Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lazy Voiceover or Just More Efficient?

Wondering how many of you professional voice over talent with your own studios have found new and creative ways of editing tracks to streamline the process? True audio engineers with lots of experience or even official classes under their belts have picked up lots of tips, tricks, and tidbits over the years. Those of us who started off strictly voicing behind the mic and have now found ourselves engineering our own audio sessions usually learn a lot by trial and error. Many of us probably don't even use all of the power of our audio editing software or even know the extent of its capabilities. I know the last thing I have time or patience for with scripts stacking up and deadlines approaching is to wade through an online manual. Of course, I'm not really a techie at heart. Kudos to those of you who are!! I am impressed by and thankful for all of the technical support I receive from those in my family and circle of friends who do love and understand it all! I'm most comfortable when I can just say tell me or show me how to do this when it comes to anything technical, but I have to say that I've discovered many things in the last 8 years that have made my audio editing much better, smoother, and faster. I can't even believe that it's been 8 years since I've had my own home studio! It makes sense that I should have learned a lot!

Do you find, though, that the more experienced you become with editing, the less you worry about making everything perfect with your read? You don't stop and go back to the beginning of a paragraph or even the beginning of a sentence when you make that rare mistake? :) Do you kind of worry that you'll do the things that work for you when you're engineering yourself when you're working in another studio with a "dedicated" audio engineer? Maybe worry isn't the correct word, but after recording so much on my own, I know that I don't have to go back to the beginning of a sentence or even a phrase to make a clean edit. I will often just pickup with a word or a couple of words knowing that I will be able to make a seamless edit when I finish recording and begin the editing process. However, I don't feel that I should do that if I happen to be recording long form narration in another studio. I feel that the other audio engineer may not appreciate the smaller edits. I think the audio engineer may prefer to just pick up a whole clean sentence or even in some cases, a paragraph. So, I ask - "from the top of the sentence or paragraph or slide"? Sometimes, I just start the sentence over whereas if I were in my own studio and editing myself, I would just pick up with a word or phrase.

For some reason, it just seems easier for me to grab that word that begins with a plosive or to just continue the sentence in the same tone even if I've left a large gap and just close it up later than to start from the beginning of the sentence and read it all again. When I'm in another studio, though, I definitely want to be mindful of the preferences of the audio engineer working there. I want to make his or her life as easy as possible by working the way he or she likes to work even if it's not always the way I would do it on my own. And I find that the best engineers, or at least the kindest, always try to make the talent feel comfortable, too. Communication is key in finding that rhythm and style that allows for a smooth session. Of course, a great deal of that also has to do with whether there is also a producer or director from an agency there and their style as well. A great audio engineer will monitor, mediate, and keep the session running smoothly and "have your back" if you happen to have a troublesome client at the session as well!


Marti Krane said...

I nodded in agreement with your entire post.
I also smile when I think how far I have come since we first met - I did one of my first jobs from my home studio for you, Melanie dear!
Happy New Year!
Wishing you a year filled with fun projects-
Be well - Be happy - Have fun!

Voice Over Studio said...

Hi Marti! Thanks for reading my blog and for commenting. Hope things are going great for you, too! Melanie

Steve said...

GEEZER ALERT! I remember editing myself on tape. Oh, yeah. Don't let them hear the splice. Did you ever ping-pong to yourself on 2-track? Hours of fun. I can't believe how fast I can turn work around these days thanks to digital work stations. As a result I am much less forgiving when I engineer myself. I demand perfection. On the other hand, revisions are a breeze... just drop in the change.