My buddy Dave Courvosier recently wrote an interesting blog post about how much effort you should put into editing auditions. Here are some quotes from the blog...
I love this feedback from my agent with a request from the client for a second-round of auditions that stated:
"...We have been getting this a lot but what I think might help is guys with fancy home studios need to send in their audition without any extra sound stuff
That's why everyone is sounding too polished. Good for them for having an awesome studio but lets get it back flat so that they can hear the voice..."
'Kinda flies in the face of all the recommendations we often hear from coaches about delivering auditions that are ready for air.
We need to examine a few assumptions, here. First, this is about editing auditions for commercials, not other genres.
Second, many voice actors assume they need to edit, process, master, EQ, etc. the crap out of their auditions to make it sound as "good" as possible. This is not necessarily true.
I think there are a lot of voice actors out there who use a lot of plugins and processing because their raw audio isn't very good. This can be for a number of reasons including a poorly treated space and a low-end microphone. I also think there are a lot of voice actors who enjoy the technical aspect of voiceovers (which is great) but they put a little too much mustard on their hot dog, if you get my meaning.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I use zero plugins. Why?
I have a well treated space so I don't think I need any. I'm also twitchy about plugins because I don't want my audio to sound tinny or over-processed.
TIP OF THE WEEK
You don't necessarily have to create "polished", broadcast-ready audio when you're editing auditions. The voice seekers want to know what you space sounds like since the odds are you will record the gig at home.
Also remember that if you do book the gig, your audio may be edited together with another voice actor's audio. Don't make it harder on the engineer by doing a bunch of processing. It make it that much harder for them to match your audio with theirs.
Don't let how you're editing auditions distract the listener from your narration. THAT is what is most important.
When you're editing auditions; eliminate the burps, boo-boos, clicks, and huge breaths. Get the audio to no louder than -3 db. That's it! For the purposes of editing auditions, the rest is fluff.
NEWS AND NOTES
Saturday, December 4th @5PM ET: The 12th Annual NYC VO Mixer! (In NJ). Voiceover beginners, pros, or "adjacent" to the voiceover industry; come on out! Dress to impress! It's the "company holiday party". Please RSVP at the Facebook Event page as there is an attendance cap.
Sunday, December 5th @9AM-5PM ET: "Kelly and Tom are Hanging Out at a Hotel". The day after the VO Mixer, we've rented a conference space at the hotel for voice actors to discuss the current state of the voiceover industry and share tips & tricks for success. Voice actors of all experience levels are welcome. It's free to attend but we do ask for a small donation to help cover the cost of the space. To RSVP, email me at email@example.com.