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FAQ


frequently asked questions | voice recordings

PROCEDURE | How does it work?

1. request, offer, scheduling

If you are interested in booking my voice for your project feel free to send me your tentative request with all relevant project details.

Required details:

  • text length in minutes / words / characters (incl. blanks, shortcuts and numbers written-out)
  • alternatively you can also send me the whole script
  • info about the usage of the production: where, for how long and in which formats will the production be used? (check “Usage & Licenses”)
        Example: online usage active, Germany, 1 year, 1x 30 sec. spot, 1x 15 sec. cut-down.
  • your wishes about recording and editing (check “Recording & Editing”)
  • deadline or production period if it is tight or fixed already

 

Afterwards you’ll receive an offer incl. my GTCs and availability confirmation by mail. During business days this usually happens within a few hours.

If all questions have been answered and you accept my offer, the contract has been awarded and we start into the production process.

 

2. production

 

from home-studio

You deliver all relevant details and informations for recording.

Required data:

  • final script
  • video and/or music (if it exists, check “Vision” & “Recording & Editing”)

 

When recording with talent’s direction furthermore:

  • details about speaking style, pace etc. (check “Vision”)

We agree to a deadline and you will receive the recordings by no later than that deadline. Short texts can usually get delivered within 24 – 48 hours, dependent on current work load.

 

When recording with live-direction furthermore:

  • infos about the tool with which you would like to connect.
        Example: your Skype ID, Zoom session link, Session Link Pro or others.

We agree to day and time for our recording session.

 

In an outside studio

You deliver all relevant details and informations for recording to the studio.

Required details:

  • final script
  • video and/or music (if it exists, check “Vision” & “Recording & Editing”)
  • wishes about engineering and tech specs if you have concrete requirements

We agree to day and time for our recording session in the studio. You send me the name and adress of the studio.

 

3. delivery, billing, licenses

 

Delivery

When recording with talent’s direction, you receive all recordings until the agreed deadline via wetransfer download link.

When recording with live direction, you receive all unedited takes from the session directly after the session via wetransfer download link.

When recording in an outside studio, you receive the recordings on the way you agreed to with the studio.

If you prefer, you can also provide your own server for delivery.

 

Billing & License

After you have received the files, you’ll receive an invoice with a period of a 30 day payment on a German bank account.

On request you can also pay the invoice with Paypal instead. In this case, please let me know before invoicing.

All usage rights according to our agreement when placing the order are listed in detail on the invoice. So the invoice is also your usage license. After you have paid the invoice you are allowed to use all recordings in the listed scope.

If you would like to use the recordings in other forms than initially agreed to at a subsequent date, you can contact me anytime to purchase further usage rights.

PRICES | How do I calculate my costs?

The prices differ from project to project and depend on the text length, usage (when, which media, where…) and the wishes for recording and editing.
The price list by the organisation for German voiceover talents (Verband Deutscher Sprecher) gets updated every year and gives a good overview about the fees for German talents:

 

Price list VDS (German)

Price list Brilliant Voices (English translation)

 

These lists includes just voiceover fees and license costs. The costs for studio and editing are not displayed here and have to be calculated additional.

But basically all talents offer these services much cheaper than outside studios.

Please note: since voiceover prices are different from country to country, you might recognize that German prices are some of the highest in the world. Wages of every country take their orientation on the average income of that specific country, taxes, binding insurances, every day costs and so on. So if you would like to record on the German market and present your production on the German market, the prices of the German market will be charged (for the voiceover as well as for the usage rights). But in some cases I am willing to lower the price a bit for foreign clients from countries with lower wages.

Contact me for your project, to receive a tentative offer.

USAGE & LICENSES | Internal, passive, active... what does all this mean?

Decisive for the pricing, beside the text length, is how, when and where your production will be used.

Usually there are three different kinds of usage forms, if it is not an art production (such as a game, documentary, dubbing etc.):

 

1. Internal usage

Internal usage only, such as internal corporate events, internal e-learnings and explainers, private birthday parties…

The production has no publicity effect.

The license is given in perpetuity and is limited to “internal usage”.

You pay one total price for the work and the license all together.

 

2. Passive usage

For example website, youtube channel, facebook video, Instagram video, stand at an exhibition, presentations, DVDs, in apps…

The production has a publicity effect, but is just passively available in public and has to be played back by the viewer / listener actively to take effect.

The license is given in perpetuity and worldwide, but is limited to “passive usage”.

You pay one total price for the work and the license all together.

 

3. Active usage

For example TV commercial, radio commercial, online paid-media (online pre-roll, online spot that is embedded in the middle of a programme…), exhibition-TV commercial, P.O.S. …

The production has a large publicity effect, because the customer gets advertised actively and is kind of “forced” to watch/listen, when he wants to watch/ listen to his programme or goes out for shopping.

The license is limited in time and space. Licenses are given by spot, year, medium (for example TV / internet) and country for an active usage.

You pay one price for the work (layout / session fee) and one price for the desired licenses. You can renew a license for another year or purchase additional licenses at any time.
If you book the licenses together with the work, the work price is set off against the license price in form of one layout.

 

The exception proves the rule. So there are some projects that do not fit in one of the categories above.
Please contact me then and we’ll find the right license for you.

VISION | How do I communicate my wishes?

If you order your voice recordings with own direction from the talent, you should provide him/her with concrete details about the tonality. For example:

 

  • Adjectives
        dynamic, fresh, young, cool …
  • Periphrases
        strong bold advertising, „in your face“, spit out the main catchwords cheeky, unblushingly and challenging, have fun while doing it …
  • In addition to general advises, you can put some directly into the text for specific paragraphs
        energize here, more pressure / a bit afraid / relieved / whispering …
  • Refer to an existing demo from a similar segment, that matches your idea of tonality
        For example: if you need a VO for an advertising, animated explainer film, you should not refer to a demo, which is an atmospheric inner monologue, but to a demo that has a similar style like yours
  • Refer to a similar video, that matches your idea of tonality
  • Send the rough cut (for an impression of the film)
  • Send the music that will be used (for harmony of voice and music)

 

Interpretations will always be different. If you give the same text and advises to 10 different talents, you will receive 10 different interpretations. None of these will match your individual vision 100%.

To avoid costly revisions, it is advisable to be as clear as possible and to measure up, which kind of recording is the best for your project and client (check “Direction”).

RECORDING & EDITING | What do I need?

Editing on text

If your film is still variable or the text isn’t too tight, in many cases “editing on text” is sufficient. The talent speaks the text, cuts out text mistakes, disrupting sounds and eventually breath sounds and delivers one or several audio file/s.
Next you have to put it under the film yourself and lengthen / shorten the pauses or alternatively adjust the pictures to the audio.

 

Synchronously speaking and editing

If your film is finalized already and can’t get changed anymore and/or the text has to be spoken one-to-one on the pictures, you need synchronic speaking and editing. This is more time-consuming and accordingly a bit more expensive.
Therefor the talent needs a layoutvideo with the spoken text or clear timecode declarations in the script, for timing orientation.

Please bear in mind, that the text length matches the timing! Text lengths are often underestimated.

A rough orientation:
900 characters (incl. blanks, abbreviations and numbers spelled in full) are most closely approximate one minute of spoken German text in normal pace.

Even rougher:
120 words are most closely approximate one minute of spoken German text in normal pace.

You can avoid problems beforehand, by reading the text yourself in your preferred pace and tonality on the video and check if it matches the timing.

 

New language version / translated videos

If your text has to be spoken on an existing video in a different language, care about the text length during translation. German texts are often longer than foreign texts. Maybe the text has to get changed a bit during translation, to make it match the original video length or the video has to get adjusted to the new text length.

It is not helpful to compare the character number of the original script (for example English) with the German script, because in many languages lots of characters are not spoken out, while in German mostly all characters and syllables are spoken out completely.
The total number of characters is not decisive, but that each single sentence contains round about the same number of syllables.

 

Lip-synch / dubbing and editing

If your text has to be spoken on the lip movements of a human or an animated character, you need lip-synch speaking (and editing). I don’t offer this from my home-studio, but can come to an outside studio of your choice.
Dubbing recordings require a synchronic translation script. This cares for the content, as well as for the timing, pauses and breathes.

 

Edit yourself

Of course you can also order a bunch of unedited takes and edit your own perfect version. This gives you more creative freedom, but also more work.

 

Audio processing

Audio processing is standardly not included and is usually done by the principal (or one of his cooperation partners). The recording you receive has been recorded in an isolated speaker booth and offers a dry, clean sound without echo. These recordings have to get processed afterwards with equalizers, filters and lots more to adjust them for their purpose for a professional production. As a result (depending on the filter) they might become smoother, bolder, more advertising, more reverberant, rounder, electronically, louder…

A detailed audio processing furthermore takes care for details, such as single consonants, that have been too sharp or got swallowed, as well as smack and crack sounds in the mouth and lots more.

If cou can’t / don’t want to process the audio in-house, I can offer this with the help of my cooperation partner Sonic Sparks in a full service.

DIRECTION | Which expectations do I / my client have?

Direction by talent

If the budget is tight or the exacting in nuanes not too big, most times it is sufficient, when the talent records and edits with his/her own direction. Therefor you should give him/her concrete informations about the tonality and pace beforehand (check “Vision”).

 

Live-Recording-Session

If you / your client has a higher exact expectation about specific nuances, how this or that word should be spoken, where there is a short break and so on, it is helpful to attend the recording to avoid later revisions. You (and your client) can connect live via Skype, SLP and more to the recording, give input, try varieties and more, without being in the studio yourself.
This live session might be a bit more expensive than a recording with own direction. Nevertheless the results are much closer to your / your client’s idea, because of your / your client’s direct influence.

 

Meeting in the studio

Meeting in the studio with the client, the production and the audio engineer, who manages the recording, is the best option to produce the perfect audio recording for your project, because all parties involved are present, can discuss, try out and help shaping the final cut. The talent also benefits, because he/she can concentrate completely on his/her task and doesn’t have to direct and do the audio engineering at the same time.

REVISIONS | What if I need some changes afterwards?

Revisions are standardly not included and corrections have to be refund additional.

Exceptions are distinct mistakes of the talent, like wrong / missing text, editing / export mistakes, extremely slow or high pace without any advise to do so, completely different tonality than ordered… Nuanced interpretation variables are no mistakes (check “Vision”).

 

All other revisions have to get payed. But just the extra effort will be charged. The license fee is payable just once per license.

These other corrections might be, for example:

  • text changes or additions after recording
  • wishes for specific operative words, breaks, pronouncations and suchlike, that haven’t been communicated before recording
  • changes in tonality or pace
  • changes after a live-directed session

 

Recordings from live directed sessions are always considered as approved unless it is about a technical mistake in the recording which has been detemermined after files have been delivered.

If you assume before hiring already, that you will have one revision, I can make this part of the offer from the very beginning. This way it will be a bit cheaper, but has to get payed anyhow, no matter if you need the revision in the end or not.

Revisions remain revisions, when they get ordered within 14 days after file delivery.

NO-GOs & EXCLUSIVITY | Do you speak everything?

Exclusivity

I am the station-voice for the radio “UnserDing” by “Saarländischer Rundfunk”. For this reason I am not allowed to speak radio or TV commercials which have solely been produced for the region “Saarland” in Germany.
National commercials, as well as all other regions are not effected by the exclusivity.

 

For what / who I don’t speak:

political parties / canvassing

religious texts (not meant are texts for religious organisations, aid groups or education, but texts with religious content)

pornographic content, phone sex hotlines

sexist, racist or any kind of discriminating content

weapon and war industry

 

It might happen occasionally that I refuse texts or films for personal, ethical or morally reasons or because of the client behind the production.
If you need critical content to be spoken or your client is currently criticized in public eye, it can be helpful to send the text or to name your client beforehand to play it safe.

Still got some questions? Call me or write me a mail. I’m happy to hear from you!