Practical Home Studio Advice for the Voice Over Talent

Part 2 of an Interview with David Louis of Audio Images Kauai

In the second installment of this series, Voice Over Talent Debbie Grattan and Dave Louis of Audio Images Kauai discuss the practicalities and working relationship between producer and voice over talent.

Voice Over Talent Home Studio Advice from David Louis of Audio Images Kauai

Dave Louis and Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush are all smiles after a four hour ADR session for “The King’s Speech” at Audio Images Kauai. Tom Hooper directed the session via a phone patch from London, England.

Voice Over Talent – Debbie Grattan: For people that have their own home voice over studios, what kind of advice can you give them from an audio engineering perspective?

David Louis: Ambient noise is probably the number one problem as far as quality, so soundproofing is the most important thing a voice over talent should do in their home voice over studio.

There is nothing worse than working remotely with a male or female voice over talent and having to pause the session because a dog is barking or a car is driving by.

Secondly, make sure you have a really good microphone. The Sennheiser 421 Shotgun and the Neumann U87 are the standards of the industry as far as voice over talent recording goes.

If you have a good microphone and a good quiet room, then all of the other peripheral stuff is just fluff.

Voice Over Talent – Debbie Grattan: How do you like to run a remote audio recording session?

David Louis: I really like it when voice over talent truly listens to my direction and takes it. If a voice over talent comes to the session with preconceived ideas, I have to stop and bring them down and get them onto my page. If I can give you direction and you can perform and do what my client and I need you to do, that’s far better than telling me what you’ve been doing. I don’t have huge problems with this, but it does happen.

Also, don’t let technical aspects and timing distract you. There is a continuity — a rhythm — that’s lost when talent worries about these things. Make sure your VU meters are looking good in advance and then just let it roll. During the voiceover session, all I want you to do is focus on the script.

Voice Over Talent – Debbie Grattan: Is there anything else you expect male and female voice talent to bring to the table?

David Louis: Aside from your talent and the ability to take direction, give me all of the takes. Don’t bother editing or cleaning it up because I may use something in there.

Voice Over Talent – Debbie Grattan: Would your answer to this question be different if you were addressing a voice over talent just starting out in the business?

David Louis: To sum it up in two words, my advice to new voice over talent is to be professional. Be open, be on time, be prepared, and be totally dedicated to doing that particular project at that particular time. When there is professional talent on the other end, I really don’t have to do much. It makes the session easier and the performance is better, which is the most important thing to me.

Check out Part 1 of this two part series which touches on the impact of technology on the voice over business for the typical female voice over talent working from a home voice over studio.

has been a professional voice over talent for 20+ years, collaborating on thousands of projects and partnering with hundreds of production companies, marketing and advertising firms, commercial voice-over recording studios and corporate/business clients around the United States and throughout the world. Check out her Professional Voice Over Talent Demos and request a Custom Voice Over Talent Audition for your upcoming project.

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