Saturday, 28 April 2012

Voice over News for April 2012

Here is what our team of voice over artists have been up to in April 2012:

Mike recorded a voice over for a BFBS video for the Ministry of Defence, Marcus voiced a Landrover advert for Mood FM, Jordan, James K is the new radio station imaging voice for UCB, Matt H recorded more voiceovers for videos for BillyOh sheds and Ricky voiced three Team Prevent UK conference videos as well as videos for Kee Safety International and Lockheed Martin.

Glenda recorded a voice over for a video for I-Salon Software, Sally voiced a patient guide to the drug Colomycin, Andrea recorded another voice over for the LifeCash financial planning app and Corrie voiced on-hold voice prompts for Breakeryard.

Amongst our International Voice over Artists, Christoph has recorded a voice over in German for an Ipad app for Bowers and Wilkins,

Dave C voiced a commercial for Image Furniture being aired on Mood FM in Jordan, Kiko recorded a voiceover for a rally in Cancun, Mexico, Michel recorded a French voice over for an Ipad app for Bowers and Wilkins and Maire lent her Southern Irish voice to a training video for Tesco.

We also made a Voiceover Showreel for Sally from Suffolk and we carried out audio production for two web videos for

Saturday, 14 April 2012

How to use Skype in recording voiceover sessions

We'd heard a lot about it. For a long time.And to be honest we thought that our voiceover and audio production business had no need of it especially as the quality seemed so poor.

My only dealings with Skype had been with - what we later found out to be - an audio producer calling us using a Skype phone to give us a voiceover job but the line kept cutting out and he had the nerve to say OUR phone wasn't working!

Anyway, as more and more people are using Skype to direct voiceover sessions - and it would be a free way to cope with international voiceover sessions - we thought we'd invest in it. Which we did.

But could we get it to work? We tried and tried and tried. I guess every voiceover studio set up is different so it was very hard to work why it wasn’t working properly: we could either record a voiceover but not hear the director on Skype or we could hear the client on Skype but the Adobe Audion would also record them - neither of which worked for us! As I am sure you will understand.

I even got round our local PC expert who said the only way around it was to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7 but that would mean that our lovely new super-dooper sound cards in both PCs wouldn’t work. Arrgh.

Anyway to cut a long story short, we fiddled about with all the sound cards on the PCs and used a cheap old pair of speakers to listen to the caller on Skype - while maintaining the audio either from the voiceover booth or on ISDN through the main speakers. So now the client can chat away happily on Skype and not get recorded.

Phew. Another crisis averted. And our service to our voiceover clients improved.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A National Insurance battle for Voiceover Artists

Running a voiceover and audio production business is stressful enough on a day-to-day basis and then sometimes you get a completely random phone call to raise those stress levels.

We'll leave the name of the TV company out of the picture, but some girl - and I use the word girl deliberately - rang us up asking for the National Insurance number of one of our voiceover artists who had recently completed a voiceover job for them. We don't keep this sort of information on file as we don’t need it. But she really didn’t like it when I said that neither do we hold such information - and even if we did we would not pass it on.

The caller then said that they had to deduct national insurance from a payment which was due to us. Fortunately she wasn’t really on the ball as the invoice had already been settled in full. A few minutes later I received this email which had been sent to all her colleagues:


I have just spoken to Ricky Salmon at Big Fish Ltd. I asked him for an NI number as we have to deduct NI from all our Voiceover Artists. He was very rude and unhelpful and seems to think he knows more about what we pay and do not pay to the Government than we do. Unfortunately we have already paid the invoice in question and he said he was not prepared to divulge that information. I have informed him that if we do not have NI numbers no invoices will be paid to him in the future. I suggest we give this company a wide birth and do not use artists booked under them.

My reply:

I simply said that I do not have that information and even if I did have it I wouldn’t divulge it as you do not need it.

You should not deduct NI when paying another Limited Company as a Limited Company does not pay NI, individuals do.

I have already had this discussion with another company who finally agreed that they were mis-interpreting the law and refunded the NI. Therefore I will not give out this information as without it you cannot deduct NI. I am acting on information given to me by my accountant.

After a worrying night - thinking that I had over-reacted and maybe waited a day or so before sending my reply, the following day I received this email from someone older and wiser:

One of my programme managers has made me aware of correspondence between you and our accounts department which took place yesterday. I’m in agreement with you re the NI deductions but that isn’t the reason I’m contacting you directly. I’m basically concerned that a member of accounts could send a circular advising us not to use your services when it’s actually an editorial decision as opposed to accounts having a personal issue.

Phew. Although an apology would have been nice. Altough the line "he seems to think he knows more about what we pay and do not pay to the Government than we do" still rankles. Even if I actually do.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Voiceover and Audio Production News for March 2012

Here is what our team of voiceover artists – and our BigFish Media audio production team - got up to in March 2012:

The National Trust hired our recording studio to record a voiceover for several commercials for transmission on Heart FM. We made Voiceover Showreels for Leadership Coach Ann Lewis from the Isle of Wight and Oxford University undergraduate Ziad Samaha. We also gave Voice Training to Christine from Surrey.

For the male voiceover artists, Ricky voiced web videos for Simponi and the drug Remicade which treats Crohn's Disease, Steffan recorded a voiceover for the Bite job search website, Matt H voiced more videos for BillyOh sheds, Brian voiced a video for Brolly Caddy, Matthew recorded a voiceover for a web video for Epic Trading Services and Paul S voiced for Mike provided the voice of a bespectacled green pig for the Helms UK website, James K voiced an advert aired on Mood FM, Mark W recorded a voiceover for a web video for SHL Central and Alec voiced another web video for Erwinaze.

For the female voiceover artists, Andrea recorded a web video for Life Cash, Sarah J voiced for Rosneft, Natalie recorded voiceovers for two web videos for Hunter Wellington Boots and Michelle recorded on-hold voiceovers for Vauxhall Motor Insurance.

And finally for the international voiceover artists Luis recorded a voiceover for a video for Fusion, Adam voiced a commercial for OFFTEC for Mood FM in Jordan and Aneta recorded a voiceover for Reward Gateway.