If you're under pressure and quality is essential
- I get you.
With so many voice talent out there, you'd think that getting a voiceover done would be straightforward. In one sense, yes, you can very quickly find any number of people happy to record your script, perhaps for a bargain price. But the saying is true that 'cheap' is 'expensive' in the long run. While the best producers know that paying for quality voiceover is worth it, some clients with less experience might need convincing. So here are some future headaches you might avoid by booking premium talent today: working hard to produce content that is ultimately perceived as lower in quality because of poor audio or a wooden voiceover, needing to redo an entire project because the original voice is no longer available to record small pickups (or that voice cannot match the exact audio quality or performance from the first recording), losing money on a commercial that doesn't connect with the listener because the voiceover wasn't convincing, losing potential customers because an on-hold voice sounds annoying, reducing content retention in eLearning because the voiceover wasn't personable or easy to listen to, alienating potential customers from a brand by choosing a voice they don't relate to. Ugh.
So what should you look for in a voice talent? Consistency, Reliability and Effectiveness.
Consistency: The talent can provide you with the same quality audio across gaps of time. They can also match their performance from past recordings for seamless pickups.
Reliability: When the talent says they will deliver in under 24 hours, they can be depended upon to keep their word. They can also be depended on to let you know if what you're asking is not possible, or to ask you if they need extra information. When a session is booked, you know they will arrive with time to spare and not embarrass you to the client.
Effectiveness: The talent can adjust their performance to execute the read that will be most effective. An effective voiceover is first of all one that satisfies or exceeds your client's expectations. Other measures of effectiveness might include direct consumer feedback, improved content engagement, learning or even sales results.
Within that brief there is still a pool professional talent who could serve you equally well, and that's where it comes down to individual preference. Listen to demos and ask for a custom read of your script. Asking for a free audition read is a good way to 'try on' the service of a particular talent without committing.
Where do you record?
In a double-walled isolation booth built from MDF wood and lined with Basotect foam. The booth stops noise from the outside getting in, and the foam creates that professional "dead" sound. I can also travel to the Brisbane studio of your choice.
What's your gear?
Sennheiser MKH416, Neumann TLM102
Audient iD14 interface
Macbook plus Twisted Wave
Do you edit the files?
Absolutely. I can edit, de-breath and lightly process my files so they're ready to go. Alternatively I provide you with the RAW file for your team to produce. I upload to Hightail, WeTransfer, GoogleDrive or Dropbox - let me know your preference.
What - you do live sessions?
Of course! Just let me know your time zone and we'll connect however suits. SourceConnect, Skype, Facetime, GoogleHangouts, phone, Whatsapp, Facebook messenger.
What do you charge?
Every project is unique and the value is determined by usage/reach - how long the recording will be used for (e.g., 3 months) and how many people will hear it (e.g., one state / national, internal training / public internet). When you get in touch, be sure to let me know the length of the script and/or it's intended reach (the location and duration of broadcast). For Australian broadcast please get in touch with the lovely Emma and she'll work with you to determine a rate that fits for all.
What do you bring to the microphone?
Solid experience recording all kinds of voiceover for everyone from international brands (like Google, YouTube, Coca-Cola Amatil) to start-ups, to Australian government agencies and small to medium businesses
Extensive Improvisational Theatre (Impro) training in the Keith Johnstone method
Many hours of individual coaching in professional voiceover technique
What background did you come from to become a voiceover artist?
Well you might be surprised to learn that, unlike many Australian voiceover artists, I didn't come across into voiceover from a broadcast or acting career. I'm a generalist who loves learning, loves reading out loud, and loves being recorded. About 5 years ago I had a lightbulb moment realising I could merge these loves into a voiceover career.
When I was 6 my mum used to put me in front of an old reel-to-reel tape recorder, and I would record my little heart out until the tape finished. At other times I would entertain myself and annoy family by mimicking the time announcer (you know the one that said ‘on the third stroke it will be…’)!
Interestingly, voiceover goes way back in my family – my grandmother and great-grandmother were pioneers of the early radio broadcasts of the ABC in Tasmania, recording children’s programs and doing their own sound effects.
I love the medium of recording and the potential it offers to play and draw out the beauty, comedy or zany that’s behind a seemingly plain string of words.
In high school, I dreamed of becoming a radio announcer. Yet I thought it wasn't a sensible choice for me, and deep down I didn't believe I had the talent. Back then I believed success was more about having a natural gift than hard work. Today we'd call this a "fixed mindset". I used early failures (like not getting a good part in the grade 8 musical!) as proof of my lack of creative ability, and gave up performance for many years. So when it came time for uni, I studied Speech Pathology - which was safe and sensible and gave me incredible skills and experience - but I never had the spark of passion for it that I saw in my peers .
Later on I completed a ministry traineeship which involved learning skills of pastoral care, counselling and Bible teaching. I'm not an expert in anything (except voiceover, if that counts), but I know a little bit about about many things. I've studied Chinese, Ancient Greek, History, Philosophy, Theology, Anatomy, Linguistics. I can play the cello, row 5 km in 21 minutes, ride a motorbike and bake sourdough. I'm obsessed with Blinkist and the way it it's helped me grasp a better picture of scary topics, like economics, politics and bitcoin. I've lived in Far North Queensland and Sydney's Inner West. My favourite novels are the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia. I love eating nicecream, taking my kids to the beach, stonesoup cooking, and time away from my 3 kids. Preferably locked up in a small padded space with a microphone (that's me, not the kids, just to be clear).