Whether it's a commercial, narration or character demo, I take pride in ensuring that every clip on a demo gives the talent the best chance to book a gig. My goal as a demo producer is to make sure every clip on the demo sounds like a real commercial or video game character!
The production part of putting together a marketable demo is quite the rush. First, I have to decide which take of the script is the best possible performance. At times, there could be a dozen takes on the file. Second, I usually have to remove some mouth noise and breaths from the reads. I like putting different effects on the voice if this is a character demo. If this is a kid in a haunted house, I like using a little reverb on the vocal. Not TOO much. We still need to understand what the character is saying or yelling.
Sound effects are a lot of fun, but I never allow them to steal the show in a voiceover demo. In the end, the demo needs to showcase the talent and should never be overproduced. Watch national television commercials. While the production is about as professional as it gets, they are never overproduced and rarely includes many sound effects. If this is a videogame character demo, I'm always more generous with the sound effects because I am not only trying to create a story in each clip, I want it to sound like you're actually playing a video game!
I am unwilling to pull back the curtain as far as the final mixdown! Just like a Chef reluctant to reveal their secret ingredients. Plenty of meticulous work goes into the final mix to make sure the final product sounds professional.
Suppose you want to have a marketable demo that includes having a shot at getting on a talent agency roster. In that case, it will take an investment to get one produced by a professional demo producer. But, if you're serious about this, it's worth it!
A demo producer should never rush the production. I look at a demo as art, and you should never rush art. I take the necessary time on every second of the demo. I want our talents to have the best chance to succeed.
What I can't do is turn an inexperienced voice actor into a seasoned professional overnight. At UVT, we strongly recommend that new talents get several months of coaching before recording a demo. Unfortunately, some skip the coaching process, leading to a disappointing demo. Demo producers can never perform miracles if the talent isn't ready. We have no way to make them sound better than they are. Get the coaching! It's worth it.
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