Why do clients require a custom demo?

Sending a Custom Demo

A custom demo is an audition where the talent reads a portion of the client's script. The custom demo is formatted as a standard MP3 audio file.  

Explaining Why Clients Request Custom Demos

Clients may require custom voice samples for a variety of reasons. They recognize that many voice talent have professionally produced sample demos that really showcase their skills.This type of demo can help them understand the range you can offer.

What clients are looking for when they request a custom demo is your interpretation of the copy provided, correct pronunciation of potentially difficult words and an example of what you can produce in a specified time frame. Custom demos take more time and effort than just submitting a stock demo you have available.

When submitting custom auditions there is also the risk of your work being used without your permission. How can you find balance between the two options?

As a freelance voice talent, the final choice is up to you. If you do take the time to record a 20 second dry voice read, select a portion of the script that will best show your skills and be sure to protect your work by using the tools available to you.

Securing Your Audio File

Though it is rare, the anonymous nature of the Internet makes the potential for theft of material very real. As such, we caution all talent to protect their work by only recording small portions of provided scripts, introducing watermarking sounds (entirely your choice), or slating to render audio useless other than for reviewing the voice in the demo.

Slating and reading only a portion of a provided script are the least intrusive of these methods but in cases where the script is so short that reading only a portion is more or less impossible, a watermark could serve to help protect your recording. Be mindful though that watermarking may give the client the impression that you don't trust them.

Should you decide to use music or a watermark, the key is make sure that the client knows that these are deliberately placed and not flaws in your recording process.    

Simply stating in your audition proposal that you have marked the recording and what the mark is can prevent clients from misinterpreting your marks as indicative of some problem with your audition.

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Article Number
First Published
01/13/2014 10:26
Last Published
04/25/2018 01:00
Last Modified
04/25/2018 01:00
My Audition (Talent)
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