You Are The Jack of All Trades...Audio Editing
When you run your own business it is up to you to get everything done. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it every job rests upon your shoulders. Marketing, client management and support, IT responsibilities, ALL of it. This doesn't even take into account what your actual business does. Each one of those items, along with the countless items I haven't mentioned, deserve time all on their own. For now, let's focus on one thing that is particularly specific to voice actors....
Many voice actors do not have to worry about this aspect of the job. They walk into a studio, record what they need to record, then walk out.* Any and all post production work on the audio is handled by sound engineers and editors. Hours of work are put into these audio files before they are layered into the final project. There are a number of voice actors whose job begins and ends with the actual recording. That's awesome. That is where I want to be in my career as a voice actor. To be able to record the piece and walk away.
*I know many of these voice actors I am talking about still record their own auditions from time to time and they know how to edit and do what they need to do to make the audio sound "pretty." My underlying point is that most of their paying jobs, be it a cartoon character, a narrator of an audio book, or a commercial spot does not require any more from them than their voice.
I am not there yet. Many other voice actors are not there yet either. So along with wearing all the other hats that is required of us, we must also wear the hat of a sound engineer. We have to figure out how to edit our own audio as well as do any post production work that may be required. For example, ACX.com requires all files be in a specific format with certain specifications to be acceptable. If you want to audition for audio books on ACX, you need to know how to get your files into that format and to meet those specifications if you want to be successful there.
Yes, you could shop this out to a freelancer but you will need to take into account the amount you are making for the project and how much of that you are willing to spend on editing. If you decide to do it yourself you have to be sure you factor the time required to edit into the overall project time. I use this rule of thumb:
If you have 1 hour of audio, it will take you at least 2 hours to edit that audio.
Imagine you are working on a 700 page audio book. The time adds up quickly. And here it is why I wanted to talk about this today. For a lot people thinking about becoming voice actors there is little regard given to this part of the job. Either because they dismiss it as easy or not required, or because they think they will be landing gigs in LA or NY right out of the gate anyway and others will do it for them. The most common I've seen is people just not realizing it's needed. But as you can see it can rapidly become the most time consuming part of the job.
So read up on it. Find YouTube videos about it. I will be putting some things I've learned along the way up here on the blog soon. It is an integral part of the job and it's best to learn as much as you can as soon as you can. Good luck!
Leave a comment or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks again!