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Why is the Business of Voice Over So Enigmatic?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

April 29, 2010

Comments (1)

Venetian MaskThe last couple of articles discussing voice over rates and rates for audio editing have been very interesting to explore as a community. This topic has also sparked some wonderful conversations bringing new insight, opinions and realities to light!

That being said, because comments are added online, some readers of VOX Daily (especially email subscribers) may not see the valuable comments that are left after the fact... I'll do my best to bring more of those to you in the form of inspired articles.

Today's posting was inspired by a comment I just approved on the topic of rates for audio editing.

Dana Detrick has a different perspective having come from a production background before pursuing voice over. I think you'll find what she has to say very interesting and also very true!

Might Dana's thoughts help us to learn more about why doing business and quoting for work seems so enigmatic? Will her words give you a new perspective on quoting and on audio editing?

Find out!

In Response To Setting Rates For Audio Editing

Featuring Dana Detrick

I was actually an audio editor and worked in post-production way before I decided to become a voice artist. I got to work with other speakers and artists that helped me hone my chops, and there can be a lot more to it to if you're going for a amazing, fully-produced-and-ready-to-use voice product. Some of it can be downright magic!

The Benefits of Freedom and its Price

As voice artists, we have the ability to create careers completely isolated from other audio industries. This can be good in a way, because you have the freedom to start your career whenever you like! Each commercial, home, or mobile studio can be as different as night and day, because it comes down to what works for *you.* But the downside is that we don't always develop 'stock' industry jargon or practices (I think it's why we have such a hard time coming up with non-union rate sheets, too), because of our separateness. (It's great we have forums like this to connect!)

Jargon

It's clear, editing means different things to different artists. What some call editing, others call proofing, or doing pickups. Others define it in terms of noise or fidelity, and some go deeper into post-production and manually digging into every word, seeking utter perfection.

Audio Editing in a Class of its Own

Audio editing is definitely its own beast, and I would encourage any voice artist who has an interest in pursuing it further do so, it can be so rewarding! Honestly, and this may sound off the cuff, but if you have a friend or family member who stutters, you've got a great opportunity to really learn more about your editing chops. Find difficult, bad, low quality audio, and see what you can do with it. Always challenge yourself, so your asking price can go up, and your quality can be top!

Quoting for Audio Editing

As far as how I quote, I *do* include it (unless they're specifically asking for raw audio), but unless the client is industry-savvy, I no longer mention editing or full production within my proposal. It's just confusing.

It's like going to a restaurant and asking for sautéed vegetables, and the chef explaining that the oils they'll use and the skillet are included or excluded in the price. I either already assume that, or really don't care--just give me delicious veggies!!

Delving Deeper

I look at:

๏ My overhead
๏ The amount of clientele I have coming in
๏ The level of editing and production I'll need to do for the client (time and sweat - hours under headphones is WORK, people!)
๏ Develop my standard rates

I go from there on a client-by-client basis, but it doesn't stray too far out of that window. And as my skill level continues to grow and my abilities become known on a broader level, my rates change to reflect it!

Any Thoughts?

We'd love to learn more about what you think. Does anything here resonate with you? Do you have anything you'd like to add to the conversation? I'm sure Dana would enjoy hearing from you, too. You're invited to share your thoughts here in response to what has been presented.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Tom Nulens

Related Topics: Dana Detrick, editing, industry, Non-Union, quoting, union, voice acting, voice actors, voice overs, work


Comments


    Thanks, once again, Steph. And thanks to Dana for further perspective on this subject.

    I also wanted to give credit and my own personal thanks to J. S. Gilbert, to whom I had written before taking on my first solo-produced at home audio book last year. His caveats and specific advice, as well as his guidance on quoting a fair to both parties rate, which took into account the editing hours (as a general rule 90-120 minutes or so of editing/pick-ups for every finished hour) spared me what might have been fatal audio book newbie errors. This truly started me off in the right direction with all the audio book work I have taken on since. We as artists seldom get second chances, so that's a very good thing.

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