A client came to ProComm the other day with a project that’s becoming more and more commonplace. Fred Baier of Delta T Engineering had created a video in Camtasia to demonstrate his software, which provides temperature monitoring for electrical systems in commercial buildings. The video was a basic screen capture walk-through of the software, which Fred narrated himself to demonstrate the features of the product.
The audio was very low resolution and Fred was interested in having a professional voice over replace his narration to take the piece to the next level and give it a bit more polish. However, the voice still needed to sound conversational and the listener still needed to feel like he was being shown the software by someone with intimate knowledge of how the product worked – in other words, it needed to be Fred… just not Fred.
The other technical challenge was that the new voice over needed to match Fred’s pace so that the mouse movements and scene changes matched the copy.
Fred browsed through the ProComm voice talent demos on ProComm’s website until he found the voice and style he liked and cast Ron Whittemore to replace his voice over narration. Ron has a very unassuming style and is good at bringing a conversational tone to his reads, so it made for an excellent choice.
After receiving the quicktime version of the Delta T video with Fred’s narration, I spent a little time in pre-production timing out the sections of the video, so we could break it down in to smaller chunks. Ron also spent a little time in preparation viewing the video and going over the script to get a feel for the pace and tone of the narration.
One approach for a project like this is to shadow the scratch track. The voice talent will listen to the original read in his headphones while reading the copy to make sure he stays on pace with the original. This method is great when you have a longer narration that needs to match for time, but the drawback is the voice talent has less focus on the tone of the read.
After reviewing the video, Ron and I decided it might be better to just time sections and let Ron try to match those timings. Fred’s voice over had a pretty even pace and there were some open areas that we knew we could move things around a little, so there was some flexibility.
In the session, I played each section prior to Ron’s read so he could get a feel for where Fred paused or made certain inflections to match the video. Ron then gave his interpretation and after a take or two, we generally had the voice over we needed. A little nudging of the lines in post and we had a perfect match.
Check out the before and after snippet’s of the Delta T video below…
Ron’s voice over definitely gives the video a more professional feel. Fred was pleased as well…
Everything worked out great. I just want to say “THANK YOU” to all who helped with this voice over. It sounds great and matches the video perfectly.
Delta T Engineering