FAQs – Voice-over Recording and Production

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    If it speaks – we can record it!

    Our agency can record all types of voice-over, for all types of project including: documentary, e-Learning and training, corporate, advertising, telephone messaging and IVR, computer games and broadcast.
    There are five different ways of recording voice-over for video projects:
    • wild voice-over narration – not recorded to picture and with no timing constraints
    • time-synced  voice-over narration – recorded to picture
    • UN Style voice-over
    • recorded to picture
    • phrase-sync dubbing – the phrase is in sync with the mouth movements, but not exact
    • lip-sync dubbing – the most difficult  process where the mouth movements are exactly synced to the audio.
    The method you choose is a matter of budget, taste, and the audience’s preferences.
    A WILD recording is where the script is read aloud by the voice artist at a natural pace. If the voice-over is being recorded WILD, there is no way to know its length, so any visuals within the video, animation or presentation will have to be edited to fit the timings of the voice-over. This could be very difficult and time-consuming if the editor does not understand the language involved.  In this case some preparatory work may be required to the scripts, to make it clear where transitions in the visuals take place.

    Recording to strict time constraints (STC), is when the voice-over is recorded to picture, to ensure it synchronises to the the original audio of the video. This ensures that what is being said, matches the correct section of the video picture. Recording to STC takes about twice as long as a WILD recording, because the voice artist will have to retake sections to get the audio timed correctly to the video pictures.

    The original speaker can still be heard in the background so that the audience is aware that the translated voice-over is acting as an interpretation of what is being said.

    A UN Style voice-over, is a perfect fit for films with a serious subject matter, and it’s often used in documentaries and in news broadcast, where interviews are conducted on camera, in a language the target audience does not understand.

    Read more on this project

    The actors’ voices are replaced (dubbed) with those of foreign actors. Lip-sync dubbing is commonly used in video games, animations, and films, as well as corporate dramas and e-learning video.

    Lip syncing requires extensive preparatory work to adapt the scripts to fit with the actor’s lip movements. Producing a lip-sync recording is a very time consuming process, it can easily take six times longer than standard voice-over to produce.  And the quality of the final result is sometimes questionable, you never really get a perfect lip-sync.

    Western cinema goers generally prefer subtitles or closed captions instead of lip-sync dubbing, but lip-syncing is preferred by many other cultures, particularly if the literacy of the audience is low.

    Phrase-sync dubbing is similar to lip-sync, but the new voice-over is not matched to lip movements, it’s simply matched phrase by phrase, so it is not as costly to produce as lip-sync.

    Read more on this project

    This is primarily dependent on the availability of the selected voice artist. We have two recording studios so we can schedule projects at short notice.  Usually we can turn-around urgent projects in just 24 hours. Most projects will require two to three days to schedule, record and post produce.
    We can deliver the audio as a raw, unedited Pro-Tools session file, or we can clean, edit, name and deliver the audio in any format and resolution you require.

    We can also re-integrate the audio back into the video, and encode the final video in any video file format and resolution you require.

    To learn more about how we clean and edit our voice-over recordings, and why it makes for better sounding voice files please click here
    For time-synced voice-over, we’ll need you to supply the script and the video files. The video should be supplied to us as a compressed QuickTime .mov file, ideally under 100Mb, as this is the only file format compatible with our Pro-Tools recording software. We can convert the video into a .mov file here, if you cannot supply it in this format.
    Yes, we only ever work with voices native to the country or region required.
    Most of our English speaking voice artists are based in the UK, and we record them at our Reading studios.

    For foreign voice-overs we  have a variety of solutions.  We have an extensive network of native speakers who work in the UK and record at our studios. We also have a network of partner studios abroad, and voice talent based in-country, with their own professional recording facilities. This diversity allows us to offer our customers a greater variety of voices and languages, and the ability to find a solution to the tightest of budget restrictions.

    Yes, we welcome clients to our studio, where you can direct the recording in person. You can also direct the session over the phone or by using Zoom or Skype if preferred.

    Firstly, we trust our voice talent; they are all professionals and rarely make mistakes.  Our sound engineers listen very carefully during the recording process and spot errors made as they happen, and then retake those sections.  At the end of the session the performance is listed back again, to check for any errors missed during the recording phase.

    When we’re producing a foreign language recording, naturally the sound engineer is unlikely to speak the language in question.  So we have a ‘listening back’ phase, where the engineer and the voice artist review the recording, and retake for any errors. Optionally, we can supply native linguistic directors, to assist with directing the voice talent or to check back the quality of the audio, before we deliver it back to you.
    Usage fees (also sometimes called “buy-out” fees) are an additional fee payable to a voice artist for the use of their voice in TV, Radio, Website, in-flight or Cinema broadcast; Museums, Events, Exhibitions & in-stores; or video game, DVD, Film or a sell-through product. Every union has their own guidelines on usage rates. Typically we recommend allowing 100% of the voice artist recording fee for usage in your budget, but this is a guideline only and the actual cost is often dependent on the voice talent selected, and exact details of the usage. For more information about usage fees, take a look at this blog post.
    We first have to review the scripts and the video (if applicable), to determine the recording and post production time required to produce the voice-over project.

    We can typically record:

    2,000 – 2,500 words of narration (15-20 minutes of audio) WILD (no time constraints) 1,000 – 1,500 words of narration (10-12 minutes of audio) to STC (strict time constraints) … In a ONE hour recording session.  For other types of voice over the word-count maybe less e.g. commercials or lip-sync recordings can take longer. Costs for the production are dependent on the voice artist selected, and the level of service required. Rates are typically as follows:

    RECORDING COSTS (Includes the Voice, Studio & Engineer)

    1 hour recording: £210 – £310 GBP 3 hour recording: £630 – £730 GBP 6 hour recording (one day): £860 – £960 GBP  


    Clean, and edit the audio: £60 GBP per 10 minutes of finished audio or per 40 files. THIS short video explains what work is involved in cleaning and editing audio to a professional standard. Mix recorded audio with background music and integrate to video: £60 GBP per 20 minutes of video Encoding video: £30 GBP per video file Delivery by FTP: Free of charge


    Optional Linguistic Director £75 GBP per hour (£400 GBP per day) Usage fees if applicable. As a guide allow, 100% of the artist’s recording fee (negotiable with artist). N.B. If you have a lip-sync project, please contact us to discuss before we can give guidance on cost. And remember, if you need guidance on price for any voice-over project we’re just a quick phone call or email away!

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    They were so professional

    Brian and Philippe…love them!! What a great call to brighten up my day! They were so professional and so funny and I could tell the client was really happy 😊

    Philippe is definitely the best VO artist I’ve heard since being at Sponge! Just wow!

    Maria Trathen


    Pleasure to work with

    Pleasure to work with these guys. Hugh and the team couldn’t do enough to help and keep us informed throughout our customer journey. Highly recommended!

    Alex Carr

    BBGR Optical

    Delivers great work, right on time

    We’ve used Matinée for several projects, from video editing to translations of marketing materials, and they’re always a great pleasure to work with. Any requests are answered right away. We’ve had tight deadlines, but we’ve never worried as the team at Matinée delivers great work, right on time.

    Lisa Potrawiak

    Sinclair Pharma

    Fantastic to work with

    The team at Matinée are fantastic to work with. They are really communicative, helpful and turned around the work as quickly as possible. I have no complaints at all and we will definitely be getting back in contact when we next need subtitles.

    Jon Mirley

    Three Motion Media

    Matinée is a company I can trust

    I’ve worked with Matinee for well over 20 years, and continue to go back to them because of trust; a trust in their commitment to fulfilling the needs of my project, and a trust in the quality of their work.

    Bruce Corby

    Muddy Boot Productions

    I use Matinee a lot for subtitling projects

    I use Matinee for a lot of subtitling projects and they never fail to meet the deadlines. Great customer service and fast responses. Well done to the entire team.

    Jade Burnell

    The Big Word

    Friendly and efficient service

    The speed of response, and friendly, efficient service from all staff was quite exceptional. Matinee particularly stands out by putting the customer’s needs first, even when the job is relatively small and a bit of a technical challenge. I would strongly recommend Matinee for any subtitling work.

    Richard Taylor

    Freelancer producer and film maker

    A fantastic company to work with

    A fantastic company to work with. Fast email responses, rapid delivery of audio files, and all with positive and warm personalities shining through!  Thank you Matinée for a wonderful customer experience.

    Anne Crawford


    They are always well organised

    Very pleased with a number of projects completed by Matinée. They are always well organised, providing clear expectations, organisation, efficiency and always deliver a quality product on time. Recommended.

    Jon Watkins

    Jon Watkins TV

    Quick response to meet my deadline

    I have to mention the quick response of Sally and Nicole to my last minute request. They both understood the urgency of my need, and helped me complete the recording to hit my deadline.

    Joville Villanueva

    Shell UK Ltd

    Voice Over