FAQ

Why should I hire a professional voice talent to record my voice over?
Professional voice talents use their voice as an instrument. They know exactly which notes to hit to grab the listener’s attention, keep it for the duration of the video, and get your message across. Skilled use of intonation is particularly important for attention retention, as we “learn to pay attention to speech, pay attention to intonation and the rhythm of speech long before [we] begin to speak" (The Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment).

Furthermore, talents with a professional home studio will deliver high quality audio, so that the listening experience is smooth and uninterrupted by distracting audio artifacts.

And what about text-to-speech (TTS) you ask? TTS has come a long way, but it is still robotic enough to lose your learners’ attention. Plus, when it comes to variety, TTS can’t compete with a live narrator who can deliver your project in your style of choice: formal, conversational, friendly, businesslike, etc.

Finally, using great voice over and audio in your e-learning will reflect positively on your company, impressing your listeners with your company’s professionalism.

What do you need from me to produce my project?
I need your final script and the file format you need (MP3, Wav, AIFF, a telephony format. etc).  If you are producing prompts for telephony or for a presentation I need the exact file names.  Also, please be sure to let me know how fast you need the job.  If you are in a rush please call me.  I can usually accommodate.

Can I sent a file for pronunciations or music?
You may also include links to access videos on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. After your order is placed, you’ll have the ability to share additional material with your talent including recorded messages for pronunciations.
But I really want to know how my project will sound in advance! Is there a way to do this?

But voice over is just talking. Why can’t you have my voice over ready in a few minutes?
This is a common misconception. Voice over is actually a lot of work, and it requires skill (30 years worth) and time. Furthermore, the audio must be edited.

Can you help me write my script?
No sorry, my forté is reading and recording.  I'm not a writer. 

How can I know in advance how my script will sound?
You can always request a free custom demo before hiring me. This will give you a good idea how you project will sound, and it will give you a chance to request changes in tone, cadence, etc.

What about retakes?
Sometimes things don't always go as planned, do they?  I understand.  If you need to make minor script revisions after the job has been delivered I will gladly re-record the changes as long as they take place within 2 weeks of delivery.

If you're doing a major re-write then we'll discuss a reasonable price for the re-record.  My goal is to make you happy, not nickel and dime you.

The best situation is for you to have your script completely approved before you send it to me so that we can move forward as fast as possible with less chances of retakes.  If I have questions about something in your script I will either call you for clarification or simply record alternate takes so will have options in post production.

What is Source-Connect
Source-Connect is a professional studio plug in that is quickly replacing ISDN lines and equipment, a truly revolutionary product. Learn more about Source-Connect or download the demo.  http://www.sourceelements.com/source-connect/download/

About MP3 Files
.MP3 files today are the common standard and can be imported into most professional quality audio workstations.  Many other file types and qualities are available.  .wav, ogg, u-law, a-law and more

What is Source-Connect
Source-Connect is a professional studio plug in that is quickly replacing ISDN lines and equipment, a truly revolutionary product. Learn more about Source-Connect or download the demo.  http://www.sourceelements.com/source-connect/download/

ISDN Bridges
If you only have ISDN and want to connect to my studio a bridge will be required at nominal cost. An ISDN to Source-Connect bridge can be arranged through one of the following companies:

•GLOBECAST: 800-752 8469; 310-845-3939

•EDNET: 800-933-3638; 415-274-8800

•DIGIFON: 203-254-0869

•ISDNbridge.com: 847-859-9519

For the convenience of my national and international clients, I have a personal professional voice over recording facility in my home. I use only broadcast standard software and equipment.  

Two-way audio transmission in real time is available by using Source Connect over your high-speed internet connection. If you have an ISDN connection a bridge will be required at nominal cost. Or find a Certified Source Connect studio in your area.

Free Studio Time
There is no charge for studio time, I only bill my talent fee, for materials if required (DAT, CD, Mini-Disc) and overnight delivery charges, if any. Keep in mind that I’m not in the studio business, if you are looking for a recording studio let me know, I can put you in touch with one of many fine full service recording studios and audio post-production houses in the Ottawa area or worldwide.

Can you do voice overs in French?
While I DO understand most French, I prefer to leave French voice overs to professional French speaking voice talent. Contact me and we’ll find someone to record for you in French.

How long will it take to get my audio?
It depends on the project. The average project can be turned around in under 24 hours, I’ll give you an estimate when your script is submitted.

Can I pay using a credit card?
Yes, all major credit cards are accepted through PayPal.com.  Canadians can pay directly by credit card through a link in my invoice.

How do I get my finished audio files?
You’ll be able to download your finished files from WeTransfer.com or if the files are under 25mb then I'll send by email.

I need you to be on-call to record telephony prompts on a regular basis. What happens when you go on vacation?
To ensure maximum availability, I own a travel voice over studio, from which I can record your prompts on the road.

What about Payment?
PayPal is preferred.


How do I get into Voice Overs?  People say I have a great voice....

Hi,  

It's great that you want to start a new career in voice over.   I have over 30 years experience in broadcasting and freelance voice over. 

Voice over is more than just having a great voice.  Like any career choice, it has to be a passion -- in your blood.     

I don't know your background or where you are in your VO path, but here are some general suggestions. 


  1. GET TRAINING. It's not simply a matter of reading out loud.  There are a lot of great VO coaches out there.  Careful of the ones that promise that you will get work when you are finished their course. They can't make that promise. Only you can get the work yourself. 

  2. Watch VO Buzz weekly from the beginning. There is so much content and advice on those shows.  http://www.vobuzzweekly.com
  3. Watch The Voice Over Body Shop - lots of technical advice http://vobs.tv  or https://www.youtube.com/user/ewabsshow 
  4. A fellow VO wrote a book that you might want to read:  https://www.amazon.ca/Making-Money-Your-PJs-Solopreneurs/dp/0996062076/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458586459&sr=8-1&keywords=Paul+Strikwerda
  5. Now if you still really want to be in VO, invest in equipment. You need a Good computer, a preamp (Saffire Scarlett 2i2 is a good starter one for a fair price) and a real condenser microphone NOT a usb mic.  http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NT1AAnniv
  6. Find a great editing program. I use Goldwave, cheap and super easy to use. There's also Audacity (free), Adobe Audition, Acoustica, Sony Soundforge,  AVS Audio editor and more.  Learn how to use your new software. There are coaching videos on YouTube.
  7. Have a GREAT demo. This needs to be produced for you. DON'T do it yourself. Prices range from $500 to $2000.
  8. As a start, sign up  with www.voices.com and/or www.voice123.com for leads and auditions.  These are Pay to Play websites where you pay a fee to get audition leads.  Or send your professional demos to agents to get signed with them. 

 Coaches I can recommend:

Marc Cashman:  http://www.cashmancommercials.com/classes.html

Pat Fraley:  http://patfraley.com/store/

Edge Studio:  http://www.edgestudio.com/locations/los-angeles-voice-over

Nancy Wolfson:  http://braintracksaudio.com

James Alburger & Penny Abshire:    http://voiceacting.com 

 You can actually find some great videos on YouTube if you search for their names. 

 Some advice from legendary VO Bob Bergen http://www.bobbergen.com/faq.htm

 Hope that helps.

Good luck

 

Kim Somers