Whether you’re working on the production of a TV advert, launching an e-learning environment, upgrading your telecommunications systems or are involved in one of many different projects which use voice-overs, there’s a very good chance you’ll be on the lookout for the most suitable voice artist to lend their voice to your project.
Do you approach voice artists direct? Do you go through a specialist voice-over agency? Even if you’ve hired a voice artist previously, it can be difficult to know the best solution for finding the right talent when you know exactly what type of voice you want, especially when you’re working to a tight deadline. As such, we’ve put together our top tips for choosing the right voice artist for your next project, which we’re confident will offer you an easy and effective solution for considering your options.
Put together a brief
It might sound simple but by putting together a short but to-the-point brief, which outlines what you’re looking for in a voice artist, the job will be far easier, regardless of whether you’re approaching artists direct or through an agency. It’s important that you include requirements on the language of the voice-over, desired accents and whether you want a male or female artist to voice your project.
Whilst these are the absolute basics and obvious to many, it’s surprising how many people aren’t able to provide, at the drop of a hat, a written brief. It doesn’t need to be complex, it’s just important that you’re able to present a list of your requirements when asked either by an agency or artist.
Artists vs Agencies
Whether you approach artists directly or take the decision to go through a dedicated voice-over agency depends largely upon your overall requirements, however in most instances, you’ve very little to lose by going down the agency route.
We all understand how valuable time is and, in this respect, researching and contacting voice artists individually can be a time-consuming task. By approaching an agency, however, you’re effectively leaving them to do the hard work and allowing them to present to you the options which meet your brief.
When going through an agency, you can be confident that they’ve already carried out auditions with the artists, ensuring you don’t waste any time on those who aren’t up to the job and that they have a good idea right from the moment you enquire as to who would or wouldn’t work for your individual project.
Ask for a demo
Even when working with an agency, always ask to hear a demo of the artist in question. You’ll often have some idea as to the voice which you can imagine working best for your project and, that way, you’ll be able to identify whose voice best meets your needs.
Any professional voice artist will be able to provide a demo almost instantaneously and, if nothing else, it allows you to get an idea as to how their voice may sound on your project and whether they’re a good match.
Listen out for the following…
When listening to demos, there are a few things which we would always recommend you listen out for, these being:
- Vocal TonesHow well is the artist able to adapt their voice to different situations? Do they have a multitude of tones which come across or do they struggle to express emotion through their voice? Some voices are better suited to a project than others, and identifying the right tone is one of the first things you need to get right.
- Vocal Noise & Pops
Whilst an artist’s voice may sound perfect, are they able to record to a high enough standard? Not all voice artists are as good as others at projecting their voice on recording and, in some cases, you’ll hear recording plagued with pops, noise and breaths between words. This can ruin a voice-over and bring down the overall quality. Although if you think the voice fits your project perfectly then these can all be edited out by sound engineers after the recording.
Above all else, you’ll likely have a ‘that’s the one’ moment when it comes to identifying the right voice for each project, however it helps to understand the approach which you need to take to get there. Of course, this is where an agency can become valuable and building a relationship with one who has a large number of voice artists on their books can not only save you time but, in many cases, save you money in respect of finding the right artist first time! Re-recording can be costly and time consuming, however making the right decision is something which doesn’t need to be as difficult as it sounds when you take the time to outline your requirements in the first place.