Speak Production for E-learning: 7 Tips on How to Choose the Right Sound Partner
Choose a sound studio who knows their business, stays updated on the latest industry standards and requirements, has experience with production of e-learning speak and customer insight to quickly assess and fully understand your specific needs and wishes. A professional and experienced sound production team will take charge, solve problems, keep you informed to make the right decisions and guide you through the process to ensure the best possible result for your particular needs. Typical services offered, include:
Recording and editing of speak Production of sound design and effects Music composition, and/or editing of existing music Mix & mastering in whichever format you need (for TV, radio, online, etc)
1. Get a detailed offer!
To avoid misunderstandings, you want to know the total costs and exactly what’s included (and not) as well as the terms and prerequisites. A detailed offer will give you transparency and overview to: • Check if pricing is competitive against an alternative supplier • Ensure that every aspect of the production is up to standard and aligned with your expectations • Inquire about particulars of the production process • Check if the project is on schedule at all time
2. Ask for references!
A professional sound studio will have a proven track record with lots of good cases to show off and references to back up their claims. Ask for access to cases and references of e-learning speak productions. Ask for other sound productions that relate to your particular project or industry and ask for budgets and timelines for these comparable projects. Check if the studio has regular clients. Satisfied customers come back and this is the best indicator of quality.
3. Get voice samples!
Any respectable sound studio will have a substantial database with voice samples from a wide variety of competent speakers and actors. Casting of the perfect voice for a sound project is vital, so make sure that your sound studio understands your business and target group. Help them understand exactly what you are looking for and give examples or references, if you have someone special in mind. An experienced sound studio will quickly be able to match a voice to your liking. Always ask for 2-3 voice samples, and pick the one you like the best. A good speaker or actor will be able to follow your instructions to match the desired tone of voice and attitude.
4. Keep track of your rights!
Remuneration for speakers includes studio fee as well as a user rights, usually 50:50. The studio fee covers the actual recording session, while the user rights specify when (time period) and where (media) you have the right to use the recording. The Danish Actors Association (Dansk Skuespillerforbund) has clear guidelines for the negotiation of fees and rights. Once you have approved the budget, your sound studio should take care of the rest. Make sure that your sound studio handles clearing and renewal of rights! It is your responsibility to keep track and assure renewals, but a good sound studio will send you a reminder, before your rights expire.
5. Check team and facilities!
The sound production team usually consists of: • A sound technician in charge of the recording, including instruction of the speaker, editing, mix, mastering, conversion and production of sound files for approval • A production manager in charge of budget, production plan, casting and booking of speakers, resource planning, preparation of scripts and final delivery. Sound studio facilities vary. Some are just a small soundproof speaker-box with an adjoining room for the sound technician and a single client, while larger studios offer workstations for multiple participants. You may choose to participate in the recording session to be able to make small changes, give instructions to the speaker and ensure that all technical terms are pronounced correctly and with the right timing. If you cannot be there, you may participate via Skype (if they offer connection) or ask the production manager to sit in as an extra quality check.
6. If in doubt, record alternative versions
If in doubt of a particular formulation or pronunciation, have the studio record different versions. This will allow you to decide later without having to book a new session. The studio will keep all versions for later use. Make sure that your recording studio is able to produce in all the language versions you need. A professional sound studio will have a strong international network to enable speak productions in most languages.
7. Always back-up!
When your production is finished, you’ll receive the final recording of the e-learning speak in the agreed formats. Always, however, have the studio back-up all files for easy edit and updates. Back-ups are made when the job is finalised and delivered. Even if you don’t expect to revisit the material, make sure to have the studio keep back-ups of final files as well as work files for 5 years. Something may come up, and it is a drag having to start all over.
Thank you for downloading this guide. We hope it was helpful, and that it will help you find a great sound partner. If you have input or feedback related to this content, please send an email to [email protected]