Tuesday, 19 June 2018

How to behave in a voiceover session - as a client and voice over artist



With our fantastic voiceover professionals as well as our great clients we school of fish here at Big Fish Media, pride ourselves on running effective, targeted and quick voiceover recording sessions. We are lucky that our voices are experienced and know how to take on every challenge from verbose direction to even power cuts – we’ve seen it all.  


What should a voice do during a session?
When you are in a recording session in person or down the line from another studio there are several golden rules.

1.       Be prepared – sleep well the night before, do vocal warms ups, drink water and eat well. As you know you have a session that day, avoid going out the night before (we can always tell), avoid milk and dairy produce, avoid chocolate and avoid caffeine.
2.       Be prompt – goes without saying but if you are going to be late call or text or send a carrier pigeon to let us know. Arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed.
3.       Read the script – if you can and you have got the script (which sometimes isn’t the case – we know this happens) then please read it out loud at least twice to get your chops around the words. If you receive the script there and then before the session, get there early and read out loud as a level check for both the engineer and you.
4.       Listen – yes our wonderful voices read out loud but what they do most impressively is actually listen, assimilate direction and then speak. Stop, think, speak. From directions in a session to directions to a studio, stop and think and then act.
5.       Be nice – Nice? Yes, you are more likely to get repeat work by being both nice and professional. This also means avoiding touching the microphone. Just. Don’t. Touch. It!


And one last thing, if you are sick or other wise indisposed please let the clients know asap. We encountered an incident where the voice was sick and couldn’t make the session. It took over 5 different companies and over 10 people to sort out another voice for the end client. We have amazing relationships to pull off such a feat but it could have been more easily avoided if the original voice had let us know the day before instead of being late to their session.

What should a client do during a session?

Many of our clients are experienced and know how to direct. With others, we guide them as they may be inexperienced and not know how to direct the voice.
1.       Be prepared – ensure that you have read the script or written it properly, we have had many a session interrupted when the client reads the script or rather hears it read by our voices and then realises it makes little sense.
2.       Listen – what should you listen for? Pace/style/overall melody. The voice should match the tone of your brand and service.
3.       Direct – if you need to make a note for the voice then try and put yourself in their shoes, how would you convey a change of pace/style? What words or images would you use? How would you suggest picking up the pace but without it sounding too fast?
4.       Be nice – being a good client ensures that the voice your use will want to do a good job. They will do a professional job but being nice ensures they enjoy the job and that will be heard on the recording session.
5.       Use the time wisely – you have an hour but how many takes are you after that you can realistically work with? How many final Call to actions do you want in different styles?


If you need a voiceover and you think we can help then just call, the Big Fish Media team!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

What does a sound engineer do?


At Big Fish Media we have a small school of sound engineers. They interact daily with voices and with clients ensuring the highest quality audio for voice over recordings. But what exactly does the sound engineer do? They are the oil in the voiceover machine. They are the cogs that ensure that more than the tech stuff works. They are the gel in the voiceover salon of quality.

A sound engineer is charged with endless abilities to ensure that the audio for the client is professional and archives more than the client needs. They need to be technically skilled in operating the desk with all its various faders and combinations. They need to understand what needs the client has so that the best audio and performance works for them. They also need to talk to the clients and voices to ensure that the narration is better than best. But what else would they need? Below is a list of a few things that make a sound engineers day.

1.      Headphones: here at Big Fish Media we use the audio workhorse Beyerdynamic DT 100 Headphones. Closed back for no audio seepage and reliable. We have them all over the office as well as in the recording booth for tip top listening.

2.      Good chair: an essential item for a sound engineer. They spend a long time recording and editing everything from commercials, to video productions to IVR for well known multinational companies so a comfy chair is key. In fact anything to make their work environment attuned to working comfortable so they can achieve audio magic.


3.      Good ears and fast fingers: Sound engineers are always on the listen out for sound. From breaths to blips to mouth noises, they are the gatekeepers of good audio. They are the hum hunters hearing out any quirks or mishaps and always ensuring they can get a safety take. They have fast fingers, playing the desk and keyboards like a Beethoven of the Beats. 

4.      Fast thinking: Recording audio and especially voiceovers requires a high level of concentration. Not only are our sound engineers listening out to what works and what doesn't for a client but also adapting fast to an ever changing situation. Clients often want to hear takes back and the engineer needs to be on it to assess which take is wanted and what part of that take fits well with the other take. 
    
 5.   Director: Sound engineers need to be exceptionally engaged to have the confidence to stop a session, suggest pick ups and time checks with the client as well as ensuring the voice understands what the director and/or client wants. 



If you would like to get in touch with our team of studio engineers making our voiceovers sound exceptional please contact us.