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April 24, 2020 / Randy Coppinger

Remote Voice Direction

What’s the best way for voice actors to work with voice directors, producers, and others when recording remotely? Here are some options to consider.


Self Direct. No one actually connects with you live while you’re recording. The actor directs oneself, sends the recordings, and gets feedback afterward for any pickups. This frees the actor to work at a time of their choosing, and wait for a passing plane. There is no call, so the actor can focus on acting and recording.

Separate. The system used to record, and the system used for the call are not integrated. The production team attends virtually by phone, Skype, Zoom, etc. but the recording system simply records without being connected to the call directly. The most simple version of this is: the actor holds a phone next to their face while performing into their microphone and recording on their computer. Why keep them separate? It can be relatively simple to setup, and if something goes wrong technically the actor only has to concentrate on the one that’s problematic: the recorder, or the call.

Some producers prefer to receive the audio in a full bandwidth format, such as WAV, recorded by the voice actor. In this case the focus is audio fidelity.

Others prefer to record the audio directly thru the call system. Skipping the upload and recording directly is quicker, which is important for tight turnarounds. Only a few call systems sound good enough to use directly, including Bodalgo Call, Audio Movers, and various flavors of Source-Connect. This approach turns the call system into the recording path.

Integrated. The system used to record is connected to the call. When the actor speaks into their recording microphone, the production folks hear the audio from the same microphone. Setting this up isn’t as simple as the options above, but it does offer some important advantages. (1) If there is distortion or a plosive on mic, the production folks hear it and can ask for a retake based on that tech problem. (2) If the production folks want to hear a take after it is recorded, the actor can play directly out of their recording software into the call. (3) It can simplify communication during the call; no holding a phone off to the side with your hand the whole time, no second mic to address, etc.


Leave a Comment
  1. Ty Ford / Apr 24 2020 10:08 am

    Systems like Source Connect allow bi-directional communications within a session.
    If the producer trusts the technology. A simple less expensive system using a standard phone line also works. The talent uses the phone for producer feedback and records remotely, then forwards the files via whatever.

    • Randy Coppinger / Apr 24 2020 11:29 am

      Exactly. Source-Connect and a standard phone would both qualify as Call Systems as described in my writing. But the phone doesn’t have enough audio quality to use for Separate – Client Record, or Integrated set ups.


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