Article 1: Your Audio Project from Start to Finish
Embarking on an audio project can be daunting. It's hard to know where to start if you're new to the process. Here's an outline of the steps taken to complete a spoken word project and some advice to help you along the way.
First of all, you need a script. It's important that your script is just the way you want it before any recording begins. Making minor changes to a script during a recording session isn't a big deal and nearly always happens. However, doing major rewrites during a session (or, worse, having to get everybody back in at a later date to make corrections) can eat up a lot of studio time and that can get expensive. So, it's a good idea to make sure your script contains all the information you need to convey, that it reads well (that is, it's easy to understand when you hear it without following along on the printed page), and that the grammar is correct. Proofing and editing services are offered by some audio production companies (Marktree Productions, for instance).
There are several ways a spoken word program can be produced. The simplest production is a single voice reading the script. Some programs sound better with two or more voices. It depends on the application and intent of the program. Music can be added at the beginning and end of the recording (referred to in the audio world as "music at the head and tail") or the recording can be punctuated with sound effects. The entire recording can be underscored with music or sound effects or both. Again, it depends on the application. Music and sound effects can add quite an impact to your program, so it's a good idea to get a cost estimate for various levels of production.
Once it's been determined how many voices you'll need, the production company (say, for example, Marktree Productions) will happily send you voice samples. After you've made your selections, a recording date is set. Present at the recording session will be the voice-over actor(s) (referred to as "the talent"), the recording engineer, and the producer/director. The client (that's you) does not necessarily need to be present. If you are in a different geographic location than the production company, you can listen in over the telephone or simply leave it up to the producer/director (that's us; we also do the engineering).
When recording is complete, the recorded dialogue/narration is edited and assembled with the music and/or sound effects. Then it's mixed, which means setting the relative volume levels of the voices and other elements. After mixing is complete, a mono or stereo file is created in the appropriate format. Once you've reviewed and approved the completed program, you're done! You have beautiful audio to get your message to the masses.
Any questions? Give us a call or send us an email. We're happy to help.
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