Generally, the producer of the show you are auditioning or acting for will provide you with guidelines for submitting your lines. If something is not clear, or if you are in doubt about something, your first port of call should always be to ask the producer.
However, we’ve put this checklist together to help you get in idea of how to go about submitting your audio if you’re new to the medium (or simply new to the satellite/remote recording approach). We hope you find it useful!
Obviously, take all this as ‘unless otherwise instructed’ advice…
Use Headphones – You always want to monitor exactly what you are recording. Always use headphones.
Record Mono – There’s no benefit to sending over a stereo recording of your voice, record and save as a mono file.
Record ‘room tone’ – Before you start to act when you hit record, let it run for around ten seconds. This silent room tone will be very handy for the producer during the mixing stage.
Always use a pop shield – This will save you and the producer lots of time and frustration recording retakes.
Movement – The producer will only want the sound of your voice in the recording, so make sure you’re not picking up the sound of noisy clothing. Also avoid handling the mic at all costs. Watch out for bumping or kicking the desk, mic stand, etc.
Takes – Record and include a minimum of 3 takes for each line your character has to speak. Remember to offer a variety of different deliveries of each line.
Voices – Avoid chatting during the recording, before, after, or between lines. When the producer is looking at your waveform he/she will be unable to immediately see which parts are lines and which parts are chatter ort irrelevant.
Reverb – Use sound dampening, never submit audio with an echo (no matter how slight) on your voice. How to reduce reverb if you don’t have a vocal booth.
Processing & Submitting
File type – Record at a sample rate of 44100Hz at a bit depth of 24. Save your file as a WAV, or at least a high-quality mp3 file (320kbps or 256kbps).
Editing – If possible, try to edit out bad takes and audio that isn’t relevant. Don’t run your audio through noise reduction, normalisation, compression etc. Just send over the dry/raw recording and let the producer tailor all this to his or her own preference.
File naming – Don’t send a file titled “my_lines.mp3” try something like “ShowName_YourName_CharacterName.mp3”. Some producers prefer each line to be sent as a separate file, in which case number the files starting 001, 002, and so on. We personally prefer to receive as few files as possible.
If in doubt, ask the producer. And have fun 🙂
Have we missed anything? Send your tips/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org