Here are our suggestions for hiring, directing, and interacting with remote voice actors:
Choose the right professional for your project
This business is highly subjective. Two hundred voice actors can describe their voice as "warm," but only you can say which voice has the right warmth for your project. When casting, it's best to ask for a short custom audition accompanying the proposal using excerpts from your script. That way, you can hear the voice actor's interpretation of your material, as opposed to simply hearing a general sample of their other work.
Script and directing tips
Describe your audience. Start by providing a brief description of who will be listening to the finished recording. This will help the voice actor form a mental picture of the audience.
Provide descriptive words
Strive to be as descriptive as possible when conveying how you want the finished product to sound. To get the perfect voice over, use lots of adjectives like animated, classy, believable, corporate, etc.
Try using a one-to-five scale or an example to convey the level of emotion you want the voice to convey. You can also ask voice actors to sound like someone performing a particular role: story-teller, corporate professional or mom-next-door, for example.
Provide specific examples
A link to a sound clip that captures the kind of voice you're seeking will go a long way towards getting you the voice over you're looking for. Some voice actors can mimic voices and if they hear an example of what you want, they can do the best they can within their range.
Provide an easy-to-read script
Voice actors will appreciate a neat script in a readable (usually 12-point) font. Make it very clear what needs to be recorded for the job. Most voice actors will charge an additional fee if they are asked to re-record sections of the script due to changes (revisions). Changes include copy errors, so always proofread your script well before sending it to the actor.
Spell out numbers and pronunciations
Your script could say "1300 Broadway." Do you want to hear "thirteen hundred," "one thousand three hundred," or "one three zero zero"? Always spell this out next to the numeral. The same applies to proper names - especially regional pronunciations.
Match timing to word count
Depending on the voice actor's pace, a 30-second script can be anything from 50 to 80 words. Try reading your script aloud and timing it before sending it to the voice actor. Editing the script before recording saves a lot of time. Most importantly, giving the voice actor a few extra seconds can make all the difference by allowing the actor to capture the right tone, articulation, and style you want.
Some producers prefer a voice actor to record all the lines of a script, even if they know it will go over time. They like to listen and then edit the sentences to time themselves. If this is how you work, tell the voice actor that it's acceptable to go over the stipulated time.
Be clear regarding post-production expectations
These post-production instructions refer to 'dry reads'. If you want the actor to take charge of post-production and produce work that is ready for broadcast such as a radio commercial, ensure the actor can provide full post-production services. Also, be prepared to provide a budget for this.
Always communicate your expectations to a voice actor in detail.
Negotiate pricing and payment
Voice123 voice actors tend to offer a wide variety of payments methods. Be sure to agree on price and payment structures before the voice actor begins recording. Some voice actors may only ask you to pay after the recording has been delivered. Others may ask you to submit a part- or even full-payment up front. If you are submitting payments in advance, we encourage you to use PayPal.