FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The dVoicebox Studio is a service run by professional voice artist Chris Radley trading as Dmusic Studio.

This list of frequently asked questions is being added to all the time. It should provide answers to most of your questions – but if you need more information – call Chris on 01926 431535 or email

 

Why should I use dVoicebox for my recording project?
The studio specialises in vocalist, singer, voice over and spoken word projects. Studio engineer Chris Radley is a musician and professional voice over artist who has been in business since 1996. Chris has a voice over client list that includes, Legal and General, Tesco, Specsavers, B&Q and Delmonte.
He also worked on radio for many years as a presenter and also has a background in sound engineering and recording. He knows how to provide the right studio atmosphere to get the best out of your voice talent. He loves recording and giving great attention to detail to produce great professional sounding audio productions.

Where is the studio?
Our address is 52 Radford Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1JG.
The studio is within easy reach of the motorway network including M40, M45, M1, M6 and M42. It’s about 20 mins from Stratford upon Avon or Coventry.
There is some parking available on the wide pavement outside the studio. The railway station (mainline to Marylebone, London or Birmingham) is less than 10 mins walk from the studio. There are pubs, cafes and shops within a few minutes walk.

How much does it cost?
Normal Rate – The following fees will apply from the 1st September 2017.
You can hire the studio for voice over or vocalist recording, or other recording projects. The usual hourly rate is £40 an hour but there is a minimum charge of £80 for any session of less than 2 hours.  A cancellation fee of £80 will be charged on recording or ISDN sessions cancelled and not rebooked at less than 24 hours notice.
For a longer project the studio fee can be reduced to £30 per hour if you book and fully prepay a block of 10 hours (to be used in no more than 3 sessions). All sessions with engineer.

Dry Hire – If you are a voiceover artist with your own portable recording equipment you can dry hire the booth at a discounted rate (subject to availability). You don’t get an engineer but you do get a great acoustic space to record in. Normally for this service you would provide your own mic but if that’s a problem you can hire one of ours.
Record at dVoicebox and take the audio away to edit elsewhere.
Call Chris for rates and details on 01926 431535.

ISDN studio hire – (from 1st Sept 2017) ISDN sessions are charged at £70 per hour plus call charges if we have to dial up the other studio – there are no additional call charges if the other studio dials dVoicebox. For an additional fee ISDN sessions can be recorded and the audio files sent to clients after the session via ftp – ask Chris for more details. Check for current rates.
Phone patch is free if you call us – if dVoicebox has to call you then call charges will apply.

Please note that we need 7 days notice of a cancellation of a booked ISDN session. If less than 7 days notice is given a cancellation fee of £60 will be charged.

Voiceover fees – costs depend on the voice artist but the range is typically around £180 to £250 BSF (basic session fee) per hour for the voice artist (there may be usage licence costs too depending on the nature of your project and how it is to be used) – plus hourly studio/production charges.
Audiobooks may be worked out on an overall fee for the total read/project rather than on an hourly basis.
In addition as audiobooks are generally large projects we may require a deposit and staged payments.
Such terms to be agreed on each individual project.

NOTE – Except by prior arrangement – no recordings will be released to clients until all recording and production costs have been paid.
dVoicebox owner Chris Radley engineers and runs all recording and ISDN sessions.

What does ISDN mean?
ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network. Briefly that means using a high quality line that is used to connect recording, production and radio and TV studios. The sound quality is broadcast standard and so ISDN can be used for “down the line” radio interviews.
For voiceovers it means you can effectively get the same sound quality from a remote studio as you could get if the voice actor was in the same studio as you. dVoicebox uses software based codec  Audio TX Communicator that has been designed to seamlessly connect with all the professional codecs in use in the UK and most of the systems in use around the world. It can be used as a “phone patch”. You can get more information on the Technical Specification page.

What is a phone patch?
If for some reason you are unable to attend the studio to direct your voice talent then we can set up a phone patch. This allows you to call up the studio on a special phone number and be linked straight into the studio system so that you can hear the voice artist as they read your script. You are also able to direct their performance – you can hear their performance while they can hear your comments and direction in their headphones while they are in the booth recording.

I’m a voiceover artist – what equipment do you use for voice work?
You’ll find all the details on the kit we use on the Technical Specification page.

I want to record an interview is your booth big enough for this?
The dVoicebox Esmono Booth is 2.2m x 2.5m and is 2.2m high – it is large enough for several actors or singers standing – the most we’ve comfortably had at one go so far is seven singers each with their own mic and headphones.  For interview situations there is room for at least 3 people seated around a table.

The booth is also big enough to record a drum kit should that be needed for a music project.

I want to learn to be a voiceover – do you offer any training?
The dVoicebox studio itself does not offer voice over training – however we have linked up with Big Mouth Vox Productions who run voiceover training sessions in the Midlands and also in London. We provide the studio environment and equipment for the training for the Warwickshire based sessions. You can find out more by following the link to Big Mouth Vox Productions.

I’m a singer can I record a demo?
We regularly record singers and songwriters. If you want to produce a demo – perhaps using a backing track that you already have – that’s fine. On the other hand, if you’d prefer it, we can help you source good quality backings for your choice of song.
For the recording itself we use high quality Neumann, Audio Technica or Rode mics, our professional Esmono sound booth and industry standard software post production tools .
All you need to bring is your vocal talent and we’ll do the rest. It’s a good idea to make sure that you really know the song well that you want to record. It’ll reduce the studio time needed and so you’ll need a smaller budget for the demo. A single CD copy is included in the fee – further copies can be made for an extra charge.

Do you ever use session singers or session musicians?
We have a list of accomplished singers and musicians to draw on for session work – but we are always interested to add to it so if you’d like to be considered just contact Chris at the studio with a demo or a link to a website where we can hear you sing or play.

Can my band record a demo in your studio?
The dVoicebox Studio is quite compact and experience tells us that it is not ideal for recording bands – especially if everyone wants to play at once. It works best for music projects where the instruments are added individually – building up the song or music track with a series of over dubs. For this reason it suits many songwriters – who may have a song to record but don’t have a regular band to bring into the studio.

I’ve written a book – how do I get it recorded as an audiobook? Can I read it myself?
Often writers want to record their own work and sometimes if they have radio presentation or acting experience this can be successful. Generally, however, we recommend using a trained voice artist or actor who can bring the text to life, lifting the words off the page and so conveying the dramatic feel of the book in the narration and through using different voices for each character.
We can assist with the casting process to find the right voice talent for the project or alternatively you can cast and provide your own voice artists. Whichever route you choose we will make sure the voice talent feels comfortable during the recording to helping them to deliver their best performance.

What’s the process of recording the audiobook?
Initially you should get in touch to discuss the audio book project. We will be able to advise on the best recording and production methods for the book. We can also make suggestions of suitable voice artists for the project.

Recording audiobooks is a very time consuming process and so can be expensive. You will have to budget for the cost of the voice artist plus the cost of the studio for the recording itself and then studio hours for subsequent editing and post-production and mastering work. We may request that you break the project into sections that can be invoiced and paid for separately. Get in touch now to discuss your project and get more detailed information on exactly what is involved in recording a book.

Can I visit the studio before making a booking?
Yes, we welcome arranged visits. The recording process can be quite long – especially for audio books – you’ll be spending a lot of time either in the booth or the control room so it’s important that you are happy with the work environment and also that you feel that you can work with our staff too.

To make sure that someone is free to answer your questions and to ensure that you aren’t disturbing someone else’s recording session please call or email to arrange an appointment.

See our CLIENTS section for examples of previous work

Call the studio on 01926 431535 or email for details on availability and rates.