If you’ve been thinking of doing a Voice Over Course this year, the October 20/21 course is the last one we’ll be running in 2018 with the next likely to be in February 2019 depending on demand.
If you don’t feel that the group course is for you, we do also have 1 on 1 Voice Over Coaching sessions available. These can be run at a time that suits you and structured for your level of ability, from just starting out of those who simply need more experience in a studio to fine tune their abilities.
If you have any questions about the October course feel free to get in touch via the contact pact or call the number at the tip right of the screen.
See you in October – Remember we have just one place left in this course.
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions and topics of much debate…just how much do Voice Over Artists get paid? (or how much SHOULD they be getting?)
The answer to this is actually quite straight forward as there’s an industry recognised rate card for commercial voice overs developed by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance in consultation with the communications council of Australia.
This rate card sets the minimum Voice Over rates for Australian voice over artists for commercial uses across all mediums such as radio, television, online and even phone on hold. If you’re serious about getting into voice over work, these are the rates you would be aiming to work for as a professional voice over artist.
In recent years we’ve seen much confusion and discussion around these rates with an increase in the number of voice over service providers prepared to work for much lower rates in order to secure the work. This aside, here are some examples of common voice over jobs and the industry pay rate.
You get booked for a voice over at a commercial radio station. The job is 3 x 30 second scripts promoting various products on special for a large supermarket chain. The ads will run for 2 weeks and only on radio in Melbourne.
Voice Over talent fee = $330
If you did the exactly same job but the radio commercials were going to air on radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin…and be on air for up to 12 months the fee would be $470.
For radio you would be paid the same rate to read up to 5 scripts, as long as they were for the same client / product.
Television / Internet Commercial
You’re booked to read a single 30 second script for a Television commercial. The ad will also run online on Facebook or a website as paid advertising and will run for 2 weeks.
Voice Over talent fee = $715
If the commercial was just on free to air and/or pay tv, broadcast in more than one state of Australia, the rate would be $530.
Unlike Radio, for Television the voice over fee is per script.
Sound boring? If you’re booked to record a basic on-hold message the runs less than 60 seconds for a small business the fee would be $190 for a recording session of up to 30 minutes.
Where do I sign up for that!?
Ok. It’s important to set some realistic expectations for anyone who is new to the Voice Over industry.
If you put the time and energy into your skills as a voice over artist and live in a city like Melbourne or Sydney then the types of jobs listed above could be in your future, however there’s a path to be travelled to get there.
If you listen to some of the earlier blogcast interviews we’ve done with voice over artists you’ll understand that the pathway to success in voice overs is different for everyone…and so is the level of success.
So perhaps the question is where do I start, rather than where do I sign up?
Learn… More about the industry How to read scripts How to use your voice
Get experience… You’re going to need lots of experience to gain the confidence and skills needed to work as a voice over artist. This could mean doing some voluntary / unpaid / low paid work that’s suitable for those who are starting out.
It’s important to know that no voice over course or coach can guarantee you work in the industry. However you may find that this is a good place to start.
You’ll get much more out of our weekend course however the 1 on 1 sessions are great if you just want to get a taste of the practical side of voice over work (for those who are new) or want to get more in-studio experience.
The 2-hour studio coaching session is also suitable for emerging voice over talent who are looking to gain more experience being directed in a professional setting.
Are you ready to create a demo?
One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘When should I make a voice over demo’. Before booking in to have us help you create a demo, we’re more than happy to have a chat with you and ensure that now is the right time, or give you some direction on what you should be doing first.
Skype Voice Over Coaching Coming soon – Connect with a Voice Over Coach for a 1 hour Skype session to work though script reading techniques and more.
Feel free to contact us if we can help you with any questions around our group course or 1 on 1 sessions.
You’re thinking about getting into Voice Over work…but where do you start?
We get asked this all the time (which is why we’ve set up our Introduction to Voice Over Course) but many people actually think the first step is to go out and buy a microphone ,set up their own home recording studio and start promoting themselves as a voice over artist.
Yes, a time may come where a home studio may be a useful tool, however we don’t recommend this as a starting point.
The ability to record your own voice doesn’t automatically give you the skills needed to read and interpret scripts or use your voice effectively with the right tone, intonation and projection. These are some of the basic skills that you must learn and then practice.
As mentioned, a home studio for voice over recording may be something you can look at some point in your journey towards becoming a voice over artist, however that initial investment would be better put to use in getting yourself some training / coaching in the basic skills that are required even before you step up to the Microphone.
If you’ve been thinking about Voice Overs as something you’d like to try, come along to our Introduction to Voice Over Course – the next is running on October 20 & 21.
Our Introduction to Voice Over Course is designed to be accessible to everyone.
Not only have we designed this two-day course for people who have either little or no experience with voice over, but we’ve also made it more affordable by giving you the option of spreading the cost of the course out over 3 months.
This means you can pay instalments of $183.34 over three months, or pay the full cost of $550 (inclusive of GST). This option isn’t available from any other beginner voice over course provider in Melbourne.
What do I get for my investment?
The total course fee of $550 ensures we can deliver the best experience possible as an introduction to the voice over industry. You’ll be working with two voice over professionals, in an industry standard recording facility where we’ll record everything you do in the studio.
We’ve also limited the number of participants to just 10 to ensure that everyone can receive personal attention as needed over the two day course.
Finally when you sign on for our Introduction to Voice Over Course, be assured that we’re also here for you after you leave with your certificate of completion and copy of your recordings. For those who are looking to pursue work as a voice over artist, we provide you with the next steps in gaining valuable experience and encourage you to keep in contact with us and get in touch with any questions or advice you may need.
One of the highlights of running this course for us is the variety of people who attend. So far we’ve had a great blend of participants, both male and female, ranging in age from early 20’s to retirees…all from different backgrounds.
We’ve also found that everyone gets along really well over the two day course. Perhaps it’s because they all come for the same reason – to learn more about voice over and using their voice.
Actually for us it’s important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the Introduction to Voice over course as it allows us to create a safe space for everyone who is stepping up to the microphone for the first time. It can be somewhat intimidating if you’ve never tried to read a script or even walked into a professional recording studio before, but when everyone is quite to to the experience it’s exciting and fun.
So if you’ve been toying with the idea of doing a voice over course, don’t be shy. We’re hear to help and everyone is who comes along will be sharing your experience.
If you have any questions before you sign up, please feel free to email via the contact page or use the phone number at the top right of the screen and give us a call.
There are many opportunities to use your voice professionally.
The more obvious ones we often talk about here include being a voice over artist for Radio and Television commercials or as a Radio announcer or Podcast presenter…but how about as a Traffic reporter?
Traffic reports are one of the key things that people turn on the radio for on their daily commute and as a Traffic Reporter it involves delivering a lot of time critical, ever changing information in a short space of time.
Here’s an example of a traffic report script;
Victoria St in Richmond’s closed off to citybound traffic right now, with a 5 car smash at Burnley St, and delays are pushing back around the Kew tram depot.
Diversions will get you onto Bridge Rd, but that’s a lot heavier than usual. Try Studley Park Rd into Abbotsford.
There’s some power lines down too, in Flemington, on Racecourse Rd near the Newmarket shops. Both directions have been closed off with repairs underway, and trams on route 57 aren’t getting through that stretch either, with buses running instead.
[sponsor credit] Want blindingly-fast NBN? Try the HelloNet Turbo plan. HelloNet – The most friendly internet you can get. Visit HelloNet dot com dot auThat’s the latest real-time traffic.
The Australian Traffic Network is currently looking to build its talent bank of casual traffic reporters in Melbourne. We spotted this job ad today.
The traffic reporter role involves gathering real-time traffic information in a fast-paced environment during breakfast and drive times and presenting reports on radio and possibly TV.Successful applicants will work well under pressure, have a good understanding of Melbourne’s road network, and be passionate about radio.
Would suit journalists, producers, announcers or street-teamers with proven broadcast experience and who are looking for casual work, with the possibility of permanent full or part-time employment. Possible shifts include early mornings, afternoons and weekends.
It sounds like this role requires people with some experience but it’s a great example of some of the different types of work available where you can use your voice.
When recording a voice over in a professional studio there’s a few people you can expect to be working with.
In an earlier post we met Geoff Esdaile, a creative writer.
Another key person here is the Audio Producer (also known as a Sound Engineer or Sound Designer). Today Andy sat down with Ray Peters, sound designer with the Australian Radio Network (KIIS / GOLD104).
Ray talks about what goes on in recording sessions and offers some great advice for anyone new to voice overs.
Transcription: Interview with Sound Designer – Ray Peters
ANDY: In our series of interviews with people involved in the voice-over industry, we’ve spoken to several voice-over artists, and heard their stories about getting started; and some advice they had for those who are new to voice-over. I’ve also spoken to a creative writer about scripts and casting voice-over talent, but today…get ready…we’re speaking to a key person involved in any voice-over recording process, the Audio Producer! Ray Peters, a sound designer for the Australian radio network. G’day Ray!
RAY: G’day. It’s great to be here. Well, it’s great to be anywhere.
ANDY: You were already here. I came to see you!
RAY: It’s great to be with you. Hello every one.
ANDY: Alright, now, for anyone who’s not familiar with the process of recording a voice-over, you’re not just here to push the record button. You’re really leading the voice-over session. If the writer’s not here, or the writer or the client is here. How does that all play out?
RAY: Ok, we have the writer in and it’s basically a to and fro with him or her, where the writer will say “hey I want this sort of delivery for this particular paragraph” and I’ll say “I think we should have a different sort of delivery towards the end of the script” and then we’ll have the client say “No, this is what I want.” And of course the old saying is “whatever the client wants is correct” so…
ANDY: When you’re giving your feedback during a recording session, as the audio producer or sound designer, you’re hearing the end product.
RAY: Yeah, as soon as the script comes in, and with the client and I here, or the actor hasn’t turned up yet, I’ll go through the script and I’ll think “ok well, first up, we need certain sound effects, certain music,” but then again, the music is not always correct because you’ll have the artist come in and if it’s a flamboyant delivery, and the client wants a rock bed underneath, it’s odd. So whether we’ve picked the wrong talent or the client has picked the wrong music…but we’re here to educate the client, and of course the voice-over person. It’s all about the customer experience nowadays. There’s an old saying that voice-over people, and I’m sure you would have heard it, Andy, voice-over people are puppets. Which means “look, you’ll play them as marionettes.” They will do…they have to do what you want them to do. It’s nothing nasty, it’s just you will perform to what beat we want you to perform.
ANDY: I completely get that. And you mentioned talking about clients being in there? How often do you have a client in there with yourself, the writer and the voice-over artist? How often is the client there?
RAY: Fairly often, because a lot of new clients or a lot of the business we bring to the table, these sorts of clients have never been in a production studio and a lot of time we try to make them feel comfortable and even the new voice-over people we get. Have a laugh with them, have a laugh with the client, say something silly in the background, and sometimes, if the client is ok with it, we’ll do some colorful words and all of a sudden, the client will start relaxing, the voice-over person will have a laugh and start relaxing.
ANDY: Good tip there, coz it is a fairly high pressure situation, if you’re the voice-over artist in the studio, you’ve got three, four, maybe more people staring at you and telling you to dance.
RAY: I’m not a firm believer in having all these people in here. I mean one or two, fine. But you’ve got to understand when the voice-over person is trying to read a spot and you’ve got one person saying one thing, another person saying another, and then you’ve got me saying a third, it’s confusing for the artist and the voice-over artist will start freaking out thinking “Oh, maybe it’s just me that’s doing it wrong” and folks, it’s never you that’s doing it wrong, it’s the client. He has one thing in his or her head, and the artist will hear something else in his or her head. But of course, as I said previously, the client is always right.
ANDY: Scenario here: Let’s say you’ve just recorded a 1 30 second ad, how much time do you generally allocate for the voice-over recording session.
RAY: It’s usually an hour, for one 30 second spot, or be it 10 30 seconds spots.
ANDY: You hope to not have to use that full hour?
RAY: Yeah, we try not…no. We had a situation where a high end car dealership wanted to advertise an open day at a certain place and we had Rod Mulliner come in. He nailed it first take, but of course, we need some back-up takes and also look, there’s a safety whatever. And we had the client on the phone, and the client was very picky about certain inflections on certain syllables where after half an hour, I mean after half an hour any voice-over artist will start getting flustered, and you can tell. They don’t get angry, it’s unprofessional to get angry, but I have seen it. They just don’t hear it in their heads anymore and they won’t embrace the script anymore. It’s like “oh, look, if that’s what they want, fine.”
ANDY: How did that work out in the end? It all came together in the end obviously.
RAY: It came together, from Rod Mulliner’s point of view but then as the sound designer or the cowboy putting the stuff together, then you put it together, send it off for the client approval and then you’ll get half a page of “At this point, the sound is too loud, at that point it’s too soft…” and of course, you just go back and forth, back and forth. And again you do what they want.
ANDY: How many spots do you think you’re making in a day?
RAY: Look, we might do 20, 25, spots a day, but we don’t sausage factory stuff. And I know guys in country markets, provincial markets and I’ve been there before, where you’ll do 40 or 50 spots a day or something…
ANDY: Yeah I think my record was 55 in one day in Shepparton.
People coming in here to read ads, what sort of talent are you usually working with? New talent, are they experienced, clients voicing their own ads? What’s the average VO talent like coming in here?
RAY: Well they’ve been doing it for long, long time. Again, when we write our commercials, we’ll go through all the websites …RMK…and pick the right talent…
ANDY: ahem…EM Voices
RAY: EM voices, sorry. We do audition the voices to what would suit that particular script. This has happened a couple of times where…please folks, you guys that are starting out, don’t fall into this, we’d hear the demo reel of a person A and they just don’t sound like that when they come in here. Their demo tape has been doctored to make us as writers and producers impressed where they don’t come up with the goods.
ANDY: That’s an interesting point because I’m getting a lot of people coming to me saying “Can you help me put together a demo.” These are people who are very new. And they haven’t…maybe they’ve only done one or two recordings in a studio before and I said…and the problem with that is people like you and me as audio producers, we can actually spend enough time with someone in a studio, you can actually make them sound amazing, but it’s not reflective of their actual performance level. So when you then go…so if someone was to work with me for a few hours, I’d make them a great sounding demo, then if I threw them in the lion’s den with you Ray, I think they might be in a bit of trouble. And you don’t want people to come undone like that. They need to have the experience, right?
RAY: No, no, no.
ANDY: Is there anything that talent sometimes does that sort of bugs you?
RAY: What bugs me sometimes in with new talent is they’ll come in and be very nervous. What we try to do here is as soon as someone new comes in, we put on a show…a comedy show for them to help them relax and even, as I said earlier, even with the client, we’ll all have a laugh just to make you feel comfortable and it certainly helps the new talent, even with…who’s afraid that “there’s a client here, and oh no, how am I going to perform in front of a client?” Folks, you’re starting out, you’re performers, you’re actors. Embrace it. A long time ago, working up in Queensland, in Mackay as an on-air announcer. The program director always said to us “every performance, every time you’re on air, think of it as a rock performance. You’re in front of ten thousand people, and you’re giving the performance of your life. Every shift should be like that.” Every voice-over person should embrace that kind of thinking when you get employed by Southern Cross Austereo, or ARN or DMG or what are they now?
ANDY: Nova Entertainment.
RAY: Nova Entertainment. When you go into a radio station, you should…
ANDY: Bring you A game. Is that what you’re saying?
RAY: Yeah! Bring your A game.
ANDY: Bring your A game to every job.
RAY: Even if you end up buggering up the script or whatever, it doesn’t matter. Attitude is, I think, 85% of the job.
ANDY: What ultimate tip would you have for someone who just, out of the blue, they work in a completely unrelated industry, you’ve run into them, you tell them what you do, you say “Hey I make radio ads for a living,” they say…you say you work with voice-over artists” They say “Voice over artists? That’s sounds like something interesting, how do I get into that?” Where do you send them from there?
RAY: If they only want to be a voice-over artist, I’d say do an acting course, just to know how to deliver certain lines. And that’s what sets you apart from anyone else. A lot of guys that haven’t done an acting course as such, they’re not sure of how to deliver certain lines, and you can repeat and repeat it to them, they won’t get it. But an acting course really helps. There’s a million voice-over artists, I think half of them, they don’t embrace the script, as in…I’ve seen it before, I’ve heard it before, where we’ll have a voice-over artist come in, or actor, come in and he or she doesn’t or cannot read three words in advance. For instance, an example would be, the artist will come in, read the commercial and not know what the commercial, what the script is all about. With anyone new starting, I seriously recommend that, for want of a better word, it’s embrace the script, but understand what inflections, what delivery, whether it be a big verbose delivery or something more of a cartoonish delivery. You’ve really got to know what the script is about. It’s no good just reading the words on the paper, because you’ll just never get it. What I suggest again, acting and learn to read out aloud. We were always taught to get a cassette recorder, listen to how old I am now. Get a cassette recorder…
ANDY: Ray’s 150 everyone!
RAY: Get a cassette recorder and a newspaper, shut the door, and read the newspaper out aloud while you’re recording yourself and then go back to the tape, have a listen to your inflections and you’ll start…it’ll start clicking. But it doesn’t matter what sort of voice you have, you can have a squeaky voice, or a big voice, nowadays, if you have a squeaky voice, great, we’ll have you doing a mouse in a certain ad. If you’re good, you’ll get the gig again, if you’re not, well…
ANDY: I’m a bit worried now, because I haven’t been in here for a while and I had to invite myself over today. Ray, some great advice, some great stories in there as well. Folks, if you ever do get to come into ARN, chances are you will be up against this guy Ray Peters. Thanks again for the chat.
RAY: My pleasure. And folks, if you really want something bad, grab it with both hands. Thanks a lot, Andy.
One of the latest episodes of this podcast covers the importance of your voice for health and wellbeing.
Have you stopped to think that how you articulate and project your voice could be tied back into your own sense of self.
Reality is, we are constantly marketing ourselves with every conversation we have, so best make that count. In this episode, Nat is asking Cecelia the questions about her own career as a radio host and voice over artist, how she has learnt to use her voice in various ways as well as tips and tricks for even the shyest of people to really make your voice heard. Listen below.
Some of the ideas and tips discussed here are expanded on in the activities during the Introduction to Voice Over Course.
The next courses are running over the weekends of September 1 & 2 and October 20 & 21. Only 10 places are available for each date. Book your place here.