Frequently Asked Questions
Before contacting us, please browse our FAQ.
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive
How does it work?
If just a straight voice over recording is required, then the voice over talent is directed via headphones from the studio control room. This is the case for most narration-to-video where synchronisation is unimportant; the same is true for on hold message recording, podcast recording, audiobook recording and radio advertising voice over recording.
If sound-to-picture, the addition of an in-booth monitor provides playback of digital video files, allowing for total audio-visual synchronisation.
I want to direct the session but can't make it to your studio
So your voiceover artiste is booked, and you want to listen in and/or direct the session from elsewhere. Not a problem, you have a few options:
- Dial in: Call us via telephone and we’ll patch you into the studio. You will be able to communicate directly with the voiceover artiste in the tracking room and also the engineer in the control room.
- SKYPE: As above, but call in using SKYPE. You will also be able to see the voiceover artiste.
- ISDN/IP: If you have access to a studio with ISDN facilities, or have Audio TX software, you can not only communicate directly with the artiste and the engineer at our studio, but the transmission quality will be good enough for you to record the session there. We can also record the session here as backup, or if you need the full uncompressed native files for your project. We can also initiate Skype video links at the same time.
I want to direct the session but need other directors located elsewhere to also contribute
You (as director) may wish to attend the session at our studio to work with the voiceover talent, but you need input from other directors/contributors who are located somewhere else in the world. Or maybe you are all located at various locations in the world.
Not a problem. We can initiate a group SKYPE link. You all independently call into our SKYPE account and we set up a group discussion. All parties can then see and hear each other, communicate with the voiceover artiste and the engineer in the control room.
We need to record the session at another studio, but the voiceover talent is local to your studio
No need to send your voiceover artiste to London if they are in the Plymouth area. We can hook up with another similarly equipped studio anywhere in the world and the session can be recorded there. This is done with specialist software via an ISDN or IP link. learn more
However, although the quality over ISDN / IP is broadcast quality (effectively achieving 128k over ISDN or 320K (or higher) over IP), the best quality will always be with the native uncompressed files (48k, 24bit WAV = 1152k) although in reality you’d be hard pushed to notice any difference between 320k and 1152k. We can also (or instead) record locally and send you the files via FTP immediately after the session.
What Codecs can you connect with over ISDN?
A Codec (or Coder & Decoder) is the way that audio is processed, transmitted and reprocessed at the receiving end.
of course nothing is quite that simple, and there are multiple codec systems out there, many of which won’t talk to one another, so both studios need to have the same codec for it all to work.
Fortunately at April Media Productions, we support All ISDN codecs, including:
- CDQ Prima
- Telos Zephyr
MPEG2, MPEG3, G.722, G.711 & APTx
We use Source Connect (connecting via a web browser) and also Audio TX Communicator which can connect over IP if the remote studio also has the same software. This enables a much higher quality transmission of data.
NOTE: For transmission over IP, the remote studio MUST ensure that firewalls are disabled or configured to allow it to pass through, and that any routers/hubs allow port 5003.
Can we view pictures for a remote VO to picture /ADR session?
Yes. This can be achieved by timecode. We can send SMPTE (LTC) to you down a channel of our ISDN line so if you (or your chosen remote studio) have similar functionality with a SMPTE>MTC converter you can view what the talent is voicing in our studio from your location.
What do I need to do in advance of a booked session?
Planning is everything with Voiceover session, especially when linking up with other studios over ISDN/IP and even more-so when for sync to picture. We want your session to run as smoothly as possible, and we don’t want any surprises on the day either, so it’s vital we know exactly what you need your setup to be (i.e. Voiceover to be synced to picture, with remote direction via phone patch. Recording not to be made remotely)
For ISDN/IP Sessions, with so many different codecs in use, we always try to do a test at least one day before the session. We will then know which settings work best.
Please send scripts, videos, backing or guide tracks, running orders and contact information to us at least the day before if possible. That way, if there is a problem, we can resolve it before the talent arrives. We will also get a chance to look through the video and set up visual cues for the talent and for us, making the whole session run much smoother.
We will relax your artists, guests and production staff and encourage the best performances from them.
Can we run a line test with you prior to the session?
Yes, and we highly recommend we do so prior to your session for sessions over IP/ISDN in good time before the talent arrives at our studio… preferably at least a day or so beforehand. We can arrange a mutually convenient time to run the test so you can check connection and audio quality is as expected. We are often available until late evening if needs be to do this subject to studio availability.
How long to you keep the recorded files for?
All of our output is backed up and archived for at least 12 months at no extra charge to the client. We do retain all projects and have copies of all projects going back over 20 years!