Spotlight on: Recording From Home

1st May 2023

With more voiceover work than ever being done in home studios, it’s more important than ever to learn the art of self-direction. And with this checklist you can make sure you’re prepped to direct yourself to a great performance, every single session. So get this taped on your booth wall and take a moment to tick off each step of the checklist before you begin recording.

  • Have you spent time preparing the text, reading it out loud and ironing out any inflection or pronunciation queries?
  • Is your mic positioning ok?
  • Is the recording level ok?
  • Is the recording noisy?
  • Are there any plosives?
  • Is the recording clipped?
  • Have you slated your recording correctly? (if necessary)
  • Are you hydrated enough?
  • How are your projection levels?
  • Is your dictation good? (Can you make out all words clearly?)
  • Are you delivering your best performance?
  • Are you meeting the brief? (Throughout & alternate versions)
  • Have you delivered the script accurately? (Including pronunciation)
  • Do your alternate voices sound distinct from each other?
  • Does it sound like you’re reading?
  • Is your delivery too fast or too slow?

Editing and Delivering

You will most likely always be asked for a test or a meeting with the client prior to the record just to check your set up, so any specific problems or questions can usually be ironed out then.

You shouldn't be required to manually edit your takes when you record (if you are a separate editing fee will be sought), but with longer jobs you may want to use the punch and roll method. This method includes clapping or making another LOUD and DISTINCT noise after every mistake or disruption that you hear and then continuing after a couple of seconds (this makes the recording line spike so the editor can find it on the tracks easily without listening to the whole thing!) - we've found this to be the easiest editing method to get your head around.

As a general rule too, it’s always best to make it as easy as possible for the editor, so especially for audiobooks save each chapter as a file etc that makes it digestible for them.

Unless you’ve been in direct contact with the producer or editor, then send your completed recordings to the agent who booked the job in for you and they will forward along.

For more information about home studios, have a look at Spotlight's information here.

Happy recording!