Friendly platforms for online directed voiceover sessions
An online directed voiceover session means having a high-quality audio connection over the internet to let a client direct a voice actor as if they were in the same place. An online directed voiceover session connects the voiceover talent with an engineering studio and clients. It’s multiple locations online at the same time, to direct and record a script for a creative project.
Online directed sessions are used for all types of audio and video production and post-production. From public-facing projects like films, advertising and corporate videos to internally facing projects like corporate training or sales presentations. And more.
It’s a relatively simple concept. A client directs the voice actor. The voice actor performs the script. Recording is either remotely done by the audio engineer or locally by the voice actor. There can be more or less people and responsibilities, but this is the basic idea.
Below are great options for sessions online.
Platforms for online sessions with remote recording by an audio engineer:
My ‘go to’ platform is Source-Stream, from Source-Connect.
I use Source-Stream almost weekly. Why is it my ‘go to’ platform? Clients use it! At least that’s why I started with it. Source-Connect is a very easy to use app. It’s relatively low-latency, which can vary based on internet providers. They offer a bridge to ISDN if needed. Finally, they have terrific support and it’s affordable.
Per Source-Elements the parent company, “Automatic Network Configuration is … Source-Stream, a new feature that allows for global, low-latency firewall traversal for your connections.” Source-Elements has been in business since 2005. My experience with clients worldwide is that most audio producers use Source-Connect, while some still use ISDN.
I highly recommended the lesser known SessionLinkPRO.
I have only used this a few times, but it was even easier to use than Source-Connect. It is used through your browser. I experimented with it both as a VO actor and as an audio producer. Pretty straight-forward and I didn’t feel any latency. I got the sense that for someone not expert at audio, this might be a viable option for a remote or online directed session. My wish is that more pros start checking out this little darling of a platform.
Additional platforms allowing online directed voiceover sessions (as of 2020)
I have found out about but not yet used Connection Open. Recommended by others, I’m looking forward to testing it out and trialing it with any willing producers.
I have trialed and have an account with ipDTL. Also recommended by others, I haven’t used ipDTL professionally yet because no clients have asked for it.
Platforms for directed sessions with local recording done by me, the voice actor:
Many clients prefer me to handle the recording locally. This again is a simple arrangement. The clients and the voice actor are not in the same location, so you want an online solution.
Primarily I prefer web-conferencing services like Zoom, and then WebEx. I’ve used both with much success and little to zero latency nor interference with my local audio interfaces. Multiple people log into the session from multiple locations.
My last choice but still functional options are a VOIP like Skype, or a Telephone ‘patch’. This is a phone call into my studio. My client won’t hear the same audio fidelity as all of the other services above, but it gets the job done.This is my last choice because I sometimes run into issues or interference with my audio interfaces. Skype specifically doesn’t like connections longer than an hour!
These findings are based on several years of experience in the trenches, and I’m happy to share with you.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have questions.