Thursday, 25 September 2014

How to build your home voiceover studio

We often get asked by new voice talent who have come to us to make a voiceover showreel or for voice training if they should invest in a home studio.

If you are thinking about building your own home voiceover booth, you are the only one who can decide if you would like to take the plunge.

Just as you don't need a voiceover agent, you don't need a home studio - but it sure helps.

First, do the research:

Do you have enough room in your home?

Can you afford it?

How much would you like to spend?

What are the costs involved?

What do you want to achieve?

Do you want to be directed by a client (in person/on the phone/on Skype/on ISDN/ipdTL/Source Connect etc)?

How high-spec do you want the voiceover booth to be?

Should you just buy a a complete booth (Esmono or Studiobricks for
example) to set up in a bigger room or should you convert a cupboard/a cupboard under-the-stairs, a wardrobe, a small spare single room or use part of a larger room?

Would you like it to be sound-proofed or just acoustically treated (with acoustic tiles)?

Of course you will also need a computer to record onto and editing software (Garage Band, Adobe Audition, Pro Tools etc.)

The most important constituent part of your voiceover booth is...

           

...the microphone!

Ours (pictured) is a Neumann U87 - a top-of-the-range microphone and it comes with a top-of-the-range price too! If you buy a pop shield, stand and microphone holder, you won't get much change from £3K.

The good news however is there are much cheaper alternatives which will also give you a reasonable sound. We also have an Audio Technica AT4033 microphone which was a fraction of the price but did us very well indeed.

You can also get USB microphones which plug directly into your laptop or PC, but you will need to make sure you are recording in an acoustically-treated environment and you don't get any PC noise coming out on the recording.  

Ideally your PC should not be in your booth and your recording shouldn't take place in your office/production area.

There will be more to follow on future blogs when we will look at sound cards, headphones mixers and monitors to get your voiceover business buzzing.  Then in the third blog on how to build your home voiceover studio, we will look at ISDN  ipDTL, Source Connect, Skype and telephones.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Should you price voiceovers by word count?


We often get given a word count for a voiceover jobs and asked to quote to record the audio.

When the word count is around the 2,000 mark or more , this isn't an issue and would fit nicely into an hour's studio time.

But when we get asked to record 50 words or so it can often be an issue.

Voiceover Artists are booked by the hour, so no matter if it's 10 words or 3, 000, we have to pay them for an hour of their time.

Don't forget that you are also paying for the value that the voiceover artist adds to your product video. The voice talent is, in effect, selling your product.

So if you make a lovely video for your product, do you really want to ruin it with an amateur voiceover which sounds like it was recorded in their kitchen on cheap equipment?