Is there a minimum cost when hiring VO talent?

Yes, a certain price for up to 10 minutes of output.

How is control maintained with what the voiceover talent sends me and what I actually use in my production?

Our clients confirm with the voiceover talents as to what portion of the recording will be used in the production. For example a voiceover talent may send different “read styles” of the same script in order to give the producer choices. The producer/client may well receive 3 minutes of audio but after editing only 1 minute will be used. It is up to the client and the voiceover talent to confirm how much of the audio is used. Our voiceover talents are only paid for what is used in the production. It is important for the client to know his final costs and also important that the voiceover talent knows how much to invoice for.

Example emails:

Client to VO talent: “Thank you for participating in our production. Please invoice Rick for X minutes and X audio files”.

VO Talent to Client: “Thank you for choosing me to contribute to your project(s). If my roles are now complete I would like to invoice Rick for X minutes and X audio files, can you confirm?”

Regarding Invoices please include as much information that you can. Company name, Contact name, Project name, Character name(s), total time, total number of audio files and of course the name of your PayPal account. Don’t forget to include the minutes and file numbers confirmation email from the client. You may send it included in your invoice or as a separate email. The numbers must match.

How far will you go in editing my projects?

Price per Produced Minute multi-voice rates are for voiceover only. Our talents provide what is normally referred to as a “raw edit,’ which eliminates dead air, coughs, flubs and fluffs, partial takes, etc. and leaves only good takes. This edited track will be uploaded as a single file, ready to be edited into individual tracks for placement in your production.   If you need individually rendered and named 128 kbps .mp3 files that are ready to drag and drop into your production, then this service is billed at a separate price. Mixing is another service we offer. Please ask for a quote.

How do I direct my chosen voice talents to give me the “read style” I am looking for?

This can be done a few different ways. 1) After giving the VO talent the profile description or characteristics, ask them to send you a demo. 2) Many of our talents have ISDN or Source Connect through which you can direct the talent as he or she records. 3) The talent can also set up a “phone patch.” You can listen on your telephone as the talent records his or her part and give direction as needed over the phone. Your voice will not be heard on the recording.

When a talent is self-directing (after a general read style has been established), there will be occasions when the VO talent will submit alternate reads on a portion of the script. This is a service we provide when the sentence or paragraph could be conceived differently, sometimes giving an alternative understanding, or a different inflection on words, in the message. These “extra” takes are, of course, not figured into the final cost.

How many retakes or repairs do you include with each project in cases where we have any script changes?

Additional charges may apply for script changes. It will depend on the individual VO talent as to what those charges may be. Errors that are solely the responsibility of the voice talent will be corrected free of charge.

Up to 10 minutes of original script – 1 minute of retakes

Up to 15 minutes of original script – 1 and a half minutes of retakes

Up to 20 minutes of original script – 2 minutes of retakes

Up to 25 minutes of original script – 2 and a half minutes of retakes

What happens if the voiceover talent misses a word or sentence or a whole paragraph?

The voice talent will re-record the sentence or paragraph, which you can drag and drop into your production.

In instances where the voiceover talent misinterprets the way we would like the script recorded such as the wrong inflection or tone can we get this re-recorded and is there a charge?

No, the voice talent will re-record it with the correct inflection and tone and there is no charge. You should include descriptive words for guidance. For example, (very excited here or monotone here or whisper here etc) Pronunciations for proper names (etc.) must be included prior to recording. If they are not provided there may be additional charges. Please include phonetics for difficult words and also for your choice of acronym pronunciation.

For longer parts of five minutes or more, we suggest you direct the talent, either via a “phone patch,” where you can hear the talent recording the part, or by contacting the client to give direction before the part is recorded. We also encourage our voice talent to ask questions before recording to lessen the need for retakes. Another time and effort saver is providing pronunciations for proper names, medical terms, technical terms, brand names, etc., as well as local pronunciations of common English words,

e.g., pra-cess vs. proh-cess.sked-ule vs. shed-ule. pro-deuce vspraw-duce.

In what format do you prefer to have the scripts delivered in?

Our experienced VO talents only require three pieces of information, the script(s), a description of the applicable character profile, and the file or slide or page number that the audio file pertains to. We do not need production instructions as to how the audio is applied or graphic designer information.

Scripts must be submitted in the following format:

o      3-column Word Doc

o      Actor/Character name in first column

o      File name in second column – no unusual characters, no spaces

o      Text or Script in third column

How do you get your talents to sound as if they were in the same recording studio using the same equipment?

We ask all talents to set up their recording program to identical settings. We also ask them to record at least fixed inches away from the microphone in order to get the same ambient atmosphere. Here are the recording instructions given to each talent:

With multi-voice projects under PPPM it’s important that everyone’s audio sound as similar as possible. This is one concern clients have mentioned. We all use different microphones, equipment, processing, and editing techniques. So, to satisfy our clients’ standards, we need some standards of our own. Please use the following procedures and settings when you record your auditions and projects for ELV especially if it is for the voice of a character.

Record your voice-over flat, with no compression or EQ.

Stay 6-7 inches away from the microphone to eliminate the bass proximity effect.

Set your input recording level to peak around -3db. Make sure not to clip on peaks.

Be careful with vocal dynamics. You don’t want to drone, of course, but watch loud peaks.

After recording, check the waveform. Split out loud peaks and bring down their levels to leave room for normalization of the entire file.

Normalize the file to -3db.

Provide 128 kbps, 44.1 MHz, 16-bit mono .mp3 files

What if I only need a voice talent to record a few words or just a part of a project?

Good question. We round our pricing out to the next minute. 10 words would be one minute while 200 words would be 2 minutes. This is based on an average “read speed” of 150 words per minute.

In fairness to our members we prefer to audition for entire projects. It doesn’t really seem fair if a client has his/her house Narrator and asks us to record “bit parts or bit characters” while we are not invited to audition for the main Narrator role, which in most cases is worth considerably more. The same set up process is in place when we record a 1 minute script or a 3 hour one. As a result we may opt out to audition for the project.

Will the talent give me options?

When a talent is self-directing (after a general “read style” has been established and approved), there will be occasions when the VO talent will submit alternate reads on a portion of the script. This is a service we provide when the sentence or paragraph could be conceived differently, sometimes giving an alternative understanding, or a different inflection on words, in the message. These “extra” takes are, of course, at no additional charge. And if you are not asking the talent to provide finished individual files, they will send you all of the takes for you to edit.

If you have asked the talent to provide finished individually saved files, then you will receive one take. If you wish to direct the initial recording session you will be able to ask them to read a sentence, paragraph or section again to get the read you want. At that time, together, you will determine which take is to be used as the final take.