While a vast percentage of voice actors work remotely, offering you flexibility and saving you cost on renting a recording studio, from time-to-time, attending an in-person recording session can still be a necessity.
A recording session in a professional studio can make for a thrilling and constructive experience. As somebody in charge of recruiting voice talent, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the voice actor you hired, observe the work of the studio’s technical crew (e.g. the recording engineer), and provide in-person artistic direction to ensure that your project’s voice over is executed in exactly the way you had envisioned it.
However, if you’re preparing for your first in-studio session, here’s what you need to know about working with a voice talent, in a professional recording studio.
Before you travel to a professional studio to attend a recording session, there are a few things you ought to prepare for.
Firstly, make sure to abide by studio etiquette. Follow this golden rule: if you don’t own it, don’t touch it. You’d be surprised by how expensive some of the recording and technical equipment in a professional studio can be. You want to stay on everyone’s good side, so do your best not to tamper with the recording engineer’s beloved, very expensive, microphone.
Be punctual for the recording session, and make sure to keep an eye on the clock if you only have access to the studio for a limited timeframe. Print a few extra scripts to bring to the session, and make sure they’re typed in a larger font that your voice actor won’t have any trouble following as they deliver their read.
By the time the voice actor(s) shows up to the studio, they will have already mulled over the artistic direction you provided in order to interpret the script and apply their own spin on the role.
You should brief talent on any difficult words that they may be uncertain about how to pronounce, or let them know if you want specific emphasis placed on certain phrases, if it isn’t already evident in the script.
In the studio, you’ll also want to listen to the finished product with your voice actor and determine whether you’re satisfied with the recording that has been produced. Based on your mutual reception, you’ll be able to tell whether you need to record any retakes or not.
Sometimes, clients and voice actors collaborate remotely even when the voice actor is in a professional studio, for instance, through a live-directed session via phone or video chat. This enables you to ensure that your recording needs are being met through the professional studio, while still being able to provide direction, or listen-in, as needed.
In today’s industry, both voice talent and their clients are far more open to collaborating remotely. A lot of the time, a project will be completed without a voice actor and a client ever meeting face to face.
In fact, when it comes to voice coaching, up to 75% of voice coaches’ business is conducted over the internet. While providing training via video chat services like Skype allows for face-to-face interaction, coaching over the phone or via solely aural means is often favored because it redirects 100% of the focus back onto the sound of the voice.
It is also possible to direct voice recording sessions with an ensemble cast remotely. You may encourage voice talent to listen to their co-star’s performance between recordings so that they can hear the lines that they are reacting to, or practice altogether with their co-star(s) over the phone or voice chat.
If you’ve chosen to collaborate remotely but you’d still like to direct the recording session, you may consider Skype, FaceTime, or a phone patch.
Home recording studios have grown so advanced nowadays that you can and will get top-quality recordings when you hire professional voice actors who work from home. And while home recording studios have become a popular option for voice talent the world over, there remain a handful of common scenarios where professional recording studios are still put to good use. One of the most frequent of these scenarios involves recording the voices of animated films, TV, and video games, where multiple isolation booths may be installed to allow actors to deliver their performances in sight of each other and their director.
Arranging a recording session at a professional studio comes with distinct benefits for those who wish to collaborate in-person, in real-time.
For instance, being gathered in the same room together affords you the opportunity to spitball creative ideas, experiment with a range of vocal styles on the fly, and listen back to a recording immediately once it’s finished in order to get the feedback of everyone in the studio.
Another benefit you get from recording in a professional studio is the ability to turn to engineers and producers at the session for their suggestions. It’s likely that this isn’t their first rodeo, so they’ll be able to draw on past voice recording sessions they’ve worked on and chime in with their perspective. It never hurts to have an extra set of ears.
However, as someone overseeing the creative aspects of the voice over performance, you may want to be cautious about over-directing. When possible, give your talent some leeway to suffuse the character with their own personality. Voice acting is a collaborative effort between client and talent, so you’ll want to avoid being overbearing and leave the talent room to breathe and interpret the role.
Whether you decide to book a recording session and collaborate in person, or whether you keep your correspondence and the transaction entirely online, Voices.com is happy to help facilitate the client-talent relationship to achieve the best possible results for your creative project.