One of the biggest areas of accountability for a professional voice actor is meeting client deadlines.
The longer and more complex the project, the more helpful it can be to hire an audio editor, but how do you manage the workflow when you do?
Audio Editor Alex DeWees and I have a couple of quick answers:
1) Constant & Open Communication
You need to be clear and proactive with your editor when you deliver audio to them. What state is it in? Does it need to be edited for sound quality? Do bad takes and bloopers need to be removed? Does it need to be checked for script accuracy? All of the above? What deadline do you need the audio editor to meet in order to deliver polished content to the client on time?
There are many possible options for how you can set up your particular workflow with your editor, and taking the time on the front end to set that system up will save you time (and your sanity) on the back end.
2) Be Technically Ready
Knowing how to label, share, save, and comment on files during the workflow is another key to making sure the client receives five-star customer service. Although not the only method, Alex and I utilize a shared Dropbox folder network and, within each folder, also label files with special suffixes to make it easy to see where the file is in the process at a glance. And we back up all of this technology with email, Skype, and Messenger.
Alex and I had the opportunity to put our system to the test last week when a client changed their deadline from one week to two days! With our feet to the fire, we successfully emerged on the other side with a true sense of accomplishment, a delighted client, and a bonus fee to boot.
Although the expedited timeline was certainly not easy or “fun,” it was made much less stressful by knowing that I had support, help, and an objective ear. In truth, I would not have been able to both narrate that many files and also edit them within the time we had, so when I say I couldn’t work at the level I do without my editor, I mean it. I also was able to continue work on other client projects, book a commercial, and be in bed before midnight.
I hope that when your time comes to expand your business and work with an editor (and kudos for those of you who already do!), you will feel prepared and more knowledgeable about how to successfully manage your workflows to meet those client deadlines.
Happy recording, my friends!
Alex DeWees is a Freelance Audio Engineer, who offers tech support and editing services to Voice Actors working in a home studio environment. Alex began work as an Audio Editor ten years ago, and after touring the country as a professional musician, graduated from the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Phoenix, Arizona. He now resides in the Chicagoland area, where he works with voice talent around the world to create professional home audio.