Here’s a Guest blog I wrote for Voicebooking.com
Online voice over platforms are a fact of life for today’s content creators… Voicebooking.com voice over artist, Clare Reeves, explores the best ways to work with a voice over artist via an online platform.
You are planning your content production, all the elements are taking shape and you really want to find a voice that will bring your script to life. You have decided that an online voice over platform is the method that suits you best.
Where do you start?
Well, the convenience of online voice over platforms means that you have a range of voice over artists and samples of their work at the click of a mouse. But how do you create a successful voice over project knowing that?
Firstly, know that not all voice over online sites are created equal. I had a conversation with a client once where they were surprised at the quality of voices they found on one site as compared to another…
From the voice over artist perspective, some sites are easy to get listed on. You pay the money (of varying amounts) and hey presto – you are listed online as a voiceover artist!
Many of these “pay to play” sites don’t ask you questions about your studio, your experience, your turnaround times or anything that actually matters to me as a professional voice, they just want me to pay them.
I would then be listed alongside potentially hundreds of voices who may not have a decent home studio. Who knows!
Online voice over platforms with fewer voices on the page are therefore probably a better bet for content makers.
They have been pre-selected because their work is of high quality – which saves you quite a bit of time when it comes to choosing a voice.
Find the right voice over for your project
Now you’ve found a good online voice over website, here’s how to make it work for you from a content creators’ perspective.
- Know what you want
Before you get to the stage of selecting a voice, it’s useful to know the sort of voice and sound you are looking for.
Do you need a male or female voice? What language or accent? Or, is there a particular sound that you are trying to capture?
You can use the platform to help narrow your search and it should give you a few good options that fit your brief
- Listen carefully
Have a listen to voice over samples online. Yes, this sounds a bit obvious! But take the time to get to know the sound of the voices. The textures, the feeling it gives. The things that a voice over artist is great at.
Challenge yourself.. listen to at least one voice that is maybe just outside of what you think you are looking for.
An online platform enables you to do this really easily and doing so can open up a whole new way of looking at your script that could be an exciting way to communicate your message.
- Listen even better
Don’t just listen to the voice.. sounds counter-intuitive, after all, you are looking for a voice over artist, but when you work through an online platform, you must be aware that pretty much ALL of the voice over artists there will be recording from their own studio, at home.
When you listen to the voice over samples, have a listen to the quality of their recording and the sound of their studio. They can vary a great deal.
Personally, I have spent a lot of time, effort – and money making my studio sound great and broadcast quality.
Voicebooking.com helps you with this, they are fans of great-sounding studios and they pre-screen the studio sound of their voice over artists – so you know that the voice overs on their site will be working from a great-sounding studio! I had to let them know about my kit and send sample files for them to approve.
In fact, I know that if there are any doubts at all about the quality of a voice over artist’s studio then Voicebooking will not list you as a voice over artist – it really is almost as important as being a skilled voice over talent. Otherwise you just won’t end up with a quality voice recording. Simple.
- The unexpected effect
Listen to demos from a different genre. If you are casting for corporate movies it makes total sense to listen to some corporate demos.
In addition, why not take a listen to the voice over’s commercial reel? You might find that a style you hear there will actually work brilliantly on your corporate film and give it a new freshness.
Once you have chosen your voiceover artist you can begin the communication! As a voice over artist and professional communicator – this is something I really relish.
Most online platforms have chat functions where you can post notes directly to the voiceover artist you want to speak with.
The Chat function is a great place to share your ideas with the voice over. Describe your project and who it’s aimed at, any additional thoughts about pace and style are all very helpful when we are self-directing.
Just so you know, if you are using the Voicebooking.com platform and you message me in the chat, it pops up in my WhatsApp, so I see it almost straight away!
This is where I might be asking you a question when I’m recording as well.. perhaps about a line in the script or a pronunciation. Please try and respond as soon as you can – so I can progress and get your audio back to you ASAP
- Be clear in your briefing
Give the voice over an example of their work that you like. If you can add a sample of some of our work that is similar to what you are after for your project, that is helpful.
Voice over artists are good at recreating sounds; as when we listen back we know where we “placed” that example in our voices and how far we dialled up the warm sound – for example.
- Difficult terms? Give guidance
If there are technical terms that are non-standard pronunciations, please do share how you’d like it said. I’m always happy to look for guidance online but be aware it adds a few minutes to my delivery turnaround time for your files.
This way you know I’m using the correct version as well. Feel free to add YouTube examples or other clips to help guide your VO to understand your points of reference. We are always happy to receive these.
- Prefer to direct? Do it!
To direct or not to direct? It’s entirely up to you. Good, professional voice over artists will be extremely skilled in directing themselves. We do it every day.
We know how to break a script down to tell the story and will make sense of the words for your content and audience.
However, if you have a particular style in mind that’s hard to explain in a message and you’d like to try some options in a session, or you just want to be involved in the process, that’s all fine. Book a session via the online platform.
In a video call you can be part of the recording session! I have a camera set up in my booth, so you can see me in action and it makes the whole process more human!
The online platform process of working with a voice over artist can be quite similar to working via a traditional agent, if you know which platform to use and you approach it in a similar way.
Ultimately, the best online voice over platforms are a useful way of getting a good voice over for your project and for you to have a dialogue with the voice overs directly, resulting in audio you are totally happy with.
It’s all about communication, creativity and clarity.