When a video requires narration, recording it is usually the very last step – this allows you to make any last minute changes to the script once you’ve seen a fine (near final) cut of your video.
Before the Recording Session
At the start of the editing process, the video producer, or editor will record a “scratch track,” which is a rough recording of the narration, using the producers’ or editor’s voice because that’s who is available. They use this to get the timing right and let you hear how it works.
Once you’ve whipped the edit into shape, it’s time to replace the editor’s voice with that of a professional narrator, but don’t get out of your chair, we won’t consume hours of your day by meeting at a studio somewhere. Most voice professionals these days (all that we work with) have all the equipment and setup needed – we just call in.
The Recording Session
A few minutes before our recording, the editor or producer you’ve been working with will call you, then patch everyone in to the narrator.
The script was provided to the editor a couple days in advance, so we’ll start by going over the purpose and tone of the work, ironing out any tough, technical or brand words, then answer any last minute questions.
For the first take, we’ll have the narrator do just a couple paragraphs. From that we’ll give them general notes, like asking them to speak faster or slower, or to be more crisp, or softer. We’ll repeat this until we’re getting the results you want, then move on to the next couple paragraphs.
Depending on how things are going and the complexity of the material, we will either do the rest in small chunks, or have the narrator read all the way to the end. No matter how much we like an individual take, we’ll always record a safety take.
Throughout the process, you can give feedback and ask for another take of a whole section, or just a couple words, until you hear what you want.
After the Recording Session
Once we hang up, your work is done for now. The narrator will clean up and organize the audio files, then send them to the editor, who will drop the audio in, then adjust the timing of the video to match the new narration.
The next cut you see will have the final narration in. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a professional voice makes!