5 tips to chose the right voice talent for you liners

The choice of a voice over talent greatly impacts the image of your station. If you are currently struggling in the pursuit of the right voice, check out our 5 tips below.

Male, female or both?

Radio is traditionally a men’s world. But today it is more diverse offering more variety and creativity in radio imaging. Choosing a male or female voice talent for your liners is really a matter of preference. And if you are not on a budget, a duet is also a good option because it offers more flexibility to your production schedule. 

Watch the sound quality

In a world of heavy sound processing, you want to make sure that your vocals sound their best. If you record a voice talent in your own studio, check your booth for humming noises and reverberations that may spoil your recording. Listen very carefully for the slightest noise, headset feedback, vibrations, even if you can barely hear them in the booth. Remember that the level of compression you apply during the mixing process will make these noises pop up. If your voice talent records from their own home studio then consider their sound quality as an essential feature of their performance. 

Availability and turnaround

Radio stations are dynamic media. They have the ability to spot an event and broadcast it live within minutes. When it comes to radio imaging production, you want to be able wrap up a special promo or liner as quickly as possible. As a matter of fact, it’s not unusual for a radio producer to have to create a promo or a liner that is already scheduled to be aired within the next 2 hours. You don’t have much time to waste and you even have less time to wait for the voice talent to deliver their parts. Therefore, you should always ask you talents about their turnaround before deciding to hire them. 

Don't forget the retakes

Retakes are part of the radio producer’s job. Even if you think you have everything under control, you can’t avoid retakes every now and then. From the mispronunciation of a name to dramatic “tweaks” of a text, you are going to have to re-record some parts of the voice over. It’s important to talk about retakes with your voice talent. Questions such as: how fast can you handle a retake? How much do you charge for it? Most voice talents include one retake in their rate. But don’t forget to check it out before your hands are tied. 

Beware of newbies

Make sure that the voice talent has been in the voice business for a couple of years. New voices are nice to discover and they tend to charge less for the same job. However, you may spend more studio time giving them directions. In addition, new voices may have full time jobs they are more dedicated to. Or they may decide to switch jobs if they figure they won’t be able to make it in the voice over business.

You don’t want to have to remake all the liners and promos because you need to replace you former voice talent. 


F.B. has been working in the radio industry for 10 years. He produces radio imaging elements for sonsduproducteur.com

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