Cool or irritating? External studios

In this blog Lonneke talks about her experience with external studios.

A while back I had to go all the way to picturesque Veldhoven for a voice-over job! (about 1.5 hours away from me). It was great, driving again with my Renault Clio of 1994. I had to record some radio commercials. With the client and of course the studio technician.

How does that work, such a job?

I want to talk about how many jobs it takes in practice when you can record in an external studio.
Many voice-overs think it's a terrible part: you arrive at a studio and the script isn't final yet. Or it's final, but you immediately see that it would have been better to buy a minute of airtime instead of 20 seconds for this piece of text. You have to squeeze 600 words into 20 seconds. Which is never possible. Or you have, for example, translations from English into Dutch that don't make any sense at all.

Little secret...

Now it takes a relatively large amount of time to put the texts in order and actually you are doing work that the client should have done, but very honestly? Secretly, I always like to think along with you and to rework the texts in such a way that they do fit. Without losing the essence. Tinkering with 'pay-offs' and 'call-to-actions'.
This is called 'Wordsmithing', I learned that day in Veldhoven. Super cool, right? Suddenly you're a wordsmith. That's great.
10 out of 10 times this thinking along is also greatly appreciated.
Because you a voice-over I do have the experience of what it actually sounds like when you read it. That written language, for example, is very different from spoken language. That some sentences run much more smoothly when you just turn them over. That points and commas, rest and 'feeling' cost a lot of seconds and therefore pennies. And that things such as: go quickly to anotherwebsite dot com, nowadays really have no added value anymore but are just good for the rhyme.
I love it. I like recording at home but I like recording on location even more. Even though it takes me 10 times as much time as when I do it at home, I really like the interaction and live interaction with the sound engineers and the clients. At times like this I always realise extra well what kind of a great job I actually have!

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