At Voiceovers-UK we really encourage our clients to participate in live sessions with our voices. We really feel that it's by far the best way to get the accuracy and precision required for a successful VO session. There are so many tiny nuances to a read that can be varied such as pace, authority, assertiveness, excitement, sympathy, warmth, and of course, the inflections and the required emphasis on crucial words and phrases. There simply isn't a single correct way to deliver a script. In my many years of producing VO, which has involved hundreds of thousands of words of audio, I have learned that the minutiae of each VO project are very different.
Live direction really comes into its own when there are ambiguities in the script, minor grammar issues or the common acronym conundrum, all of which can be swiftly and accurately sorted out when the client is there with us. I personally think that the process gives a client more "ownership" of the end product too.
These days our clients are from all parts of the UK and indeed the rest of the world, so the client attending in person isn't often a realistic option. This is where technology comes in. We use a variety of communication methods to get clients "Dialled in" to a session.
(Plain old telephony system)- We use high quality ISDN and Digital Telephone hybrid lines to allow a client to phone in from a regular phone and be patched directly into the live session where they can communicate with the voice artist and producer.
We have a fast Skype feed in our studios that separate into a clean feed and allow clients from all over the world to listen in live, and very importantly, free of any call costs. This is great when dealing with our clients in the US, Asia, Australia, Germany, Spain, Dubai etc.
A great example of this was a session I did for the author Nick Cook and his launch of the book "Cloud Riders". It was a detailed brief involving creating real emotion in the delivery. Our voice Amy Anzel Amy sample nailed it perfectly and the result was beautifully effective. This couldn't have been done without both Nick's excellent input live and the great technology that allows us to have Amy live by ISDN with voice to picture, and the client on Skype giving detailed input.
Often we can have a session where there is a VO in the booth or live by ISDN or IPDTL, and up to 3 clients calling in via the various methods above. This means that one of key focuses of the session is getting the communication feeds right and our experienced and diligent engineers are expert in this.
Of course, all this communication can slow a session down but in my long experience that is far better than the problems caused when a client doesn't participate. In simple terms - it means, more often than not, that the session is a success first time - no pickups, delays in delivery, potential extra costs etc. And also, the cost and time saving to our clients is substantial. They don't need to leave the office!