In this article you'll learn about what a voice over artist needs from a client.
From the very start of your job as a producer, it is important to plan everything before jumping straight into action. This includes finding a skilled and reliable voice over artist for your videos or commercials. You may want to hear samples of work that they have previously done and also look at the training that they have undertaken to know that you are getting a quality voice over service. The following section will help you understand what the artist needs in order to get started.
A vast amount of work is underdone by the voice artist, so let us determine what information they require to get started.
The following information would be useful for the voice artist to have.
It's important that the voice over artist has a script from which to work with. If you already have one, great! If you don't, please do get in touch and I will be happy to help you. Alternatively there are many online free script writing tools to assist you.
Include in the script the pitch and pace of the read. This is very useful for the voice over artist to know. The pitch of your voice over depends on how high or low you'd like it to be. The higher pitches are very clear and also a bit faster. This could work if you're selling something very fast paced. The lower pitches are slower, and they are great for narrating something very serious or romantic.
You can send the pitch to your voice over artist when you send them the script, but it's ok if you don't know what pitch to set just yet!
It might be a good idea to record a video of yourself reading the script and then pitching it up or down until you find a sound that fits your brand. You can then send this video to the voice over artist along with the script.
You may wish for your voice over to have background music. Music has a significant impact on the tone of an audio clip and therefore it is important to have the right kind of music and important for the voice artist to know what sort of music you intend to use as they will be able to match the pace and tone of their delivery to the music. If you have an idea of what sort of music to use, do let your voice artist know and if you do not have music, talk to your voice over artist as they would be happy to source the music for you to create the right atmosphere and tonal background for your voice over.
Script length in minutes and seconds...
The next thing that you should do is state how long your script is. Find out how many words there are in total and what their average length should be. It would be a good idea to time yourself reading your script and also have a good idea how long you intend the script to be. be. Let your voice over artist know how long they have to read the copy in terms of minutes and seconds. Once your voice over artist has these details, they can start to work on it right away.
Describe the type of delivery.
To give your voice over artist an idea of what you want to convey with your video or commercial, you can choose a few adjectives to describe it. It's very important that you choose the right adjectives because they will help your voice over artists immeasurably. Is it upbeat or relaxed and casual, serious or conversational and witty?
For example, a commercial about coffee could contain words like "bold", "direct", and "strong". A commercial about chocolate could contain words like, "smooth", "soft", "gentle". Try to give your voice actor some direction but just enough otherwise it can be confusing for the voice artist and if you are unsure about what you would like, try a few different ways and the voice over artist would be able to deliver the lines differently so you can choose what you like best.
Accurate pronunciation of names, places, technical words & brand names.
Additionally the voice over artist would appreciate the correct pronunciation of names and places, technical words and brand names. It is a simple message but it will help you and your voice over artist work together to get the perfect product. Creative video projects often feature a lot of new, fancy or technical words that make the viewer think "Wow, I'm going to remember this!" And in most cases, they do. So when your voice over artist reads these words out loud, it needs to sound natural and not forced. This is important because it will make the video more dynamic for your target audience to watch. Giving the voice over artist an accurate read of any technical words, names or places would be most helpful.
Characters for animation.
When I work on creating a character for an animation, for example, I find out as much information as possible about the character. Their age, profession and build. (Heavy, thin, strong, weak or feeble). Their class status and dialect or accent. Any information you can give to your voice over artist is invaluable. For example, I voiced a "grandma" character for an animation. One of the descriptions about the character included the fact that grandma wore dentures! This was a valuable piece of information and allowed me to bring that character to life the way the client wanted. It also enabled me to voice in a way I had never done so before. You could give it a go and try voicing with pretend dentures to see the effect! Give your voice-over artist as much information as you can so he or she may bring your character to life.
It also might be a great idea to ring your voice over artist and talk to them on the phone about your project. This will allow you to form a connection with them and it is easier to explain what kind of voice or tone you need for your product if you can actually hear the person's voice.
A directed recording session.
It is possible nowadays to be present in the recording session via audio platforms such as zoom or skype, cleanfeed of source connect. Let your voice over artist know that you would like to direct them live and dial into their studio and most would be happy to arrange this for you. There might possibly be an extra charge for this but it would be worth the extra cost as it might save you a lot of time since you will receive exactly what you want during one session.
How will the audio be used?
The voiceover artist needs to know how the audio will be used in order to price the job correctly. A corporate video that only internal employees may see will be charged differently to that of a TV commercial that will be seen by millions of individuals. Make sure you include as much information as possible, such as which platforms a video will be played on, how long you want the audio to run for and how large you intend the audience to be. The voice over artist will ensure that the price for your voice over is correct from the start in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises regarding usage of the audio you didn't disclose up front.
Once the voice artist has recorded your script and sent it to you, it would be most helpful for you to give them feedback on their first draft as soon as possible, otherwise it might take a little longer until they can submit a finished product. They will also value your opinion a lot!You could say for example: "I think you captured the mood of the commercial perfectly! I'm really happy with your voice over and can't wait for the final version. Thank you!"
Or if you're not satisfied, then do say so and the voice over artist would be happy to give you an alternative read. You could say for example, "I honestly think that the casual tone of the commercial is too slow for a coffee commercial that's meant to be energetic and modern. Please can you give me an alternative read with more energy?." And the voice over artist would be happy to do this. They will only be happy when you are completely happy with your finished audio.
You can add the deliverables to the script. Deliverables are the file type you would like your voice over artist to deliver back to you.
Most audio is delivered as an mp3 file or a WAV file, however, you may want a smaller file such as an aiff. file. You may want the files RAW or compressed and normalised. If you are not sure what type of file you need then have a chat with your voice over artist who would be happy to help explain the differences. Your voice over artist may be extremely good at editing audio and would be happy to deliver your voice over in your chosen format, however, you may have your own sound engineer to do this for you so it would be best to let your voice over artist know what sort of files you would like delivered. Almost always all audio is cleaned and corrected of any mistakes before it is sent out.
And Lastly - Have fun!
After all, you have hired a voice over artist because they have the exact skills that you need for your project. So have a little chat with them and share some laughs. Allow your voice over artist to give you a friendly, professional service and by giving your voice over artist the correct information to begin with will allow him or her to deliver exactly what you need for your project. And then you can just sit back and enjoy it!
If you would like to know how I can deliver your voice over, let me record your script for free. Call me today on 07967 662886. Grandma voices with dentures are a speciality!!
Sarah Jackson is a trained professional voice artist living in the UK. She loves playing the violin as well and walking her "Long Haired Lurcher from Liverpool" dog who doubles up as her booth buddy!