The phrase, Id’ love to be a fly on the wall. Can I listen in, as you record my voice-over project. It’s a pretty common question. And the answer is, at least from me, always a resounding YES. In fact, it is one of the best ways that I’ve found to perfectly extract “the way you heard it in your head” to the way that it comes out of my mouth. Over the years, I’ve had active listeners, to active direction, while in one of these sessions… both, of which are perfectly normal and welcome. To shed some light on the whole subject, whether it’s a narration project, commercial campaign, or even radio imaging – a “Directed” session, as they are called can often interject exactly what you’re looking for, when it comes the “Voice” of your brand. A “Directed” session, is very common with production houses, video producers, and more. And of course, some clients opt for a “Self-Directed” session, which simply means, Rob – here’s the script, do your thing.
Keep in mind, the more specific you are with what you’re looking for, the more insight I have to nail the exact sound, you’re looking for.
You don’t have to ask, here are a few of the basic ways to connect with me when I record your project.
Even though, it feels like everyone knows about this one, you never know. So, one of the most common connections to “listen in” or even “direct” is Skype – Which, is super simple to use. On my end, I record the copy for you, while you listen for inflection, volume, and even the color of my voice. Don’t worry, you won’t be part of the recording. On my end, the technical side of your project is handled through my equipment. You’re basically in my ears, only. If you’ve never used it, it’s also available on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
Another commonly used connection is called Source Connect NOW – it allows you to listen with a little better quality. I’ve even been in sessions with video producers, that use this method to record me on their end of the connection. That’s a possibility, but I always a record a back up in my broadcast quality studio too. More often, though – when it comes to “directed” sessions – most producers prefer to use Source Connect Standard. My studio is equipped to connect, either way.
Another easy way, is over the phone. Believe it, or not, that is one of the easiest ways to listen in on your recording. ipDTL is another option too. This technology connects with mobile, landlines and ISDN. And of course, all of these options require you to have a fairly fast internet connection. I’ve also started doing some directed sessions with Zoom too. Basically just about any online conferencing site or tool can be turned into a way for you to listen to me record your project.
The bottom line is this. Can you listen in, as I record for you? Yes. But even if that’s not a possibility for you, please know that the more direction you give me, the more personal and more crafted, your audio will be. To this point, sometimes it’s very helpful, if you’ve seen a particular actor on TV or a voice that you like on YouTube – include that as a reference to me, as something you like, or the sound you are looking for. This often gives me a great reference point, even if you don’t want it to sound exactly like Sam Elliott or Morgan Freeman. It could be, that you just like the style, with which they “Tell the Story”. These are helpful things that allow me to create “the sound you heard in your head”!
There are many emotions that go into creating the right message for your brand, for your service, or…even your product. That is another topic for another blog, in the future.
Back to the topic of “Can I listen to you record”… During the “session” don’t be afraid to say, “that’s just not really what I want” – after hearing my version of your script. My ultimate goal is to give you exactly what you want. So, if you want it more conversational, or more of a growl, or a smile in certain words – those are ways you can help me, as you listen in.
So, let’s get to work, and create the voice for your “Brand” – Whatever that might mean, and you can listen in, as I record your project, and make sure that it’s 100% what you want. And the “Brand” voice – can stay consistent, whether we’re creating Explainer Videos for your website, corporate anthem videos that say who you are and what you believe in, commercials for radio and TV, or a message that you plan to share on social media – let’s talk, and I’ll listen.