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  • Writer's pictureDrew Carpetner

The Voice Over Recording Session

Updated: May 13

The Recording Session

Voice Over Recording Session

When it comes to recording voice over work, deciding whether to go for a self-directed session or a live-directed session hinges on the project's needs. Here’s how to navigate each scenario effectively:

Self-Directed or Live Session?

For projects like high-volume auto dealer commercials, producers often opt for self-directed recordings, where the talent records independently and sends over the audio. This approach demands clear instructions on pronunciations, desired takes, and timing. However, initiating this process with a live session can fine-tune the tone and clarify client preferences, setting a solid foundation for subsequent self-directed work.

Choosing a Connection Method with the Voice Over Talent

Without a recording studio’s infrastructure, platforms like Zoom are usually the most straightforward choice. Nevertheless, having a plan B is essential, especially with multiple stakeholders involved. Preparing a cheat sheet with details for Source Connect, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and even the traditional studio phone line can mitigate technical hitches and keep the session professional when technological gremlins strike.

Check The Tech Before The Big Meeting

  • Tech Checks: If a recording engineer is part of your team, they'll likely prefer Source Connect and should test the connection with the talent ahead of time, ensuring no delays when the client joins

  • Backup Recordings: Remind the talent to record a backup to guard against audio dropouts—a common oversight that’s easily remedied with a reminder

  • Playback Capability: For sessions directed via Zoom or Google Meet, confirm in advance that the talent can play audio back during the session. This capability isn't standard in all setups and is crucial for reviewing takes on the spot

  • Script Delivery: Sending scripts well in advance allows the talent ample prep time, potentially shortening the recording session. Whenever possible, avoid PDFs to facilitate script reformatting by the talent

  • Environmental Noise: Muting your mic during takes can eliminate background noise distractions, aiding the talent’s concentration and performance

  • Mute Yourself: Mute during takes if you are in a noisy environment. Yes, most pros can still deliver takes while listening to someone’s dog barking, but it is harder. Thanks in advance

  • Don’t Trust the Mute Button: Last year I was halfway through my 3rd take in a session with 5 other reps sitting in, when a familiar sound started - an unmistakable and very personal type of sound. No one was brave enough to acknowledge it, and it made continuing with the session (read: not busting up laughing), difficult. Mute buttons are waiting for the perfect moment to betray you, they shall not be trusted - On second thought, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the story, so maybe I’m giving bad advice here.

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