Many voiceover projects can be recorded by voice talent interpreting copy on their own but directing a voiceover session assures you get the VO you want in just one session. So, what is the best way to direct a voiceover session?
Hoping that your voice actor will just record your script and intuitively know exactly how you want to sound can be risky. Many of our clients enjoy directing voiceover sessions by listening to the talent as they record and giving instruction. The end result is that the voiceover is read exactly as it was intended to sound according to the creator. You do not have to be in the room with the VO talent to direct a voiceover session. There are some nifty hacks to reduce the cost of remote direction. Here are five of the most common ways to direct a voiceover session from anywhere.
ISDN stands for “Integrated Services Digital Network”. Basically, ISDN is a fancy phone line that transmits studio quality audio from one studio to another. The voice talent is at his or her ISDN equipped studio, the director is at another ISDN equipped studio. The two studios are linked by the ISDN “boxes” that are wired in at both ends. This gives the director the ability to listen to the voiceover talent as he or she voices and give direction the talent can hear in their headphones. ISDN can be pricey. You can easily spend several hundred dollars an hour for use of ISDN gear. ISDN has been around for many years and there is new technology that replaces ISDN that we will discuss below.
2. Source Connect
Source Connect is the new ISDN according to many audio producers. Source Connect allows you connect studio-to-studio remotely, like ISDN, but instead of channeling the audio through phone lines, the audio is routed through Source Connect’s network which is accessed via the internet. Each party must have the Source Connect software installed on their computer. Connecting is made simple via a dashboard within the software. The sound quality is pristine and the technology rarely fails, making Source Connect a great alternative to ISDN. Source Connect has on-going fees generally billed monthly or there are “day passes” for those that do not need the service on an on-going basis.
ipDTL is an IP codec running in a web browser and is used to connect studios much like ISDN and Source Connect. Like Source Connect, ipDTL is accessed via the company’s website. It is a replacement for classic ISDN audio codecs, with which it has backward compatibility. In essence, ipDTL can be bridged to connect with ISDN. The audio quality surpasses ISDN. You do need a subscription to access ipDTL. Day passes are also available.
Most are probably familiar with Skype and you may have used the service for video calls. Skype works just as well for directing voiceover sessions. Just connect via Skype and listen in as the voice actor voices your project. You have the advantage of being able to see one another. The audio is recorded on the talents studio computer and then delivered to you following the session.
5. Phone Patch
A phone patch can be defined several ways. There is an actual phone patch, where the voice talent has an outboard audio box that patches the sound from their microphone into a phone line. The director can listen in via any telephone. The talent is also able to playback VO recordings through the phone patch enabling the director to hear the recorded vo clearly. Phone patch can also achieved by both parties simply getting on the phone during the recording. The voice actor holds a phone or uses speakerphone while speaking into his studio microphone during the voiceover session. The director listens on her phone and instructs the talent between takes. The quality is not as good as a direct patch but is a simple and free means of directing voiceovers literally from anywhere.
There you have it. Five ways to listen in and direct your voiceover work. All are highly effective; will improve the sound of your voiceovers and help you get the vo you want the first time. All Blue Streak voice talents are equipped with the gear you need to connect in any of the five ways we mentioned. If you are not sure which means of directing is best for you let us know. We are happy to help you get connected, direct for you or just have our voice actors direct themselves if you do not care to be in on the session. So, no matter if you are a hands-on or hands-off project manager, Blue Streak is for you.