Our listening preferences range just about as far and wide as our speaking and recording choices.
Some voice actors record while wearing headphones, some record without the cans, but listen back with them, others listen through a set of studio monitors (of all shapes, sizes, costs, and configurations), and among the many other alternatives in this list, are those voice-actors who mostly listen through their computer speakers.
That’s all fine and good, but the big question is: HOW IS THE AUDITION BEING HEARD?…THROUGH WHAT MEDIUM?
Among the choices here:
Audition is downloaded with others and heard driving home on the car speakers from a smartphone, tablet, or mp3 player
Audition is heard on the producer/agent/client’s desktop computer speakers
Audition is heard through a supreme-quality audio engineer’s expensive audio board with mega studio speakers
Audition is hear through a set of studio monitors comparable to yours
Audition is heard on earbud headphones from a smartphone, tablet, or mp3 player
….and other options in a broad realm of makes, models, frequency ranges, spectrums, and environments.
Is it worth it even planning for this?
I’m sure Dan Lenard and George Whittam have some distinct thoughts about this, but let me tell you what David Goldberg — the owner of Edge Studio in NYC — told me recently in a phone consult. He produces and listens to a ton of auditions, and I believe his thoughts on this have merit.
When the folks at Edge Studio finish a mix, they typically listen to it on multiple pairs of speakers: studio monitors, standard computer speakers, headphones, and cheap desktop speakers. They listen for a fair representation of the voice on all those output devices to make sure some voice track doesn’t get swallowed-up or get overwhelmed by production music or production effects on ANY of the speaker sets.
David believes that a good many casting agents listen on their computer speakers. Computer speakers and car speakers are tweaked to increase the signal on the top end, and the low end. If you’re so lucky as to have your audition being heard by good studio monitors (the kind you have in your studio…right?), they are pretty flat, and are not built to boost the hi or low end.
Bottom line — according to Goldberg: “Voice actors need to think about things from their client’s perspective (because that’s who they want to satisfy). Also from the end-listener’s perspective (because that’s who their client wants to satisfy). When the voice actor does that, they’ll get abundant work … and that will satisfy them.”
Make sense? It did to me, and I’m actually starting to listen differently to my auditions…once on headphones, once once on computer speakers, and once on my Rokit5’s.
What are you doing?