Why use voice over in your video?

Some corporate videos can tell a story beautifully with music alone – or even without sound at all. But in situations where that cannot be achieved, voice over can be used to succinctly convey the video’s key messages. Well-executed voice over offers clarity, makes an impact and provides a connection to what the viewer is watching. But it needs to be done well.

How do you choose a voice over artist?

When choosing a voice over artist we are often led by the client’s brief. Typically, we need to know if there is a preference for gender/age/region and search for artists that meet the brief.  These decisions will usually be made based on an understanding of the video’s target audience, and what tone will resonate with them. Each job is unique so it’s something that we address on a project by project basis.

What are the qualities of a great voice over artist?

We like to work with voice over artists who are professional and have a good understanding of the recording process. They also need to be comfortable taking direction and able to adapt quickly. In short, they need to be easy to work with.

What is the voice over recording process?

There are nine steps in the voice over recording process:

  • We start by clarifying the voice over brief
  • Then we source the talent – taking budget and availability into consideration.
  • We will then create a shortlist of artists to suggest to our client
  • Next step is to confirm the final talent. We might request test reads in some circumstances to help the client to make their decision.
  • Then we will confirm rates, usage and availability to record.
  • The script needs to be completely final before we can proceed.
  • We then book the recording studio.
  • Then we’ll conduct the session – we direct live, often with the client listening in to provide any feedback.
  • And we receive the final recordings, ready to be used in the video.

What are the common mistakes in the voice over recording process?

One of the biggest mistakes we have seen is rushing the talent search. We like to spend time sourcing the right voice, making sure we ask about usage fees (the artist might require royalties based on where the video is published) and any other hidden extras. There can be a lot of variation in these things.

Script changes can be another minefield. We always need to make sure the script is fully signed off ahead of the recording – and the client needs to understand this. We typically pay by the hour for the voice over artist and the studio so it is not usually possible to edit the voice over after the fact – any changes require a full do-over. The voice over is also usually recorded before animating, so requiring a re-record can often affect the entire project.

Artists or studios with bad recording equipment can be another problem. We usually ask them prior to the day what they’ll be using for the recording and how we’ll receive our final files – it’s better to know this in advance.

The voice over can make or break a video – it’s often overlooked but after all the hard work of the visuals don’t let the wrong voice over let it down!

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