Recently I was asked to provide a quote for some dialogue to be recorded onto a new on line game. The dialogue in question was fairly simple, but it would be fair to say that the post production would take hours, so naturally I factored that into my quote.
The client’s reaction was fairly typical, so I was not overly surprised. “We’re just debating whether we should spend the money on a voice artist or simply record the stuff ourselves”.
Now it’s all too easy in situations like this to gripe on about how people don’t respect our industry, think we charge to much and blah blah snore snore dribble, but I’m not going to do that, because the more I thought about it, the more I felt his comment was actually quite reasonable.
You see, for every single task that we need doing we are faced with two choices – to either pay someone to do it for us or save the money and do it ourselves. It really comes down to the degree of expertise that we feel we require.
I can drive my car to the local car wash, leave them the keys and come back 20 minutes later to a lovely clean car or I can grab a bucket and a sponge and get busy. It certainly won’t be as professional a job, but the car will be clean.
Putting up a shelf? I can grab my drill, some raw plugs and a spirit level and have that done in no time. Want a new kitchen installed? Sorry – not my area.
Getting a haircut? Takes me 2 minutes with a wet razor. Costs my wife a LOT more!
And so you can see a pattern forming. Yes you certainly can record your own voice over. You can pick up a half decent USB microphone for under £150 and a lot of the audio software that’s out there is free to download. You may well have a good voice for the job too. In fact, many clients send me guide tracks which cause me to question why they actually didn’t do the job themselves!
Then again, perhaps you want the voice of someone who has been trained on mic technique, who takes the time to understand the script and how the voice features within the overall production. Perhaps you would prefer the services of someone who has spent years, maybe even decades perfecting their skills, whilst still training to get them even better than they already are.
The best restaurants are expensive, but you can always eat at home. The best designer clothes are expensive, but you can always shop at Primark. The best voiceovers are reasonably priced for the exceptional job that they do, but of course, you could always try and do it yourself.