Most people would probably imagine a voice artist standing in a recording studio in front of a big microphone, just like Whitney Houston in Saving All My Love for You.
While it is true that most voice actors are devilishly attractive and would look fantastic in a recording studio, the truth is that most of them never have to step into this kind of building. Instead, they work closely with their clients from home or from an office by using the best in modern technology.
A good example of this comes with ISDN technology, which is a communication method that allows a voice actor to send high quality audio to their client speedily and effortlessly. This makes it incredibly easy to get big projects completed regardless of the physical distance between client and voice artist.
Yet, we can expect some big changes in the world of ISDN in the years to come.
What is ISDN?
Ok, so what is ISDN to begin with? This acronym stands for Integrated Services Digital Network and it is a type of high quality communication that allows for voice, video and data to be passed digitally from one person to another.
So, it’s a bit like a fancy phone line then? This is sort of the truth, the introduction of ISDN allowed people to do more than just speak to each other over their phone lines, in a way that is natural and easy to get started with.
Voice artists can now set up their own recording studio at home using this network rather than travelling to a professional studio or to the client premises. This is one of the reasons why we have seen incredible growth in the UK voice over industry in recent years, as this technology has allowed clients to very easily use professional voice artists to give them exactly the style and tone that they need.
ISDN is something that is more widely used in some countries than in others, with the UK, Germany, France and the Nordic countries among the places where it is most common.
What Happens in 2025?
What will happen in 2025 apart from the world population being expected to reach 8 billion and the Giant Magellan telescope finally letting us see how many legs Martians have?
Well, the next big change that is on the horizon for the ISDN communication method is due in 2025. In fact, BT has announced that this is when they will close down the UK’s ISDN network.
Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find an ISDN provider in the US and in some other countries too. This means that we may find more and more people moving to other communication methods even before the 2025 cut-off date comes along.
Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that 2025 will be end of voice over recording and the fall of Western civilisation as we know it. We don’t expect voice artists to be rioting on the streets and demanding the return of ISDN to their lives. No, because something even better is waiting to take over from it.
What Will Replace ISDN?
The good news is that BT has also announced what will replace ISDN; carrier pigeons carrying cassette tapes, perhaps?
No, not really. While we are all for a bit of retro style, the benefits of a move to SIP technology probably outweigh the joy of seeing the sky filled with carrier pigeons every day.
SIP technology isn’t exactly new, as it has been around in the UK for some 15 years. Yet, it has never really managed to oust ISDN from people’s affections.
Basically, by the time 2025 comes along (and it isn’t as far away as you might initially think) everyone who currently uses ISDN in the UK will be switched over to the SIP service instead.
This is a type of technology that uses an external data connection for making and receiving calls. Among the benefits are that the user keeps their phone number and location data wherever they go, as it is linked to an IP address rather than a physical phone line.
As for voice artists and their clients, greater flexibility, lower costs and an easier disaster recovery process should all make life a lot easier for them.
Of course, there is also the option for people to switch over to SIP now instead of waiting until 2025. While we all tend to be comfortable sticking with the technology that we know well, there is no doubt that moving to SIP could make life even easier when getting voice over work carried out professionally in the future.
Find out more about our ISDN and Source Connect recording studios in Reading here.