Q. Your studio or my place? What’s in your studio?
My home studio in Connecticut provides clean sound and great turnaround time (often within 24 hours).
Delivery: mp3 by e-mail, wav/aif files via FTP, Hightail, We Transfer or Google etc.
Equipment: microphones: Neumann TLM 103, Sennheiser 416; Mackie Mixer; Edirol Interface; Adobe Audition DAW; Whisper Room booth
Directed Session? Connect to me via: SourceConnect (Standard or Now), ipDTL; Phone, Skype
Rather work live and in person? I love that! I live within traveling distance of New York City, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and will travel to any studio anywhere to record if arrangements are agreed upon in advance.
Q. What does a Professional Voice Talent provide for me?
First of all, a Pro VO Talent knows how to communicate your copy, not just “read” it. That makes a huge difference to your project, or your brand image. For instance, the first impression customers will have of your product or company will often be the voice they hear representing it: on the phone, in a commercial, on a tutorial, on the web, etc. I know the guy next door, or perhaps your cousin, has a nice voice and can read words –but usually that is not enough. We are trained to bring words to life, and to love the challenge!
What about text-to-speech technology? Well, it’s getting more advanced, for sure. Still – there is that undefinable quality of a real live person communicating your words that no computer can yet match. Your customers may not know why they don’t quite connect to what they are hearing, but they will feel it. There is something called SEQ (Sound Emotional Quotient) that explains it all – yep, it’s a thing (you can google it).
In our home studios, we provide even more services for you. Here’s how it goes if you’re my “virtual” client. After you send me your script, here’s what I do:
- Review the text and make sure all technical terms/pronunciations are accurate
- Confirm with you the desired tone of delivery (Formal? Conversational? Upbeat? Etc)
- Set up the audio files to your specifications
- Record, always doing multiple takes to get the best selection
- Edit for best takes, flow and consistency (unless you have requested raw files or options)
- Clean up breaths and other unwanted sounds
- Final output preparation
- Review the entire recording and name (and separate, if needed) the file or files
- Convert files to format of your choice and send to you
Q. What do you need from me to get started?
After we’ve agreed to work together (yay!), here’s what we need: Please email me clear, easy to read copy with any pronunciations you think I might need to know. For example, preferred pronunciations of medical and scientific terms, acronyms, names, towns, and street names (if particularly difficult). You can give me the phonetic spelling in parentheses next to the word or at the bottom of the page of copy. Please note the syllables to be emphasized by using Upper Case for that syllable, etc.
If the copy (or a portion of the copy) has to fill a specific number of seconds or minutes, it helps to let me know the exact time. Note: Please be realistic about times, especially for commercials. Many clients try to cram too much info into a :30 or :60, and as a result, a lot of the info is lost because the listener’s brain has no time to absorb it! If you read your copy out loud before sending it to me, at a rate that allows for comprehension, we’ll save a lot of e-mailing about script changes.
Format: Please let me know if you would like me to record your copy as an mp3, wav or aiff file, etc. Also, my default recording is 44,100 and 16-bit, mono. Please tell me in advance if this doesn’t work for you.
I will send one file per project, unless you need me to separate into smaller files (e.g. one per slide, or for e-learning), at an additional rate of $1 per separated file. I can send short mp3 files to you directly by e-mail, and any longer files (wav, aif, etc.) via Hightail, We Transfer, or to your FTP site. There is also good old Google Drive.
Q. How quickly will you get my job done?
As a full-time Voice Talent, I can often provide 24-hour turnaround- but not always. Sometimes projects are in the pipeline ahead of yours, but I will always give you an accurate timeline for completion of yours. If you have a VO crisis, I’ll try to help you if I can.
Q. Can you provide a custom demo?
Sure! Just send me your script with some idea of the tone and tempo you think you’d like and I’ll record a bit of it for you. I may read it a couple of ways for good measure, so you can hear some choices for delivery tone. Every voice is unique, so if I’m not quite right for your current project, I might be able to steer you toward someone who is. Hopefully we’ll have established a connection for future projects, and thanks for playing!
Q. What about revisions?
Although we’ll agree on as much as possible (script, tone, pronunciations, etc.) in advance, stuff happens. If it’s my error, of course I will happily re-record corrections at no extra charge. However, if the client has decided to change the script or revise the overall approach within 30 days after completion of the project, these revisions are charged at 50% of the original rate. After 30 days, it is treated as a fresh project.
Just ask for details for your project. Your satisfaction is always 100% guaranteed!
Q. Can I listen in while you record?
Sure, if you want to. If we meet at an outside studio, often the client is there in person or on the phone. If you want to record me on your end (or use another recording studio), that’s fine! I have Source Connect, and also ipDTL.
Another option is to simply connect to me by phone as I record on my end. In my home studio, I can include you on the session via Skype or phone, etc. Lots of options these days.
Most clients prefer to just agree on the tone and then have me to record on my own and send for final approval; some like to listen in on part (or all) of the session. Happy to collaborate any way it makes you comfortable.
Q. How does payment work?
For individual projects: After you’ve received your files and are happy, you’ll get a QuickBooks invoice from me by e-mail. You can then pay via Paypal, Zelle, Venmo or by check, within 30 days unless other arrangements have been made in advance. In some cases – such as particularly large projects – a 50% deposit may be required before starting work on your script.
A word about retainers: if you’d like to use my VO services for ongoing projects such as imaging, IVR messages or promos, I am available to work on a monthly retainer basis at surprisingly affordable rates. Just ask!
Q. Do you coach VoiceOver?
If you send me an e-mail asking to “pick my brain for a cup of coffee” about getting started in VO, I will first send you to this blogpost. Voiceover careers require elbow grease. After you’ve done that work (spoiler alert: few have done it after realizing it’s not so easy to get a business started), then we can talk again.
I coached for many years via Edge Studio – and I still recommend them as a place where you’ll find incredible resources to begin or further your career – but I also offer private sessions for specific purposes. My rate: $150/hour. VO talents always keep learning to stay fresh, and we often coach each other!
I also occasionally write articles, or teach webinars, to help aspiring VO talent. Check out these articles on VoiceoverXtra, my blogposts, or join my mailing list!
Q. What about your other related services?
I can add music and sound effects for an additional fee, or recommend great folks who specialize in production for more complex projects. Ditto for helping you reword your script – some of my ESL clients utilize my services to improve the copy. I can also sing to a music track you send me, or “announce” at your event live and in person instead of pre-recorded.
I’m also a talk-show host and podcast host -on-camera or off – and a virtual or live MC. I clean up pretty well when I leave the studio. Yeah, there’s a real picture of me somewhere on this website!