When you’re trying to capture the perfect voice for your brand, few things sum it up quite so literally as the voice overs in your marketing material. But voice overs rarely go it alone and you’re normally looking at a larger production – typically video – that calls for an intricate mix of audio and visual elements.
We spoke to Adam Barraud-Rahman, a studio engineer at Matinée’s recording studios in Reading, for more insight into how this process works. He says the rise of video web content has been a major influence on the voice over industry – both inside and outside of the recording studio.
The boom of video content
The boom of video content for both digital and traditional marketing has been a big talking point in the industry over recent years. 70% of brands say video is the most effective form of content and this couldn’t be more true as digital marketing becomes an increasingly global affair.
Translating video content for foreign audiences is far more cost-effective than rewriting your entire content strategy – making it the perfect introduction to a new market. You can rework the rest of your content when the time is right, but translated video means you can reach out to new audiences faster and more effectively than ever before.
Crafting the voice
Your brand voice is very precious, which means you need to find the right voice artist to represent your business and inject the same personality you have created over the years. This is where a good voice over agency really proves its worth – one that understands your needs and has the contacts to connect you to voice talent with the right credentials.
Adam says this selection process is fundamental in getting projects started on the right foot: “Anyone can purchase a home recording setup these days and claim to provide you with a pro voice over service,” he admits. “But truly professional voice overs require close attention to detail and this starts with a voice artist who is experienced in your field. Otherwise it’s very difficult to get a convincing voice of authority in your recording.”
Your message, in any language
If your marketing campaigns target international audiences then one voice over doesn’t really cut it. With foreign speaking audiences you have to speak their language and the more markets you enter, the more languages your marketing material demands.
At this stage you’ll be looking for a voice over agency that covers hundreds of languages, from your FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish) to your BRICS (Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African) and even more remote languages, such as Kazakh to Tagalog. This is the kind of voice over agency you can work with on a long-term basis, calling on more languages as your brand continues to grow.
This long-term working relationship is something Adam knows all about: “We have a dedicated team of project managers who take a vested interest in ensuring project turnaround is maintained to the highest standard,” he explains. “This guarantees consistency is met from project to project and our clients can hit targets time and time again.”
Video soundtracks with pitch perfect audio
It’s already mentioned above that voice overs rarely go it alone and your video has a wider set of audio demands. Music and effects add the final touches to your video soundtrack and this is where a recording engineer steps in to produce new sounds or recreate existing audio with precision.
Soundtracks can be expensive though – a problem Adam sees brands face all the time: “Music is very powerful at evoking emotions, which is fundamental in marketing, but licensing fees are prohibitively steep for many. Our solution has been to create our own library of music – saving our clients time and a great deal of money.”
Post-production and the final touches
With your video and audio recording all wrapped up, your project is handed over to the post-production team to put the final touches on your video. Their first job is to remove unwanted sounds picked up by studio microphones during the recording process: the rustle of script paper or movements of a voice actor, for example. There can even be mistakes, coughs and unwanted pauses in raw audio files – all of which is removed by the post-production team.
“Some of this can be done during the recording process,” Adam explains. “But a truly professional edit requires more time. The post-production team will work on the finest details – reducing the volume of breaths, shortening pauses to create a natural flow and reducing the ‘clicks’ and ‘clacks’ generated by our mouths as we speak.”
To find out more about the post-production process Adam uses, you can watch this quick video.
Streamlining the process
One point Adam emphasised throughout our conversation was the importance of a streamlined process from start to finish – especially when it comes to video. Your footage can pass by many hands as it goes through the production, voice over, audio and editing process. It’s vital the people working with your material understand your goals at every step of the way and Adam insists this is much easier with everyone working under the same roof.
“When everyone works under one roof we can come together and draw on each other’s areas of expertise. It’s amazing how much this speeds up production, but more importantly we can achieve much better things together. This is why Matinée built these specialist recording studios, with a team of experienced professionals ready to take on any project.”