No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. Our website is a lot different since you last checked! Here at Metro Audio & Video, we redesigned our site with a user-friendly navigation, layout and features to make your experience with us a great one. Our primary goal was to help you understand how to hire a voice actor for foreign language and English voice over projects. Because let’s face it – there’s not much information out there to guide you in the right direction. So we put ourselves in your shoes. You – the busy professional who’s tasked with finding voice actors for your company’s latest project. You’ve never hired a voice talent before, and you don’t know where to begin. Let us show you!

We went through the steps that you might take when trying to hire a voice actor. A quick online search brought up dozens of freelance marketplaces and voiceover search sites. Sound familiar? Immediately, we felt overwhelmed with thousands of voice talents to choose from. But we know you. You don’t want just any voice. And you don’t want to work with someone who will underdeliver or who will barely respond to you. You want to work with a highly experienced and trustworthy voice talent agency – one that will make YOU stand out for a job well done.

Well, that’s us!

Working with a voice over agency will help you be heard.

We’ve been a foreign language voice over and audio production agency in New York City for over two decades. We’re experts when it comes to the nuances of the industry. Our success depends on our voice actors, and that’s why we only work with the best.

A foreign language voice over for Gibson

While we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the biggest brand names in the world, we’ve also helped countless small and medium-sized businesses. We also work with many of our fellow GALA member companies. From e-learning and gaming to TV shows, advertisements and multimedia, our team specializes in all types of industries in over 150 languages. 

That said, over the course of the next few blogs we’ll demonstrate the steps involved when you hire a voice actor through Metro Audio & Video. Let us help you understand the voice over process and have a stress-free project! Here are the first three things to prepare before starting:

1. Know your target audience.

If you’re reaching out globally, we advise that you know in advance who is going to hear you and how you’d like to be heard. This will help navigate your project in the right direction. 

Each voice over talent has a different character, age and tone, and it helps to think about your ideal talent before beginning your project. When you work with us, we’ll send you a wide range of voices to review from our vast library of voice talents. We‘ll also recommend the right fit for your project.

2. Before you hire a voice actor, have a script ready.

Writing, translating (if necessary for a foreign language project) and finalizing your script is the first step in any voice over project. As your writing team works on the script, ensure that they add any performance notes they want the voice talent to know. For example, they may want to tell the talent to pause after a particular line or to emphasize a word. These notes can change the style of the performance and how your message is communicated, so it’s important to include them. Your writing team should also note any specific terms that must be pronounced in English or your target language. If you’re not sure, we have a team of language directors who can assist you with this. 

If you need your script translated and localized into a foreign language, we can provide those services too. Every client is different, and we’re here to help no matter what your unique needs are.

3. Determine whether you need your project timed or untimed.

It’s important to know whether your project is timed or untimed. We’ve provided samples of both types of scripts below. As you can see in the first graphic, a timed script includes timestamps that correspond with a video. For example, if you need a Chinese Mandarin voice over for an English video, you’ll want to provide us with a timestamped script. If you don’t use us for translation services, be sure that the translator you’re working with has access to your video. This way, he or she can make sure the translation is short enough to be in sync with what is going on in the video. If the translation is too long, the voice talent will have to speak too quickly to be understood, and the audio will be out of sync with the video.

An untimed voice over project does not require syncing to a video. You can see an example in the second script below. E-learning courses are typically untimed. Phone prompts are also a good example of an untimed project.

Example of an untimed voice over script

Example of a timed voice over script

What questions do you have about how to hire a voice actor?

We know you may already have questions at this point, so please contact us and ask away! In our next blog, we’ll be discussing how to choose a voice over talent – so stay tuned. We have much more information to help you with your voice over project coming right up.

– The Metro AV Team