Voiceover FAQs from clients

Here’s a few questions I’m frequently asked by clients – about working with me as a Voiceover Artist

I’ve been a full time Voiceover Artist for almost the last 12 years. Over this time, I have worked with a large number of clients, from across different business sectors, project genres and around the globe.

Whether it’s corporate, commercial, explainer, documentary narration, “voice of god”, IVR or something else, I have been asked many questions by potential clients about how I work, the process and the detail of working with me. 

I wanted to share with you the more frequently asked of the frequently asked questions – thinking they might be useful as a guide if you are looking at working with a voiceover artist

A slight health warning – there will be elements of “it depends” within the answers!

How long will it take you to record my Voiceover?

This will indeed depend on a few factors, how long the script is, what time I receive the project and what I am currently in the middle of.

That said, I can mostly turn a project around the same day. If a client let’s me know it’s urgent then I can do my best to manage it within my schedule and get it back to you within the next hour if at all possible.

How much does a Voiceover cost?

These 6 words are the biggest “it depends” of all! A phone message for a small company of 2 lines will be very different to a globally broadcast TV campaign. The majority of work sits between these poles. The short answer is that in general, I base my work on my “basic studio fee” (BSF), which gets you me in my studio, performing and recoding your script for up to 1 hour. Then we need to talk about “usage” which will depend on how the Voiceover will be used and how many people will ultimately see / hear it. I’m always happy to have a conversation about this to explain it.

Why does it cost this much – isn’t it just talking?

When you find a professional Voiceover artist that you’d love to work with, it’s likely that you’d love to work with them because you are impressed by their work, sound, studio, client list, years in the business, the training they have etc. 

The things you value about the Voiceover artist don’t happen for free. It’s taken a lifetime of work and learning to be able to record that script for you perfectly for your brand.

If you still think it’s “just talking” then please do have a go!

As far as the cost of usage goes, yes sometimes it can be a big number. But considering the prominence of the Voiceover for the brand and how much is being spent elsewhere on the campaign, it’s really not a huge percentage.

Can I direct you?

Yes! I really welcome the opportunity to be directed. It’s great to work together on your script, to hear, in real time your vision for it – especially if you have a very strong idea about how you want it to sound, if you have some tricky phrases or if you’d just like to experiment a bit and get something that maybe you weren’t quite expecting but that feels totally right!

If we book a session to direct live, we will generally hook up live via Zoom, Whereby, Teams etc or if you’re in a pro studio we can go Source Connect, Cleanfeed or Session link.

I actually have a camera set up in my booth so that we can see each other and make the process feel as human as possible.

Of course, you don’t have to direct – I have many years of experience of self directing and I’m confident that after you’ve told me what you want to achieve, I can deliver that for you on my own.

Where do you record?

Most of my Voiceovers are recorded at home. I have my own professional studio. This is the case with the vast majority of Voiceover Artists working at a pro level. We spend a great deal of time and money on our recording spaces, microphones etc to make sure our work sounds as good as possible and of broadcast quality.

I can and do travel to studios in London as required if the project demands that.

My script contains some difficult words, what can I do to make sure you get them right?

Scripts I receive often do contain some words that might not be straightforward to a native English speaker, or perhaps they are specific technical, medical terms or acronyms.

I find it really helpful when clients send over guides to these!

Tell me if “ABC” is to be read as letters, or if I need to say “Abk” for example. Some clients pop a phonetic spelling in square brackets after the word, this is great.

I am also sent short audio clips of words or even links to videos online where I can hear them.

Let’s be clear, you absolutely don’t HAVE to supply these.

However, you will find that it speeds the process up if I don’t have to search out lots of pronunciations or work out the acronyms. It’s worth casting a glance over the script with the eyes of someone who isn’t involved in that industry to see what stands out as not obvious!

How do I get my voiceover?

Most of the time I will record in my studio and send over a wav file to you directly, either uploaded onto a website, as a Dropbox link or via wetransfer.

I can send over a range of audio formats – please let me know.

Alternatively, if you are directing and recording “down the line” via Source Connect or similar, you will have the audio already in your system.

I will send it over as soon as it’s ready, edited or saved – whatever we have agreed.

Can you send me a free sample?

Yes I can. If you’d like to hear how my voice works with a short snippet of your script that is fine. If you want to be specific about the style that is fine, or I can self direct and interpret it myself.

What else do you do apart from Voiceovers?

Voiceovers is my full time job but as part of my career journey, I’ve also been a radio presenter, sound artist, sound engineer and trainer. Please do let me know if any of these skills are useful to you – I’m keen to look at presenting podcasts at some point in the future as this feels like a thing I should be doing!

When I’m not working, I’m generally playing saxophones, sea swimming or walking the dog – thanks for caring!

Can you replace this AI voice for me on the video?

AI has it’s place.. if you do decide to use one as a guide track, to edit your video to, before you work with a Voiceover Artist, please be aware of something important.. 

You have made the (good) decision to replace that AI voice with a real human. That real human will add what you need – expression, phrasing, humanity and energy (to name a few qualities). Inevitably, this will mean that the pace will vary from your AI voice. It’s not a great thing to ask a VO to match it for pace and you’ll end up with something that doesn’t sound as good as it should.

So, yes, I can.. but let’s say that AI voice is a rough guide, and we will improve on it with some humanity and more flexible timings!

Do you edit?

Yes, I can and do. When I was a BBC Sound engineer, we used to edit on tape in the early days before moving onto digital editing!

I know how to edit based on my training as well as experience and I’m fairly quick.

I tend to do an edit and clean up of the file as standard. If you’d like anything else, please let me know.

If we have just had a live session, I will generally just top and tail the recording and send over the whole session to you – so you can choose the takes you want, based on your notes.

You may well have other questions – other questions do exist after all ;)If you do, please ask. 

I hope you find these Voiceover FAQs useful and that they have helped you plan your Voiceover project. I’m always happy to answer questions about projects, so please do get in touch.

Clare X