How do I find and choose a voice artist?
There are three main ways to find and select a voice artist –
First, you may approach a voice agency and ask them if they have anyone suitable on their books. This is generally the most expensive way as the agent will take a percentage, but has the advantage of pre-vetted talent and the possibility of celebrity voices, plus the agency will deal with all negotiations about fees and payment. It’s great if you have a major project requiring multiple voices, or if you are looking for something very specific or unusual.
The second way is to search for Voice Artists directly via their websites – this can take a bit of time but has the advantage of dealing directly with a talent that you’ve hand selected. Remember that a lot of voice artists work remotely so location is not too important in the search, but you may want to search for a specific accent or genre. Working directly allows some room for negotiating a fee without paying an agent, and you will have a direct link to the artist in case you wish to use them again in future.
The third way is to request auditions via casting sites (also known as Pay to Play) – usually this is free for clients but the Voice Artists pay a subscription fee which allows them to audition for projects. There are literally dozens of sites and quality control is variable. Some have fixed rates, others allow you to negotiate a fee directly with the voice talent. Many sites also take a cut, and the cheaper sites are less likely to contain seasoned professionals, however you can often still get a good recording and there is no obligation to buy if you dont like any of the auditions. The big disadvantage is that many of these sites are over-subscribed by newcomers and you could receive hundreds of samples to listen to, so it can be a real drain on your time. It can also sometimes be difficult to get back in touch with the same voice artist if you need additional work from them in future.
What recording equipment do you use?
I run a professional studio which is sound treated with acoustic panels and equipped with a RODE condensor mic, Focusrite Scarlett audio interface, additional phantom power if required and pro editing software including Soundforge and Izotope RX. I have found this combination to work really well with my voice to give you a clean and clear sound with no audible background noise.
How is the price calculated?
The quote depends on a number of factors including length, technicality, purpose and intended usage. Since I have access to my own studio facility, I am able to offer competitive fees in relation to the industry averages – just let me know your budget when you contact me.
Rates are usually calculated on a per hour basis (BSF or Basic Studio Fee) with a minimum fee to cover studio and equipment set up. Some longer projects are calculated on a per-word basis. This is common for eLearning where there can be long pauses between sentences – after all, who wants to pay for silence! If you have highly technical material or a script with lots of unusual pronunciations the recording time is a lot longer and this will be reflected in the rate.
To get an idea of current industry rates please click the ratecard link below and bear in mind this is just a guide – all Voice Artists set their own rates for different types of job.
Basic editing and vocal clean up is included although if you require anything special like the work being split into lots of different files or the voice being time-synced to match a video, there will be additional processing fees.
Can you add music and effects?
No problem – adding music enhances many projects, giving instant atmosphere and can really bring a script to life! You will need to supply the music (and gain suitable copyright clearance) but I can add this to your track and blend it to complement the vocal. There is a small additional processing fee for this service.
How and when will I get the files?
Files can be provided as MP3 or WAV either by email or a file transfer system like Dropbox or WeTransfer. Files can be delivered raw or edited and ready to use. Raw files are often required when a sound engineer is going to process the audio.
Most jobs are turned around within 48 hours of receiving the script but let me know if you are on a tight timescale and I will do my best to accommodate!
What if I don’t like the end result?
We will agree the basics of style, tone and pace prior to recording and it is common for voice artists to send a sample for approval before recording the full script. A professional voiceover artist is trained to interpret the copy and place emphasis where necessary; however, if there are any parts where you feel the message does not come across as intended then a re-record is included in the fee, and I will follow your specific instructions to get it just how you want it. Note the free re-record only covers changes to emphasis/ tone/pace etc – if you change your mind about the script after the job has been completed then additional studio fees will apply!
How do I pay?
New clients may be asked for a deposit upfront to cover studio time, with the balance to be paid on receipt of the finished file. Once we have worked together any future jobs are invoiced on 28 day payment terms. Payment can be taken via bank transfer or PayPal. Clients who repeatedly pay late will be asked to pay upfront for future work.