vital importance that you learn all you can about audio engineering?
Hear some expert advice from David Goldberg of Edge Studio.
How Much of an Audio Engineer Do You Need to Be?
Warren Garling of Voice Coaches moderated the expert panel discussion at the 3rd Annual Voice Coaches Marketing Expo. He directed the question of how proficient a voice talent should be in the arts of audio engineering to David Goldberg, owner of Edge Studio in New York City.
David replied, “That’s a great question and it really depends on the type of voice over you are pursuing. So, if you are pursuing, for example, audiobooks, the average unabridged audio book is I think 9.5 hours long. And as Dan spoke earlier from Full Cast Audio, it can take four hours to complete one hour of audio. It takes that long because you have lots of retakes, and you make mouth clicks and pops and you have to go back and start things over again. All that means is that when you go back it, you have 36 hours of recording to clean up, 36 hours of editing. If you are not proficient, it’s going to suck. The more proficient you become the more money you make per hour, so again in audiobooks, you are paid by the completed hour of audio. So if you’re paid, for example, $100 per completed hour, if it takes you four hours to complete that audio including editing or ten hours, you are at a much better advantage if you can do it in four hours.
“With respect to adding music and sound effects: It’s a wonderful service if you can be a one-stop-shop for your clients, but adding music and sound effects is very difficult. We’ve been doing it for 21 years and we’re still learning, we really are. Stephanie said you have to continue learning. I believe that if you offer a service to clients, and you don’t do it very well, you’ll really hurt your relationship with your client, so go to Voice Coaches (people in attendance were all graduates of the Voice Coaches program). David Bourgeois and Jenny (Marcotte) have a wonderful studio and hook up with them, let them do the music and sound effects for you, and maybe do a little markup on the thing, but be a one-stop-shop for your customers.”
You Don’t Need To Be Ben Burtt, But it Helps To Be Skilled
In a nutshell, David suggested that if you are good at editing audio, you will be able to work faster and smarter. Incorporating and or mixing in different production elements will give you a leg up on other voice talent and will also enable you to offer your clients a one-stop-shopping experience.
If you have any tips or advice you’d like to share about audio engineering from the perspective of a voice over talent, please leave a comment and join the conversation. If you’re an audio engineer, you’re also welcome to chime in with your thoughts!