These days most of your voice over jobs will be recorded from your home studio, but every once in awhile a client will ask you to record in a professional studio outside your home.
There, you’ll work with a recording engineer who will direct you with possible input from a director and the client.
Will you be ready?
Here are my best tips for recording studio etiquette to help you perform like a pro.
- Don’t touch the microphone!
After you’ve greeted everyone and gone through the script, you’ll be invited into the sound isolation booth. The audio engineer will follow you to adjust the microphone. Whatever you do, don’t touch the mic. This is the engineer’s job and he or she will get very nervous if you start messing with this expensive piece of equipment. Get into a comfortable sitting or standing position, adjust the copy stand so you can see the script, and let the audio engineer do the rest. They’ll be happy to adjust the lighting or bring you water if you need it.
- Setting levels
Next the engineer will return to the control room to set your levels. Never tap on the mic and say “testing one, two, three”! Simply read the copy the way you think it should be read at a comfortable volume level. I suggest starting from the middle of the script so the client and engineer knows you’re just warming up. You haven’t been given direction yet and if you read it from the top they might think that’s your best read. It’s not.
- Your headphones
While setting levels, keep your headphones off your ears or around your neck. This way you’ll protect your hearing if there’s feedback, an all too common event. Once the levels are set, you can put the headphones back on your ears, although I like to keep one ear off. It keeps me from listening to myself and helps my voice acting.
- Multiple takes
Once the session begins, don’t be alarmed if they ask you to read certain portions of the script again and again. This doesn’t mean you’re doing poorly. The director is merely trying to get several options for post production.
- Avoid Talk Back Paranoia
You’ll likely be recording in a sound proof booth and the only way you will hear the people in the control room is when they push the ‘talk back’ button. Sometimes they’ll ask you to hold on a minute while they talk among themselves. You’ll see their lips moving but you wont hear a thing . It’s common to assume they’re dissatisfied and talking about you. They’re not. They’re probably just ordering lunch!.
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