David Vickery

Voice shopping 

David Vickery Silver VOX in the BBC2 studio.

It’s just a little over 14 years since I became an online voice-over artist. Much has changed over that period – there are now many more thousands of us clamouring for attention.  

Previously I would have suggested that recording voiceovers was a by-product of acting or broadcasting, certainly my own route was a combination of both. But now the voice-over industry is just that – an industry in its own right with courses, gurus, conferences and award shows all open to individuals pursuing their passion, many of whom have no experience of stage or broadcast. Which isn’t to say they don’t excel at what they do.

So, is this a good or bad thing? 

Choice is always good. But making that choice can be overwhelming, time consuming and often headache provoking!

 Agents used to be the only route to making a hire which meant a series of filters were already in place by the time a voice was presented to a client. Competency and reliability were for the most part guaranteed. And only the most suitable voices were put forward for any job, typically three to five potentials.  

Online, there are few filters and it is the client – who has to trawl through a myriad of sites before being able to draw up a shortlist. And then, there is a question of technical quality. The voice quality on a demo reel may vary considerably from what is delivered from a home studio as the reel may well have been produced elsewhere. 

So, when selecting your voice, I would suggest you hone down to no more than five options and request a bespoke sample from each. A script read of no more than 45” is perfectly reasonable for most projects and most likely, you’ll be able to judge in the first few seconds whether the voice sits well, or not.

And to ensure technical quality, ALWAYS request that the bespoke sample is recorded in the same studio as the one to be used on the final recording.

By this route, you’re not just getting the voice you want, you’re buying peace of mind.