Audio Production for Business

Business audio services...


The audio-related services I offer businesses involve exactly the same set of skills and processes as those I provide to my performing artist clients - it's really only the direction and the end result that are different. So, please feel free to visit my Music Production for Musicians page to find more details about that.

But there are some significant differences in my approach to business-related audio production work, because, although the ultimate goal of successful promotion is the same as it is for musicians, the avenues a business must use to achieve this are often quite different.




Production Workflow

Below is an outline of my general workflow when it comes to producing a wide range of audio projects for the advertising, marketing and promotion of your business:

Recording

The majority of recording work I do for businesses is that of spoken word. Sometimes I'll need to record live musicians performing a piece of music, which is, of course, rather more involved (see my Music Production page), and occasionally I'll be asked to record sound effects for use in theatres or in videos for Foley work. But primarily, for most clients, it's the human voice, imparting a personal message from you to your customers.

I use high quality large diaphragm vocal condenser microphones to capture the voice artist's every intonation with pristine accuracy. If you plan to use your own voice, but you don't have much experience of studio recording, I can help coach you through the process, offering advice and suggestions throughout. Alternatively you might want to consider...

Session Artists

Professional voice artists (as well as musicians) are available for hire and, if you're not comfortable with speaking into a microphone yourself, having your voice captured and shared with potential millions, I would highly recommend availing yourself of their services. These spoken word artists are really quite excellent and will make your finished product sound very professional. Please let me know if you would like more info.

Sequencing

Although the tools I use for the composition of backing music for business are the same as those for musicians, the approach is usually very different. For musicians the track's structure is a main focus, while the most important thing for a business is whether the music conveys the right emotional content to the listener, whether it be confidence, romance, relaxation, fear, optimism, contentment, humour... the list goes on... but be assured that, whatever you need your music to convey, I can produce it for you through the use of sequencing in modern, high-end Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).

Mixing

The mixing also takes place in a DAW and, once the backing music has been mixed and mastered, this will be ready to be combined with your spoken word. However, before that can happen, the recording of your spoken word needs to be accurately edited, removing any unwanted noises, such as shuffling, breathing, errors made when misreading the script, page turns, mouth noise, coughs, etc., etc.

When all the audio editing is complete, mixing of the vocal's overall sound and tone is required, removing any sibilance, boxiness and other undesirable problem frequencies, allowing for a certain amount of amplification, once the peaks have been rounded off with a little compression. This vocal mix will then be mastered and brought back into the project to be finally combined with the backing music. How this is done will depend on your intended application.

Finishing

How we tackle the next step will be dictated by your end product... Is it an online slideshow or a promotional video of some kind? Perhaps it's a presentation intended to be played for your clients in a large hall or theatre? Maybe you're recording an instructional CD for your yoga class to use at home? Or even an audio book or a series of short stories?

Whatever you intend your finished item to be, there will definitely be further work required - after all the recording, sequencing and mixing have been done - in order to complete the project, whether it involves additional editing of audio or video, preparing slides and transitions, putting the whole thing together and exporting video files for upload to YouTube...

There are many ways I can help you to make your goals a reality bringing your project to fruition. You may also need to take advantage of my graphic design skills in the production of your presentation slides or CD cover designs or animated GIFs for online ads... So please take a look at my Graphic Design for Business page for more details on what I can do for you in that department.






Some example projects...

Sometimes it's difficult to decide what direction to take your project in, so it's useful to consider all the options that are available so that you can decide which one will best suit your needs...

Audio only

Some projects only require the audio itself, supplied in a variety of formats, which is no problem at all - I can supply you with whatever digital files you need. 

However, you may find that you need the finished piece to be chopped up into discrete portions. This would apply to all types of audio books - from poetry to self-help books, short stories to novels - as it helps the listener keep track of their position within the audio book.

You may also need a design for your audio book, even if you never plan to print anything, as online stores need imagery to display on their websites - and the first bite is always with the eye! Which is why it's vital to make that first bite a tasty one!

Audio CD

The same needs as outlined in 'Audio only', above, also apply to the production of Audio CDs; natural breaks in the spoken word need to be chopped up into smaller portions as tracks on the CD, allowing the listener to skip to the point where they left off.

The design of your CD cover, as well as the CD itself, is of the utmost importance. If you can attract your potential listeners with a strong cover design, you've already won half the battle.

You will also need to consider the various packaging options, from simple card sleeves to full album jewel cases - and everything in-between.

Still image with text

A much simpler approach to creating a video is to use a single still background image, arrange text over the top of it throughout the video, as required. Text can be laid out in various ways around the screen, and can be set to appear and fade out at certain moments during the spoken word and other audio passages.

This can be a very effective method if you're on a budget, especially if you keep the text to a minimum in order to highlight specific points and new sections or chapters, etc., within the video.

Slideshow

A slideshow is a fantastic way of getting your message across to the listener, because this also makes them a viewer, which means you now have their full and undivided attention. What you then need to do is maintain their attention by providing them with visually appealing slides to keep their eyes occupied as they listen avidly to your spoken word presentation.

With your provided text and imagery, I can create a stunning slideshow which follows a specially-designed style template to which each slide will adhere. Following these design guidelines, I would then arrange the text and images for each slide, ensuring all your key points are clear and engaging.

As well as arranging all the visual transitions between each slide, I would also create leader slides - essentially acting as your front and back covers - so as to create as much impact as possible, providing all the important information your customers need in order to get in contact with you.

Examples to follow soon...

Video footage

Actual footage is always the most engaging way to keep your viewers watching your video. But of course, it must be relevant to the subject matter covered in your script - and preferably changing to other relevant footage for each passage throughout the spoken word recording.

This kind of structural arrangement to your project requires a certain amount of video editing, from scene to scene, so I can deal with that if you need me to, or you''re welcome to provide me with the finished video reel for me to sequence the audio clips along to it.

Video combo

Some videos require a combination - or even all - of the above options to be used in conjunction with each other, mixing slides with live footage, applying text at certain places and arranging transitions throughout.

There are many different ways all these options could be combined to produce you finished article, so please let me know what your specific requirements are and I'll be happy to provide you with a comprehensive quote.

If you're not sure precisely what you need, just get in touch and we'll have a chat about your project so that I know what we're looking at, then I can recommend the best approach to take your project to the next level.

Video DVD

Most videos I produce these days are intended for use online in one form or another, whether they're being hosted for free public access on YouTube and in turn being linked to for sharing on various Social Networking platforms, such as Facebook, or whether the videos are being hosted on a secure server and only being released for download once a fee has been taken.

However, DVD is still a popular medium, through which many potential viewers can access your videos and a nicely produced DVD in a case, with a well designed inlay and disc present an item of tangible value, just like a CD, which means that your customers are more likely to be willing to part with their hard-earned cash in order to acquire one for their own use.

Examples to follow soon...



A note about video footage:
Please bear in mind that I don't provide filming services myself, but I do know people who can help you with that and whose professionalism I will vouch for, so I'll be happy to provide you with their contact details. You are also very welcome to provide your own footage, but please get in touch before you do your shooting, so we can discuss some of the variables.