Receiving an opportunity to audition for a client is an exciting prospect – who’s it for, what’s involved, how come I’m having a day off and they need it yesterday? All valid questions. Once you’ve got your head around the ins and outs of the project it’s time to record.
You record your best two takes (one with a slightly alternative tone or direction to give the client plenty of reasons to fall in love with you!) and click save.
Now is usually the stage where we kiss goodbye to our file and wish it well on its journey to the ears of the final client. However, not all clients or the companies being hired by them to produce their content are totally above board. We’ve sadly heard cases where submitted auditions have been used in final productions without crediting the original voice artist and worse still not honouring the proposed payment.
When our talent team submit auditions we advise they change words if it’s a very short script (one or two sentences) or if it’s a paragraph then leaving out a sentence as well as altering words, especially when it comes to company/brand names. We also advocate the use of an unobtrusive audio watermark.
An audio watermark is a unique electronic identifier embedded in an audio signal, typically used to identify ownership of copyright. It is similar to a watermark on a photograph.
Adding an audio watermark is a relatively simple enough task within most current audio editors, but we’ve found a generator that is dedicated to this specific task so removes the cut ‘n pasting, volume matching that a manual process can involve. It handles the most popular formats (MP3, Wav and AIFF) and whatever watermark you want to overlay with whatever intervals between watermark instances you desire.
There are some built-in presets which are beeps, whispers and other common tones that render your audition sample unusable in a final production. AG Watermark Generator is free for up to sixty second renders – this is usually more than enough for audition samples. A licence is available at a 25% discount for our VoicesUS Talent Team for files over one minute.
Pro tip: Red flag time! If a client loves your watermarked audition but requests a non-watermarked version please exercise extreme caution especially if the sample is their entire script. If your client has paid up front and requests different tone and direction samples then of course there would be no issue with doing this.
With trusted clients, repeat clients and other water-tight avenues a watermark is rarely necessary, but it’s a useful quick additional step to your usual post-processing workflow that can protect your property. Respect your voice, leave your stamp!
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One response to "Why Watermark Auditions? It’s Lock Down!"
For protecting online music (beds) watermarks are critical. But for my voiceover auditions, I do not watermark because I find them too distracting. I simply leave out a word, and I point that out in my audition message to the client.