Voice Over Auditions: Past, Present and Future

Voice over auditions are a voice artist’s main job. Both neophytes and established talents must continuously undergo this grueling process.

What are voice over auditions and what types of auditions are there? What trends are taking hold of the industry? Crucially, what does this all mean for a client who is looking for voice over talent?

What are Voice Over Auditions?

Voice over auditions essentially vet voice talent and find out if they are right for a particular voice over job.

In Detail: Voice Over Auditions vs. Voice Acting Auditions

Are voice over auditions the same thing as voice acting auditions? In principle, yes, the idea is to evaluate a voice artist’s ability to take on a voice role. Both auditions may take place in-person or remotely. The recommendations for a voice artist (before, during and after the audition) are essentially the same.

Where they differ, however, is in the subject matter of the audition. Voice over auditions run an ample gamut. They concern themselves with finding and vetting talent to take on roles such as voice over announcer (in a subway system, for example) or voice over narrator in a documentary etc.

Voice acting auditions, on the other hand, are about finding talent primarily for dubbing films and television.

Auditioning Online

The greatest trend in voice over auditions is towards online auditioning. Online voice over auditions demand several things of voice artists, including:

  • Setting up a home mini-studio. It is crucial that voice artists be able to submit quality samples. To this end, voice artists should try to set up a quiet, soundproofed space, complete with a microphone, pop shield, XLR cable, mixer/interface, computer and recording software.
  • Learning the technical aspects. Voice artists should master the technology of recording, sending and receiving audio files online. It is essential that talent learn to send files rapidly when voice over auditions come up.
  • Training. Only a well-trained voice artist will be able to tackle the most demanding voice over auditions. Training programs are thus very important. If these are not quite affordable, then books on technique, YouTube videos, joining a choir, taking improve classes or acting in student films may be useful.

Auditioning In-Person

In-person voice over auditions have been the traditional way of selecting talent. Today, this is still the case with very high profile jobs. This type of auditioning demands certain things of voice artists:

  • Controlling Nerves. In-person auditioning demands the physical presence of voice talent. This is evidently taxing on voice artists. They must learn to handle the anxiety and fatigue which comes with such method of auditioning.
  • Preparing Properly. In-person auditioning is an active, strenuous affair. Voice artists must remember to eat well, hydrate, dress comfortably and to be punctual.
  • Overcoming Rejection. Voice artists must remember that rejection is very common and not to be taken personally. They should keep auditioning and strive to do authentic auditions, without fear of rejection. They should showcase their talents and not second-guess themselves or their particular strengths.

Remote Voice Over Auditions: Towards the Online Marketplace

Clients seeking voice talent and fretting over voice over auditions need to understand the trend towards remote online auditioning.

Voice over auditions were a convoluted process in the past. Most voice talent had to live in the cities where most voice over work was done. The juicy voice over work was to be found in cities like London, New York and Los Angeles. Those who could not relocate would still be able to find voice over work locally, though that was challenging.

In recent years, online voice over work has changed the game entirely. Voice over auditions are now taking place remotely. Voice talent set up small home-studios and send files from the comfort of their own home and city.

This trend has taken more speed, with the appearance of online hubs which provide voice work worldwide. Bunny Studio is an interesting example, and indicative of where voice over auditions and the industry as a whole is headed.

voice over auditions must knows

The Bunny Studio Story

Bunny Studio spearheaded the move towards all-inclusive online providers. They explain:

“Six years ago, when digital creative outsourcing was just beginning, we saw an opportunity. Voice overs have traditionally been purchased through specialized creative agencies. Before, you had to call or physically go to studios, select your talent, etc. Then, digital platforms for voice-overs were born. But the process was the same, just done online. You had to check different platforms, work your way through many talents to find the right one; negotiate the rates and turnaround times. And once you get the voice over, you have to work with different invoices, payment systems and hope for acceptable quality. You get the picture. It was still a long and cumbersome way to do outsourcing.”

The landscape, as stated by Bunny Studio, was rather problematic. A client who needed voice over work had to (a) look for such talent locally, via an agency, hold voice over auditions and hope for the best or (b) try to navigate the burgeoning, but still rather clumpy, world of online providers.

That is where Bunny Studio came in. The idea was (and indeed still is) to create an online marketplace as such, with the highest standards. What this means, in practical terms is:

  • The game is about outsourcing, where a client may be able solve all their creative needs. These began with voice over work and have grown continuously over the recent years. It is crucial to understand that it is not only about voice overs, but about all-inclusive online audio solutions, such as audio ads and more.
  • Enforcing strict quality standards. A client should be able to relax and let Bunny Studio handle the work, with top-notch quality and speed.

Bunny Studio Voice Over Auditions

Bunny Studio looks for some qualities in their voice artists, namely:

  • Quality in the voice work.
  • Constant communication with Bunny Studio.
  • Speed and fulfillment of deadlines.
  • Availability to tackle projects.
  • Attention to detail.

In return, Bunny Studio is able to offer voice talent a number of things:

  • Free subscription to the platform, without any fees necessary for its use.
  • Constant support and feedback.
  • Allowing freelancers to set their own rates.
  • Payment for every submission accepted by Bunny Studio.
  • Projects sent to the talent via email.

All this is fine and well, but how do voice over auditions work when finding such talent? The process is quite simple. Voice talent must follow a number of steps:

1. Creating an account.

Here, a voice artist may describe their skills and experience.

2. Submitting a test.

This is essentially what we would call online voice over auditions.

3. Review of the test.

Just like in voice over auditions, the test is reviewed to see if the voice artist is the right fit for Bunny Studio.

4. Getting jobs.

When the test is deemed worthy, voice talent begins to receive work.

How Bunny Studio Works  

Voice over auditions at Bunny Studio are changing the landscape of the industry as a whole. Bunny Studio offers voice over work in a vast array of languages. There are currently around 28,000 freelancers working in 50 different languages on the platform. Large companies such as Home Depot, Wyndham and Dell trust Bunny Studio with their voice over needs.

voice over auditions for voice acting

The Bunny Studio Standard

A client sends the voice over project details first. Bunny Studio then assembles a team and creates the recording. The client receives a ready-to-use product. These recordings may be commercials, advertising, e-learning, phone systems, video games, audiobooks, podcasts, audio ads, ADR etc. The average time to create such a recording is about 12 hours.

Clients may browse voices to use in their project. Alternatively, it is possible to hold a ‘Contest’, where three voice over auditions by the Bunny Studio freelancers are submitted and the winner gets to work on the project. The other way to put together the voice talent is by creating a ‘Speedy’. With a speedy, voice actors who match the project brief receive the details. The first actor to choose the project and make a recording that passes quality control is chosen. Occasionally, proven talent will be put to work in special projects, known as ‘SpecOps’ or be booked directly by clients via ‘Bookings’.

Voice artists are, as can be seen, taking part in voice over auditions constantly. When sending a ‘Speedy’, the work must be internally accepted to generate payment. Also, when taking part in a ‘Contest’, voice artists submit a pitch, but one voice artist is finally chosen. ‘Bookings’ and ‘SpecOps’ are more directly targeted at talent, and thus do not quite include voice over auditions. It is important to note, however, that even ‘Bookings’ and ‘SpecOps’ work must be accepted and thus, in a way, this constitutes a layer of quality-control akin to voice over auditions.

Conclusion

Voice over auditions assess voice talent and find out if they are right for a particular voice over job. There are two main types of voice over audition: online and in-person.

Online auditions need a home mini-studio and a knowledge of the technical aspects. In-person auditions are the traditional way of selecting talent, where voice talent must learn to control their nerves and overcome rejection.

Besides online auditions, the trend today is towards setting up online marketplaces for outsourcing. Bunny Studio is an example of this. This will take online voice over, and much more, to the next level.

In Bunny Studio, voice over auditions are done to select talent for the platform. Thereafter, auditions do not stop. Voice talent working ‘Speedies’ must have their work approved by internal quality control. If they take part in ‘Contests’ their pitch must be chosen. Even ‘Bookings’ or ‘SpecOps’ have a quality control setup for payment.

Ten articles before and after

Voice Over Demo Reel: Proof of Quality and Consistency

What is the Best Microphone for Voice Over?

How to Get Into Character Without Going Crazy

Russian Voice: Tips to Sounding Authentic

Voice Work: What to Know Before Starting Out in the Industry

How to Learn an Accent…and Sound Authentic

Who is a Voice Director, and Do You Need One?

Voice Acting Career – What Does It Really Take?

Voice Over Practice – Script Work and More for Choosing the Best Actor

Voice Over Equipment: The Essentials to Start Your Studio