Step 1. Clarifying project information.During this step, we request all the project information from the client. The minimum we need to create an estimate is:
- Number of characters in the game that need voicing
- Number of words per character
- Are there children’s voices in the game
- Is the timing of each phrase important (Lip Sync, Strict Time Constraint, etc.)
- Is the project urgent
Step 2. Studying the script and castingAfter the client approves the estimated budget, we request additional information about the characters. Ideally, this should be a script that contains the following things:
- A separate list of characters (name, gender, character description, accent if any, age, any references to another movie or game character that allow us to define the tone of the recording).
- The lines that need to be recorded. The preferred format is 1 tab for 1 character, but other variations are acceptable for small projects. If the client leaves comments on the intonation for each line and indicates time limits and how they want the audio files named, they deserve an Oscar for their script 😊
Step 3. Developing tasks for the actors, recordingOnce the client approves all the castings, we start to create the tasks for the actors. It’s not enough to just give them directions on what parts of the overall script to use—everything needs to be separated by actors and by characters, and we have to put together separate mini-scripts. This part doesn’t take a lot of creativity, but it does reduce the chances of actors mixing up lines to zero.
Step 4. Quality assurance, getting the client’s approval on the un-edited recordingsAfter the actors send the completed recordings, we double-check them. Namely: we listen to all the lines for background noise, check for any other sound defects (for example, an actor accepted a task, but didn’t warn us that she had a slight cold, resulting in what was supposed to be a girl’s voice sounding like an older girl with an “accent”). We also check the recording against the script to avoid any discrepancies. As soon as the recording passes this first wave of checks, we send the result to the client. We purposely don’t process or cut files during this step to avoid wasting time. So, if the customer wants to correct something about a character’s tone of voice, we just promptly get in touch with the actor and re-record this moment. This is much faster than if we process the file first and then send it to the customer for approval. And once again, this can all vary based on an individual project, and the exact sequence can always be discussed with the client.
Step 5. Processing, deliveringOnce the client has approved all the recordings, we start processing, cutting, and renaming them. This is also where any plugins are applied (for example, a walkie-talkie or tunnel echo effect), voices can be put together in a chorus (for example, if several people are speaking at once – a crowd on the street, or, like in one of our past projects, a group of sages who all spoke at the same time).
“Wordless” PainAs with any other process, voiceover has those moments that you would rather avoid, but everything would be just too boring and perfect without them.
- When clients request an estimate without providing any information about their project.
- There are time limits for a line, but the text doesn’t fit.
- Preferences when it comes to recording actors.