Home Studios – Keeping the Voiceover Industry Alive During Lockdown with Directed Sessions

1st Mar 2021

Before Covid, some producers may have been a bit wary of hiring a voiceover artist to record from their own home studio, maybe some even still are… But if one positive has come from a series of lockdowns, it’s that creatives are now truly realising the benefits of hiring voiceovers on dial-in sessions to record from home.

Here at Great British Voices, we chat with Liz to hear about her experience over the last year as a professional voiceover artist, and how she’s taken the pandemic as an opportunity to expand career within the industry.

Like many voiceover artist Liz definitely experienced some ups and downs during 2020. The year started really well for Liz, but as soon as the first lockdown happened, everything ground to a halt. Work that had been promised was put on the back burner, and the number of enquiries coming in dwindled right down.

By the time May came around however, things were starting to pickup for Liz, and within the industry. Perhaps companies were realising that a long-term hiatus on their video content, wasn’t a smart move?

Things had to pick up again and get back to normal, ‘A New Normal.’

Since the early days of the pandemic, voiceover has become a preferred choice for producers and creatives wanting to create video content – simply because it can be done remotely.

All of our Artists have professional broadcast quality home studios

For Liz (and our other Great British Voices) having a broadcast quality home studio has definitely been a blessing during the pandemic, as Liz states ”London-based voiceover artists that had always worked in Soho studios and never needed to have a set-up at home, suddenly found themselves out of work as the professional studios initially had to close.”

Preparing for a dial-in voice session

Liz also found herself more in-demand for dial-in voice session, using remote connection options such as Source Connect, and even free systems such as Cleanfeed, Zoom and Skype, which have all become essential by connecting artists and clients and allowing clients to offer direction as the artist records.

See below and example of how Cleanfeed operates…

Audio producers, it seems, are realising that home studios are a viable option and that artists do not need to be physically in the same space as them for a successful session.”

Not only does recording from home offer faster turn-around, but also helps to keep costs lower too, as there is no travel and additional studio hire involved.

However, when hiring a voiceover artist with a home studio, Liz warns it’s best to hire an absolute professional voiceover artist and not an actor;

I’ve heard horror stories of out of work actors who have decided to turn their hand to voice acting, with a USB mic, plugged in their laptop on their desk in a totally un-treated room… I think a lot of people have decided to give voiceover a try during the last year. Maybe it’s something they were thinking about already and hadn’t had the time to pursue it, or maybe voiceover seems like an easy option when you’re stuck at home and redundancy is on the cards. Whatever the reason, there was a flood of new voices joining the pay to play sites, and asking basic questions on voiceover forums. I’ve had quite a few enquiries myself from people who want advice on how to get into the industry. I always tell them the same thing – get some training before you do anything else.

Liz at Great British Voices

And that’s exactly what Liz has been offering.

Since the start of the pandemic, Liz has turned her hand to training, launching a series on how to network yourself and your business successfully. The course is aimed at other voiceover artists – a sector Liz knows all too well. To date, Liz has run the course three times and had some fantastic feedback from students, and plans to revise and update the course for a wider audience. The next time she runs her ‘Business Networking Knowhow’ course, she hopes it will be open to anyone who is a creative freelancer.

On the back of her success as a voiceover trainer, she has recently launched a podcast all about networking, called ‘Small Business Big Network’ for small business owners who want to get more out of their networking. As I write this, the podcast has been live for less than a week and has reached number 5 in the Apple Podcasts charts for marketing podcasts. So we can’t argue that Liz really knows her stuff!

Liz still records voiceovers daily from her home studio and has found herself ‘booked’ for more e-learning voiceover projects than before; perhaps not surprising as companies work-from-home and schools move to online teaching. You can find all of Liz’s voiceover demos here.

Over the course of 2020, Liz also worked on a variety of Covid specific voiceovers; ‘how-to’ videos on staying safe in the pandemic, IVR messages for companies having to change their working hours and VO’s for charity fundraisers looking to help raise money and awareness for mental health during these uncertain times.

Working within the voiceover industry, during the time of coronavirus pandemic has definitely been an interesting journey, but in Liz’s case she feels that she’s done more with her voiceover business over the last year than she’d ever imagined at the start of 2020. Showing that opportunities really do present themselves, perhaps when we least expect them.

Make an Enquiry

Since our launch, Great British Voices has only listed professional voiceover talents with broadcast quality home studio facilities, and while we appreciate that hiring an artist to record from home may not be suitable for every voiceover project or the majority of voiceover work, professional broadcast quality can be achieved as efficiently from home, with quicker-turnaround too!

We also have presenters who can record professionally from home too!

At Great British Voices we use Source Connect, systems such as Cleanfeed, Zoom and Skype, to provide dial in-voice sessions for media producers especially as our voiceover talents are based all around the world, and despite our British branding, we have an array of international/bilingual talents too, all able to dial-in with you from any location, so you can direct our artists as they record your script.

If you’d like to book Liz for your next voiceover project or any of our home studio talents, then please do contact Alex or call +44 1753 439 289 to speak with one of the Great British UK Team.

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