Recording through the Coronavirus outbreak
by Andrew Hughes – updated 11th May, 2020
Here is our latest information on recording voiceovers in our studio during the coronavirus outbreak. It sets out the steps we are taking to become a Covid Secure Workplace and will be updated regularly.
The aim of this article is to outline how we’ll be working over the next few months, and to let you know that we’ll be here when you need us. Quite simply, we all need to work together to achieve the same results as normal, without attending in person or being in the same enclosed spaces as each other.
How will you make the studio safe for voiceover sessions?
Firstly we would encourage all clients to direct remotely. You’ll still see your voice artist on our webcam. Many voice artists have professional home studios and can be connected remotely too, via Source Connect or ISDN. However for artists who need to attend we are fortunate enough to have separate booth and control room areas. This means you can enter the studio without being in the same room as us at any time. In fact, we will be separated by three sheets of glass.
When you book, we will ask you to print your own scripts off in advance and bring them with you. Normally we would greet you at the door and make you a coffee, but that’s going to have to stop for the time being! We’ll retreat to the control room and ask you to make use of our alcohol hand gel and then make your own way to the studio booth.
If you are an artist attending the studio in person then you’ll want to be sure it’s a healthy environment in which to work. These are the measures we’re undertaking to ensure that Radio Facilities remains a safe and welcoming place to record.
Most importantly, we will be following all of the goverment’s advice regarding special measures to ensure cleanliness and general hygiene. We clean all surfaces with wipes which contain 70% alcohol (necessary to kill the virus). We have temporarily stopped using iPads and Apple Pencils in the studio and have reverted to paper copies of scripts. Whenever we handle the studio microphones we wear disposable gloves, and finally we wash our hands regularly and use a 70% alcohol hand sanitizer from a dispenser at the entrance door. Our customers are very welcome to use the hand sanitizer and disposable gloves as well.
How can we record a podcast?
We’re still recording, and you can be too. If you want to record a podcast and you can’t come into the studio in person there are other ways to work. We regularly connect with contributors over the phone and through Skype. The quality of phone calls can be variable, but using Skype to record offers really good quality without the need to have specialist equipment.
The basic requirement for this is a simple earphone system, such as the free ones that come with your smartphone. These are pretty good, and we will be able to record reasonable-quality audio with them, but if you happen to have a headset with a microphone then that’s even better.
You can read more about how we record by Skype here: https://www.radiofacilities.com/skype-for-podcasts/
With any of the above options we can easily record you and your contributors, and you can maintain continuity with your podcast. For other projects which demand high-quality audio call us first to talk through the possibilities, and we can usually offer a brief test to see if the connection is good enough for your needs.
As an alternative to Skype, we also use a service called SourceConnect Now. This gives even better quality than Skype, and it’s free for our customers to use. It only works on Google Chrome, and as with Skype you’ll need earphones or a headset. We also have SourceConnect Pro (the paid for version) which offers even better quality for commercials, corporates etc.
What’s going to happen when everything gets back to normal?
The virus outbreak will pass, and when it does we’ll be here, ready to continue your project when you are. And if you have recorded remotely over the isolation period then the only difference between being here and at home is our coffee and free Smarties!
Find out more about our studio: https://www.radiofacilities.com/voiceover-isdn-studio/