Find a Voice Actor Online – The Easy Way

So you’ve decided you want to present your brand or business to clients as the leader of the pack, the best of the best, and above all, professional. You want to present the image that your product or service is superior to any other choice they may have.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to pay a fortune to have the same voice actors that you hear on radio and television commercials record for your business.

Forget about having the receptionist record your phone messages, or the sales manager awkwardly try and sound like a customer.

In this short guide we’ll give you the basics of what you need to know when hiring a voice over actor online.

Some tips to ensure everything goes smoothly and stays within budget, and how you can have these same voices record for you for free. Yep, that’s right free!

THE SCRIPT

First you’re going to have to come up with a script. The voice over talent needs something to read.

The script should be carefully checked for spelling, correct grammar along with commas, periods and anything else that will ensure there is no confusion when the actor is recording for you. A missing comma or period can turn sentences into long winded meaningless dribble.

The voice actor’s job is to use their professional experience, skills and studio to record a quality sound file for you, not tidy up a thrown together script.

Be sure to phonetically spell out any words the voice talent may be unfamiliar with. You may know how to pronounce a certain brand or obscure town name. But someone else who’s never heard of it may not.

Use exclamation marks, italics and bold to emphasise key words in the script. But be careful not to go overboard.

Read the script out loud to see if it makes sense. You’ll be surprised how things sounds differently than when just on paper.

FINDING THE RIGHT VOICE

So you’ve got your script now you need to select a professional male or female voice talent.

You may have a sound in your head that you believe will be perfect for the script. But many times a client will rightly say “I don’t know what I want until I hear it.” This is when castings and auditions come in.

A Casting Notice is when you send your script to many voices to record a small sample for you.

These are generally less than thirty seconds. Some voice actors may choose to protect themselves from unauthorized use of recordings by changing a few words or omitting a line from the script. This is industry standard practice.

Remember you’ll be able to give the voice you’ve chosen some direction once you book them. The purpose of the casting or audition is to hear a general sound and style.

Male voice talent generally bring a sound of authority, or urgency.

A female voice can sound nurturing, trusting and caring.

But this is really all interchangeable with the hundreds of thousands of different types of voices you’ll come across.

GIVING DIRECTION TO THE VOICE TALENT

Professional voiceover actors are extremely good at following direction, but you need to be clear and concise with what you want.

Giving them very vague or generic guidance achieves nothing.

Different parts of the voiceover script may call for different levels of excitement, tone, loudness. So the direction you give the voice is just as important as the script itself.

A great script will feature 3 columns:

1.       The first column will give direction to the voice for each corresponding paragraph.
2.       The second column should feature the actual script, lining up with the direction.
3.       And the third column is really only needed if the voice recording is going to match up with video. 

Sometimes each section of voice will need to run to a specific length of time. This should be noted in the column for direction.

RELEASE FORMS

A simple release form can also be signed by the voice talent, but this should be discussed even before recording commences. It’s like a very simple contract to cover both parties to explain what the recording will be used for.

Unless extra fees are paid for exclusivity, it should not be assumed that a voice actor is not allowed to record for your competitor or anyone else.

FILE TYPES AND EDITING

If you want your recording sent back to you ready to start using, you can ask the voice talent to produce it up with music or effects for you. Even if you won’t want music, voice producers are able to clean up the audio, removing any unwanted breaths and even boosting levels (compression) to give it more impact.

Again, this is an extra fee that should be paid to the voice as it is more work, and an extra skill.

You should own the rights or have paid a licence for any music you provide to be included with the recording.

An option other than expensive music licensing is to use ‘royalty free’ tracks. These can be purchased for less than $15.

You should also specify what type of file you would like the final version as. A master should be kept as a WAV or AIFF file. But you can also ask for an MP3 file if you wish to send it around to other people via email.

Certain radio stations and phone systems require specific file types, so be sure to check that out in advance.

THE COST OF PROFESSIONAL VOICE TALENT

Thank to the internet many professional voice actors are able to cut out an agent and be booked directly by clients like you. This has helped cut the cost considerably.

All professional voice actors have invested a lot of time into training, and a lot of money into equipment, just as a tradesman invests into tools.

Many believe if something only takes ten to fifteen minutes to do it should be cheap.

So remember, you’re not just paying for their time, but also the use of their studio, skills and experience to do the job correctly. A professional microphone that gives a nice clear sound can cost in excess of $1,000!

Find someone cheap and you’ll likely have a terrible sound recorded with a cheap microphone, a voice that sounds unconvincing and a file that is worthless.

You want your clients to listen to what the voice is saying, not be distracted by how bad and unnatural they sound.

AUDITION VOICE ACTORS FOR FREE

It is standard practice for voice actors to provide you with a sample recording of your script, to help you choose the best actor for the job.

The Voice Realm provides clients with three options to select and hire a voice.

1.       Casting Notice
2.       Private Audition
3.       Direct Booking

A ‘Casting Notice’ is will send out a casting net and is the most popular for clients to hear a variety of voices and styles. You can post your notice for free.

A ‘Private Audition’ is when select one or even a few voices that you like and have them read a sample for you. This is more personal and you’re able to give a little more direction and ask for another take.

A ‘Direct Booking’ is when you hire the voice without any audition. You are 100% sure that they are the voice you want on your recording.

Here’s some more details on using The Voice Realm voice casting website.

IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?

To see the real value in using a professional voice over talent, have a work colleague or family member read your script for you, then compare it to an industry professional found on The Voice Realm, and you’ll see a huge difference. We confidently believe you’ll then see the benefit in finding a professional voice actor online.

 

Lauren Maree

Lauren Maree is Voice and Client Services Manager at The Voice Realm. With over 15 years experience working for some of the world's leading Advertising Agencies, as well as over 7 years within a major market voice over agency.

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